|Scientific Name:||Pinguinus impennis|
|Species Authority:||(Linnaeus, 1758)|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Extinct ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.|
This species was formerly distributed across the north Atlantic, but is now Extinct as a result of hunting pressure. The last live bird was seen in 1852.
|Range Description:||Pinguinus impennis occurred in naturally scattered colonies (Bengtson 1984) across the North Atlantic until the 19th century, breeding from Canada through Greenland (to Denmark), the Faeroe Islands (to Denmark) and Iceland to Ireland and the UK, with archeological records from the western coast of Europe from European Russia south to France (Bourne 1993), and wintering offshore south to New England, USA, and southern Spain (Montevecchi and Kirk 1996). The last known pair were killed on Eldey Island, Iceland, in 1844, and the last live bird was seen off the Newfoundland Banks in 1852 (Halliday 1979).|
Regionally extinct:Canada; Faroe Islands; Greenland; Iceland; Ireland; United Kingdom
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||Historically, birds bred only on remote, rocky islands, probably due to early extirpation in more accessible sites (Lyngs 1994). Birds were flightless (Livezey 1988). Immatures probably fed on plankton (Hobson and Montevecchi 1991) while adults dived for fish (Olson et al. 1979).|
|Major Threat(s):||Details of how it was driven to extinction by hunting for its feathers, meat, fat and oil are well known (Grieve 1885). As birds became more scarce, specimen collecting became the proximate cause of their extinction (Birkhead 1994).|
Bengtson, S. - A. 1984. Breeding ecology and extinction of the Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis): anecdotal evidence and conjectures. The Auk 101(1): 1-12.
Birkhead, T. 1994. How collectors killed the Great Auk? New Scientist 1927: 24-27.
Bourne, W. R. P. 1993. The story of the Great Auk Pinguinus impennis. Archives of Natural History 20: 257-278.
Grieve, S. 1885. The Great Auk, or Garefowl (Alca impennis Linn.): its history, archeology and remains. Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh, UK.
Halliday, T. R. 1979. The Great Auk. Oceans 12: 27-31.
Hobson, K. A.; Montevecchi, W. A. 1991. Stable isotope determination of the trophic status of the Great Auk. Oecologia 87: 528-531.
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).
Livezey, B. C. 1988. Morphometrics of flightlessness in the Alcidae. The Auk 105: 681-698.
Lyngs, P. 1994. Gejrfuglen. Et 150 års minde. Dansk Ornitologisk Forenings Tidsskrift 88: 49-72.
Montevecchi, W. A.; Kirk, D. A. 1996. Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis). In: Poole, A.; Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No. 260, pp. 1-20. The Academy of Natural Sciences, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.
Olson, S. L.; Swift, C. C.; Mokhiber, C. 1979. An attempt to determine the prey of the Great Auk Pinguinus impennis. The Auk 96: 790-792.
|Citation:||BirdLife International 2012. Pinguinus impennis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 May 2013.|
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