WI - Cormorant Research Group Scientific Literature - Pygmy cormorant updated on 28-12-2012

Scientific literature on the
Pygmy Cormorant - Phalacrocorax pygmeus

Before 1960 - 1960/1969 - 1970/1979 - 1980 - 1981 - 1982 - 1983 - 1984 - 1985 - 1986 - 1987 - 1988 - 1989 - 1990 - 1991 - 1992 - 1993 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - In press / year?

In press / year ?

Kazantzidis S. & T. Nazirides (eds.). (in press). The Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus) in Greece in the period 1997-1999. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Greece) – Hellenic Ornithological Society – Society for the Protection of Prespa. Thessaloniki.


Vizi A. & Vizi O. 2010. Changes in the diet composition of Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus on Skadar lake (Southern Montenegro). Acrocephalus, 31(144): 21-26. [Summary. Diet changes of Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus, a piscivorous bird feeding primarily on fish up to was estimated at over 2,000 pairs in 2005 and 1,260 pairs in 2006, comprising about 5-8% of the regional 15 cm long, were studied on Skadar Lake. The breeding population on the lake population of SE Europe specimens hunted in the course of the breeding season, was carried out in the period 1973-1975 in order to & Turkey. The first diet analysis, based on stomach contents of identify the influence of the birds on commercial fisheryaccidentally dropped food items during the feeding of nestlings were collected and analyzed in the 2006 breeding . Further samples of regurgitated or seasoncourse of over 30 years are discussed. Between 1973-1975 and 2006, the Pygmy Cormorant’s diet on Skadar . Results from both periods are presented and changes in diet composition in the Lake changed drasticallybe common to both study periods. Pygmy Cormorant’s diet in the period 1973-1975 consisted of 11 fish . Only one fish species, Rudd Scardinius knezevici, was found to species Roach Rutilus ohridanus and Albanian Roach Pachychilon pictum. Diet analysis in 2006 revealed only six (N = 224 specimens), belonging to five families. The most abundant fish species were species Carassius auratus became a major food source for Pygmy Cormorant, constituting 84.7% of the total (N = 98 specimens) from two families, and also showed that the introduced Goldfish specimen numbercomprised 89.0% of the total Goldfish compound. The study confirms that the Pygmy Cormorant is not . Age class analysis of Goldfish items revealed that juvenile specimens (45-90 mm) a speciescommunity in the littoral zone of the lake. Fish consumption by Pygmy Cormorants on Skadar Lake in 2006 was -specific hunter and suggests it is not affected by the changes in composition of fish estimated at 45 t during the most intensive foraging period (June–August). ]





Nemeth E. 2007. Die Zwergscharbe, Phalacrocorax pygmeus (Pallas) 1773 – ein neuer Brutvogel für Österreich. Egretta 49: 2-5. [The Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) – a new breeding bird in Austria. Abstract. In 2007 Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) bred for the first time in Austria. Fourteen nests were located in the reedbeds of Lake Neusiedl in a large heronry dominated by Great White Egret (Ardea alba), Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) and Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia). At least eight nests were successful and up to five chicks per nest were found. Observations during the nestling period showed that adult individuals foraged mainly in the open water areas of the reed belt of Lake Neusiedl.]



Nemtzov S.C. 2005. Relocation of pygmy cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus using scare tactics to reduce conflict with fish farmers in the Bet She'an Valley, Israel. Conservation Evidence, 2: 3-5. [Abstract. To help resolve the conflict between pygmy cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus and fish farmers, the birds were scared away from Bet She’an Valley before the breeding season started. The cormorants have subsequently relocated to other, safer breeding sites.]

Szinai, P. 2005. The present status of Pygmy cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus in Hungary. Cormorant Research Group Bulletin, 6:

Voskamp P., Volponi S. & van Rijn S. 2005. Global population development of the Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus. Overview of available data and proposal to set up a network of national specialists. Cormorant Study Group Bulletin, 6:


Kúdela M. & Lengyel J. Occurrence of the Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) in the Danubian Plain (South-West Slovakia). Acta Zoologica Universitatis Comenianae, 46 (1): 45-50. [Abstract. The pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus (Pallas, 1773)) established a hibernation place on the Slovak section of the Danube River, which is the only known in Slovakia. The first observation of the pygmy cormorant on this locality was in December 1994. The species occurs here from the late October to the end of April. The number of the hibernating birds is not known, but has increased since 1994 and between 2000 and 2002 flocks of more than 60 individuals were observed. The greatest recorded number was 88 individuals. The whole hibernation place is a 28 km long section of the Danube River (partially influenced by a dam) and the adjacent floodplain and formerly floodplain area. The species was recorded four times in the Danubian Plain in SW Slovakia outside the hibernation place: in April 2001, January, August and October 2002. These are the only known data on the species from this area besides the historical occurrence in 1931. Two of the localities where the species was recorded are oxbows; the third is the branch system of the Danube River; the fourth is a single side branch of the Danube River.]

