About the Group

Aims & mission
Group establishment
Position statement on Research, Conservation & Management
CRG newsletter: subscribe - 01/2013 - 02/2014 - 03/2015 - 04/2016 - 05/2017
To Promote the Knowledge of the Ecology and Life History of Cormorants
(Aves - Phalacrocoracidae)
  the official website of the
IUCN Wetlands International
Cormorant Research Group
Webmaster Stefano Volponi - stefano.volponi @ isprambiente.it
Last updated: 19-04-2021

Research & Methods

Colour-ringing projects 19 Apr 2021
How to work with Cormorants: see the Intercafe Field Manual
Eggshell thickness measurements: methods & background
Techniques for assessing diet and food intake from Suppl. Ric. Biol. Selvaggina 1997 (download the original paper 15.6MB)

CRG news

New papers

- Great cormorants reveal overlooked secondary dispersal of plants and invertebrates by piscivorous waterbirds
Le Grand Cormoran européen Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis commencerait-il ā nicher au Maroc? Go-South Bull. (2017), 14, 113-117

CRG & Pelican specialist group joint meeting 15-19 March 2017 - Lake Kerkini, Greece
Second announcement - Program
details inside the
last newsletter

the 8th issue of the CRG Bulletin is available for download

Project: ‘CormoDist

Published all the five Intercafe reports (see below for info and download links)

CorMan report
Pan-European status of the breeding population of Great Cormorants in 2012-2013

Call for paper
anyone interested in publishing a paper or a note in the Bulletin may take a look at previous issues
for further information and paper submission mail to the Bulletin editor
Stef van Rijn

INTERCAFE Final Reports

van Eerden, M., van Rijn, S., Volponi, S., Paquet, J.-Y. & Carss, D.N. (2012) Cormorants and the European Environment; exploring cormorant status and distribution on a continental scale. INTERCAFE COST Action 635 Final Report I (ISBN 978-1-906698-07-2)
Carss, D.N., Parz-Gollner, R. & Trauttmansdorff, J.(2012) The INTERCAFE Field Manual: research methods for cormorants, fishes, and the interactions between them. INTERCAFE COST Action 635 Final Report II (ISBN 978-1-906698-08-9)
Russell, I., Broughton, B., Keller, T. & Carss, D.N. (2012) The INTERCAFE Cormorant Management Toolbox: methods for reducing cormorant problems at European fisheries. INTERCAFE COST Action 635 Final Report III (ISBN 978-1-906698-09-6)
Marzano, M. & Carss, D.N. (2012) Essential social, cultural and legal perspectives on cormorant-fisheries conflicts. INTERCAFE COST Action 635 Final Report IV (ISBN 978-1-906698-11-9)
Seiche, K., Gerdeaux, D., Gwiazda, R., Levai, F., Musil, P., Nemenonoks, O., Strod, T. & Carss, D.N. (2012) Cormorant-fisheries conflicts at Carp ponds in Europe and Israel – an overview. INTERCAFE COST Action 635 Final Report V (ISBN 978-1-906698-10-2)

Intercafe project EU - 635 COST Action (2004-2008) / fact-sheets in English and several other European languages available at the Intercafe website

EU-project CormoDist intends to study migration patterns and choice of wintering area

It has become evident that knowledge about the migration of the sinensis sub-species of Great Cormorants in Europe is essential for understanding how dynamic this species is in its distribution patterns. Knowledge about migratory connectivity is also of relevance for the discussions of effects of natural and human induced changes in the breeding and wintering areas.

A new project with the acronym ‘CormoDist’ will use dead recoveries of Great Cormorants ringed as chicks in order (1) to quantify the composition of wintering populations in terms of their breeding origin and (2) to explore changes over time in where cormorants from specific breeding areas spend their winter. The project is partly EU funded and deals only with the continental sub-species Ph. c. sinensis. The CormoDist project is led by Aarhus University but other institutions, researchers and key cormorant ringers are involved to varying extents. More info about this new project in the 3rd CRG newsletter. Here you can download the final CormoDist report.

Pan-European status of the breeding population of Great Cormorants published. The results from a major survey of breeding numbers of cormorants in W Palearctic have just been published as a Scientific Report from the DCE (Danish Centre for Environment and Energy) and IUCN/WI Cormorant Research Group, providing the most complete overview of the breeding distribution and abundance of ever compiled. The survey was conducted by more than 1200 people and confirms the Baltic Sea as the most important cormorant breeding area. It is in this corner of Europe that breeding numbers have expanded most dramatically. However, within the last six years, numbers have declined in the western Baltic and the increase in the eastern part has levelled off. People in central and southern Europe have experienced increasing cormorant numbers over the years as more and more birds have migrated south during autumn to stay in warmer climates during winter. However, in the last 25 years some of these birds have settled to breed in former wintering areas and formed new colonies there. As a consequence breeding numbers are now increasing in a number of more southern countries such as France, Spain and Italy. A summary of the report is available here, while the full report is available for downolading from the DCE website link http://dce2.au.dk/pub/SR99.pdf and CRG Google Drive http://tinyurl.com/qjkd45b (pdf 36 MB). Here the final report including an overview of the winter census carried out in Europe in January 2013.

