Common Murre Uria aalge


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 991 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 80,700,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 86,100,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2009
Population trend Increasing 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) 15.1 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number >18,000,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The European population is estimated at 2,350,000-3,060,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: In North America, the population is increasing (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007). Although a number of populations in Europe are increasing, including in the UK (which holds nearly half the European population) since 2000 (JNCC 2014), a recent sharp decline was observed in Iceland (where nearly a quarter of the European population is found) since 2005. As a result of the reported decline in Iceland, the estimated and projected rate of decline of the European population size over the period 2005-2050 (three generations) varies from 25% to more than 50% (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Algeria U Extant
Belgium N Extant Yes
Bulgaria V Extant
Canada N Extant Yes
Cape Verde U 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 N Extant Yes Yes
Gambia U Extant
Germany N Extant Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) V Extant Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Iceland N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant
Japan N Extant
Latvia N Extant Yes
Lithuania N Extant Yes
Malta V Extant
Mauritania V Extant
Mexico N Extant
Monaco U Extant
Morocco V Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
North Korea N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes Yes
Poland N Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Romania V Extant
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Senegal U Extant
South Korea N Extant
Spain N Extant Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) N Extant Yes Yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) N Extant Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes
Switzerland V Extant
Tunisia U Extant
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes
Western Sahara U Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissut Avalliit (Ydre Kitsissut)
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) Fugloy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vidoy
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
Portugal Berlenga and Farilhões islands
Iceland Skrudur
Iceland Skoruvik-Skalabjarg
Iceland Grimsey ut af Eyjafirdi
Iceland Ritur
Iceland Hælavikurbjarg
Iceland Latrabjarg
Iceland Krysuvikurberg
Iceland Vestmannaeyjar
Iceland Papey
Ireland Lambay Island
Ireland Saltee Islands
Ireland Bull and Cow Rocks
Ireland The Skelligs: Great Skellig and Little Skellig
Ireland Puffin Island
Ireland Blasket Islands
Ireland Cliffs of Moher
Ireland Clare Island cliffs
Ireland Aughris Head
Ireland Tory Island
Ireland Horn Head cliffs
Ireland Loop Head
Ireland Helvick Head
Ireland Old Head of Kinsale
Ireland Howth Head
Sweden Karlsö Islands
Sweden Kullaberg
Sweden Bay of Skälder
Sweden Gnäggen Island
Sweden Bonden Island
Sweden Archipelago of Stockholm
Finland Lågskär-Nyhamn
Finland Mulklobb
Finland Korppoo and Nauvo southern archipelago
Finland Pori archipelago and wetlands
Finland Pernaja outer archipelago
Finland Itäinen Suomenlahti National Park
Finland Kristiinankaupunki southern archipelago
Iceland Ingolfshofdi
Russia (European) Gavrilovski archipelago
Russia (European) Seven islands
Spain Costa da Morte
Spain Cíes islands
Spain Ons islands
France Falaise du Bessin
France Iles Chausey
France Littoral Augeron
France Baie du Mont Saint Michel et Ile des Landes
France Cap Gris-nez
France Archipel des Sept-Iles
France Cap Sizun
France Cap Frehel
France Presqu'île de Crozon, Tas de Pois et Rochers du Toulinguet
France Estuaire de la Bidassoa et Baie de Fontarabie
United Kingdom Ailsa Craig
United Kingdom Buchan Ness to Collieston Coast
United Kingdom Caithness Cliffs
United Kingdom Cape Wrath
United Kingdom Copinsay
United Kingdom Calf of Eday
United Kingdom Fair Isle
United Kingdom Farne Islands
United Kingdom Fetlar
United Kingdom Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs
United Kingdom Flannan Isles
United Kingdom Firth of Forth Islands
United Kingdom Foula
United Kingdom Fowlsheugh
United Kingdom Glannau Aberdaron and Ynys Enlli
United Kingdom Glannau Ynys Gybi/Holy Island Coast
United Kingdom Grassholm
United Kingdom Handa
United Kingdom Hermaness, Saxa Vord and Valla Field
United Kingdom Hoy
United Kingdom Isles of Scilly
United Kingdom Marwick Head
United Kingdom Mingulay and Berneray
United Kingdom North Colonsay and Western Cliffs
United Kingdom North Rona and Sula Sgeir
United Kingdom Noss
United Kingdom Papa Stour
United Kingdom Papa Westray (North Hill and Holm)
United Kingdom Pembrokeshire Cliffs
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 Skokholm and Skomer
United Kingdom South-eastern Stronsay
United Kingdom St Abbs Head to Fast Castle
United Kingdom St Kilda
United Kingdom Sule Skerry and Sule Stack
