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VU
Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered  
Vulnerable  

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Vulnerable
2012 Vulnerable
2008 Vulnerable
2006 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type continent
Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 252,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 155,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 4000-6700 medium Estimated 0
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulation 1001-10000 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.5 - - -
Population justification: The population was estimated to number 10,000 individuals by Perennou et al. (1994), but BirdLife International (2001) considered that it may well have fallen below this level given the evidence of declines throughout its range. The Asian Waterbird Census recorded 5,542 in 2001 (Li and Mundkur 2004). S. Balachandran (in litt. 2005) estimated the Indian population to be 2,500 individuals. Its total poulation is estimated at 6,000-10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 4,000-6,700 mature individuals.
Trend justification: Rapid population declines are suspected to be occurring, in line with the widespread degradation of riverine and wetland habitats throughout the species's range.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Bangladesh Native Extant       Yes
Cambodia Native Possibly Extinct        
China (mainland) Native Extinct        
India Native Extant Yes      
Iran, Islamic Republic of Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Laos Native Extinct        
Myanmar Native Extant Yes      
Nepal Native Extant       Yes
Oman Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Pakistan Native Extant Yes      
Thailand Vagrant Extant        
Vietnam Native Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Bangladesh Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta site factsheet
Bangladesh Jamuna-Brahmaputra river site factsheet
Bangladesh Sunderbans (East, South, West Wildlife Sanctuaries) site factsheet
Bangladesh Teknaf Game Reserve site factsheet
India Alniya Dam site factsheet
India Banni Grassland and Chhari Dhand site factsheet
India Bhashkarpara site factsheet
India Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park site factsheet
India Buxa Tiger Reserve (National Park) site factsheet
India D'Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India Dibru - Saikhowa Complex site factsheet
India Farakka Barrage and adjoining area site factsheet
India Flamingo City site factsheet
India Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India Harike Lake Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
India Kaziranga National Park site factsheet
India Keoladeo National Park and Ajan Bande site factsheet
India Khijadiya Lake and Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
India Kumbalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India Madhav National Park site factsheet
India Manjira Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India Marine National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India Nalabana Bird Sanctuary (Chilika Lake) site factsheet
India Nalsarovar Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Agra/Etawah) (part of National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary AZE) site factsheet
India National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Bundi/Kota) (part of National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary AZE) site factsheet
India Okhla Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
India Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India Sailana Kharmor Sanctuary site factsheet
India Sanjay Gandhi National Park site factsheet
India Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary site factsheet
India Wetlands of Kheda site factsheet
India Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
Myanmar Ayeyarwady River: Bagan Section site factsheet
Myanmar Inle Lake site factsheet
Nepal Chitwan National Park site factsheet
Nepal Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage site factsheet
Pakistan Haleji Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
Pakistan Indus Dolphin Reserve and Kandhkot wetlands site factsheet
Pakistan Indus Waterfowl Refuge site factsheet
Pakistan Keti Bundar North Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
Pakistan Kirthar National Park (including Hub Dam) site factsheet
Pakistan Manchar Lake site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases / House Crow (Corvus splendens) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
None
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use / Large dams Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use / Small dams Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents / Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Rynchops albicollis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/11/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/11/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Laridae (Gulls, Terns, Skimmers)
Species name author Swainson, 1838
Population size 4000-6700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 252,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species