Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
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.
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2019 Least Concern
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 Low
Land mass type Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 379,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 312,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend Increasing 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) 11.3 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.1,400,000-2,100,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 401,000-512,000 pairs, which equates to 803,000-1,020,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant increase over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). Within its European range it is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Albania N Extant Yes Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes
Angola N Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes
Australia N Extant Yes
Austria N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes Yes
Bahrain N Extant Yes
Bangladesh N Extant Yes
Belarus N Extant Yes
Belgium N Extant Yes Yes
Benin V Extant
Bermuda (to UK) N Extant
Bhutan N Extant Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina N Extant Yes
Botswana N Extant Yes
Brunei N Extant
Bulgaria N Extant Yes Yes
Burundi N Extant Yes
Cambodia N Extant Yes
Cameroon N Extant Yes
Canada N Extant Yes
Cape Verde V Extant
Chad N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Christmas Island (to Australia) V Extant
Congo N Extant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant Yes
Croatia N Extant Yes
Cyprus N Extant Yes Yes
Czechia N Extant Yes
Denmark N Extant Yes Yes
Egypt N Extant Yes
Eritrea N Extant Yes
Estonia N Extant Yes Yes
Eswatini N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France N Extant Yes Yes
Gambia N Extant Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes
Germany N Extant Yes Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) N Extant Yes
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Guam (to USA) U Extant
Guinea N Extant Yes
Guinea-Bissau N Extant Yes
Hong Kong (China) N Extant Yes
Hungary N Extant Yes Yes
Iceland N Extant Yes
India N Extant Yes
Indonesia N Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes
Japan N Extant Yes
Jordan N Extant Yes Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Kuwait N Extant Yes Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes
Laos N Extant Yes
Latvia N Extant Yes Yes
Lebanon N Extant Yes Yes
Lesotho N Extant Yes
Liberia V Extant
Libya N Extant
Liechtenstein V Extant
Lithuania N Extant Yes Yes
Luxembourg N Extant Yes
Malawi N Extant Yes
Malaysia N Extant Yes
Malta N Extant Yes
Mauritania N Extant Yes
Micronesia, Federated States of V Extant
Moldova N Extant Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes
Mozambique N Extant Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes
Namibia N Extant Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes
Netherlands N Extant Yes
New Caledonia (to France) N Extant Yes
New Zealand N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant Yes
Norfolk Island (to Australia) V Extant
North Korea N Extant
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) V Extant
Norway N Extant Yes
Oman N Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant
Palestinian Authority Territories N Extant Yes
Papua New Guinea V Extant
Philippines N Extant
Poland N Extant Yes Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Qatar N Extant Yes
Romania N Extant Yes Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes Yes
Rwanda N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes
Senegal N Extant Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes
Seychelles V Extant
Slovakia N Extant Yes Yes
Slovenia N Extant Yes
Solomon Islands N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant Yes
