Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus


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.
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: #
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
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 not a migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 163,000,000 km2
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 168,000,000 km2
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size unknown poor estimated 2009
Population trend increasing - suspected -
Generation length 11.3 years - - -

Population justification: The population is estimated to number 3,300,000-4,300,000 individuals.

Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Delany and Scott 2006).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Angola extant native yes
Antarctica extant native yes
Argentina extant native yes
Australia extant native yes
Barbados extant native yes
Bouvet Island (to Norway) extant native yes
Brazil extant native yes
Chile extant native yes
Ecuador extant native yes
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) extant native yes
French Southern Territories extant native yes
Gabon extant native yes
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) extant native yes
Madagascar extant native yes
Mauritania extant vagrant yes
Mexico extant native yes
Mozambique extant native yes
Namibia extant native yes
New Zealand extant native yes
Panama extant vagrant yes
Peru extant native yes
Senegal extant native yes
Seychelles extant vagrant yes
South Africa extant native yes
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands extant native yes
St Helena (to UK) extant vagrant yes
Trinidad and Tobago extant vagrant yes
Uruguay extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Namibia Cape Cross lagoon
Namibia Namib-Naukluft Park
Namibia Mile 4 saltworks
Namibia 30-Kilometre Beach: Walvis - Swakopmund
Namibia Walvis Bay
Namibia Sandwich Harbour
Namibia Lüderitz Bay islands
Namibia Possession Island
Namibia Sperrgebiet
South Africa Orange River Mouth Wetlands
South Africa Algoa Bay Islands: Addo Elephant National Park
South Africa Swartkops Estuary - Redhouse and Chatty Saltpans
South Africa Berg River Estuary
South Africa West Coast National Park and Saldanha Bay islands
South Africa Dassen Island
South Africa Rietvlei Wetland: Table Bay Nature Reserve
South Africa False Bay Nature Reserve
South Africa Dyer Island Nature Reserve
South Africa Agulhas Plain - Heuningnes Estuary
South Africa Prince Edward Islands Special Nature Reserve
Argentina Comodoro Rivadavia
Chile Islotes Pajaros
Chile Isla Magdalena National Park
Antarctica Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island
Argentina Península Valdés, Punta León y Punta Loma
Argentina Complejo Islote Lobos - Punta Pozos
Argentina Punta Tombo

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable resident
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable resident
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable resident
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable resident
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major resident
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable resident
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Larus dominicanus. Downloaded from on 04/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/12/2023.