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
Greenland (to Denmark) Eqalummiut Nunaat-Nassuttuup Nunaa
Greenland (to Denmark) Kjoveland
Greenland (to Denmark) Hochstetter Forland
Iceland Mývatn-Laxá
Iceland Arnarvatnsheidi-Tvidaegra
Iceland Veidivötn
Iceland Melrakkaslétta
Ireland Inner Galway Bay
Ireland Tralee Bay and Barrow Harbour
Ireland Broadhaven, Blacksod and Tullaghan Bays and parts of the Mullet peninsula
Ireland Donegal Bay
Spain Costa da Morte
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin
France Garonne : marais de Bordeaux
France Estuaire de la Bidassoa et Baie de Fontarabie
France Estuaires du Trieux et du Jaudy
France Rade de Brest: Baie de Daoulas et Anse du Poulmic
France Marais de la Baie d'Audierne
France Baies de Morlaix et de Carantec
France Baie de Quiberon
France Baie de Goulven
France Lacs de la Forêt d'Orient
France Lac du Der-Chantecoq et étangs latéraux
France Estuaire et embouchure de la Seine
France Plateaux de Millevaches et de Gentioux
France Etangs Montpellierains
France Cap Gris-nez
France Anse du Fiers d'Ars en Ré
France Estuaires picards : baies de Somme et d'Authie
France Traicts et marais salants de la Presqu'île Guérandaise
France Marais de Brière
France Lac de Grand-Lieu
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon
France Lac Léman (partie française)
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays
United Kingdom South-eastern Stronsay
United Kingdom Scapa Flow
United Kingdom Sounds around Wyre
United Kingdom South Cornwall Coast
Italy Circeo National Park
Norway Jæren
Norway Smøla archipelago
Norway Ørlandet
Norway Vega archipelago
Norway Lista wetland system
Norway Froan
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
Germany Main valley near Schweinfurt
Germany Möhnesee
Germany Rhäden near Obersuhl and Bosserode
France Côte Médocaine: dunes boisées et dépressions humides
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin
France Baie de Saint-Brieuc
France Golfe du Morbihan et Etier de Penerf
France Baie de Vilaine
France Rade de Lorient
France Vallée de la Loire : Orléanais
France Boucle de Pose et de Muids
France Boucle de Moisson
France Etangs de la Woëvre: lac de Madine
France Etang des Landes
France Etangs de Leucate et Lapalme
France Camargue
France Salines de l'Etang de Berre
France Salins d'Hyères et de Pesquiers
France Etangs de Citis, Lavalduc, Engrenier, Pourra, l'Estomac, Fos et salines de Rassuen et de Fos
France Vallée de la Durance : de Tallard à Sisteron
France Ile d'Oléron, marais de Brouage-Saint-Agnant
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton
France Iles du Haut-Rhône
France Lac et marais du Bourget
France Cap Fagnet
France Etang de Lindre
France Vallée du Rhin : Strasbourg à Lauterbourg
Canada Frank Lake (north)
Canada Mussel and Kynoch Inlet and Sheep Passage
Canada Lawn Point
Canada Greater Rondeau Area
Canada Luther Marsh
Canada Cabot Head
Canada Northeast James Bay Coast
Canada Tagish Narrows
Germany Ammersee
Germany Untermain
Ireland Killala Bay
Ireland Lough Foyle
Norway Været
Netherlands Veerse Meer
Netherlands Delta Coast
Netherlands Wadden Sea
Netherlands Westerschelde & Saeftinghe
Iceland Úthérad

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/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Gavia immer. Downloaded from on 25/10/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2020.