South Africa N Extant Yes
South Korea N Extant Yes
South Sudan N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes
Sri Lanka N Extant Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) N Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes Yes
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Taiwan, China N Extant Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Thailand N Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extant Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes
Ukraine N Extant Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes
Vietnam N Extant Yes
Western Sahara N Extant Yes
Yemen N Extant Yes
Zambia N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Albania Drini Delta
Albania Karavasta Lagoon
Albania Lake Shkodra (Lake Scadar)
Australia Lakes Alexandrina and Albert
Azerbaijan Gizilagach State Reserve
Azerbaijan Kura Delta
Azerbaijan Sangachal Bay
Azerbaijan Shahdidi spit
Bulgaria Burgasko Lake
Bulgaria Gorni Dabnik-Telish Reservoir
Bulgaria Island near Gorni Tzibar
Bulgaria Mandra-Poda complex
Bulgaria Maritsa-Plovdiv
Bulgaria Mechka Fish-ponds
Bulgaria Ovtcharitsa Reservoir
Bulgaria Pozharevo Island
Bulgaria Rozov Kladenets Reservoir
Bulgaria Vardim Island
Bulgaria Varna-Beloslav Lakes Complex
Canada Basque Islands and Michaud Point
Canada Bird Islands
Canada Falaise aux Goélands and pointe de l’Est
Canada Harbour Rocks
Canada Île Brion
Canada Île du Lac
Canada Île Shag
Canada Îles Sainte-Marie
Canada Ingonish Island
Canada Margaree Island
Canada Northern Head and South Head
Canada Portnova Islands
Canada Rocher Le Corps Mort
Canada Rocks off Fourchu Head
Canada The Capes
China (mainland) Aksu River basin
China (mainland) Bachu Oasis
China (mainland) Barkol Lake and grassland
China (mainland) Bayanbulak and Kaidu River Valley
China (mainland) Bosten Lake
China (mainland) Burqin River and Kanas Lake
China (mainland) Desert and wetland from Northern Urumqi to Dabancheng
China (mainland) Ebi Nur and Kuytun River
China (mainland) Hotan Oasis
China (mainland) Lower reaches of Tarim River
China (mainland) Markit-Yarkant Oasis
China (mainland) Oasis, Desert and Wetland at Mosuowan
China (mainland) Qiemo Oasis and Qarqan River
China (mainland) Qinghai Hu (Koko Nor)
China (mainland) Sanjiang Nature Reserve
China (mainland) Tarim Euphrates Poplar Forest Nature Reserve
China (mainland) Ulungur Hu and Jili Hu (Fu Hai)
China (mainland) Xayar forest and wetland
China (mainland) Xingkai Hu Nature Reserve
Denmark Horsens Fjord, Svanegrunden & Endelave
Denmark Hovvig
Denmark Hyllekrog-Rødsand and Fehmarn Belt
Denmark Islands and coast between Skælskør Fjord and Glænø
Denmark Islands in Smålandshavet, north of Lolland
Denmark Lille Vildmose
Denmark Maribo lakes
Denmark Nærå Coast and Æbelø area
Denmark Nissum Fjord
Denmark Præstø Fjord, Ulvshale, Nyord and Jungshoved Nor
Denmark Ringkøbing Fjord
Denmark Stavnsfjord and adjacent waters
Egypt El Malaha
Egypt Lake Bardawil
Egypt Lake Manzala
Egypt Zaranik Protected Area
Estonia Irbe strait
Estonia Luitemaa
Estonia Pärnu bay (NEW)
Estonia Väinameri
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin
France Basse Vallée de la Durance
France Camargue
France Cap Fagnet
France Estuaire de la Bidassoa et Baie de Fontarabie
France Etang d'Urbino et zones humides périphériques
France Etang de Biguglia
France Etang de Thau
France Etangs de Citis, Lavalduc, Engrenier, Pourra, l'Estomac, Fos et salines de Rassuen et de Fos
France Etangs Montpellierains
France Lac du Der-Chantecoq et étangs latéraux
France Moyenne Vallée de la Durance
France Petite Camargue laguno-marine
France Val de Drôme: Les Ramières-printegarde
France Vallée de la Loire : Orléanais
Germany Ammersee
Germany Coast and lagoons of Western Pomerania
Germany Danube valley: Regensburg-Vilshofen
Germany Greifswalder Bodden
Germany Großer and Kleiner Jasmunder Bodden with Schmachter See and Nonnensee
Germany Grosser Plöner See
Germany Hessian Rhine alluvion
