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
Greenland (to Denmark) Hakluyt island
Greenland (to Denmark) Carey islands
Greenland (to Denmark) Apparsuit (Kap Shackleton) and Kippaku
Greenland (to Denmark) Kingittuarsuk III
Greenland (to Denmark) Assissut (Braendvinsskaerene) near Kronprinsens Ejland
Greenland (to Denmark) Appat, Ritenbenk
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissut Avalliit (Ydre Kitsissut)
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Suduroy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Lítla Dímun
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Stóra Dímun
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Skúvoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Sandoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Fugloy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vidoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Kalsoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Eysturoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Streymoy
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vágar
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Mykines and Mykineshólmur
Gibraltar (to UK) Strait of Gibraltar
Lithuania Marine waters along the continental part of Lithuania
Lithuania Marine waters along the Curonian Spit
Estonia Sõrve peninsula
Iceland Skoruvik-Skalabjarg
Iceland Grímsey, Eyjafirdi
Iceland Riturinn
Iceland Hælavíkurbjarg
Iceland Látrabjarg
Iceland Krýsuvíkurberg
Iceland Drangey
Ireland Lambay Island
Ireland Saltee Islands
Ireland Bull and Cow Rocks
Ireland The Skelligs: Great Skellig and Little Skellig
Ireland Puffin Island
Ireland Blasket Islands
Ireland Cliffs of Moher
Ireland Clare Island cliffs
Ireland Aughris Head
Ireland Tory Island
Ireland Horn Head cliffs
Ireland Helvick Head
Ireland Old Head of Kinsale
Ireland Howth Head
Iceland Ingolfshofdi
Sweden Karlsö Islands
Sweden Rödkallen – Söräspen Islands
Sweden Kullaberg
Sweden Bay of Skälder
Sweden Gnäggen Island
Sweden Bonden Island
Sweden Archipelago of Stockholm
Sweden Lövsta Bight – Björn Archipelago
Finland Föglö southern archipelago
Finland Lågskär-Nyhamn
Finland Mulklobb
Finland Eckerö and Hammarland archipelago
Finland Korppoo and Nauvo southern archipelago
Finland Pori archipelago and wetlands
Finland Kirkkonummi archipelago
Finland Hanko western archipelago
Finland Pernaja outer archipelago
Finland Itäinen Suomenlahti National Park
Finland Kristiinankaupunki southern archipelago
Finland Merenkurkku archipelago
Finland Kokkola and Kälviä archipelago
Finland Rahja archipelago
Finland Krunnit archipelago
Iceland Hornbjarg
Russia (European) Ainov islands
Russia (European) Gavrilovski archipelago
Russia (European) Seven islands
Spain Llobregat delta
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin
France Falaise du Bessin
France Iles Chausey
France Littoral Augeron
France Baie du Mont Saint Michel et Ile des Landes
France Rade de Brest: Baie de Daoulas et Anse du Poulmic
France Baies de Morlaix et de Carantec
France Ile d'Ouessant
France Cap Gris-nez
France Archipel des Sept-Iles
France Cap Frehel
France Estuaire de la Bidassoa et Baie de Fontarabie
United Kingdom Ailsa Craig
United Kingdom Buchan Ness to Collieston Coast
United Kingdom Caithness Cliffs
United Kingdom Cape Wrath
United Kingdom Copinsay
United Kingdom Calf of Eday
United Kingdom Fair Isle
United Kingdom Farne Islands
United Kingdom Fetlar
United Kingdom Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs
United Kingdom Flannan Isles
United Kingdom Firth of Forth Islands
United Kingdom Foula
United Kingdom Fowlsheugh
United Kingdom Glannau Aberdaron and Ynys Enlli
United Kingdom Glannau Ynys Gybi/Holy Island Coast
United Kingdom Grassholm
United Kingdom Handa
United Kingdom Hermaness, Saxa Vord and Valla Field
United Kingdom Hoy
United Kingdom Isles of Scilly
United Kingdom Marwick Head
United Kingdom Mingulay and Berneray
United Kingdom North Colonsay and Western Cliffs
United Kingdom North Rona and Sula Sgeir
United Kingdom Noss
United Kingdom Papa Stour
United Kingdom Papa Westray (North Hill and Holm)
United Kingdom Pembrokeshire Cliffs
United Kingdom Pentland Firth Islands
United Kingdom Priest Island
United Kingdom Ramna Stacks and Gruney
United Kingdom Rathlin Island
United Kingdom Rum
United Kingdom Sanda Island
United Kingdom Sheep Island
United Kingdom Shiant Isles
United Kingdom Skokholm and Skomer
United Kingdom South-eastern Stronsay
United Kingdom St Abbs Head to Fast Castle
United Kingdom St Kilda
United Kingdom Sule Skerry and Sule Stack
United Kingdom Sumburgh Head
