Fulmarus glacialis 

Scope: Europe
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): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A4abcde (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-03-31
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Burfield, I., Ieronymidou, C., Pople, R., Tarzia, M, Wheatley, H. & Wright, L
European regional assessment: Endangered (EN)
EU27 regional assessment: Vulnerable (VU)

This seabird began undergoing rapid declines across parts of its European breeding range during the 1980s and 1990s. Extrapolated over a three generation period (92 years), allowing for considerable uncertainty given the long trend period (and even assuming current rates of decline do not continue), the species warrants classification as Endangered (A4abcde) in Europe and Vulnerable (A4abcde) in the EU27 (where declines have been less rapid).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is found throughout the north Atlantic and North Sea, north of 45┬░N (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). Its boreal distribution has increased over the last 250 years to Iceland, the Faroes, Spitsbergen and suitable areas of coastline in Britain (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997, Snow and Perrins 1998).
Countries occurrence:
Denmark; Faroe Islands; France; Germany; Greenland; Iceland; Ireland; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Russian Federation (European Russia); Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; United Kingdom
Belgium; Czech Republic; Finland; Poland; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:476000
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:22697866-1

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 3,380,000-3,500,000 pairs, which equates to 6,760,000-7,000,000 mature individuals. The population in the EU27 is estimated at 533,000 pairs, which equates to 1,070,000 mature individuals. For details of national estimates, see the supplementary material.

Trend Justification:  Since declines began in the mid-1980s (c. one generation) the population size in Europe 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). In the EU27 the population size is estimated and projected to decrease by 30-49% in the same period. For details of national estimates, see attached PDF.
For further information about this species, see 22697866_fulmarus_glacialis.pdf.
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Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6760000-7000000,6880000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
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:The species spends large amounts of time in waters over continental shelf; ranging from the Arctic pack ice through to subarctic and temperate waters in the North East Atlantic. The species typically breeds on cliffs and rock faces, occasionally in sand dunes or on flatter ground (e.g., North Rona, Scotland), sometimes > 2 km inland (up to 10 km in Svalbard); in places it nests near habitation, sometimes even on occupied houses along seafronts of towns (Carboneras et al. 2014). Its diet is variable, but includes fish (e.g., capelin (Mallotus villosus), Norway pout (Trisopterus esmarkii), whiting (Merlangius merlangus)), squid and zooplankton, especially amphipods (Thysanoessa, Hyperia, Gammarus, Themisto) and jellyfish (e.g., Aurelia aurita, Cyanea capillata, Rhizostoma octopus); also fish offal and carrion. In the North Sea its diet includes mainly lesser sandeels (Ammodytes marinus) (Carboneras et al. 2014).
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 Greenland, Svalbard and the Faroe Islands (Thorup et al. 2014).  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 (┼Żydelis 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. Large wrecks of this species in North Sea in Feb 2004 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. 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.

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.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Fulmarus glacialis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22697866A60171190. . Downloaded on 16 July 2018.
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