CorMan and Cormorant counts in the western Palearctic

CorMan is a new initiative taken by the European Commission. One of the main goals of this new initiative is to collaborate with the Cormorant Research Group in order to assess the number and distribution of great cormorants in Europe during breeding and winter. The aim of the joint cormorant count project Cormorant Counts in the western Palearctic is to organise a pan-European census of breeding colonies in 2012 and a census of winter roosts in January 2013. The new initiative CorMan also has the aim of developing a website (platform) under DG Environment. The website is available through this link. The main aim of the Platform is to disseminate information about cormorants, cormorant numbers, management and conflicts related to cormorants, fish, fisheries and aquaculture.

link to the Cormorant counts in the Western Palearctic website
developed as an aid for organizing and conducting counts of Great Cormorants

link to the Area Coordinators webpage
There are 2-3 Area Coordinators (ACs) for each major area of Europe and countries further east. People willing to join the counts are welcome to contact the ACs or directly inform their National Coordinator by compiling the form available here

Winter Roost Census - mid January 2013
Manual - count Great Cormorant roosts (.zip) Cormorant-Roost-Count-Form (.pdf)
Informazioni (.pdf) e scheda raccolta dati (.xls) per i censitori italiani

Breeding Colony Census - spring/summer 2012
Manual - Count of Cormorant Colonies - v2 / Colony-Count-Form (.xls) (.xlsx)

The first CorMan report, published in June 2013, reporting results from the 2012 count of breeding colonies in a selection of European countries: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Russia (Gulf of Finland), Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. http://dce2.au.dk/pub/TR22.pdf - alternative link (25 MB pdf file).

Bregnballe T., Volponi S. van Eerden M., van Rijn S. and Lorentsen S-H. 2011. Status of the breeding population of Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo in the Western Palearctic in 2006.
Pp. 8-20 in Proc. 7th Intern. Conf. on Cormorants (pdf file 255 Kb)

van Eerden M., Marion L. and Parz-Gollner R. 2011. Results of the Pan-European census of wintering Great Cormorants in Europe, January 2003.
Pp. 21-32 in Proc. 7th Intern. Conf. on Cormorants (pdf file 346 Kb)

Summary of the first data analysis with new updated information on Great cormorant (P. carbo) distribution in Europe during the winter and summer (breeding) seasons

Papers & Reports on winter counts held in various European countries in 2003 and 2009 can be found here

Redcafe EU project (2000-2002) - final reports

The Group Bulletin

a new issue of the CRG Bulletin is under preparation
take this opportunity to submit your material to the Editor


Links and Bibliography hosted on the EU Cormorant Platform
A selection of scientific literature on
Great cormorant P. carbo - Pygmy cormorant P. pygmeus
European shag P. aristotelis - Double-crested cormorant P. auritus
Other cormorant species Phalacrocorax sp.

Russian literature on Cormorants 1881-1997
Compiled by
J. Shergalin. Indexed by: year - author name

Annotated Bibliography on Cormorant Food Habit & Potential Impactson Sport and Commercial Fisheries
Compiled by J. L. Trapp &
S.L. Hanisch - [US-FWS - Italian mirror]

email title and summary/abstract of your thesis to the webmaster)

Ovegard Maria. 2017. The interaction between cormorants and wild fish population. Analytical methods and applications. Doctoral thesys n. 2017:12. Faculty of Natural resources and Agricultural Sciences. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae.

sections of the old website not updated
Cormorant related documents
Species accounts
Projects & request for information - News
Great Cormorant: diet - prey - breeding colonies in Europe
Meetings & Proceedings

Programme & Abstracts of the 2011 CRG meeting (Medemblik NL)
Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Cormorants (Villeneuve, CH)

Past meeting & proceedings

Films & Videos

Kormorane: Viel Geschrei um schwarze Vögel. (Film. In German - time 50.18).
European shag in Spain (Video. Spanish with English subtitles - time 10.22')
Immature Great cormorant preening with uropygial oil (Video clip - time 0.31')
Brandt's Cormorant diving for fish (Video clip - time 0.48')


Atlas of wintering waterbirds of Libya 2005-2010 ISPRA 2012

Linda R Wires - The Double-Crested Cormorant: Plight of a Feathered Pariah

Richard J. King. - The Devil's Cormorant: A Natural History

State of the World Waterbirds 2010. Compiled by> S. Delany, S. Nagy & N. Davidson. Published by: Wetlands International www.wetlands.org

The magazine of the IUCN Species Survival Commission about the Species Programme aimed to produce, maintain and manage The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species - the latest and previous issues of the Species Magazine


Birds (cormorants and others)
Organizations (conservation, research, management)
Resources (bibliography, journals, books on-line, etc.)