Sabine's Gull Xema sabini


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
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.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

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 198 g
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 9,270,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 27,300,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend Stable 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) 6.9 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.330,000-700,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 1,100-2,100 pairs, which equates to 2,100-4,100 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). The population in Russia has been estimated at c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). The small European population (c. 10% of global range) is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Angola V Extant
Australia V Extant
Austria V Extant
Belgium V Extant
Bermuda (to UK) V Extant
Bulgaria V Extant
Cameroon V Extant
Canada N Extant Yes
Cape Verde N Extant
Chile N Extant
Colombia N Extant
Congo V Extant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the U Extant
Costa Rica N Extant Yes
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant
Cuba V Extant
Czechia V Extant
Denmark N Extant Yes
Ecuador N Extant
Egypt V Extant
El Salvador N Extant
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) V Extant
Finland V Extant
France N Extant Yes
Gabon N Extant
Germany V Extant
Ghana V Extant
Gibraltar (to UK) V Extant
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Guatemala N Extant
Guinea N Extant
Guinea-Bissau N Extant
Iceland N Extant
Ireland N Extant
Israel V Extant
Italy V Extant
Japan V Extant
Jordan V Extant
Latvia V Extant
Liberia N Extant
Mauritania N Extant
Mexico N Extant
Morocco N Extant
Namibia N Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant
Norway V Extant
Panama N Extant
Peru N Extant
Poland V Extant
Portugal N Extant
Romania V Extant
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) V Extant
Russia (European) N Extant
Senegal N Extant
Sierra Leone N Extant
South Africa N Extant
South Korea V Extant
Spain N Extant Yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) N Extant Yes
Sweden V Extant
Switzerland V Extant
Togo V Extant
Trinidad and Tobago N Extant
United Arab Emirates V Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes
Western Sahara N Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Greenland (to Denmark) Heden
Greenland (to Denmark) Kilen
Greenland (to Denmark) Henrik Krøyer Holme
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Northwest Spitsbergen National Park
Russia (Asian) Lena delta
Canada Amphitrite and Swiftsure Banks
Canada Coats Island/Cape Pembroke
Canada Rasmussen Lowlands
Canada Foxe Basin Islands
Canada Great Plain of the Koukdjuak
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve
Spain Costa da Morte
Spain Entorno marino de las rías Baixas
USA Barrow Canyon & Smith Bay
USA Chukchi Sea Nearshore
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Jan Mayen island
Senegal Northern Senegal shelf break
Mauritania Canary current shelf-break South
Morocco Canary current shelf-break North
Morocco Canary current shelf 4

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Tundra major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Tundra Wetlands (incl. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt) major breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Xema sabini. Downloaded from on 12/07/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 12/07/2020.