WatchList Species Account for Red-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax urile) |
the list as a Declining Yellow List Species
The Red-faced Cormorant’s range in
North America extends throughout the Aleutian Islands, Pribilof
Islands, and a few sites in the Gulf of Alaska and Norton
Sound. It also breeds in southeast Kamchatka, Russia, Commander
Islands, Kuril Island, to northern Japan. Much of its North American breeding habitat
lies within the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
Its inaccessible breeding sites on steep
cliff faces, its wary nature and the fact that it is the least
social of all the cormorants means that behavioral and ecological
information on it is hard to gather; little is known of it
save distribution and rudimentary ecology. Compounding the
problem is the fact that many of the accounts of the bird
are based on observations of mixed groups of Red-faced Cormorants
the closely-related Pelagic Cormorants. It is particularly vulnerable to threats such as oil spills,
chemical contamination, and near-shore fishing, since it frequents inshore and coastal waters.
One estimate of the world population of
the species is 155,000 individuals, of which about a third
occur in North America. The bird has been helped by efforts
to eradicate introduced Arctic foxes on many of the Aleutian
Islands. There is a potential for human disturbance of vulnerable
colonies in the Russian Far East.