Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
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.
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
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
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 378 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 44,100,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 42,900,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 400000-1499999 poor estimated 2012
Population trend Unknown estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10.9 - - -

Population justification: The European population alone was recently estimated at 304,000-742,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.50-74% of the global range; thus, a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 410,000-1,484,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. The population is therefore roughly placed in the band 400,000-1,499,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The overall population trend is unclear. In North America, the population is increasing (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007). In Europe, the population is estimated to be decreasing by less than 25% in 32.7 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Belgium V Extant Yes
Canada N Extant Yes
Croatia V Extant
Czechia V Extant
Denmark N Extant Yes Yes
Estonia N Extant Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France V Extant Yes
Germany N Extant Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Iceland N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Latvia N Extant Yes
Netherlands V Extant
Norway N Extant Yes
Poland N Extant Yes Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) V Extant
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Slovenia V Extant Yes
Spain V Extant Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) N Extant Yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) N Extant Yes Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Greenland (to Denmark) Apparsuit (Kap Shackleton) and Kippaku
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissorsuit (Ederfugleøer)
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissut Avalliit (Ydre Kitsissut)
Greenland (to Denmark) Liverpool Land coast and mouth of Scoresby Sund
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Suduroy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Lítla Dímun
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Stóra Dímun
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Skúvoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Sandoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Hestur
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Koltur
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Nólsoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Svínoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Fugloy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vidoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Bordoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Kunoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Kalsoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Eysturoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Streymoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vágar
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Mykines and Mykineshólmur
Estonia Sõrve peninsula
Estonia Paldiski bay
Iceland Breidafjördur
Iceland Aedey
Ireland Rockabill
Ireland Lambay Island
Ireland Blasket Islands
Ireland High Island
Ireland Clare Island cliffs
Ireland Duvillaun Islands
Ireland Inishkea Islands
Ireland Inishglora and Inishkeeragh
Ireland Illaunmaistir (Oilean Maistir)
Ireland Inishduff
Ireland Horn Head cliffs
Ireland Old Head of Kinsale
Ireland Howth Head
Sweden Karlsö Islands
Sweden Rödkallen – Söräspen Islands
Sweden Kullaberg
Sweden Gnäggen Island
Sweden Bonden Island
Sweden Archipelago of Stockholm
Sweden Lövsta Bight – Björn Archipelago
Sweden Gräsö Archipelago
Sweden Holmöarna Archipelago
Finland Föglö southern archipelago
Finland Lågskär-Nyhamn
Finland Mulklobb
Finland Eckerö and Hammarland archipelago
Finland Korppoo and Nauvo southern archipelago
Finland Oura and Enskeri archipelagos
Finland Rauma and Luvia archipelagos
Finland Pori archipelago and wetlands
Finland Kirkkonummi archipelago
Finland Hanko western archipelago
Finland Tammisaari and Inkoo western archipelago
Finland Porvoo outer archipelago
Finland Pernaja outer archipelago
Finland Itäinen Suomenlahti National Park
Finland Kristiinankaupunki southern archipelago
Finland Merenkurkku archipelago
Finland Uusikaarlepyy archipelago
Finland Luoto archipelago
Finland Kokkola and Kälviä archipelago
Finland Rahja archipelago
Russia (European) Ainov islands
Russia (European) Gavrilovski archipelago
Russia (European) Bezymyannaya and Gribovaya Bays and adjoining waters
Russia (European) Kandalaksha Bay
Russia (European) Solovetski Archipelago and Zjizjginski island
United Kingdom Ailsa Craig
United Kingdom Caithness Cliffs
United Kingdom Cape Wrath
United Kingdom Copinsay
United Kingdom Calf of Eday
United Kingdom Fair Isle
United Kingdom Fetlar
United Kingdom Flannan Isles
United Kingdom Foula
United Kingdom Handa
United Kingdom Hermaness, Saxa Vord and Valla Field
United Kingdom Mingulay and Berneray
United Kingdom Monach Islands
United Kingdom Mousa
United Kingdom North Colonsay and Western Cliffs
United Kingdom North Rona and Sula Sgeir
United Kingdom North Ronaldsay Coast
United Kingdom North Uist Machair and Islands
United Kingdom Noss
United Kingdom Papa Westray (North Hill and Holm)
