NT
Razorbill Alca torda



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _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 Near Threatened A4ab
2016 Near Threatened A4ab
2015 Near Threatened A4ab
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) 16,700,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 21,400,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2015
Population trend Decreasing 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) 20-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 13.6 - - -

Population justification: The European population is estimated at 979,000-1,020,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: Although a number of populations are increasing within Europe, a recent sharp decline was observed in Iceland (where more than 60% of the European population is found) since 2005 (BirdLife International 2015). Two comprehensive surveys of the species in Iceland suggest that the population declined by 18% between 1983-1986 (Gardarsson 1995) and 2005-2009 (Gardarsson et al. in press) from 378,000 pairs to 313,000 pairs. However, more frequent monitoring of a subset of colonies (every five years) between 1985 and 2005 suggests the population decline only started in 2005 and prior to this the population was stable, demonstrating that the decline has been much more rapid. Evidence of a very rapid decline in the Icelandic population is supported by data from the largest colony of this species in the world, Látrabjarg, which declined by 45% in only three years (160,000 pairs in 2006 to 89,000 pairs in 2009) (G. Gudmundsson in litt. 2015). The 2005 decline occurred around the same time that sandeel stocks crashed around Iceland, suggesting that a lack of food may have influenced the decline (Gardarsson et al. in press). As a result of the reported decline in Iceland, the estimated and projected rate of decline of the European population size over the period 2005-2046 (three generations) is 25-29%.

The population trend is increasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007). Europe is thought to hold c. 95% of the global population, based on latest population estimates (Merne and Mitchell 2004, Berglund and Hentati-Sundberg 2014). Thus, the European decline is of global significance.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Algeria V Extant
Austria V Extant
Belgium N Extant Yes
Canada N Extant Yes
Croatia V Extant
Czechia V Extant
Denmark N Extant Yes Yes
Egypt V Extant
Estonia N Extant Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France N Extant Yes Yes
Germany N Extant Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) N Extant Yes Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Hungary V Extant
Iceland N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Italy V Extant Yes
Japan V Extant
Latvia N Extant Yes
Lithuania N Extant Yes
Malta V Extant
Mauritania V Extant
Montenegro V Extant
Morocco N Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes
Poland N Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Serbia V Extant
Slovenia V Extant
Spain N Extant Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) N Extant Yes Yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) N Extant Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes
Tunisia V Extant
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Canada Baie de Brador
Canada Bonaventure Island
Canada Brandypot Islands
Canada Cap d'Espoir
Canada Corossol Island
Canada Gannet Islands
Canada Grand Manan Archipelago
Canada Îles Pèlerins
Canada Îles Sainte-Marie
Canada Machias Seal Island
Denmark Lille Middelgrund
Denmark Northern Kattegat
Denmark Skagerrak-Southwest Norwegian trench
Estonia Irbe strait
Finland Eckerö and Hammarland archipelago
Finland Föglö southern archipelago
Finland Itäinen Suomenlahti National Park
Finland Korppoo and Nauvo southern archipelago
Finland Lågskär-Nyhamn
Finland Merenkurkku archipelago
Finland Mulklobb
Finland Pernaja outer archipelago
Gibraltar (to UK) Strait of Gibraltar
Greenland (to Denmark) Islands west and north-west of Simiuttat and south of Qilangarsuit
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissut Avalliit (Ydre Kitsissut)
Greenland (to Denmark) Sermilinnguaq
Greenland (to Denmark) Søndre Isortoq
Greenland (to Denmark) Taateraat in Evighedsfjorden
Iceland Drangey
Iceland Grímsey, Eyjafirdi
Iceland Hornbjarg & Haelavikurbjarg
Iceland Ingolfshofdi
Iceland Krýsuvíkurberg
Iceland Látrabjarg
Iceland Skoruvik-Skalabjarg
Iceland Vestmannaeyjar
Ireland Cliffs of Moher
Ireland Horn Head cliffs
Ireland Lambay Island
Ireland Saltee Islands
Ireland Tory Island
Lithuania Marine waters along the Curonian Spit
Norway Gjesværstappan
Norway Hjelmsøy
Norway Lille Kamøya & Bondøya
Norway Loppa
Norway Nord-Fugløy
Norway Nykvåg
Norway Runde
Norway Slettnes
Norway Sør-Fugløy
Norway Sværholtklubben
Poland Central Polish coastal waters
Poland East Border Waters
Poland Pomeranian bay
Russia (European) Ainov islands
Russia (European) Onega Bay of the White Sea
Russia (European) Seven islands
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Midterhuken & Eholmen
Sweden Archipelago of Nothern Hälsingland
Sweden Archipelago of Stockholm
Sweden Bay of Brå – Hävringe Island
Sweden Bay of Skälder
Sweden Bonden Island
Sweden Gnäggen Island
Sweden Karlsö Islands
Sweden Little Middelgrund
Sweden Lövsta Bight – Björn Archipelago
United Kingdom Buchan Ness to Collieston Coast
United Kingdom Caithness Cliffs
United Kingdom Cape Wrath
United Kingdom Fair Isle
United Kingdom Firth of Forth Islands
United Kingdom Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs
United Kingdom Flannan Isles
United Kingdom Foula
United Kingdom Fowlsheugh
United Kingdom Handa
United Kingdom Mingulay and Berneray
United Kingdom North Rona and Sula Sgeir
United Kingdom Pembrokeshire Cliffs
United Kingdom Rathlin Island
United Kingdom Sanda Island
United Kingdom Shiant Isles
United Kingdom Skokholm and Skomer
United Kingdom St Abbs Head to Fast Castle
United Kingdom St Kilda
United Kingdom Troup, Pennan and Lion Heads

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 major breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) suitable non-breeding
Altitude   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
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species mortality
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
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species disturbance
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Neovison vison Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Low Impact: 3
Stresses
None
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Alca torda. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2019.