|Scientific Name:||Larus leucophthalmus Temminck, 1825|
|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.|
|Identification information:||41 cm. A rather dark gull with black head in adult plumage. Adult has grey back, complete black hood with an almost continuous white eye ring and rather long, dark red bill. Juvenile is brown above with a brownish wash on head, breast and flanks; the bill is black and there is a black tail band. All ages have a dark underwing. Similar spp. Told from Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii by slightly smaller size, and, in adult plumage, all-black hood and bib, dark grey upperparts, all-dark bill (dark red with black tip, unlike two-tone bill of Sooty Gull) and conspicuous white eye-ring. Hints Often associates with Sooty and other gulls around fishing ports on the Red Sea.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Near Threatened ver 3.1|
|Reviewer(s):||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.|
|Contributor(s):||Baha El Din, S., Grieve, A. & Habib, M.|
|Facilitator/Compiler(s):||Butchart, S., Evans, M., Moreno, R., O'Brien, A., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Taylor, J.|
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is expected to experience a moderately rapid population decline in the next three generations (33 years) owing to a number of threats including introduced predators, oil-spills, the harvest of eggs and chicks and disturbance. If the population was found to be declining more rapidly, the species might qualify for a higher threat category.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
|Range Description:||Larus leucophthalmus breeds colonially on inshore islands and islets in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, in Egypt ( 2672 pairs [M. Habib in press. 2016], mainly on islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Suez [Baha El Din 1999]), Sudan (300-1,000 pairs [PERSGA/GEF 2003]), Eritrea (1,400 adults in the Dahlak Archipelago in 1962), Djibouti (600-700 pairs [PERSGA/GEF 2003]), Saudi Arabia (more than 1,500 pairs [PERSGA/GEF 2003]), Yemen (at least 3,900 pairs [PERSGA/GEF 2003]) and Somalia (1,200-2,200 pairs [PERSGA/GEF 2003]), with wintering birds dispersing throughout the breeding range. The total population is estimated as 12,000-13,000 breeding pairs (36,000-39,000 individuals) (PERSGA/GEF 2003), excluding Eritrea, equating to 37,000-44,000 individuals overall (PERSGA/GEF 2003); it is believed to be stable (Rose and Scott 1997).|
Native:Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Israel; Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; Sudan; Yemen
Vagrant:Greece; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Maldives; Oman; Turkey; United Arab Emirates
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||PERSGA/GEF (2003) estimated 12,000-13,000 breeding pairs (36,000-39,000 individuals), excluding Eritrea, equating to 37,000-44,000 individuals overall.|
Trend Justification: The population is believed to be stable (Rose and Scott 1997).
|Current Population Trend:||Stable|
|Habitat and Ecology:||Behaviour This species is mostly sedentary (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), although it disperses from its breeding sites to occur throughout the Red Sea during the non-breeding season (Olsen and Larsson 2004). There may also be some southward and eastward movement during this time, when it is reported to become scarce in the northern part of its range (Urban et al. 1986). Breeding takes place during the months of June - August, extending to September in Egypt (Urban et al. 1986). It breeds in loose colonies, usually consisting of fewer than 25 pairs, though occasionally larger colonies of hundreds of individuals are known to occur (del Hoyo et al. 1996). During the non-breeding season it is usually found in small groups, but sometimes forms flocks of hundreds or even thousands to forage (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat The species is mainly coastal. It usually feeds at sea (PERSGA/GEF 2003), but some Egyptian populations have adopted a scavenging role at rubbish tips, harbours and touristic area along Egyptian Red Sea Cost (S. Baha El Din verbally to A. Grieve 1999, M. Mohamed in litt. 2016). Breeding It breeds on inshore islands, where it occupies bare rock and sand flats (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding Outside the breeding season it often occurs further out to sea (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It roosts on rocks, coral reefs, piers and fishing vessels (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet The diet consists largely of fish, but also includes crustaceans, molluscs, annelids and offal (del Hoyo et al. 1996, PERSGA/GEF 2003). Fish species taken in Egypt include Scarpus species about 110mm in length (Urban et al. 1986). It also feeds on fruits and plants such as Nitraria retusa (Urban et al. 1986), and is known to predate the eggs and nestlings of the Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis (Urban et al. 1986). It scavenges in the northern part of its range, feeding on all types of food (i.e. meat ,rice, bread, water melon and flying insect [Habib in press. 2016]), but to a lesser extent than does L. hemprichii with which it often associates (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding Site Nests occur on bare rock, sand or exposed flats (del Hoyo et al. 1996). On sandy substrates the nest consists of a conspicuous ring of twigs, seaweed and debris (Urban et al. 1986). On rocky islands it consists of a small pad of vegetable matter beside rocks (Urban et al. 1986). It may alternatively consist of a scrape among impenetrable Euphorbia clumps (Urban et al. 1986). It lays two or three eggs (del Hoyo et al. 1996).|
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||Unknown|
|Generation Length (years):||11|
|Movement patterns:||Not a Migrant|
|Congregatory:||Congregatory (and dispersive)|
|Major Threat(s):||There are a variety of potential threats, against which it is not secure. It is permanently at serious risk from introduced predators on the breeding islands (e.g. rats) and from floating and beached oil-spills (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and is also under pressure from egg- and chick-collecting (especially in Somalia [Ash and Miskell 1998, PERSGA/GEF 2003]), disturbance by fishermen and tourists (and related building) and oil exploration (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It is known to be affected by West Nile virus (Rappole and Hubálek 2003).|
Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix I and II. Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor population trends. Control the harvest of eggs and chicks. Prevent the introduction of mammalian predators to breeding colonies and control them where this has taken place. Enforce measures to prevent and mitigate oil-spills. Enforce measures to control disturbance. Ensure the majority of breeding colonies are protected.
Ash, J. S.; Miskell, J. E. 1998. Birds of Somalia. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.
Baha El Din, S. M. 1999. Directory of Important Bird Areas in Egypt. BirdLife International, Cairo.
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Habib, M.I. In press. Breeding status of White-eyed Gull on islands in the Egyptian Red Sea, with observations on breeding and feeding behavior . Dutch birding .
IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 07 December 2016).
Olsen, K. M.; Larsson, H. 2004. Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Christopher Helm, London.
PERSGA/GEF. 2003. Status of breeding seabirds in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. PERSGA, Jeddah.
Rappole, J. H., Hubálek, Z. 2003. Migratory birds and West Nile virus . Journal of Applied Microbiology 94(S): 47S-58S.
Rose, P. M.; Scott, D. A. 1997. Waterfowl population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, Netherlands.
Urban, E.K., Fry, C.H. and Keith, S. 1986. The Birds of Africa, Volume II. Academic Press, London.
|Citation:||BirdLife International. 2016. Larus leucophthalmus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22694299A95219232.Downloaded on 23 January 2018.|
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