Simic D.V. & Tucakov M. 2004. Numbers and local movements of Pygmy Cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus wintering in Belgrade. Acrocephalus, 25 (123): 207-212. [Abstract. There is little recent information on Pygmy Cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus from Serbia. However, the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers is known locally as a wintering site of the species. The study area lies within the city of Belgrade (UTM DQ56), northern Serbia. It comprises the confluence of the rivers Sava and Danube and the last 10 kilometers of the Sava river. Point counts were conducted in 1996, 2001, 2003 and 2004. In both sites in the study area, Malo Ratno Ostrvo Islet and at the bank of Sava river, birds roosted in young and relatively low White Willow Salix alba scrub, up to 6 or 7 metres high, typical of communities of early stages of succession of alluvial soil bordering rivers or river islands. The number of individuals wintering in Belgrade probably fluctuates from year to year, but has obviously increased from 500 birds at the beginning of the 90s, 1080 individuals in February 1996 to 1200 birds in January 2001. The number of Pygmy Cormorants observed regularly during winter in our study area exceeds 1% of the population threshold (400 individuals), and, together with wintering numbers of other waterbirds, qualifies the sector from Veliko Ratno Ostrvo to Ada Ciganlija for nomination as a Ramsar site. Currently, the study area supports 12.5% of the wintering population of Pygmy Cormorants in Serbia and Montenegro.]


Borgo F., Boschetti E., Panzarin L., Verza E. & Volponi S. 2003. Il Marangone minore Phalacrocorax pygmeus nelle aree costiere dell'Adriatico settentrionale. Avocetta, 124: 133-134.

Nemtzov S.C., 2003. Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus nesting in Israel. Cormorant Research Group Bulletin, 5: 38-39.

Shmuel M., Arad Z., Katzir G. & Izhaki I. 2003. Developmental rates and morphometrics of the sympatric Pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) and Great cormorant (P. carbo sinensis). Israel Journal of Zoology, 49: 159-173. [Abstract. We compared growth rates and adult morphological traits in two sympatric cormorant species,the pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) and the great cormorant (P.carbo sinensis ), in Israel.The smaller P.pygmeus exhibited higher developmental rates than P. carbo sinensis, as expressed in the growth rate constant (K) of body mass and of various body parts (bill,wing, tarsus, primaries,and tibia lengths).The consequences of the higher developmental rate of P.pygmeus are early fledging and a relatively low body mass of fledglings. We suggest that several proximate ecological and developmental factors such as risk of nest predation,body temperature regulation,and hydrodynamics act in concert to promote rapid development in chicks of P.pygmeus. However,the four-fold lower body mass of the adult P.pygmeus is probably the most important physiological constraint that might explain its rapid growth rate in comparison with P .carbo sinensis. The body mass and the size of various body parts of adult P .carbo sinensis are much higher than those of adult P.pygmeus .This difference in adult morphological attributes, together with the marked differences in growth rates between the two species, should be reflected in different ecological functions that promote ecological segregation between them. Therefore,the conservation policies and future practical solutions of the cormorant-–fisheries conflict should be species-specific.]


Capelle C. & De Smet G. 2002. Pygmy Cormorant in Lys valley, Belgium/France, in Dec 2000 - January 2001. Dutch Birding, 24(1):1-6.


Gantlet S. 2001. Pygmy Cormorants in Europe: Britain next? Birding World 14 (11): 465-474.


Crivelli A.J., Nazirides G., Catsadorakis G., Hulea D., Malakou M., Marinov M. & Shogolev I. 2000. Status and population development of Pygmy cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus breeding in the Paleartcic. Proceedings of the 5th Medmaravis Symposium Gozo, Malta. 49-60.

Nemtzov S.C., Sinai Y., Glasner D., Morgan J., Bojilov K, Ben-Yosef R., Sharon Y., Kaplan D., Har-Zion M. & Dolev M . 2000. The pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) in the Bet She’an Valley: Challenges for conservation of an endangered species. Israel Journal of Zoology, 46: 168-169.

