Family Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)


Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)


French: Cormoran de Socotra German: Sokotrakormoran Spanish: Cormorán de Socotora

Phalacrocorax nigrogularis

Ogilvie-Grant and H. O. Forbes

, 1899,



Sometimes placed in genus Leucocarbo. Monotypic.


Two subpopulations: in N breeding on Persian Gulf islands off coasts of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, possibly also still off Iran (breeding not confirmed since 1972); S subpopulation breeds on one or more islands in Arabian Sea off Oman and in Gulf of Aden off S Yemen, and confirmed recently also at Socotra. Recently found to occur in Red Sea and reported possible breeding on islands off Eritrea#R. Somewhat more widespread in non-breeding season.

Descriptive notes

76–84 cm; wingspan 102–110 cm. Noticeably slim, long-billed cormorant with short tail and no crest. Breeding adult black with purplish to oily green gloss,... read more


Little information.


Exclusively marine, even to extent of preferring not to fly over land. Breeds on small desert... read more

Food and feeding

Probably mainly fish, particularly small shoaling fish. Prey species poorly known, probably include sardines (Sardinella), scads... read more


Season very variable, with breeding recorded in most months, but each colony is synchronized internally. Breeding reported Jun–Oct at... read more


Migratory or dispersive; poorly known. Disperses over Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, where occurs... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Has small global range within which it is thought to be in rapid decline. Estimated total breeding population c. 110,000 pairs. According to BirdLife... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis). 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 August 2019).