United Kingdom Tiree and Coll
United Kingdom Traeth Lafan, Conwy Bay
United Kingdom Treshnish Isles
United Kingdom Troup, Pennan and Lion Heads
United Kingdom West Westray
United Kingdom Auskerry
United Kingdom Canna and Sanday
United Kingdom Cardigan Island
United Kingdom Eilean nan Ron
United Kingdom Gigha Island and Islets
United Kingdom North Westray Coast
United Kingdom Rothiesholm Peninsula, Stronsay
United Kingdom Scapa Flow
United Kingdom Sounds around Wyre
United Kingdom South Walls and Switha
United Kingdom Tolsta Head, Lewis
United Kingdom Calf of Man
United Kingdom Isle of Man Sea Cliffs
Greenland (to Denmark) Sermilinnguaq
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissunnguit (Grønne Ejland)
Greenland (to Denmark) Qilangaarsuit and adjacent islands
Greenland (to Denmark) Islands west and north-west of Simiuttat and south of Qilangarsuit
Greenland (to Denmark) Appatsiaat
Sweden Archipelago of Östergötland
Denmark Ertholmene east of Bornholm
Denmark Northwestern Kattegat
Denmark Northern Kattegat
Denmark Skagerrak-Southwest Norwegian trench
Greenland (to Denmark) Nunatsiaq (Rotten)
Greenland (to Denmark) Taateraat in Evighedsfjorden
Greenland (to Denmark) Søndre Isortoq
Greenland (to Denmark) Parker Snow Bay
Norway Runde
Norway Røst
Norway Værøy
Norway Nykvåg
Norway Bleiksøy
Norway Sør-Fugløy
Norway Loppa
Norway Gjesværstappan
Norway Kongsøy
Norway Syltefjordstauran
Norway Hornøy and Reinøy
Norway Hjelmsøy
Norway Nord-Fugløy
Norway Kjørholmane seabird reserve
Norway Omgangsstauran
Norway Sværholtklubben
Norway Sklinna
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
Greenland (to Denmark) Islands and waters south and west of Upernavik town
Germany Heligoland island
Ireland Tormore Island
Sweden Little Middelgrund
Estonia Irbe strait
Denmark Lille Middelgrund
Russia (European) Onega Bay of the White Sea
Estonia Tagamõisa peninsula
France Barthes de l'Adour
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin
France Baie de Saint-Brieuc
France Estuaires du Trieux et du Jaudy
France Golfe du Morbihan et Etier de Penerf
France Baie de Quiberon
France Estuaire et embouchure de la Seine
France Etangs de Leucate et Lapalme
France Etangs Narbonnais
France Iles d'Hyères
France Estuaires picards : baies de Somme et d'Authie
France Traicts et marais salants de la Presqu'île Guérandaise
France Cap Sizun
France Presqu'île de Crozon, Tas de Pois et Rochers du Toulinguet
Canada Gannet Islands
Canada The Wolves Archipelago
Canada Grand Manan Archipelago
Canada Machias Seal Island
Canada Cape St. Mary's
Canada Witless Bay Islands
Canada Baccalieu Island
Canada Funk Island
Canada Wadham Islands and adjacent Marine Area
Canada Cape Freels Coastline and Cabot Island
Canada Bird Islands
Canada Brier Island and Offshore Waters
Canada Margaree Island
Canada Bonaventure Island
Canada Les rochers aux Oiseaux
Canada Île Brion
Canada Pointe Saint-Pierre et île Plate
Canada Cap d'Espoir
Canada Péninsule de Forillon
Canada Île Bicquette
Canada Îles Pèlerins
Canada Brandypot Islands
Canada Baie de Brador
Canada Saint-Augustin Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Canada Îles Sainte-Marie
Canada Baie des Loups
Canada Watshishou
Canada Betchouane
Canada La Grosse Boule Island
Canada Corossol Island
Canada Le Pilier de Bois
Sweden Bay of Brå – Hävringe Island
Sweden Archipelago of Nothern Hälsingland
Finland Luoto archipelago
Finland Uusikaarlepyy archipelago
Finland Oura and Enskeri archipelagos
Germany Lower Saxonian North Sea off the East Frisian Islands
Germany Eastern part of German Bight (with Heligoland)
Ireland Ireland's Eye
Ireland Wicklow Head
Poland East Border Waters
Poland Central Polish coastal waters
Poland Pomeranian bay
Canada Gannet Islands - Marine
Canada Baie de Gaspé / Bonaventure Island / Île Bonaventure / Péninsule de Forillon - Marine
Canada Île aux Basques et Les Razades / Îles Les Boules / Îles Plerins - Marine
Canada Baie de Brador - Marine
Canada Île du Lac / Îles Sainte-Marie - Marine
Canada Corossol Island - Marine
Iceland Raudinupur
Iceland Skrúdur
Iceland Papey
Iceland Eldey
Iceland Vestmannaeyjar
Iceland Myrdalur
Iceland Snaefellsnes
Iceland Hornbjarg & Haelavikurbjarg
Norway Slettnes
Norway Lille Kamøya & Bondøya
Norway Anda
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Midterhuken & Eholmen
Netherlands Brown Ridge
Estonia Kolga bay

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
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Alca torda. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/05/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/05/2020.