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Stercorarius maccormicki   Saunders, 1893

south polar skua

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Stercorarius maccormicki   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Classification Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Aves | Charadriiformes | Stercorariidae

Main reference References | Biblio | Coordinator | Collaborators

Harrison, P. 1983. (Ref. 8812)

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 53.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 8812); max. published weight: 1.3 kg (Ref. 356)



Climate / Range


Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Pacific Ocean, Southwest Atlantic and Antarctic Atlantic. Subtropical to polar.

Short description

Wing: 39.55 cm.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Wingspan: 127 cm (Ref. 8812). A pelagic, long-lived seabird. Breeds mainly along the coast and associated islands in the Antarctic continent, possibly extending inland in the South Shetland and South Orkeny Islands; possibly the southernmost breeding bird in the world, recorded at Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole. In some localities, may be found nesting in sympatry with Brown Skuas (Stercorarius antarcticus) and notably feed exclusively at sea while Brown Skuas feed on land (Ref. 95073). However, where there is allopatric nesting, it forages both at sea and terrestrially, mainly on penguin eggs and chicks (Ref. 95081). Exhibits a variety of foraging tactics but feeds mainly on penguins and pelagic fish. First breeding at 7 to 9 years of age. Breeding pairs nest in areas without snow and ice; typically lays two eggs. Size of breeding colonies vary; the largest colony at Cape Crozier, Ross Island, with ca.1000 breeding pairs. At Cape Crozier, breeding span recorded at almost 16 years. Monogamous for multiple seasons and with high site-fidelity. Generally breed in association with Adelie Penguins and may be the only avian predator bearing a major impact on populations of breeding seabirds in the Antarctic (Ref. 95073).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 114614)


CITES status (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

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More information

Common names
Egg development
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | Check for other websites | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Scirus | FishBase | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimation of some characteristics with mathematical models

Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
Moderate vulnerability (41 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)