Fulmarus glacialis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Procellariiformes Procellariidae

Scientific Name: Fulmarus glacialis (Linnaeus, 1761)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Northern Fulmar, Fulmar
Taxonomic Source(s): Brooke, M. de L. 2004. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Newton, P.
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species 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).
Countries occurrence:
Canada; China; Denmark; Faroe Islands; France; Germany; Greenland; Iceland; Ireland; Japan; Mexico; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia - Vagrant, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); 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.
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:90200000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is estimated at c.7,000,000 pairs or 20,000,000 individuals (Carboneras et al. 2016). In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 3,380,000-3,500,000 pairs, which equates to 6,760,000-7,000,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). In Russia the population is estimated at c.100,000-1 million breeding pairs and >c.10,000 individuals on migration (Brazil 2009).

Trend Justification:  In the Atlantic the species has undergone a large range expansion over the last two centuries whilst Arctic populations have remained relatively stable over the last four centuries (Brooke 2004, Carboneras et al. 2016). The population trend is increasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007). In Europe since declines began in the mid-1980s (c. one generation) the population size is estimated to have declined by more than 40%. Although there is uncertainty in the projected magnitude of the decline owing to the long generation length of the species, the population size in Europe is estimated to be decreasing by 50-79% during 1985-2077 (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:7000000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species 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
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):30.7
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species was subject to intensive exploitation for food in the past, and hunting remains in Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard and the Faroe Islands (Thorup et al. 2014, Carboneras et al. 2016).  In some breeding colonies the species is susceptible to predation from invasive mammals, such as foxes, rats, mice etc. It is vulnerable to oil spills, particularly in the North East Atlantic, but increasingly in its Northern range (Mendel et al. 2008). It is highly susceptible to ingesting marine litter and plastics (van Franeker et al. 2011). Bycatch in fisheries is also a significant threat, with large numbers recorded as caught in longline fisheries in the North East Atlantic and in trawl fisheries (Dunn et al. 2001, Anderson et al. 2011) as well as in gillnet fisheries (Žydelis et al. 2013). It is susceptible to collision and displacement from offshore wind farms, although this is currently considered to be a very low risk (Bradbury et al. 2014). It may also be disturbed and displaced by shipping lanes. A large wreck of this species in the North Sea in February 2004 was thought to be caused by multiple factors, namely low food abundance, persistent bad weather, higher levels of pollutants, and secondary diseases (van Franeker 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species is covered by the EU Birds Directive as a migratory species. In Europe it occurs within 29 marine Important Bird Areas, including in the Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Iceland, Svalbard (Norway) and the United Kingdom. Within the EU it is listed within 46 Special Protection Areas. Under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive it will be monitored for plastic ingestion. Mitigation measures have been developed to reduce bycatch of the species (Løkkeborg and Robertson 2002).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Identification and protection of important sites at sea, as well as for prey species. Continued monitoring of marine litter ingestion, and increased efforts for removal of plastic from oceans. Monitoring of seabird bycatch across all relevant fishing gears and implementation of bycatch mitigation measures.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Map revised.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Fulmarus glacialis (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22697866A110669972. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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