Yellow-billed Loon Gavia adamsii


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 A2d+3d+4d; C1
2016 Near Threatened A2d+3d+4d
2012 Near Threatened A2d+3d+4d
2010 Near Threatened A2d, A3d, A4d
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 -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 12,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 40,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 11000-21000 medium estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing poor 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) 1-19 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 1-19 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9.79 - - -

Population justification: The global population has been estimated at 16,000-32,000 individuals.

Trend justification: Population trends have not been quantified. However, the total of c.1,000 individuals harvested in the Bering Sea region in 2007 indicates that subsistence harvest may be causing a population decline (M. Kirchhoff in litt. 2010). Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that the breeding range of the species has declined in the west and east of Russia (K. Laing in litt. 2008). As such, a decline of 1-19% over the past 29 years (three generations) is precautionarily suspected, although surveys are required to confirm that such declines are currently occurring.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Austria V Extant
Belarus V Extant
Belgium N Extant Yes
Bulgaria V Extant
Canada N Extant Yes Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Croatia V Extant
Czechia V Extant
Denmark N Extant Yes
Estonia V Extant
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) V Extant
Finland N Extant Yes
France V Extant Yes
Germany V Extant Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) V Extant
Ireland V Extant
Italy V Extant
Japan N Extant Yes
Mexico N Extant
Myanmar V Extant
Netherlands V Extant
North Korea N Extant
Norway N Extant Yes Yes
Poland V Extant
Russia N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Slovakia V Extant Yes
Slovenia V Extant
South Korea N Extant Yes
Spain V Extant
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) V Extant
Sweden N Extant Yes
Switzerland V Extant
Ukraine V Extant
United Kingdom V Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Lithuania Marine waters along the Curonian Spit
Norway Lofoten
Norway Jæren
Norway Vega archipelago
Norway Ørlandet
Norway Varangerfjord
Norway Froan
Russia (Asian) Vankarem lowlands and Kolyuchin bay
Canada Cape Parry
USA Teshekpuk Lake-E. Dease Inlet
Norway Slettnes
Norway Varangerfjord (including Hornøya and Reinøya)
Norway Saltstraumen & Skjerstadfjorden
Norway Tautra & Svaet
Russia (Asian) Lopatka Peninsula and First Kuril Strait
Russia (Asian) Moroshechnaya River

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable 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) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Tundra Wetlands (incl. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt) suitable 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%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
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%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects
Pollution Domestic & urban waste water - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Gavia adamsii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/12/2022.