Nikolov H.H., Marin S.M. & Darakchiev A.I. 2000. The Pygmy Cormorant in Bulgaria. Status of the population. Action plan. Green Balkans Federation of Nature-Conservation NGOs. 160 Shesti Septemviri Blvd. Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria.


Hernandez-Carrasquilla F., T. Tyrberg & von den Driesch A. 1999.  A record of Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus from medieval Spain. Ardea 87(2): 285-288. 

Kazantzidis S. & Nazirides T. (eds.). 1999. National action plan for the Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus). World Wide Fund For Nature - Wwf Greece, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Society For The Protection of Prespa. Thessaloniki

Nathan M. 1999. Behavior and ecophysiology of the pygmy cormorant. In: Dor M. & Heller J. (eds.). Proceedings of the Thirty-Fifth Meeting of the Zoological Society of Israel (University of Haifa, Oranim, 20 December 1998). Israel Journal of Zoology, 45(2): 317.

Vink A. & Ebels E. B. Dwergaalscholver in Oostvaardersplassen.[Pygmy cormorant in Oostvaardersplassen.] Dutch Birding, 21(3): 187-188.


Magnani A., Panzarin L. & Cherubini G. 1998. Nidificazione di Marangone minore, Phalacrocorax pygmeus, in Lagune di Venezia. Riv. ital. Orn., 68: 108-110.

Vogrin M. 1998. Do Pygmy Cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus breed in Dalmacia (Croatia)? Cormorant Research Group Bulletin 3: 28-29.

Willems F. J. & de Vries E .1998. Ecological aspects of Pygmy Cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus at Prespa, Greece, May-August 1996. WIWO-reports published, Publication number 60. Stichting WIWO. [Ref. 1998-2]


Volponi S. & Emiliani D. 1997. The Pygmy Cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus as a breeding species in Italy. Suppl. Ric. Biol. Selvaggina, XXVI: 563-567.


Laurenti, S., & T. Taglioni. 1996. Pygmy Cormorant, Phalacrocorax pygmaeus, at Ripasottile Lake, Rieti [Italy]. Uccelli d’Italia, 21(1): 86.

Marinov M. & Hulea D. 1996. [Dynamics of mixed colonies of cormorants and herons from the Danube Delta between 1959-1995]. Analele Stiintifice ale Institutului Delta Dunarii Tulcea 5: 211-226. (in Romanian).

Nazirides T. & Papageorgiou N. 1996. The breeding biology of the Pygmy Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), a vulnerable bird species, at lake Kerkini, Northern Greece. Colonial Waterbirds, 19(Special publication 1): 219-223.

Vangeluwe D., Beudels M.-O- & Lamani F. 1996. Conservation status of Albanian coastal wetlands and their waterbird populations (Pelecaniformes and Ciconiiformes). Colonial Waterbirds, 19 (Special Publication 1): 81-90.

Volponi S. 1996. Bill deformity in a Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) chick. Colonial Waterbirds, 19:147-148. [download .pdf - 157 KB]


Volponi S. & Emiliani D. 1995. The Pygmy Cormorant breeds again in Italy. Riv. ital. Orn., 65:87-89.

Volponi S. & Emiliani D. 1995. Nuova nidificazione di Marangone minore Phalacrocorax pygmaeus in Italia. Avocetta, 19: 46.


Danko S. 1994. Occurence and nesting of Pigmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) in the Slovak Republic and in neighbouring countries. Aquila, 101: 53-64.

Nardo A. 1994. Presunta nidificazione di Marangone minore, Phalacrocorax pigmaeus, nel Veneto - Riv. ital. Orn., 64: 84-85.


Handrinos G. 1993. Midwinter numbers and distribution of Great cormorants and Pygmy cormorants in Greece. In: Aguilar J.S. X. Montbailliu & Pterson A. M. (eds.), Status and conservation od seabirds. SEO & Medmaravis, Madrid, pp. 147-159.


Brichetti P. 1992. Marangone minore Phalacrocorax pygmeus. - In: P. Brichetti, P. De Franceschi & N. Baccetti (eds.), Fauna d'Italia. XXIX. Aves I. Edizioni Calderini, Bologna, pp. 120-124.


