Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very 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 is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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.

Population justification
The total population probably numbers several 10,000s of birds (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Trend justification
The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the extent of threats to the species.

Distribution and population

This species is found along the coast of south Australia with two independent populations: one on the coast of south Western Australia, the other on the coasts of South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


It feeds in coastal waters, sometimes in sheltered places such as bays and islets and can be found entering rivers along the coast. Its diet it comprised of a variety of fish which is catches mainly be pursuit-diving, sometimes in flocks of up to several thousand individuals. Breeding usually occurs on rocky islands, but also on stacks, slopes and sea cliffs in colonies of up to 2,500 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


The species is occasionally persecuted by fishermen who perceive it as a threat to their livelihoods, but the incidence has not been quantified. Among the few colonies that have been monitored in recent years, no resulting declines have been observed.


Text account compilers
Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Fjagesund, T., Martin, R., Bennett, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Phalacrocorax fuscescens. Downloaded from on 21/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/03/2023.