Phalacrocorax carbo — Phalacrocorax carbo

A sizable cormorant species with a near-global distribution. It is characterized by its large size, prominent white patch on the throat, and absence of a crest. Breeding adults are distinguished by a circular white patch on their flanks. Immature individuals typically feature a contrasting white belly, while the African «White-breasted» variant exhibits extensive white underparts in all plumages. Often observed perched on rocks or pilings, it dives frequently, preying on fish. This species is adaptable to various water bodies, ranging from rivers and reservoirs to marine environments. In North America, its presence is limited to the coastal regions of the North Atlantic.

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Description Phalacrocorax carbo — Phalacrocorax carbo

1800The Phalacrocorax carbo, commonly known as the great cormorant, is a large black bird with a long neck, a hooked bill, and a distinctive yellow-orange facial skin. It belongs to the family Phalacrocoracidae and is widely distributed across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australasia. Here are the main points about the distribution of the great cormorant:

1. Europe: The great cormorant is widely distributed across Europe, where it can be found in coastal areas, inland water bodies, and estuaries. It inhabits regions from the British Isles to the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

2. Asia: In Asia, the great cormorant has a broad distribution, ranging from the Middle East to as far east as Japan. It is commonly found along the coastlines, rivers, lakes, and wetlands of the region.

3. Africa: The great cormorant is also present in parts of Africa, particularly in countries with extensive coastline such as South Africa and Namibia. It is known to inhabit both freshwater and marine environments in these regions.

4. Australasia: The great cormorant has a significant presence in Australasia, including Australia and New Zealand. It is commonly sighted in coastal areas, harbors, and inland waterways across these countries.

5. North America: While the great cormorant’s native range does not encompass North America, it has expanded its distribution to include parts of the continent, with populations found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, as well as inland areas.

6. Migratory Behavior: Some populations of great cormorants are migratory, particularly those in the northern parts of the range. They may undertake seasonal movements to breeding and wintering grounds, often traveling long distances.

7. Human Impact: Throughout its distribution, the great cormorant has faced various conservation and management challenges due to conflicts with fisheries, habitat degradation, and human disturbance. Efforts to mitigate these challenges have included the designation of protected areas and the implementation of management measures.

In summary, the great cormorant is a widespread and adaptable species with a distribution that spans several continents, encompassing diverse aquatic habitats and coastal regions. Its ability to thrive in various environments has contributed to its presence in multiple countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australasia.

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