United Kingdom Sumburgh Head
United Kingdom Tiree and Coll
United Kingdom Traeth Lafan, Conwy Bay
United Kingdom Treshnish Isles
United Kingdom Troup, Pennan and Lion Heads
United Kingdom West Westray
United Kingdom Auskerry
United Kingdom Canna and Sanday
United Kingdom Cardigan Island
United Kingdom Eilean nan Ron
United Kingdom Gigha Island and Islets
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 Ortac, Alderney
United Kingdom Calf of Man
United Kingdom Isle of Man Sea Cliffs
Greenland (to Denmark) Sermilinnguaq
Greenland (to Denmark) Islands west and north-west of Simiuttat and south of Qilangarsuit
Denmark Ertholmene east of Bornholm
Denmark Skagerrak-Southwest Norwegian trench
Greenland (to Denmark) Taateraat in Evighedsfjorden
Norway Runde
Norway Røst
Norway Værøy
Norway Nykvåg
Norway Bleiksøy
Norway Sør-Fugløy
Norway Nord-Fugløy
Norway Loppa
Norway Hjelmsøy
Norway Gjesværstappan
Norway Hornøy and Reinøy
Norway Kjørholmane seabird reserve
Norway Syltefjordstauran
Norway Omgangsstauran
Norway Sværholtklubben
Norway Sklinna
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
Germany Heligoland island
Ireland Tormore Island
Sweden Little Middelgrund
Denmark Lille Middelgrund
Russia (Asian) Iony Island
Russia (Asian) Kuril islands (between Urup and Paramushir)
Russia (Asian) Tyuleniy Island
Russia (Asian) Lesser Kuril Ridge and Kunashir Island
Russia (Asian) Vasiliya islands
Russia (Asian) Bogoslova Island
Russia (Asian) Utashud Island
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin
France Baie de Saint-Brieuc
France Estuaires du Trieux et du Jaudy
France Rade de Brest: Baie de Daoulas et Anse du Poulmic
France Baies de Morlaix et de Carantec
France Baie de Goulven
France Estuaire et embouchure de la Seine
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
Canada Kerouard and St. James Islands
Canada Scott Island Group
Canada Baynes Sound
Canada Kyuquot Channel Islets
Canada Checleset Bay
Canada Amphitrite and Swiftsure Banks
Canada Gannet Islands
Canada Grand Manan Archipelago
Canada Cape St. Mary's
Canada Witless Bay Islands
Canada Baccalieu Island
Canada Funk Island
Canada Cape Freels Coastline and Cabot Island
Canada Placentia Bay
Canada Bonaventure Island
Canada Les rochers aux Oiseaux
Canada Île Brion
Canada Péninsule de Forillon
Canada Falaise aux Goélands and pointe de l’Est
Canada Îles Sainte-Marie
Canada Baie des Loups
Canada Corossol Island
Canada Little Qualicum Estuary to Nanoose Bay
Canada Brier Island and Offshore Waters
Sweden Bay of Brå – Hävringe Island
Sweden Archipelago of Nothern Hälsingland
Finland Merenkurkku archipelago
Finland Oura and Enskeri archipelagos
Finland Eckerö and Hammarland archipelago
USA Walrus Islands
Iceland Eldey
Germany Eastern part of German Bight (with Heligoland)
Ireland Ireland's Eye
Ireland Wicklow Head
Poland Central Polish coastal waters
Poland Pomeranian bay
Russia (Asian) Utashud island - Marine
Russia (Asian) Bogoslova island / Vasiliya islands - Marine
Russia (Asian) Kuril islands (between Urup and Paramushir) - Marine
Japan Eastern Hokkaido - Marine
Russia (Asian) Tyuleniy island - Marine
Russia (Asian) Iony island - Marine
Canada Gannet Islands - Marine
Canada Cape St. Mary's - Marine
Canada Witless Bay Islands - Marine
Canada Wadham Islands and adjacent Marine Area / Funk Island - Marine
Canada Baie de Gaspé / Bonaventure Island / Île Bonaventure / Péninsule de Forillon - Marine
Canada Île du Lac / Îles Sainte-Marie - Marine
USA Bird Rocks NWR
USA Blanco Reef
USA Goat Island NWR
USA Mack Reef
USA Orford Reef
USA Redfish Rocks
USA St Matthew and Hall Islands
USA Two Arches Rock NWR
USA Whalehead Island NWR
USA Barren Islands
USA Cape Lisburne
USA Cape Newenham
USA Cape Peirce
USA Cape Thompson
USA St George Island
USA St Lawrence Island
USA Cape Peirce & Cape Newenham Colonies
USA St George Island Colony
USA Castle Rock
USA False Cape Rock
USA False Klamath
USA Farallon Islands
USA Point Reyes - Outer
USA Steamboat Rock
USA Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
USA Trinidad Complex
Portugal Berlengas
Iceland Raudinupur
Iceland Drangey
Iceland Myrdalur
Iceland Snaefellsnes
Iceland Hornbjarg & Haelavikurbjarg
Russia (Asian) Khalpili Islands and Impoveyem Bay
Russia (Asian) Odyan bay
Norway Varangerfjord (including Hornøya and Reinøya)
Norway Froan
Netherlands Dogger Bank
Norway Anda
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Midterhuken & Eholmen
Russia (Asian) Cape Navarin
Russia (Asian) Beringovskiy
USA Ledyard Bay
Russia (Asian) Cape Oria
Russia (Asian) Cape Krasniy
Russia (Asian) Senyavina Strait
Russia (Asian) Cape Krasniy - marine
Netherlands Frisian Front
Russia (Asian) Navarin Cape
Netherlands Brown Ridge

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
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 Epipelagic (0-200m) suitable breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) suitable breeding
Altitude   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 Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Indirect ecosystem effects, Competition, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Uria aalge. Downloaded from on 03/02/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/02/2023.