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synonym shag

I whether the geographical grouping is a good idea. Several species occur in more than one continent eg Great in Europe, Pelagic and Red-faced in Asia. It might be better to just give a straight list of the main genus, and sort out ranges more in species accounts. Some of these, Like Great cormorant, common shag and double-crested are bound to be written. 18:39 Apr 23, 2003 (UTC)

I layed it out that way just as a start. Since I didn't have a complete list of the species, or what order they belong, I just did it that way. It can be changed. Kingturtle 22:01 Apr 23, 2003 (UTC)

Species found in Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica:

I was going to incorporate these changes, but I ran into an edit conflict with you, so I'll leave it for now. I don't think that there is any point grouping geographically, probably simpler to put ranges in species accoubts. I'm astounded that Great cormorant gets to Oz. I assumed it was just Eurasia and Eastern N. Am. After today, I might be off line for a while, since I've got to fly to Edinburgh for a court case (witness, not defendant). Have you seen Talk: Crow? I'd be interested in your views on this. jimfbleak 11:59 Apr 24, 2003 (UTC)
Indeed: HANZAB lists it as Aust, NZ, Eurasia, Iceland, Africa, N-E coast of N America, and Greenland, plus as a scarce visitor to New Guinea. Essentially, everywhere except W N America and S America. BTW, reply on other matters above on your talk page. Tannin

Do these statements contradict each other?

They range around the world, except for Asia and central Pacific islands. Humans have historically exploited cormorants' fishing skills, especially in Japan,

I have seen cormorant fishing in Yangshuo on the Li river in China, and also on the Grand Canal in Suzhou in China. Both Japan and China are in Asia. Kitten kaboodle 02:25, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

and I've seen them in India and Sri Lanka - must be a mistake, so I've removed Asia, jimfbleak

I removed diving depth comment, no evidence that its true for all cormorants, jimfbleak 05:12, 28 March 2006 (UTC)


Diving depth is true for most if not all Cormorants. That fact should stay in but I am changing it to say 'most'. The high resolution image should also stay in. The thumb nail is too small to be very useful. Miskatonic 15:24, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Paradise Lost[edit]

Would it not be important to state that in Paradise Lost, Satan takes the form of a Cormorant?

Cormorants' Fishing[edit]

I have some non-professional photographs that I took in China of cormorants on bamboo rafts being used for fishing. They can be found via the link For example, I uploaded one:

Cormorants used for fishing in China

Ben79 03:11, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Olivaceous Cormorant is Synonym for Neotropic Cormorant[edit]

The Olivaceous Cormorant, Phalacrocorax olivaceous, is now treated as the Neotropic Cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus--see AOU Check-list (1998). That being the case, Olivaceous Cormorant or Mexican Cormorant, Phalacrocorax olivaceous, should be deleted from the list of species as it is synonymous with Neotropic Cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus.

[[John Trapp 18:16, 21 June 2007 (UTC)]]

Proposed Changes in Taxonomy and Nomenclature[edit]

I propose that the list of cormorant species, which currently follows HBW or HANZAB (depending on the part of the world in which a particular species occurs), be modified to conform with the taxonomy, nomenclature, and phylogenetic sequence of Gill and Wright’s (2006) IOC-endorsed Birds of the world: recommended English names (now available online), thus providing a single, universally recognized list of the species in this family. I also propose adding keys (from Gill and Wright) showing the primary regional breeding distribution of each species. Adoption of Gill and Wright would result in the following changes:

Species Added (2): South Georgia and Antarctic shags (both now listed as subspecies of Imperial Shag).

Species Deleted (1): Olivaceous Cormorant (synonymous with Neotropic Cormorant).

Changes in English-Name Modifiers (9): Among cormorants (5): Reed becomes Long-tailed, Wahlberg’s becomes Bank, Pied becomes Australian Pied (to distinguish it from Little Pied), Temminck’s becomes Japanese, and Socotran becomes Socotra. Among shags (4): Common becomes European, White-bellied becomes King, King becomes Rough-faced, and Stewart Island becomes Bronze.

Changes in English Group Names (4): Pelagic, Red-faced, Spotted, and Pitt cormorants become shags.

Changes in Genus Name (10): One cormorant (Cape) and 9 shags (Rock, European, White-bellied [=King], King [=Rough-faced], Stewart Island [=Bronze], Chatham, Campbell, Auckland, and Bounty) are moved from Phalacrocorax to Leucocarbo.

