Pomarine Jaeger
(Stercorarius pomarinus)


Picture of bird
© jomilo75 - License
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The breeding distribution of Pomarine Jaegers in Canada comes from a handful of nest records distributed widely across the Arctic; this species remains the most poorly understood of Canada's jaeger species. Off Canada’s west coast, Pomarine Jaegers have been observed in low numbers between April and December, with peak numbers between August and October (Campbell et al. 1990, Kenyon et al. 2009). The birds shift breeding locations from year to year in response to changing densities of lemmings, and few repeated observations from breeding sites are available. The current status of their population in Canada, as well as how it relates to that of about 1970, remains unknown.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaData DeficientData DeficientData Deficient

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada100,000 - 200,000 breeding birds

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Long-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population

Conservation and management

Among the three North American jaeger species, Pomarine Jaegers are the most dependent on lemmings; their breeding distribution and reproductive success appear to track the abundance of lemmings (Wiley and Lee 2000 and references therein). Disruptions in the cycles of lemmings, a predicted effect of global climate change (Post et al. 2009), could therefore adversely affect Pomarine Jaegers.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type