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Larus michahellis

warning Near Threatened
NT (D1)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Ezra Hadad, Lior Kislev
Update Time: Aug. 21, 2023, 4:32 p.m.

The Yellow-legged Gull is classified as Near Threatened (NT) because of its small population size (about 80 mature individuals), combined with a regional adjustment for the fact that its population is expanding and that the Israeli population has always been a marginal population at the edge of its global range. In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Critically Endangered (CR). The improvement in the threat category reflects the population growth and its expansion to central Israel, in particular to the Tel-Aviv Metropolitan Area.
NT Current Regional Assessment | CR Previous Regional Assessment | LC Global Assessment

Habitats Coastal Islats, Salt Ponds, Wetlands with Shallow Banks
Presence In Israel Resident
Breeding In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Resident
Zoographical Zones Mediterranean
Landscape Types Wetlands, Fresh Water, Salt Ponds, Coastal Islats
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Ground
Diet Types Generalist
Foraging Grounds Water, Ground
Body Sizes Medium (500 - 1000g)
Threat Factors Unknown

The Yellow-legged Gull is a resident breeding species found in small numbers on the northern Coastal Plain, in areas with fishponds and reservoirs close to the coast, and on small islands in the sea. In recent years the species began nesting in the Tel-Aviv Metropolitan Area as well. The estimated population in the different areas: 10-20 pairs on the Rosh HaNikra-Acre coast, 10-12 pairs on the Carmel coast, about 10 pairs in Tel-Aviv and 1-3 pairs in Yavne and Ashdod.
First nesting discovered in 1951. In the 1970s and 1980s, 5-12 pairs nested on the islands opposite Rosh HaNikra and between Atlit and Ma’agan Michael (Paz 1986, Shirihai 1996).

  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Ezra Hadad, Lior Kislev

Current Occupancy Map

Current occupancy map by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
0 0 0 0 0

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel from the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and breeding density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values in the current decade as determined from experts' opinion and observations from databases.

Relative Abundance 2010-2020 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
8 12 12 21 19

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Density values based primarily on the book The Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Relative Abundance 1980-1990 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
5 14 14 17 22

Occupancy 1990-2020

The map shows differences in the species breeding distribution between the 1980's breeding map and the current weighted breeding evaluation. Negative value - species previously bred in the grid and is not presently breeding; positive value - species has not previously bred in the grid and is currently breeding.

Occupancy 1990-2020
Data Missing No Change Occupancy Increase Occupancy Decrease
6 35 1 9

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020

The map shows the changes in the relative abundance of a species in each of the distribution grids between the breeding map of the 1980s and the weighted current breeding evaluation. Negative values - decline in abundance; positive values - increase in abundance; zero - no change in abundance.

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020
80 to 100 50 20 to 30 No Change 30- to 20- 50- 100- to 80- Data Missing
0 4 2 22 12 14 11 16

Red number
IUCN category
Threat Definition according to the red book
() districts
% of protected sites

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