Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata


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 -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 59,900,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 107,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing 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) 9.8 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.200,000-600,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015), while national population estimates include: c.50-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Russia (Brazil 2009). The European population is estimated at 42,100-93,000 pairs, which equates to 84,200-186,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). This species has had stable population trends over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). The European population trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Albania U Extant
Algeria V Extant
Armenia V Extant
Austria N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahamas U Extant
Belarus V Extant
Belgium N Extant Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina V Extant
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Canada N Extant Yes Yes
China (mainland) N Extant
Croatia N Extant Yes
Czechia N Extant Yes
Denmark N Extant Yes Yes
Estonia N Extant Yes Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France N Extant Yes Yes
Gambia V Extant
Georgia N Extant
Germany N Extant Yes Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) V Extant
Greece N Extant Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Hungary N Extant Yes
Iceland N Extant Yes
India N Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Israel V Extant
Italy N Extant Yes
Japan N Extant
Kazakhstan N Extant
Latvia N Extant Yes Yes
Liechtenstein V Extant
Lithuania N Extant Yes
Luxembourg V Extant
Malta V Extant
Mexico N Extant
Moldova N Extant Yes
Monaco U Extant
Mongolia V Extant
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Morocco V Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
North Korea N Extant
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes Yes
Pakistan N Extant
Poland N Extant Yes Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Romania N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes
Slovakia N Extant Yes
Slovenia N Extant Yes
South Korea N 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 Yes
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Taiwan, China N Extant
Tunisia V Extant
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant
Ukraine N Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Canada Île aux Basques et Les Razades
Canada Point Lepreau/Maces Bay
Croatia NW Dalmatia and Pag Island
Croatia Western Istrian Maritime Zone
Denmark Eastern German Bight
Denmark Hyllekrog-Rødsand and Fehmarn Belt
Denmark Northern Kattegat
Denmark Smålandsfarvandet
Estonia Irbe strait
Finland Käsivarsi fjelds
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju
Finland Litokaira
Finland Martimoaapa-Lumiaapa-Penikat
Finland Rumala-Kuvaja-Oudonrimmet
Germany Lower Saxonian North Sea off the East Frisian Islands
Greenland (to Denmark) Nordfjord and adjacent valley
Iceland Alftanes-Akrar
Iceland Breidamerkursandur
Iceland Úthérad
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay
Iran, Islamic Republic of South Caspian shore, from Astara to Gomishan
Ireland Donegal Bay
Ireland Lough Foyle
Ireland Lough Swilly including Blanket Nook and Inch Lake
Ireland Wexford Harbour and Slobs
Latvia Irbe strait
Latvia Seaway to the border with Lithuania
Latvia Tuja offshore
Latvia Ziemupe-Riva coastal
Lithuania Marine waters along the continental part of Lithuania
Lithuania Marine waters along the Curonian Spit
Netherlands Wadden Coast
Norway Froan
Norway Neiden- & Munkefjord
Norway Saltstraumen & Skjerstadfjorden
Norway Været
Russia (Asian) Aniva bay
Russia (Asian) Forty islands
Russia (Asian) Lesser Kuril Ridge and Kunashir Island
Russia (Asian) Lopatka Peninsula and First Kuril Strait
Russia (Asian) Moroshechnaya River
Russia (Asian) Mukhtel' lake
Russia (Asian) North-east Sakhalin lagoons
Russia (Asian) Shantarskiye Islands
Russia (Asian) Tyk and Viakhtu bays
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Yuribey
Russia (Central Asian) Upper and Middle Yuribey
Russia (European) Vyborgski Bay
Slovenia River Drava
Sweden Bog of Dumme
Sweden Bog of Komosse
Sweden Holmöarna Archipelago
Sweden Lake Ånn – Storlien
Sweden Lake Tjålme – Valley of Lais
Sweden Påkketan
Sweden Taavavuoma
Sweden Vindel Mountains (including Lake Tärna)
United Kingdom Blackpark and Gutcher, Yell
United Kingdom Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands
United Kingdom Hoy
United Kingdom Lewis Peatlands
United Kingdom Mointeach Scadabhaigh
United Kingdom Ornkey Mainland Moors
United Kingdom Otterswick and Graveland
United Kingdom Ronas Hill - North Roe and Tingon
United Kingdom West Burrafirth
USA Barrow Canyon & Smith Bay
USA Beaufort Sea Nearshore
USA Chukchi Sea Nearshore
USA Deception Pass

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Tundra Wetlands (incl. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 500 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 Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 3
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Transportation & service corridors Shipping lanes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Gavia stellata. Downloaded from on 25/01/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/01/2020.