Phalacrocorax Aristotelis are medium-sized, slender-billed, marine cormorant with oily-green plumage and yellow gape. Sexes alike but noticeable seasonal differences; adult‘s forward-curving crest present only in breeding season. At close range adult unmistakable and immature differs from young Cormorant in smaller size, slimmer build, much slenderer bill, and (except for Mediterranean race) much less white on brown breast, though sometimes white spot on chin. At longer ranges, sometimes difficulty in distinguishing these 2 species, particularly immatures but also adults if white patches on Cormorant cannot be seen. At all times, however, slimmer build, shorter neck, smaller head, and faster wing-beats of Shag help identification.

European Shagbreeds in coastal areas of north-western and southern Europe, which constitutes 75% of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is relatively small (81,000 pairs), but increased substantially between 1970-1990. Although it was stable or increased in most countries during 1990-2000, there were declines in the United Kingdom, and the species underwent a moderate decline (10%) overall.
This cormorant inhabits the rocky coasts of Europe and North Africa. The race desmarestii belongs to the Mediterranean and Black seas. Unlike the nominate race, inhabiting the Atlantic coasts, it undergoes a steady decline and its population inside the European Union is now reduced to a mere 3000-3500 breeding pairs

Breeds in small deepenings, niches, grottoes and cornices in the high sheer and rocky areas of the Crimean coast. Separate colonies are common, but sometimes mix with Cormorants, Yellow-legged Gulls and Rock Doves. The two kilometre water zone along the Black Sea coast is the principal feeding habitat. Small sea fish comprise its basic diet; copepods are also consumed. The major limiting factors are disturbance at the breeding sites, water pollution by oil products and solid domestic waste.

Breeding resident species. Arrival in the colony area depends on the weather and is prolonged from late February to early April. Breeding density and altitude (3-15 m) vary. Clutch size 2-3, infrequently 4 eggs. Egg-laying is prolonged up to more than 2 months. After the leaving of the nest birds occur in the surroundings of the colony. Second year birds, making in some areas up to 30-50% of the total numbers, keep to the colonies too. The best assimilated feeding habitat is the 200 metre strip of the sea along the shore-line. Gobies (Gobiidae) and scads (Carangidae) predominate in the diet.

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