LC
Armenian Gull Larus armenicus



Taxonomy

Taxonomic note
Larus michahellis and L. armenicus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as L. michahellis following a review by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group. Prior to that, L. armenicus had been split and L. cachinnans (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) had been lumped with L. michahellis as L. cachinnans following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Least Concern
2016 Near Threatened A2ab+3b+4ab
2015 Near Threatened A2ab+3b+4ab
2014 Least Concern
2012 Not Recognised
2010 Not Recognised
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass 867 g
Range

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 798,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 1,950,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 45000-73000 mature individuals medium estimated 2021
Population trend increasing - estimated -
Generation length 9.84 years - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated at 45,000-73,000 mature individuals, including estimates from Armenia, Georgia, Turkey from between 1970-2019 (BirdLife International in prep.) and 1,060 mature individuals from Iran (Sheldon, 2017). This roughly equates to 68,000-110,000 individuals in total. The European population size is estimated to be 44,400-71,800 mature individuals (BirdLife International in prep.). In Armenia, the last census (2019) shows presence of 14,800 breeding pairs in Lake Arpi and Lake Sevan (Aghababyan et al. in prep.) 

The size of the wintering population in Turkey is estimated at 31,000-42,000 individuals, with 4,000-7,000 of those in Armenia (2013-2019; BirdLife International in prep.); 7,000-8,000 in Iran and 6,000-12,000 in Israel (Wetlands International 2021).

Trend justification: It is estimated that the breeding population has increased by 5-8% in Armenia (which holds c. 44% of the European population) between 2009-2018 and by 13-27% between 1980-2018. The breeding population is thought to be stable in Turkey, which also holds c. 44% of the European population (BirdLife International in prep.). Based on IWC data, Nagy and Langendoen (2020) reported a moderate increase for the period of 2006-2018 (1.0538) and uncertain trend for 2009-2018 (1.0611). There therefore may be an overall increase (Wetlands International 2021). Despite some evidence for earlier declines and fluctuations in parts of this species' range (e.g., Ben Dov 2015, Burger et al. 2020), there is no evidence to suggest that the population is currently declining overall.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Armenia extant native yes yes yes
Bahrain extant vagrant
Cyprus extant native yes
Egypt extant native yes
Georgia extant native yes yes
Greece extant vagrant
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes yes yes yes
Iraq extant native yes yes
Israel extant native yes
Jordan extant native yes yes
Kuwait extant native yes yes
Lebanon extant native yes yes
Palestine extant native yes
Saudi Arabia extant native yes
Syria extant native yes yes
Türkiye extant native yes yes yes yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Türkiye Aktaş Lake
Türkiye Çıldır Lake
Armenia Lake Sevan and environs
Egypt Lake Manzala
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Uromiyeh
Türkiye Devegeçidi Dam
Türkiye Karakaya Reservoir
Türkiye Tuz Lake
Armenia Lake Arpi
Türkiye Bendimahi Delta
Türkiye Van Plains
Türkiye Keban Islands
Türkiye South Keban Dam

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Aquaculture Ponds suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels) suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha) suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 1900 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Whole (>90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Whole (>90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Abstraction of surface water (agricultural use) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Large dams Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Nutrient loads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Domestic & urban waste water - Sewage Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Larus armenicus. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/armenian-gull-larus-armenicus on 22/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 22/02/2024.