Germany Heubachniederung/ Schwarzes Venn/ Borkenberge/ Halterner Seen
Germany Lakes of Schwerin, Dambeck and Warin
Germany Lower Oder valley
Germany Lower Rhine
Germany Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park
Germany Mühlenberger Loch
Germany Nossentiner-/Schwinzer Heide with Krakower Obersee and Plauer See
Germany Rhine flats Karlsruhe - Rheinsheim
Germany Rhine flats Sasbach - Wittenweier
Germany Schlei
Germany Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park (includes the Halligs, Kniepsand/Amrum, Lister Koog, Rantumbecken, Rickelsb
Germany Steinhuder Meer
Germany Traveförde and Dassower See
Germany Usedom lagoon (Peenestrom, Achterwasser, Kleines Haff with Neuwarper See)
Germany Weser valley near Stolzenau and Landesbergen
Germany Wismar bay and Salzhaff
Greece Amvrakikos gulf
Greece Divari Pylou (Gialova) lagoon and Sfaktiria island
Greece Epanomi lagoon
Greece Evros delta
Greece Kalamas delta
Greece Lagoons of Kerkyra island
Greece Lake Amvrakia
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou)
Greece Lake Kerkini
Greece Lake Pamvotida (Ioannina)
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons
Greece Prespa National Park and Varnountas mountains
Hong Kong (China) Inner Deep Bay and Shenzhen River catchment area
Iceland Breidafjördur
India The Chapories of Lohit Reserve
Iran, Islamic Republic of Abbas-abad dam
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bahu Kalat (Gandu) Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bandar Kiashar lagoon and mouth of Sefid Rud
Iran, Islamic Republic of Fereidoonkenar marshes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Gomishan marshes and Turkoman steppes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hilleh Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay
Iran, Islamic Republic of Monde Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of South Caspian shore, from Astara to Gomishan
Iraq Dukan Lake
Ireland Ardboline Island and Horse Island
Ireland Ireland's Eye
Ireland Keeragh Islands
Ireland Lambay Island
Ireland Lough Cutra
Ireland Saltee Islands
Ireland Skerries Islands
Ireland Sovereign Islands
Israel Hefer valley
Israel Jezre'el, Harod and Bet She'an valleys
Israel Lake Kinneret and Kinerot
Japan Inner Tokyo bay
Japan Unoyama
Japan Unoyama - Marine
Kazakhstan Akzhar Lakes
Kazakhstan Amangeldy
Kazakhstan Cherniy (Black) Irtysh Delta
Kazakhstan Delta of the Ural River
Kazakhstan Ili River Delta
Kazakhstan Irgiz-Turgay Lakes
Kazakhstan Kamyshovoe-Zhamankol Lakes
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan portion of the river Volga's Delta - Zhambay
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Lake Alakol Islands
Kazakhstan Lesser Aral Sea
Kazakhstan Sarykopa Lake System
Kazakhstan Shoshkaly Lake System
Kazakhstan Sorbulak Lake System
Kazakhstan Tentek River Delta
Kazakhstan Tortoise Islands
Kenya Masinga reservoir
Latvia Irbe strait
Lithuania Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit
Lithuania The northern part of the Curonian Lagoon
Mauritania Aftout es Sâheli
Mauritania Banc d'Arguin National Park
Mongolia Boon Tsagaan Lake
Mongolia Buir Lake
Mongolia Khar Lake
Mongolia Khar Us Lake
Mongolia Khukh Lake
Mongolia Mongol Daguur
Mongolia Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake
Mongolia Tolbo Lake
Mongolia Uvs Lake
Mongolia Zavkhan River - Ereen Lake
Mongolia Zavkhan River - Ereen Lake
Myanmar Ayeyarwady River: Myitkyina to Sinbo Section
Netherlands De Wieden
Netherlands Grevelingen
Netherlands Lake IJsselmeer
Netherlands Lepelaarplassen
Netherlands Naardermeer
Netherlands Oostvaardersplassen
Netherlands Steile Bank and Mokkebank
Netherlands Voornes Duin
Netherlands Wadden Sea
Norway Andøya (including Skogvoll)
Norway Froan
Norway Horsvær
Norway Humlingsvær
Norway Kongsøy
Norway Lista wetland system
Norway Nordre Øyeren & Sørumsneset
Norway Nykvåg
Norway Øra
Norway Sklinna
Norway Solvær archipelago
Norway Valvær
Norway Vega archipelago
