Common Loon Gavia immer


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 -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 27,200,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 49,300,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2016
Population trend Stable suspected -
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 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9.8 - - -

Population justification: Wetlands International (2016) estimated the population at 612,000-640,000 individuals. In Europe the breeding population is estimated at 700-1,300 pairs, which equates to 1,400-2,600 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is thought to be stable, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2016). In North America, the species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant increase over the last 40 years (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). In Europe, the population is projected to be decreasing by 30-49% in the 29 years (three generations) between 2000, when the declines are estimated to have begun, and 2029, and by at least 20% in 20 years (two generation lengths) (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Albania V Extant
Algeria V Extant
Austria U Extant Yes
Bahamas U Extant
Belgium N Extant Yes
Bermuda (to UK) V Extant
Bulgaria U Extant Yes
Canada N Extant Yes Yes
Croatia V Extant
Cuba N Extant Yes
Czechia U Extant Yes
Denmark N Extant Yes
Estonia V Extant
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Finland V Extant
France N Extant Yes Yes
Germany U Extant Yes Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) V Extant
Greece V Extant
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Hungary V Extant
Iceland N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Italy U Extant Yes
Lithuania V Extant
Luxembourg V Extant
Mexico N Extant
Montenegro V Extant
Morocco V Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes Yes
Poland V Extant
Portugal N Extant Yes
Romania U Extant Yes
Russia V Extant
Russia (Asian) V Extant
Serbia V Extant
Slovakia U Extant Yes
Slovenia U Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) N Extant Yes Yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) N Extant Yes
Sweden U Extant Yes
Switzerland U Extant Yes
Turkey V Extant
Ukraine U Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Iceland Arnarvatnsheidi-Tvidaegra
Iceland Melrakkaslétta
Iceland Veidivötn
Ireland Broadhaven, Blacksod and Tullaghan Bays and parts of the Mullet peninsula
Ireland Donegal Bay
Ireland Inner Galway Bay
Norway Froan
Norway Jæren
Norway Lista wetland system
Norway Ørlandet
Norway Smøla archipelago
Norway Været
Spain Costa da Morte
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
United Kingdom Scapa Flow
United Kingdom Sounds around Wyre
United Kingdom South Cornwall Coast

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Tundra Wetlands (incl. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 500 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%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Gavia immer. Downloaded from on 22/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/11/2019.