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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The Slender-billed Gull breeds widely at isolated, scattered localities, from Senegal, Mauritania, and the south and east of the Iberian Peninsula, through the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Asian Minor and the Middle East to east Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-west India. It winters in much of the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Caspian Sea including coastlines around the Arabian Peninsula, south to the Horn of Africa (del Hoyo et al 1996).
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Range

Mediterranean basin to nw India; winters to ne Africa.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Behaviour Populations breeding in central Asia are fully migratory, although other populations are sedentary or only disperse short distances (del Hoyo et al 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). Migratory populations return to breeding colonies in late-February, most using a route along the west coast of the Black Sea (Olsen and Larsson 2003), leaving breeding sites again in July (Olsen and Larsson 2003). Many immatures also remain in winter quarters throughout the breeding season (Olsen and Larsson 2003). The species breeds from late-March to May in dense monospecific or mixed-species colonies (e.g. with terns) in numbers ranging from ten to many thousands of pairs (del Hoyo et al 1996), and is gregarious throughout the year, commonly occurring in flocks of up to 200 individuals, occasionally up to 3,000 (Snow and Perrins 1998). Habitat Breeding The species breeds on the coasts of land-locked seas (Richards 1990, Snow and Perrins 1998), on sand-spits, beaches (del Hoyo et al 1996) and islands with mudflats and marshes in shallow tidal waters (Richards 1990, Snow and Perrins 1998), and on saline inland seas and steppe lakes (Olsen and Larsson 2003). It may also frequent meadows and moist grassland by tidal inlets (Snow and Perrins 1998), and brackish or freshwater lagoons or marshes near river deltas during this season (Richards 1990, del Hoyo et al 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding The species is almost entirely coastal outside of the breeding season, frequenting shallow inshore waters and salt-pans, although it generally avoids harbours (del Hoyo et al 1996). Diet The diet of the species consists mainly of fish (del Hoyo et al 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998) (c.50 % of the diet) (del Hoyo et al 1996), as well as insects and marine invertebrates (del Hoyo et al 1996) (e.g. crustaceans) (Urban et al. 1986). Breeding site The species breeds colonially with pairs nesting as close as 20-50 cm (Urban et al. 1986); large groups often splitting into subcolonies with groups centres 10-50 m apart (Urban et al. 1986). The nest is a deep scrape or shallow depression (Urban et al. 1986, Richards 1990), preferably positioned on open mud, although some pairs may nest in Salsola or Salicornia (del Hoyo et al 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003). Management information A conservation scheme for the protection of gull and tern breeding colonies in coastal lagoons and deltas (e.g. Po Delta, Italy) involves protection from human disturbance, prevention of erosion of islet complexes, habitat maintenance and the creation of new islets for nest sites (Fasola and Canova 1996). The scheme particularly specifies that bare islets with 30-100 % cover of low vegetation (sward heights less than 20 cm) should be maintained or created as nesting sites (Fasola and Canova 1996).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 31.7 years (wild)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Larus genei

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Larus genei

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s
Nisbet, I.

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Status in Egypt

Resident breeder, regular passage visitor and winter visitor.

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Population

Population Trend
Increasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Eggs and chicks of this species are preyed upon by Larus cachinnans and Larus melanocephalus (especially where colonies are frequently disturbed by humans) (del Hoyo et al 1996), and storms or cold weather may threaten breeding colonies by causing nest flooding and chick mortality (del Hoyo et al 1996). The species is threatened by pollution form oil (Cooper et al. 1984, James 1984, del Hoyo et al 1996) and plastic waste, and is exploited by local people (subsistence egg collecting) in the Mediterranean and western Africa (Cooper et al. 1984, James 1984). It also suffers from disturbance caused by local people and tourists casually visiting breeding colonies, and by habitat loss resulting from tourism development (James 1984). The species is susceptible to avian influenza, so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006, Gaidet et al. 2007). Pollution from agricultural chemicals is no longer considered a likely threat (I. C. T. Nisbet in litt. 2010).
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Wikipedia

Slender-billed Gull

The slender-billed gull (Chroicocephalus genei) is a mid-sized gull which breeds very locally around the Mediterranean and the north of the western Indian Ocean (e.g. Pakistan) on islands and coastal lagoons. Most of the population is somewhat migratory, wintering further south to north Africa and India, and a few birds have wandered to western Europe. A stray individual was reportedly seen on Antigua, April 24, 1976 (AOU, 2000). The scientific name of this bird commemorates the Italian naturalist Giuseppe Gené.

Description[edit]

This species is 37 to 40 cm (14.6 to 15.7 in) long with a 90 to 40,102 cm (35.4 to 15,788.2 in) wingspan. It is therefore slightly larger than the black-headed gull, which it resembles, although it does not have a black hood in summer. It has a pale grey body, white head and breast and black tips to the primary wing feathers. The head and dark red bill have an elongated tapering appearance, and this bird also appears long-necked. The legs are dark red, and the iris is yellow. In summer, the breast has a faint pink colouration. This bird takes two years to reach maturity, as is usual in gulls. First year immature birds have a black terminal tail band, and dark areas on the wings.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The slender-billed gull breeds in lagoons and lakes around the Mediterranean Sea and in similar locations in countries bordering the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean. In 2010 a successful colony was found breeding on an island in a mountain lake in Algeria. The lack of predators and disturbance allowed over 98% of the eggs to hatch.[2] It overwinters on the coast in estuaries and bays. It feeds in deltas, marshes and grassland. It is one of a number of species of gull to feed on landfill sites.[1]

Behaviour[edit]

About half of the slender-billed gull's food is fish. It flies a few metres above the surface of the water and dives into the water when it sees suitable prey. It also probes in the mud with its beak and feeds on marine invertebrates. It also catches insects in flight.[1]

This rather uncommon gull breeds in colonies, nesting on the ground and laying up to three brown-spotted white eggs in a scrape sparsely lined with feathers and bits of vegetation. Incubation takes about 25 days and the young fly after another 25 days. Like most gulls, it is gregarious in winter, both when feeding and in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species, and is rarely seen far from land.[1]

Status[edit]

The slender-billed gull is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Larus genei: Slender-billed Gull" (in French). Oiseaux.net. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  2. ^ Cherief-Boutera, N.; Bensaci, E.; Cherief, A.; Moali, A. (2013). "First confirmed breeding of the Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei in Algeria". Alauda 81 (2): 85–90. 
  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) (2000): Forty-second supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. Auk 117(3): 847–858. DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2000)117[0847:FSSTTA]2.0.CO;2
  • Harrison, Peter (1988). Seabirds: An Identification Guide. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7470-1410-8
  • Pons J.M., Hassanin, A., and Crochet P.A.(2005). Phylogenetic relationships within the Laridae (Charadriiformes: Aves) inferred from mitochondrial markers. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 37(3):686-699
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