Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus


Taxonomic note
Hydrocoloeus minutus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Larus.

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 -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 34,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 33,600,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2009
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) 10.5 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.97,000-270,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006). The European population is estimated at 23,700-45,200 pairs, which equates to 47,400-90,500 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Delany & Scott 2006). In Europe the population size is estimated and projected to be decreasing at a rate approaching 30% over the period from 2000, when the decline is estimated to have started in Russia, which holds nearly 50% of the European population, to 2032 (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan V Extant Yes
Albania N Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant
Angola V Extant
Austria N Extant
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahrain V Extant Yes
Barbados V Extant
Belarus N Extant Yes
Belgium N Extant Yes
Bermuda (to UK) V Extant
Bosnia and Herzegovina N Extant
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Cameroon V Extant
Canada N Extant Yes Yes
China (mainland) N Extant
Colombia N Extant
Croatia N Extant Yes
Cyprus N Extant Yes
Czech Republic N Extant Yes
Denmark N Extant Yes Yes
Egypt N Extant
Estonia N Extant Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) V Extant
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France N Extant Yes Yes
Gabon V Extant
Gambia V Extant
Germany N Extant Yes Yes
Ghana V Extant
Gibraltar (to UK) N Extant Yes
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) V Extant
Guinea-Bissau N Extant
Hong Kong (China) V Extant
Hungary N Extant Yes Yes
Iceland V Extant
India V Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq V Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Israel N Extant
Italy N Extant Yes Yes
Japan V Extant
Jordan V Extant
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya V Extant
Kuwait V Extant Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes Yes
Latvia N Extant Yes
Lebanon N Extant Yes Yes
Libya N Extant
Liechtenstein V Extant
Lithuania N Extant Yes Yes
Luxembourg V Extant
Malta N Extant Yes
Mauritania N Extant
Mexico N Extant
Monaco U Extant
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
Nigeria V Extant
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes
Palestinian Authority Territories N Extant Yes
Poland N Extant Yes Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) V Extant
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
Saudi Arabia V Extant Yes
Senegal V Extant
Serbia N Extant Yes
Sierra Leone V Extant
Slovakia N Extant Yes Yes
Slovenia N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) V Extant Yes
Sudan V Extant Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes Yes
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Tunisia N Extant
Turkey N Extant Yes Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant
Ukraine N Extant Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates V Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes Yes
USA N Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Belarus Biarezina-Hajna
Belarus Mid Prypiac'
Belgium Nordzee
Bulgaria Kaliakra
Denmark Eastern German Bight
Egypt Lake Burullus
Egypt Lake Manzala
Egypt Lake Maryut
Estonia Alam-Pedja
Estonia Lahepera lake
Estonia Lavassaare
Estonia Räpina polder
Estonia Siiksaare-Oessaare bays
Finland Ahmasjärvi lake
Finland Haapavesi wetlands
Finland Kokkola and Kälviä archipelago
Finland Kristiinankaupunki southern archipelago
Finland Maaninka wetlands
Finland Oulu region wetlands
Finland Outokumpu wetlands
Finland Päätyeenlahti bay
Finland Pitkäranta
Finland Pori archipelago and wetlands
Finland Sundominlahti Bay and Söderfjärden
Finland Värtsilä valley
France Littoral Augeron
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon
Germany Coast and lagoons of Western Pomerania
Germany Eastern part of German Bight (with Heligoland)
Germany Greifswalder Bodden
Germany Grosser Plöner See
Germany Mühlenberger Loch
Germany Pinneberg Elbe lowlands
Germany Selenter See
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou)
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lapoo - Zargmarz ab-bandans
