The northern gannet (Morus bassanus) is
the largest seabird breeding in the North Atlantic. More than 80% of the world population
(ca. 350 000 pairs) breeds in the eastern Atlantic (Britain, Iceland, Ireland, France,
Norway, and Faroe Islands). After a period of persecution and population decline during
the 19th century, numbers at most colonies have increased and are still doing so. New
colonies are still being established, and the population has now spread to Russia where
the first breeding attempt was documented on the Kola Peninsula in 1996. The first
Norwegian colony was established in 1946, and 50 years later the population in Norway had
risen to nearly 4000 pairs in five colonies. Since then, sea eagles (HaliaeŽtus
albicilla) have preyed heavily on nesting adults in two of the colonies, causing
sharp declines locally.
To learn more about other seabirds, browse the Seabird Flash Cards on the Seabird Page of this website.