Birds of the World

Phalacrocoracidae : Cormorants

Guanay Cormorant

Phalacrocorax bougainvillii

Islas Ballestas, Peru - November 2008

Guanay Cormorant is a common species found along most of the Pacific coast of South America.

Islas Ballestas, Peru - November 2008

Its population has declined significantly due to the effects of disturbance from guano extraction from its breeding colonies and overfishing.  Natural phenomena have also had drastic effects on its population.  For example, the Niño conditions of 1982-1983 reduced the Peruvian population from over 3million to under 900,000. 

Islas Ballestas, Peru - November 2008

They do, however, exhibit a remarkable ability to recover their population numbers dramatically.  Only three years after the Niño crash of 1982, the population had increased by 150% and was back up to just under 1.4million birds.