Seabird 2000 results

The information below is taken from: Seabird Populations of Britain and Ireland by P. Ian Mitchell, Stephen Newton, Norman Ratcliffe & Tim E. Dunn (eds.), published in 2004 by T & AD Poyser, an imprint of A&C Black, ISBN 0-7136-6901-2.


The population size and distribution of each species is summarised at the following scales: colony, administrative area and country. The results are compared with two earlier breeding seabird censuses, allowing analyses of population trends over 30 years. Results are also considered in an international context.


northern fulmar Fulmaris glacialis (PDF, 2.1 mb)

Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus (PDF, 1.0 mb)

European storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus (PDF,  1.1 mb)

Leach's storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa (PDF,  1.2 mb)

northern gannet Morus bassanus (PDF,  2.0 mb)

great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (PDF, 2.0 mb)

European shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis (PDF,  2.0 mb)

Arctic skua Stercorarius parasiticus (PDF, 1.1 mb)

great skua Catharacta skua (PDF, 1.2 mb)

Mediterranean gull Larus melanocephalus (PDF, 1.0 mb)

black-headed gull Larus ridibundus (PDF, 1.1 mb)

mew gull Larus canus (PDF, 1.1 mb)

lesser black-backed gull Larus fuscus (PDF, 2.1 mb)

Herring gull Larus argentatus (PDF, 2.1 mb)

great black-backed gull Larus marinus (PDF, 2.1 mb)

black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla (PDF, 2.0 mb)

sandwich tern Sterna sandvicensis (PDF, 1.0 mb)

roseate tern Sterna dougallii (PDF, 1.0 mb)

common tern Sterna hirundo (PDF, 1.1 mb)

Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea (PDF, 1.1 mb)

little tern Sterna albifrons (PDF, 566 kb)

common guillemot Uria aalge (PDF, 2.0 mb)

razorbill Alca torda (PDF, 2.0 mb)

black guillemot Cepphus grylle (PDF, 2.2 mb)

Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica (PDF, 2.0 mb)


Interpretive notes


International Context

Lloyd et al. (1991) presented international population estimates, which they used to put the results of the SCR Census into a global context. Lloyd et al. (1991) drew mainly on population estimates published by the International Council for Bird Preservation (now Birdlife international) (Croxall et al. 1984, Croxall 1991).
Within each species' account there is a table giving a breakdown of the international distribution of the species.
Where possible, population estimates were broken down by sub-species. The population estimates from Seabird 2000 for Britain (including Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) and Ireland are expressed separately as a percentage of the world population and of the relevant biogeographic population. The biogeographic population is used to assess the international significance of colonies and is one of the criteria used to designate sites as Special Protection Areas under Article 4 of the EC Birds Directive (1979).



For each species, a map of Britain and Ireland showing the position and size of each colony was produced. In most cases, a 'colony' equates to a single Seabird 2000 sub-site. However, to improve clarity, the counts from adjacent sub-sites in areas of high seabird density or in island groups, have been combined and presented as a single colony.


Separate population totals are given for Britain (including Isle of Man and the Channel Isles) and for Ireland (i.e. Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland combined). This division is relevant to the frames of the EC Birds Directive (1979).


Administrative Area

For each species a table was produced containing the total population size of the particular species in each administrative area within Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, plus totals for each of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
The administrative boundaries used to summarise Seabird 2000 data are shown Table 1 and Figure 1 (below). Note, these administrative areas no longer used by local and national governments within the UK and were replaced in 1996 by new county and unitary authority boundaries. However, the boundaries used in this study are considered more appropriate for summarising seabird distribution (the new boundaries tend to be small in urban areas and large in rural areas), are much more comparable to those used to summarise data from the previous two censuses (Cramp et al., 1974; Lloyd et al., 1991) and still provide a spatial scale that is relevant to conservation GOs and NGOs throughout the UK.
Table 1: Administrative boundaries used to summarise Seabird 2000 data.
Admin area type
Spatial data source
English County 1974 - 96
1OS Boundary-Line and 2ESRI Data and Maps 2000
WelshCounty 1974 - 96
1OS Boundary Line
Scottish District 1974 - 96
3The Scottish Office
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland District 1974 - 96
2ESRI Data and Maps 2000
2ESRI Data and Maps 2000
1 OS Boundary-Line ™ © crown copyright
2 ESRI Data and Maps 2000 CD1 supplied as part of ArcView 8.2 (2001) © ESRI.
3 'Local Authority Districts (pre 96) showing Regional and District extents at 1:625000'. Geographic Information Group, Hope Terrace, Scottish Natural Heritage, © The Scottish Office.
Figure 1: Administrative boundaries used to summarise Seabird 2000 data (PDF, 299 kb)



Cramp, S., Bourne, W. R. P. & Saunders, D. 1974. The Seabirds of Britain & Ireland. Collins, London.


Croxall, J.P., Evans, P.G.H., and Schreiber, R.W. (eds), 1984. Status and Conservation of the World's Seabirds. International Council for Bird Preservation Tecj. Publ. 2, Cambridge.


Croxall, J.P., and Rothery, P. 1991. Population regulation of seabirds: implications of their demography for conservation. In: Perrins, C.M., Lebreton, J.D. & Hirons, G.J.M. (eds.) Bird Population Studies. Oxford university press.


Lloyd, C.,  Tasker, M.L. & Partridge, K. 1991.  The Status of Seabirds in Britain and Ireland.  T. & A.D. Poyser, London.