Northern Gannet Morus bassanus


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.

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 -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 41,700,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1500000-1800000 poor estimated 2012
Population trend increasing estimated -
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) 20.7 - - -

Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 683,000 pairs, which equates to 1,370,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms 75-94% of the global range, so the global population size is estimated at 1,500,000-1,800,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification: In North America, the population trend is increasing (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007). The European population is also estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Algeria extant native
Austria extant vagrant
Bahamas extant native
Belgium extant native
Bermuda (to UK) extant vagrant yes
Bulgaria extant vagrant
Canada extant native yes yes
Cape Verde extant native
Croatia extant vagrant
Cuba extant vagrant
Cyprus extant vagrant
Czechia extant vagrant
Denmark extant native yes yes
Egypt extant vagrant
Estonia extant vagrant
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) extant native yes
Finland extant vagrant
France extant native yes yes
Gambia extant native
Germany extant native yes
Gibraltar (to UK) extant native yes
Greece extant native yes
Greenland (to Denmark) extant native yes
Guinea-Bissau extant native
Iceland extant native yes
Ireland extant native yes
Israel extant native yes
Italy extant native yes
Kazakhstan extant vagrant
Latvia extant vagrant
Lebanon extant native yes
Libya extant native
Lithuania extant vagrant
Luxembourg extant vagrant
Malta extant native yes
Mauritania extant native
Mexico extant native
Morocco extant native
Netherlands extant native yes
North Macedonia extant native yes
Norway extant native yes
Palestine extant native yes
Poland extant vagrant
Portugal extant native yes
Russia extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant vagrant
Russia (European) extant native yes
Senegal extant native
Sierra Leone extant native
Spain extant native yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant native yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) extant vagrant
Sweden extant native
Syria extant vagrant yes
Tunisia extant native
Turkey extant native yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant native
United Kingdom extant native yes
USA extant native yes
Western Sahara extant native

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Canada Baccalieu Island
Canada Baccalieu Island - Marine
Canada Baie de Gaspé / Bonaventure Island / Île Bonaventure / Péninsule de Forillon - Marine
Canada Bonaventure Island
Canada Cap d'Espoir
Canada Cape St. Mary's
Canada Cape St. Mary's - Marine
Canada Funk Island
Canada Île aux Basques et Les Razades / Îles Les Boules / Îles Plerins - Marine
Canada Île Brion
Canada Île Brion / Île Paquet - Marine
Canada Île Paquet / Îlot C / Rocher Le Corps Mort - Marine
Canada Îles Les Boules
Canada Îlot C
Canada Les rochers aux Oiseaux
Canada Marais de la baie de L'Isle-Verte
Canada Marais de Pointe-au-Père
Canada Shigawake-Newport
Canada Wadham Islands and adjacent Marine Area / Funk Island - Marine
Denmark Skagerrak-Southwest Norwegian trench
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Mykines and Mykineshólmur
France Jaudy et Sept-Iles
Germany Eastern part of German Bight (with Heligoland)
Iceland Eldey
Iceland Raudinupur
Iceland Skoruvik-Skalabjarg
Iceland Skrudur
Iceland Vestmannaeyjar
Ireland Bull and Cow Rocks
Ireland Ireland's Eye
Ireland Saltee Islands
Ireland The Skelligs: Great Skellig and Little Skellig
Mauritania Canary current shelf-break (south)
Morocco Canary current shelf-break (north)
Norway Gjesværstappan
Norway Runde
Norway Syltefjordstauran
Portugal Berlengas
Spain Cape Busto-Luanco
Spain Cape Candelaria-Ortigueira estuary-Cape Estaca de Bares
Spain Costa da Morte
Spain Estrecho de Gibraltar
Spain Golfo de Cádiz
United Kingdom Ailsa Craig
United Kingdom Feeding area of Gannets
United Kingdom Firth of Forth Islands
United Kingdom Grassholm
United Kingdom Hermaness, Saxa Vord and Valla Field
United Kingdom Les Etacs, Alderney
United Kingdom North Rona and Sula Sgeir
United Kingdom Noss
United Kingdom Ortac, Alderney
United Kingdom St Kilda
United Kingdom Sule Skerry and Sule Stack

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 200 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Pollution Garbage & solid waste Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success

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 (2023) Species factsheet: Morus bassanus. Downloaded from on 04/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/06/2023.