Stewart Shag Leucocarbo chalconotus


Taxonomic note
Following Kennedy and Spencer (2014) the genus Phalacrocorax has been divided into six genera, with P. magellanicus, P. bougainvilliorum, P. atriceps, P. verrucosus, P. carunculatus, P. chalconotus, P. onslowi, P. campbelli, P. ranfurlyi and P. colensoi moved into Leucocarbo (HBW and BirdLife International 2018).

Taxonomic source(s)
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.
Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International. 2018. Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world. Version 3. Available at:
Kennedy, Martyn & Spencer, Hamish. 2014. Classification of the Cormorants of the World. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution. 79: 249-257.
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - C2a(i)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Vulnerable C2a(i)
2016 Vulnerable C2a(i)
2012 Vulnerable B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v);C2a(i)
2010 Vulnerable B1a+b(ii,iii,iv); B2a+b(ii,iii,iv); C2a(i)
2008 Vulnerable B1a+b(ii,iii,iv); B2a+b(ii,iii,iv)
2006 Vulnerable
2005 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 52,900 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 8,900 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 45 medium
Number of locations 13 -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 3300-5300 medium estimated 1994
Population trend Decreasing poor observed -
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 2-100 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.7 - - -

Population justification: Population estimates have varied, although the population may be as high as 5,000-8,000 individuals (C. Lalas in litt. 1994). This is roughly equivalent to 3,300-5,300 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The species is suspected to be declining overall. The only national census dates from 1981, when the population was estimated at 1,800-2,000 breeding pairs, 900-1,000 in both Otago and Southland. The Otago population doubled to 1,850 pairs in 1987-1988, and the breeding range also expanded, but numbers then decreased to 1,500 pairs in 1992-1993 (Taylor 2000). In 1914, the population on Kane-te-toe Island was estimated at 400-500 nests; however, by 1975 the colony had been deserted (Watt 1975). The population on Centre Island declined from 600 to 25 nests between 1955 and 1991 (Taylor 2000). Colonies on Jacky Lee and Codfish Islands have also been deserted (B. Weeber in litt. 2000).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
New Zealand N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
New Zealand Taiaroa Head
New Zealand Fiordland - West Coast South Island (South) (offshore)
New Zealand Goat Island (North Otago)
New Zealand Maukiekie Island; Moeraki; Otago
New Zealand Otago Peninsula
New Zealand Otago Peninsula (Taiaroa Head)
New Zealand Bluff Harbour Awarua Bay
New Zealand Raratoka Centre Island
New Zealand Northern Titi Muttonbird Islands
New Zealand Whenua Hou Codfish Island
New Zealand Stewart Island / the rest
New Zealand North Otago
New Zealand Otago Peninsula
New Zealand Catlins Coast
New Zealand Northern Muttonbird (Titi) Islands
New Zealand Port Pegasus
New Zealand Fife Rock
New Zealand Paterson Inlet The Neck
New Zealand Ruapuke
New Zealand Moeraki Katiki Point
New Zealand Yates Point
New Zealand Omaui Island Oreti Estuary
New Zealand Aramoana Otago Harbour
New Zealand North Otago (offshore)
New Zealand Dunedin Coast (offshore)
New Zealand South Otago (offshore)
New Zealand Rakiura (offshore)

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major resident
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major resident
Marine Intertidal Tidepools major resident
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable resident
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
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Leucocarbo chalconotus. Downloaded from on 06/12/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/12/2021.