Distribution map
Known ivory gull colonies. Red shaded areas indicate assumed wintering areas.
Image: Canadian Wildlife Service and Norwegian Polar Institute.
The ivory gull has a semi-circumpolar breeding distribution, with scattered colonies in the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Svalbard and the Russian Arctic. The satellite tracking of ivory gulls tagged in Svalbard and Franz Josef Land in 2007 has identified two migration routes; one going westwards towards the east coast of Greenland, Labrador Sea and Davis Strait, and the other eastwards throughout the Laptev, East Siberian and Chuckchi seas towards the Bering Sea. This stresses the importance of Davis Strait as a wintering area for ivory gulls. It is assumed that ivory gulls stay within ice-covered seas and feed along the ice edge.