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Alca torda   Linnaeus, 1758

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Alca torda
Picture by Fenwick, David

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Aves | Charadriiformes | Alcidae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Others; depth range 0 - 120 m (Ref. 62202).  Polar; 82°N - 27°N, 80°W - 42°E (Ref. 124582)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Northwest Atlantic, Eastern Atlantic and the Arctic: Polar to temperate.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm Max length : 45.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 8812); max. published weight: 719.00 g (Ref. 356)

Short description Morphology

Culmen: 3.45 cm; tarsus: 2.963 cm; wing: 21.13 cm.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Total Length: 40 to 45 cm; Wingspan: 63 to 66 cm (Ref. 8812). Found along coasts; <15 km (Ref. 356). In the North Sea off the east coast of Scotland and northern England, this species primarily forage inshore and feed on the sandeel, Ammodytes marinus (Ref. 95711). Known to be pursuit divers (Ref. 356). They surface-feed by scooping prey from the water and also able to exploit the water column by diving; carrying prey in their bills back to their colony. In nesting colonies, breeding pairs share incubation and chick-rearing duties. Adults feed their chicks with regurgitated food (Ref. 95711). Breeds in small numbers (Ref. 118435).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Breeds from northern Europe east to Russia, Iceland, Greenland, and coastal North America from Baffin Island south to the Maritime Provinces and Maine. Winters from Greenland south even to South Carolina, and in Europe to the Mediterranean. Eggs are laid from early June to early August (Ref. 87872).

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Camphuysen, C.J.K. 1998. (Ref. 7319)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)

  Near Threatened (NT) (A4ab); Date assessed: 07 August 2018

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

| FishSource |


More information

Common names
Egg development
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Gomexsi | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 2.3 - 12.7, mean 8.1 (based on 1259 cells).
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
Low to moderate vulnerability (35 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)