Oman Barr al Hikman
Pakistan Haleji Wildlife Sanctuary
Pakistan Jiwani Beaches and Dasht Kaur
Pakistan Kinjhar (Kalri) Wildlife Sanctuary
Poland Delta of the Swina river
Poland Puck Bay
Poland Szczecin lagoon
Poland Vistula Lagoon
Portugal Sado estuary
Romania Bistreţ
Romania Black Sea
Romania Blahniţa
Romania Buhuşu reservoir - Bacău - Tătărăşti
Romania Danube Delta
Romania Gruia - Gârla Mare
Romania Ilfov reservoir
Romania Olt valley
Romania Vedea - Dunăre
Russia (Asian) Tere-Khol' lake
Russia (Central Asian) Bol'shoye Beloye lake
Russia (Central Asian) Dzhulukul' depression
Russia (Central Asian) Tundrovo lake
Russia (European) Agrakhanski Bay (North Agrakhan)
Russia (European) Chechen' Island and east seaside of Agrakhan peninsula
Russia (European) Dadynskiye lakes
Russia (European) Delta of the River Don
Russia (European) Dolgy Reef and Bol'shoi Fiskar archipelagos
Russia (European) Khanskoye Lake
Russia (European) Kiziltash limans
Russia (European) Maly Zhemchuzhny island
Russia (European) Neman river Delta and the coast of the Curonian Bay
Russia (European) Southern Agrakhan lake
Russia (European) Taman'
Russia (European) Tyuleni island
Russia (European) Utrish Reserve and adjacent coastal waters
Russia (European) Yeiski salt-lakes
Saudi Arabia Abu Ali
Saudi Arabia Tarut Bay
Serbia Gornje Podunavlje
Spain Albufera de Valencia marshes
Spain Cádiz bay
Spain Campo Arañuelo-Valdecañas reservoir
Spain Cíes islands
Spain Ebro delta
Spain Rosarito and Navalcán reservoirs-La Iglesuela (Tietar valley)
Sweden Bay of Skälder
Sweden Gräsö Archipelago
Sweden Lomma Bight
Switzerland Lake Geneva: Grangettes
Taiwan, China Aogu Wetlands
Taiwan, China Fengshan Reservoir
Taiwan, China Kaoping River
Taiwan, China Kinmen National Park
Tanzania Lake Victoria: Bumbire Islands
Tanzania Rubondo Island National Park
Tunisia Côte de Zerkine et El Grine
Tunisia Golfe de Boughrara
Tunisia Îles Kerkennah
Tunisia Lac de Tunis
Tunisia Lagune El Bibane
Turkey Bafa Lake
Turkey Bosphorus
Turkey Büyük Menderes Delta
Turkey Gediz Delta
Turkey Karkamış
Turkey Köyceğiz Lake
Turkey Kozlu coast
Turkey Küçükçekmece Basin
Turkey Manyas Lake (Kuş Lake)
Turkey Marmara Lake
Turkey Meriç Delta
Turkey Yedikır Reservoir
Turkmenistan Deryatakyr
Turkmenistan Ekerem - Esenguly
Turkmenistan Gorelde
Turkmenistan Khankhovuz
Turkmenistan Kopetdagkhovudan
Turkmenistan Mergen
Turkmenistan Sarygamysh
Uganda Lutoboka point (Ssese islands)
Ukraine Berdyans'ka peninsula
Ukraine Cape Martiyan
Ukraine Dnipro delta
Ukraine Dnister delta
Ukraine Kakhovs'ke reservoir (Energodar)
Ukraine Kakhovs'ke reservoir (Vasylivka village)
Ukraine Karkinits'ka and Dzharylgats'ka bays
Ukraine Kazantip Cape, Aktash lake and Astanins'ka marsh
Ukraine Kinburns'kyj peninsula
Ukraine Molochnyj Liman
Ukraine Obytichna peninsula
Ukraine Syvash Bay
Ukraine Yagorlyts'ka and Tendrivs'ka Bays
United Kingdom Carlingford Lough
United Kingdom Mochrum and Castle Lochs
United Kingdom Sheep Island
United Kingdom Traeth Lafan, Conwy Bay
United Kingdom Ynys Seiriol/Puffin Island
Uzbekistan Aktepe Reservoir and Three Lakes
Uzbekistan Amudarya floodlands near Termez
Uzbekistan Balykchi Fish Farm
Uzbekistan Chimkurgan Reservoir
Uzbekistan Dalverzin State Forestry and Hunting Management Area
Uzbekistan Dzheiran Ecocentre
Uzbekistan Karakyr Lakes
Uzbekistan Karnabchul Steppe
Uzbekistan Kattakurgan Reservoir
Uzbekistan Northern shore of Aydarkul Lake
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake
Uzbekistan Tudakul and Kuymazar Reservoirs
Uzbekistan Tuyabuguz Reservoir
Uzbekistan Tuzkan Lake
Uzbekistan Zholdyrbas Lake

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes major non-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: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Competition, Species mortality

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Phalacrocorax carbo. Downloaded from on 18/01/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 18/01/2020.