Buzun V. A. & Grinchenko A. B. 1991. [About nesting bird of the Oysul lagoon: Phalacrocorax pygmeus, Casarca ferruginea and Tadorna tadorna in the Crimea.] In: Koshelev A. I. & Chernichko (eds.), Rare birds of the Black sea coastal area. Lybid, Kiev, pp. 182-193. (In Russian).

Kunichenko A.A. 1991. [Distribution and number of the Pygmy Cormornat in Moldova]. Proc. Of the 10th All-Union Orn. Conf. (Minsk, Navuka I tekhnika) 2: 3-4 (in Russian).


Straka U. 1990. Beobachtungen an uberwinternden Zwergscharben (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus Pallas 1773) an der niederosterreichischen Donau im Winter 1989/90. [Observations on wintering Pygmy cormorants (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus pallas 1773) at the Danube in lower Austria in the winter 1989/90]. (In German with English summary). Egretta, 33 (2): 77-85.


Lamani F. 1989. Donnés sur la distribution et la zoogéographie des pelecaniformes et des Ciconiiformes en Albanie. Biologia Gallo-Hellenica, 13: 111-118

Nankinov D. 1989. Fruherer und jetziger Stand der Bestandsentwicklung der Zwergscharbe (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus) in Bulgarien (Aves, Pelecaniformes: Phalacrocoracidae). [Previous and actual situation of development of populations stock of the Pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus) in Bulgaria (Aves, Pelecaniformes: Phalacrocoracidae)]. Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierkd. Dresden., 17(8): 79-84.


Jerrentrup H., M. Gaetlich, H. A. Joensen, H. Nohr & Brogger-Jensen S . 1988. Urgent action plan to safeguard three endangered species in Greece and E.C.: Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), Great White Egret (Egretta alba) and White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). Ornis Consult-Natural History Museum Arhus-Hellenic Ornithological Society. Rep. to the CEC (DG XI). 162 pp.


Dittberner H. 1987. [Behavior of the Pygmy cormorant and the Shag (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus and P. aristotelis)]. Beitraege zur Vogelkunde, 33(5/6): 297-300. (In German).


Benussi E. 1986. Observations on the presence of Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus) in Italy. Pp.29-31. In: Almo Farina (ed.). Proceedings First International Conference on birds wintering in the Mediterranean region. (Aulla, Italy, 1984). Supplemento Ricerche Biologia Selvaggina, 10: 29-31.


Brichetti P. 1983. Distribuzione geografica degli uccelli nidificanti in Italia, Corsica e Isole Maltesi - Natura Bresciana, 19: 97-157.

Straka U. 1990. [Observations on wintering pygmy cormorants at the Danube in lower Austria in the winter of 1989-90.] Egretta, 33:77-85. (German, English summary).


Cowles S. G. 1981. The first evidence of Demoiselle Crane Antropoides virgo and Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus in Britain. Bull. British Ornithologists' Club., 101: 383-386.

Fasola M. & Barbieri F. 1981. Prima nidificazione di Marangone minore Phalacrocorax pigmaeus in Italia - Avocetta, 5: 155-156.

Šot i J., Vizi O., Krsmanovic Lj. 1981. Težina i mjere malog kormorana, Phalacrocorax pygmaeus (Pallas), 1773, sa Skadarskog jezera. - Glasn. Republ. zavoda zašt. prirode - Prirodnjackog muzeja, 14: 65-70, Titograd.



1970 - 1979


Bondarev D. V. 1975. [On the nesting of the Pygmy cormorant]. Uchenye Zap Permsk Gos Pedagog. Inst., pp. 89-92. (In Russian).


Lebret T. 1978. [Observations of the Pygmy cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus in the Danube Delta in December]. Limosa, 51(3-4): 165-166.

Mikuska J. & Majic J. 1971-1972 [1974]. [THE PYGMY CORMORANT Phalacrocorax pygmeus BREEDING IN KOPACSER LAKE.] Aquila, 78-79: 181-183. (In Hungarian with German summary).

1960 - 1969

Heim de Balsac H. & Mayaud N. 1962. Les oiseaux du nord-ouest de l'Afrique. Paris

Sapetin Ya. V. 1968. [Notes on banding of the White pelican and Pygmy cormorant in the Tereka Delta]. Migratsii Zhivotnykh, 5: 113-115. [In Russian.]

Before 1960

Dementiev G. P. & Gladkov N. A. (eds.). 1951. [Birds of the Soviet Union]. Vol. 1. Sovetskya nauda, Moskow. (In Russian. Translated in 1966 by the Israel Program for Scietific Translations, Jerusalem).