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay
Iran, Islamic Republic of Seyed Mohalli, Zarin Kola and Larim Sara
Iran, Islamic Republic of South Caspian shore, from Astara to Gomishan
Kazakhstan Akzhan Lake
Latvia Engure lake
Latvia Lubans and fish-ponds
Latvia Nida-Perkone
Latvia Seaway to the border with Lithuania
Latvia Ziemupe-Riva coastal
Lithuania A part of the Vasaknos fish-farm
Lithuania Birveta Fish-farm including segments of Dysna River and Birveta River valleys
Lithuania Birzulius-Stervas marshes complex
Lithuania Exploited Sulinkiai peatbog
Lithuania Flooded meadows arround the Senoji & Naujoji Rusne lakes
Lithuania Kretuonas Landscape Reserve
Lithuania Marine waters along the continental part of Lithuania
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park
Lithuania The northern part of the Curonian Lagoon
Norway Lake Leksdalsvatn
Norway Øvre Pasvik
Palestinian Authority Territories Wadi Gaza
Poland Jeziorsko reservoir
Poland Kamien Lagoon and Dziwna River
Poland Lower Odra river valley
Poland Szczecin lagoon
Poland Vistula Lagoon
Poland Vistula river mouth
Romania Allah Bair - Capidava
Romania Black Sea
Romania Danube Delta
Romania Dunăre - Canarale - Hârşova
Romania Lake Dunăreni
Romania Lake Oltina
Romania Lake Siutghiol
Romania Lake Techirghiol
Romania Limanu - Herghelia
Romania Olt valley
Russia (Asian) Valley of Barguzin
Russia (Central Asian) Bottomland of Tobol river near villages Lebedevka and Bygrovoe
Russia (Central Asian) Cher'omukhovo Lake
Russia (Central Asian) Dvuob'ye
Russia (Central Asian) Flood-plain of Tobol river near Lebedevka and Bugrovoye villages
Russia (Central Asian) Gor'koye lake near Karas'ye village
Russia (Central Asian) Kurlady Lake
Russia (Central Asian) Lake Kurlady 2
Russia (Central Asian) Lake system near Lotoshnoye village
Russia (Central Asian) Lakes Big Kadkul and Small Kadkul
Russia (Central Asian) Lakes Schelkunovskoe and Boevskoe and vicinities
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Ob'
Russia (Central Asian) Peschanokoledinskaya
Russia (Central Asian) Siverga lake
Russia (Central Asian) Tirikul' and Kadkul' lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Upper streams of Ob' river
Russia (European) Beglitskaya sand-spit
Russia (European) Druzhinnoe lake and its outskirts
Russia (European) Faustovo flood-plains of Moscow river
Russia (European) Flood-plain of Oka river between the mouth of Klyaz'ma river and Dzerzhinsk
Russia (European) Flood-plain of Volga river between Gorodets and N.Novgorod
Russia (European) Lake Ayke
Russia (European) Lake Lacha
Russia (European) Marshes near Pavlovskoye Zaoch'ye and adjoining floodplain of Oka river
Russia (European) Nizhnekamskaya flood-plain
Russia (European) Rybinsk reservoir
Russia (European) Sestroretsky Razliv
Russia (European) South-eastern coast of Lake Ladoga
Russia (European) Southern coast of Ladoga Lake
Russia (European) Southern coast of the Neva bay
Russia (European) Zaonezh'ye
Russia (European) Zelentsy islands
Slovenia River Drava
Sweden Bay of Kil
Sweden River Ume Delta and Plains
Turkey Büyükçekmece Lake
Turkey Kızılırmak Delta
Ukraine Berezans'kyj lyman and Solonets Tuzly pond
Ukraine Karkinits'ka and Dzharylgats'ka bays
Ukraine Korotchenkivs'ki meadows
Ukraine Kryva peninsula
Ukraine Syvash Bay
Ukraine Tyligul's'kyj lyman
Ukraine Yagorlyts'ka and Tendrivs'ka Bays
United Kingdom Hornsea Mere

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Wastewater Treatment Areas suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable passage
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable passage
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable passage
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable passage
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable passage
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable passage
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable passage
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable passage
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable passage
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) marginal non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) marginal non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable passage
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes suitable passage
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes suitable breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Hydrocoloeus minutus. Downloaded from on 21/08/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/08/2019.