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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Ross’s Gull in Canada

Existing Protection or Other Status Designations

The species was designated “Special Concern” by COSEWIC in April 1981. Its status was examined and confirmed in April 1996, and then re-examined in November 2001 and designated “Threatened”. Section 33 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) prohibits damaging or destroying the residence of a listed threatened, endangered, or extirpated species. In addition to SARA, this species and its nest are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act of 1994. These regulations prohibit the hunting or collection of eggs, nests, and birds in Canada and the United States. Ross’s Gulls are protected under the Canada National Parks Act where it occurs in Wapusk National Park, although the species is not known to nest there. 

Ross’s Gull is considered vulnerable/apparently secure (NatureServe 2005:G3G4 in Canada: Manitoba and the United States: Alaska) and not globally threatened (Burger and Gochfeld 1996). It is federally listed as Threatened on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act, and is considered rare nationally (N2B) and critically imperiled in Manitoba (S1B) (NatureServe 2004). It is globally ranked as G3G4, vulnerable, and its national status in the United States is not assessed except in Alaska where it is classed as S3N, also vulnerable.