If adopted, the list of 38 recognized species would be re-ordered as follows:

  • Genus Phalacrocorax
    • Little Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos) [AU]+
    • Reed Cormorant (Phalacrocorax africanus) [AF]
    • Crowned Cormorant (Phalacrocorax coronatus) [AF]
    • Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger) [OR]
    • Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) [EU]
    • Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) [NA]
    • Flightless Cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi) [SA]
    • Bank Cormorant (Phalacrocorax neglectus) [AF]
    • Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens) [AU]
    • Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) [LA]
    • Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) [NA, MA]
    • Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) [OR]
    • Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) [AU]
    • Australian Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius) [AU]
    • Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) [EU, AU, OR]
    • White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus) [AF]
    • Japanese Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capillatus) [EU]
  • Genus Leucocarbo
    • Socotra Cormorant (Leucocarbo nigrogularis) [EU]
    • Cape Cormorant (Leucocarbo capensis) [AF]
    • Guanay Cormorant (Leucocarbo bougainvillii) [SA]
    • Rock Shag (Leucocarbo magellanicus) [SA]
    • Pelagic Shag (Leucocarbo pelagicus) [PO]
    • Red-faced Shag (Leucocarbo urile) [PO]
    • European Shag (Leucocarbo aristotelis) [EU]
    • Red-legged Shag (Leucocarbo gaimardi) [SA]
    • Spotted Shag (Leucocarbo punctatus) [AU]
    • Pitt Shag (Leucocarbo featherstoni) [AU]
    • Imperial Shag (Leucocarbo atriceps) [SA]
    • South Georgia Shag (Leucocarbo georgianus) [SO]
    • King Shag (Leucocarbo albiventer) [SA]
    • Antarctic Shag (Leucocarbo bransfieldensis) [AN]
    • Kerguelen Shag (Leucocarbo verrucosus) [IO]
    • Rough-faced Shag (Leucocarbo carunculatus) [AU]
    • Bronze Shag (Leucocarbo chalconotus) [AU]
    • Chatham Shag (Leucocarbo onslowi) [AU]
    • Campbell Shag (Leucocarbo campbelli) [AU]
    • Auckland Shag (Leucocarbo colensoi) [AU]
    • Bounty Shag (Leucocarbo ranfurlyi) [AU]

+Two-letter abbreviations refer to the principal regional breeding range, where AF = Africa, AN = Antarctica, AU = Australasia, EU = Eurasia, IO = Indian Ocean, LA = Latin America, MA = Middle America, NA = North America, OR = Oriental, P0 = Pacific Ocean, SA = South America, SO = Southern Oceans. John Trapp 17:14, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I would support those changes. They are more consistent with the modal tendency of taxonomists of Phalacrocoracidae than what we have at present (I think). We should live with the fact that a thoroughgoing molecular analysis is still to be done (so far as I know) and when it does appear it will probably lead to further revision. The only suggestion I'd add is to give as much help as possible to readers by listing previous names, both common and systematic, since these will frequently be encountered both in bird books and in the research literature seglea 22:04, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
support. Jimfbleak 06:05, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

fishing navigator[edit]

I removed this good-faith addition because only a couple of species are used for this activity, so definitely inappropriate for the family as a whole. Jimfbleak (talk) 10:05, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Camera attached to one for research[edit]

I read a news article at showing they put a camera on a bird, and discovered new things about it. is where the video is at. Might be something of interest to put in the article. Dream Focus 04:17, 1 August 2012 (UTC)


The "Species in phylogenetic sequence" section feels like it's trying to go for the "extreme splitting" classification (Or at least explain it.) (Which I prefer.), yet I personally didn't really understand what belong in what with what. (talk) 23:07, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

A recent paper (Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). Kennedy, M., & H.G. Spencer. 2014. Classification of the cormorants of the world. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 79: 249-257) gives a phylogenetic argument for 7 genera based on >800 bp of DNA sequence data. (talk) 07:38, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

why no section of the adverse ecology effects?[edit]

Worth considering? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:14, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

contradiction in paragraph on wing drying[edit]

Under characteristics, there's a paragraph about why cormorants spread their wings after diving. Most of it is speculation (supported with citations) about the reasons for this, yet it concludes with "this is undoubtedly for ...". Could we fix the language to accurately represent the general consensus of the relevant experts? Either

  1. they're still unsure about it,
  2. they're all* sure about it, or
  3. one theory is accepted by a majority, but either hasn't been conclusively proven, or there are viable alternative theories.**

Currently, the paragraph reads as a combination of 1 and 2.

* or at least the vast majority. there will always be outlying or contradictory opinions.

Dstarfire (talk) 17:14, 4 November 2014 (UTC)