United Kingdom Pentland Firth Islands
United Kingdom Ramna Stacks and Gruney
United Kingdom Rathlin Island
United Kingdom Rum
United Kingdom Sanda Island
United Kingdom Sheep Island
United Kingdom Shiant Isles
United Kingdom South-eastern Stronsay
United Kingdom St Kilda
United Kingdom Sule Skerry and Sule Stack
United Kingdom Tiree and Coll
United Kingdom Treshnish Isles
United Kingdom West Westray
United Kingdom Auskerry
United Kingdom Canna and Sanday
United Kingdom North Sutherland Coastal Islands
United Kingdom Eilean nan Ron
United Kingdom Faray and Holm of Faray
United Kingdom Gigha Island and Islets
United Kingdom Horse Island
United Kingdom Little Cumbrae Island
United Kingdom Loch Ryan
United Kingdom North Westray Coast
United Kingdom Rothiesholm Peninsula, Stronsay
United Kingdom Scapa Flow
United Kingdom Sounds around Wyre
United Kingdom South Walls and Switha
United Kingdom Tolsta Head, Lewis
United Kingdom Calf of Man
United Kingdom Isle of Man Sea Cliffs
Greenland (to Denmark) Sermilinnguaq
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissunnguit (Grønne Ejland)
Greenland (to Denmark) Appat, Ritenbenk
Greenland (to Denmark) Qilangaarsuit and adjacent islands
Greenland (to Denmark) Islands west and north-west of Simiuttat and south of Qilangarsuit
Greenland (to Denmark) Qeqertaq
Greenland (to Denmark) Appatsiaat
Greenland (to Denmark) Henrik Krøyer Holme
Sweden Archipelago of Östergötland
Denmark Hirsholmene
Denmark Ronne Banke
Denmark Hyllekrog-Rødsand and Fehmarn Belt
Denmark Rønne Banke
Ireland Inishtrahull
Greenland (to Denmark) Assissut (Braendvinsskaerene) near Kronprinsens Ejland
Greenland (to Denmark) Appat Appai
Greenland (to Denmark) Parker Snow Bay
Greenland (to Denmark) Saunders island
Greenland (to Denmark) Carey islands
Greenland (to Denmark) Hakluyt island
Greenland (to Denmark) Dalrymple Rock
Norway Smøla archipelago
Norway Vega archipelago
Norway Røst
Norway Loppa
Norway Sør-Fugløy
Norway Kjørholmane seabird reserve
Norway Skjernøy, South Skerries
Norway Sklinna
Norway Runde
Norway Froan
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Northwest Spitsbergen National Park
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Inner parts of Kongsfjorden
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Forlandet National Park
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) South Spitsbergen National Park
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Jan Mayen island
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Hopen island
Greenland (to Denmark) Islands and waters south and west of Upernavik town
Norway Lovunden
Germany Pomeranian bay
Sweden Bank of Hoburg
Sweden Northern Midsjö Bank
Sweden Southern Midsjö Bank
Estonia Irbe strait
Poland Slupsk bank
Poland Pomeranian bay
Russia (European) Arkhangelskaya Bay
Russia (European) Onega Bay of the White Sea
Russia (Asian) Kuril islands (between Urup and Paramushir)
Estonia Tagamõisa peninsula
Estonia Pakri
Estonia Vaindloo island
Latvia Irbe strait
Canada Gannet Islands
Canada Cape St. Mary's
Canada Witless Bay Islands
Canada Baccalieu Island
Canada Wadham Islands and adjacent Marine Area
Canada Corbin Island
Canada Middle Lawn Island
Canada Bird Islands
Canada Cape Parry
Canada Digges Sound
Canada Coats Island/Cape Pembroke
Canada Prince Leopold Island
Canada Akpatok Island
Canada Cambridge Point
Canada Washington Point, Baillie-Hamilton Island
Canada North Kent Island
Canada Skruis Point
Canada Cape Liddon
Canada South Flaherty Islands
Canada Markham Bay Eider Colony
Canada Bonaventure Island
Canada Île Shag
Canada Île Brion
Canada Rocher Le Corps Mort
Canada Shigawake-Newport
Canada Pointe Saint-Pierre et île Plate
Canada Cap d'Espoir
Canada Baie de Gaspé
Canada Péninsule de Forillon
Canada Île aux Basques et Les Razades
Canada Île Blanche
Canada Îles Pèlerins
Canada Brandypot Islands
Canada Baie de Brador
Canada Saint-Augustin Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Canada Îles Sainte-Marie
Canada Baie des Loups
Canada Watshishou
Canada Petite Île Sainte-Geneviève
Canada Betchouane
Canada La Grosse Boule Island
Canada Corossol Island
Canada La Malbaie–Pointe-au-Pic
Canada Northeast James Bay Coast
Canada Nunaluk Spit to Herschel Island
Sweden Bay of Brå – Hävringe Island
Sweden Weather Islands
Sweden Archipelago of Nothern Hälsingland
Poland Central Polish coastal waters
Ireland Tory Island
Ireland West Donegal coast
Ireland Aughris Head
Ireland Wicklow Head
Ireland Aran Islands (parts)
Ireland Inishbofin and Inishshark (including Davillaun)
Ireland Helvick Head
Russia (Asian) Kuril islands (between Urup and Paramushir) - Marine
Canada Digges Sound - Marine
Canada Prince Leopold Island - Marine
Canada Baie de Gaspé / Bonaventure Island / Île Bonaventure / Péninsule de Forillon - Marine
Canada Île aux Basques et Les Razades / Îles Les Boules / Îles Plerins - Marine
Canada Northeast James Bay Coast - Marine
Norway Hornøy and Reinøy
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Kvalhovden & Sjukovskifjella
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve
Norway Anda
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve
Russia (Asian) Wrangel and Herald Islands
Iceland Papey
Iceland Thvottarskridur - Hvalnesskridur
Iceland Hrisey
Iceland Vidvikurbjorg
Iceland Vigur

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic marginal resident
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 100 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Neovison vison Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Cepphus grylle. Downloaded from on 03/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/07/2022.