Phalacrocorax perspicillatus Pallas, 1811:305

Spectacled cormorant, Pallas’ cormorant



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Graculus perspicillatus Pallas, 1811:305; Pallasicarbo perspicillatus Pallas, 1811:305; Carbo perspicillatus Pallas, 1811:305; Compsohalieus perspicillatus Pallas, 1811:305; Urile perspicillatus Pallas, 1811:305


Conservation Status


Last record: 1850 (BirdLife International, 2016)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Bering Island, Commander Islands, Russia


Biology & Ecology




Six stuffed specimens plus 2 incomplete skeletons exist in museum collections according to (Day, 1981). The Naturalis [url=]website[/url] states that seven exist:


"Very few specimens of the Spectacled Cormorant have been preserved. In fact, probably none would have been saved but for Governor Kuprianof of the Sitka district in Alaska. All seven museum specimens known today were sold or donated by him. The specimen in the Leiden Museum was originally shipped to the museum in St. Petersburg, which donated it to Leiden. Of the other six, two skins are stored in Tring (England), two in St. Petersburg, one in Dresden and the sixth in the museum in Helsinki."


[url=]RMNH 107.865[/url]


One of the stuffed specimens is in the collection of the Zoological Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Leningrad, a photograph of which can be seen [url=]here[/url] or [url=]here[/url].






Original scientific description:

Pallas, Peter Simon. (1811). [description of Phalacrocorax perspicillatus]. Zoögraphia Rosso-Asiatica, volume 2, p. 305. [3 volume work]


Other references:

BirdLife International. (2008). Phalacrocorax perspicillatus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. ( Downloaded on 03 July 2011.

BirdLife International. 2016. Phalacrocorax perspicillatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22696750A93584099. Downloaded on 27 June 2021.

Brooks, T. 2000. Extinct species. In: BirdLife International (ed.), Threatened Birds of the World, pp. 701-708. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge, U.K.

Carlton, JT, Geller, JB, Reaka-Kudla, ML and Norse, EA (1999) Historical extinctions in the sea. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 30, 515–538.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals: A Natural History of Vanished Species. New York, N.Y.: The Viking Press.

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

del Monte-Luna, P, Lluch-Belda, D, Serviere-Zaragoza, E, Carmona, R, Reyes-Bonilla, H, Aurioles-Gamboa, D, Castro-Aguirre, JL, del Próo SA, G, Trujillo-Millán, O and Brook, BW (2007) Marine extinctions revisited. Fish and Fisheries 8(2), 107–122.

del Monte-Luna, Pablo et al. (2023). A review of recent and future marine extinctions. Cambridge Prisms: Extinction 1: e13.

Dulvy, Nicholas K., Pinnegar, John K. and Reynolds, John D. (2009). Holocene extinctions in the sea, pp. 129-150. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Dulvy, NK, Sadovy, Y and Reynolds, JD (2003) Extinction vulnerability in marine populations. Fish and Fisheries 4(1), 25–64.

Fuller, Errol. (1988). Extinct Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications. 256 pp.

Greenway, J. C. (1967). Extinct and Vanishing Birds of the World. Dover Publications, New York.

Hartert, E. (1920). The birds of the Commander Islands. Novitates Zoologicae 27: 128-129, 148.

Hinds, R. B. (1843-44). The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Sulphur Under the Command of Sir Edward Belcher, 1836-42, pl. 32. Artist, J. Gould.

Hume, JP. (2017) Extinct Birds 2nd Edition

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser. 544 pp.

Kennedy, Martyn & Spencer, Hamish. 2014. Classification of the Cormorants of the World. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution. 79: 249-257.

Knox, Alan G. and Walters, Michael P. (1994). Extinct and endangered birds in the collections of The Natural History Museum. British Ornithologists' Club Occasional Publications 1: 1-292.

Livezey, B. C. 1992. Flightlessness in the Galápagos Cormorant Compsohalieus [Nannopterum] harrisi: heterochrony, giantism and specialization. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 105: 155-224.

Lucas, Frederic A. (1890). Description of some bones of Pallas' cormorant (Phalocrocorax perspicillatus). Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 12: 88-94.

Lucas, Frederic A. (1896). Contributions to the natural history of the Commander Islands. XI. The cranium of Pallas's cormorant. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 18: 717-719.

Olson, Storrs L. (2005). Correction of erroneous records of cormorants from archeological sites in Alaska. Condor 107(4): 930-933. [corrected the misidentification of [i]Phalacrocorax perspicillatus[/i] by Siegel-Causey et. al. 1991]

Palmgren, P. (1935). Ein Exemplar von Phalocrocorax perspicillatus Pall. in den Sammlungen des Zoologischen Museums in Helsingfors. Ornis Fennica 12: 78-80.

Rothschild, Lionel Walter. (1907). Extinct birds: an attempt to write in one volume a short account of those birds which have become extinct in historical times, that is within the last six or seven hundred years: to which are added a few which still exist, but are on the verge of extinction. London: Hutchinson & Co. XXIX + 243 pp. [p. 87, pl. 39]

Rothschild, Walter. (1907). Extinct Birds. pl. 39. Artist, J. G. Keulemans.

Sayol, Ferran, Steinbauer, Manuel J., Blackburn, Tim M., Antonelli, Alexandre and Faurby, Søren. (2020). Anthropogenic extinctions conceal widespread evolution of flightlessness in birds. Science Advances 6(49): eabb6095. [Supplementary Material (Data File S1)]

Siegel-Causey, D.; Lefevre, C. & Savinetskii, A. B. (1991). Historical diversity of cormorants and shags from Amchitka Island, Alaska. Condor' 93(4): 840–852. [an erroneous record of the species from Amchitka Island, Alaska]

Stegman, B. (1936). Ueber das Flugvermögen der ausgestorbenen Scharbe Phalacrocorax perspicillatus Pall. Orn. Monatsb. 44(5): 140-153.

Stejneger, L. (1883). [Status of Pallas' cormorant]. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 6: 65.

Stejneger, L. (1890). Contributions to the history of Pallas' cormorant. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 12: 83-88.

Stejneger, L. (1925). Steller's Journal of the Sea Voyage from Kamchatka to America and Return on the Second Expedition 1741-2. Translated and part-annotated by Leonard Stejneger. American Geographical Society Research Series, no. 2.

Tyrberg, Tommy. (2009). Holocene avian extinctions, pp. 63-106. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Junya Watanabe, Hiroshige Matsuoka, and Yoshikazu Hasegawa. (2018). Pleistocene fossils from Japan show that the recently extinct Spectacled Cormorant (Phalacrocorax perspicillatus) was a relict. The Auk 135(4): 895-907. [Abstract]

Vermeij, G. J. (1993). Biogeography of recently extinct marine species: Implications for conservation. Conservation Biology 7(2): 391-397.

Watanabe, Junya et al. (2020). Pleistocene seabirds from Shiriya, northeast Japan: systematics and oceanographic context. Historical Biology 32(5): 671-729. [Abstract]

Wolff, WJ (2000) The south-eastern North Sea: Losses of vertebrate fauna during the past 2000 years. Biological Conservation 95, 209–217.


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