Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus


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.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

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 312 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 72,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 78,400,000 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 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 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.5 - - -

Trend justification: Although Wetlands International consider the current population trend to be unknown (Delany and Scott 2006), it is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Algeria V Extant
Angola N Extant
Argentina N Extant
Benin N Extant
Botswana N Extant
Brazil N Extant
Burkina Faso V Extant
Burundi N Extant
Cameroon N Extant
Central African Republic V Extant
Chad N Extant
Comoros V Extant
Congo U Extant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant
Côte d'Ivoire V Extant
Ecuador N Extant Yes
Egypt V Extant
Equatorial Guinea U Extant
Eswatini N Extant
Ethiopia N Extant
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) V Extant
French Southern Territories U Extant
Gabon U Extant
Gambia N Extant
Ghana V Extant
Guinea N Extant
Guinea-Bissau N Extant Yes
Israel V Extant
Jordan V Extant
Kenya N Extant
Lesotho V Extant
Liberia V Extant
Madagascar N Extant
Malawi N Extant
Mali N Extant
Mauritania N Extant
Mayotte (to France) U Extant
Morocco N Extant
Mozambique N Extant
Namibia N Extant
Niger N Extant
Nigeria N Extant
Panama V Extant
Paraguay N Extant
Peru N Extant
Rwanda N Extant
São Tomé e Príncipe U Extant
Senegal N Extant Yes
Seychelles U Extant
Sierra Leone N Extant
Somalia V Extant
South Africa N Extant Yes
Spain V Extant
Sudan N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant
Togo V Extant
Tunisia V Extant
Uganda N Extant Yes
Uruguay V Extant
Western Sahara N Extant Yes
Zambia N Extant
Zimbabwe N Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Gambia Tanbi wetland complex
Gambia Allahein to Kartung coast
Guinea-Bissau Arquipélago dos Bijagós
Kenya Lake Nakuru National Park
Mali Lac Faguibine
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo
Mauritania Aftout es Sâheli
Malawi Lake Chilwa and flood-plain
Senegal Guembeul Avifaunal Reserve and St Louis lagoons
Senegal Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie
Senegal Delta du Saloum
Chad Lake Chad
Tanzania Lake Eyasi
Uganda Musambwa islands
Uganda Lutembe Bay
South Africa Lake St Lucia and Mkuze Swamps
Zambia Barotse Floodplains
Ecuador Archipiélago de Jambelí
Ecuador Ciénaga de La Segua
Ecuador Humedales de Pacoa
Ecuador Lagunas de Ecuasal-Salinas
Ecuador Humedales de Pacoa - Marine
Ecuador Lagunas de Ecuasal-Salinas - Marine
South Africa Lake St Lucia and Mkuze swamps - marine
Senegal Delta du Saloum - Marine
Guinea-Bissau Île Alcatraz et Île du Naufrage - Marine
Senegal Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie - marine
Senegal Delta du Saloum - marine
Gambia Delta du Saloum – Niumi – Tanbi
Guinea-Bissau Arquipélago dos Bijagós - marine
Brazil Mangue Seco
Guinea-Bissau Cantanhez forests
Senegal La Petite Côte
Senegal Joal-Fadiouth
Senegal Parc National de Basse Casamance
Senegal Kalissaye Avifaunal Reserve

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Salt Exploitation Sites suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes marginal breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes and Flats suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 1000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Reduced reproductive success

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Larus cirrocephalus. Downloaded from on 08/05/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 08/05/2021.