Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Least Concern

Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus)


French: Goéland austral German: Dickschnabelmöwe Spanish: Gaviota de Tasmania

Larus pacificus


, 1801,

New South Wales, Australia


Often placed in separate genus Gabianus, either alone or with L. scoresbii. Race georgii perhaps poorly differentiated; species considered monotypic by some authors. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. p. georgii P. P. King, 1826 – SW Western Australia and South Australia (including Kangaroo I); post-breeding visitor along coast NW to Shark Bay.
  • L. p. pacificus Latham, 1801 – SE Australia (Victoria) and Tasmania; post-breeding visitor to New South Wales, rarely N to Queensland.
  • Descriptive notes

    58–65 cm; 900–1185 g; wingspan 137–157 cm. White head and underbody, with blackish mantle and wings, the latter with white trailing edge but lacking white... read more


    Gives a shouted “ow-ow” which can be quite long. Also a short “oh oh”, throaty “cark-cark” or “auk-... read more


    Coastal; seldom occurs far inland but it is occasionally seen on farmland and rubbish tips... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fish, squid, and intertidal molluscs, echinoderms and crabs; fish offal, carrion and refuse; eats many gastropods (Turbo undulatus... read more


    September–January. Breeds as scattered single pairs or in small, loose colonies on high points on headlands or islands. A colony of... read more


    Most populations relatively sedentary, but young disperse up to 200 km. Post-breeding movement... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Although not at serious risk it is nowhere common. About 100 breeding colonies known, but the total population is probably does not... read more

    Recommended citation

    Burger, J., Gochfeld, M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).