Fulmarus glacialis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Fulmarus glacialis
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1761)
Common Name(s):
English Northern Fulmar, Fulmar

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Newton, P., Calvert, R.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Northern Fulmar is found breeding throughout the north Atlantic and north Pacific, ranging from Japan and the United Kingdom in the south, to the high Arctic in the north. Northern populations are migratory, travelling south as the sea freezes over. Southern populations are more dispersive, but do not usually reach zones of warm water. Young birds may make transoceanic crossing and general wander further than the less mobile adults (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Canada; China; Denmark; Faroe Islands; France; Germany; Greenland; Iceland; Ireland; Japan; Mexico; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Russian Federation; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; United Kingdom; United States
Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Belgium; Czech Republic; Finland; Morocco; Poland; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number c.2,800,000-4,400,000 breeding pairs, equating to c.8,400,000-13,200,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 25-49% of the global range, so an initial estimate of the global population size is c.15,000,000-50,000,000 individuals. However, del Hoyo et al (1992) estimated the global population to number 8,000,000-32,000,000 individuals and Brooke (2004) estimated the global breeding population to number around 7,000,000 breeding pairs, equating to 21,000,000 individuals. Hence a revised global estimate is 15,000,000-30,000,000. National population estimates include: c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; < c.50 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Korea and c.100,000-1 million breeding pairs and >c.10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
For further information about this species, see 22697866_fulmarus_glacialis.pdf.
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Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Northern Fulmar typically breeds on cliffs and rock faces, but also occasionally on flatter ground sometimes up to 1 km inland. It will also breed near human habitation, sometimes even on occupied houses along the seafront of towns. Its diet comprises of variable quantities of fish, squid and zooplankton (especially amphipods), and it will also feed on fish offal and carrion (e.g. whale blubber). Most of its food is obtained by surface seizing but it will also plunge (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Tracking at Bear Island (Norway) revealed breeders forage close to the colony, preferring the continental shelf. As chicks became older parents foraged further from the colony, eventually regularly embarking on long trips to the Norwegian coast (Weimerskirch et al. 2001).
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Fulmarus glacialis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
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