Larus marinus - Linnaeus, 1758
Great Black-backed Gull
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Larus marinus Linnaeus, 1758 (TSN 176815)
French Common Names: goéland marin
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104344
Element Code: ABNNM03210
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Image 7593

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Laridae Larus
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Larus marinus
Taxonomic Comments: Allozyme data indicate a very close overall genetic similarity among L. argentatus, L. cachinnans, L. fuscus, L. glaucoides, L. hyperboreus, and L. marinus (Snell 1991a).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 27Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5N,N5M (08Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNRN), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S1B,S5N), District of Columbia (S5N), Florida (SNRN), Georgia (S3), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Maine (S5B,S5N), Maryland (S4B,S4N), Massachusetts (S3S4B,S5N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNA), New Hampshire (S5), New Jersey (S5B,S5N), New York (S4), North Carolina (S3B,S5N), Ohio (SNRN), Pennsylvania (S3N), Rhode Island (S2B), South Carolina (SNRN), Vermont (S1B,S5N), Virginia (S4)
Canada Labrador (S3B,SUM), New Brunswick (S5), Newfoundland Island (S4), Nova Scotia (S4S5), Nunavut (SUB,SUM), Ontario (S2B), Prince Edward Island (S2S3B,S5N), Quebec (S4S5), Yukon Territory (SNA)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: northern Quebec and northern Labrador south to St. Lawrence River, Anticosti Island, and along coast to North Carolina (Clapp and Buckley 1984), also in southern Ontario on Lake Huron, and in Palaearctic. NON-BREEDING: in North America, along Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to North Carolina, less commonly to Florida and Great Lakes.

Short-term Trend Comments: Has extended breeding range southward along western North Atlantic coast in recent decades. Has benefited from augmented food resources available at garbage dumps. Increased populations in northeastern North America now pose threat to terns and Atlantic puffin (Brown and Nettleship 1984). See Buckley and Buckley (1984) for information on populations in eastern U.S. Increasing in St. Lawrence River estuary and gulf (Hyslop and Kennedy 1992, Chapdelaine and Brousseau 1992). Increased over much of range in northwestern Europe in 1900s (Evans 1984).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: BREEDING: northern Quebec and northern Labrador south to St. Lawrence River, Anticosti Island, and along coast to North Carolina (Clapp and Buckley 1984), also in southern Ontario on Lake Huron, and in Palaearctic. NON-BREEDING: in North America, along Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to North Carolina, less commonly to Florida and Great Lakes.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT
Canada LB, NB, NF, NS, NU, ON, PE, QC, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE Kent (10001), Sussex (10005)
ID Ada (16001)
VT Franklin (50011), Grand Isle (50013)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207)+, Chincoteague (02040303)+
04 Lake Champlain (04150408)+
17 Lower Boise (17050114)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of 2-3 (usually 3) eggs, May-June in North Amer. Incubation 26-30 days, by both sexes. Young tended by both parents, fly at 6-8 weeks. Usually nests solitarily or in small (sometimes large) colonies (Terres 1980); largest reported colony: 6500 birds on Monomoy Island, Massachusetts, 1981; in 1970s, none of colonies from New Jersey south had more than 50 birds (Spendelow and Patton 1988).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river, Tidal flat/shore
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree
Habitat Comments: ALL SEASONS: Primarily seacoasts, less commonly on large inland bodies of water (AOU 1983). BREEDING: Nests on ground or on rocks on rocky coasts and islands, occasionally on inland lakes. Along western North Atlantic coast, typically nests on small low islands, either rocky, grassy, or sandy with relatively little tall vegetation. On large islands, may nest on rocky peninsula, among boulders, or in low vegetation back from shore. Uses dredge-spoil islands. Usually nested under IVA FRUTESCENS in New Jersey salt marshes. Will nest with other gulls and cormorants (Spendelow and Patton 1988).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Eats carrion, fishes taken from other gulls, eggs and young of other birds, invertebrates, garbage, and other animal matter.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 76 centimeters
Weight: 1829 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary
Help
Management Requirements: See Griffin and Hoopes (1992) for management recommendations for JFK International Airport in New York.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Colonial Seabirds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Breeding Colony
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding , or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Map foraging areas as separate polygons if they are separated from the breeding colony by areas simply flown over on commuting routes.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: Where colonies are closer than 5 kilometers, separate occurrences may be created if research shows little genetic mixing between colonies.
Separation Justification: Occurrences include nesting and foraging areas, but occurrence separations are based on nesting areas (i.e., distance between nesting areas, regardless of foraging locations). Hence, different occurrences may overlap.

Occurrences are not based on discrete populations or metapopulations. Instead, the separation distance is arbitrarily small such that occurrences are of of practical size for data management purposes.

Evidence from a number of species of seabirds indicates that even though the 'home ranges' of individual nesting seabirds may be immense when foraging trips are taken into account, little movement or feeding overlap may occur between nearby colonies. For example, Thick-billed Murres may commute up to 170 kilometers one way on a feeding trip from the colony, but birds from a colony only 8 kilometers away may forage in a completely different direction; even birds from different sub-colonies only 1.5 kilometers apart mostly fed in completely separate areas (Gaston and Hipfner 2000).

Most seabirds have strong breeding site fidelity; e.g., Thick-billed Murres (Gaston and Hipfner 2000, Gaston et al. 1994), Gray-backed Tern (Mostello et al. 2000), Red-footed Booby (Schreiber et al. 1996).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Somewhat arbitrary, but generally very conservative for this group, many members of which travel long distances to foraging grounds.
Date: 20Oct2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Feeding area, Loafing site, Roosting site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of flocks of nonbreeding birds (including historical), including nonbreeding birds within the breeding season and breeding individuals outside the breeding season; and potential recurring presence at a given location. Normally only areas where concentrations greater than 25 birds regularly occur for more than 20 days per year would be deemed EOs; the number of individuals may be reduced for very rare species. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary; defined this small to aid in conservation planning. Sites more than 10 kilometers apart may be joined as one occurrence if research shows that predominantly the same individuals are using both sites.
Date: 07Mar2001
Author: Cannings, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 21Apr1988
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Apr1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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