Neotropical Cormorant Nannopterum brasilianus


Justification of Red List category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,000,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Delany and Scott 2006). The population trend is increasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Distribution and population

The Neotropical Cormorant is found throughout the continent of South America, ranging as far north as the Bahamas and Cuba, north-western Mexico and southern United States.


This species occupies a wide range of habitats in fresh, brackish or salt water. Its diet it equally varied, including small fish, crustaceans, frogs, tadpoles and aquatic insects, with the exact composition varying locally. It feeds mainly by pursuit-diving, but also by plung-diving at sea. It often fishes co-operatively. Breeding occurs all year round with the peak varying locally. It forms colonies, sometimes thousands of pairs strong. It forms nests in trees and bushes or on rocky ground (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


The species suffers some persecution in parts of the range due to perceived competition with fishing activities, but the impact appears to be very limited (Casaux et al. 2009).


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Fjagesund, T., Ekstrom, J., Martin, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Nannopterum brasilianus. Downloaded from on 25/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/09/2023.