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Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

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


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 42,300,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Stable -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10.5 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.150,000-1,100,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in China; c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Taiwan and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in Japan (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Australia Native Extant Yes      
Bahrain Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Bangladesh Native Extant        
British Indian Ocean Territory Native Extant        
Brunei Native Extant        
Cambodia Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Cook Islands Native Extant Yes      
Djibouti Native Extant Yes      
Egypt Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Fiji Native Extant Yes      
French Polynesia Native Extant        
Guam (to USA) Native Extant       Yes
India Native Extant        
Indonesia Native Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Iraq Native Extant       Yes
Israel Native Extant        
Japan Native Extant        
Jordan Vagrant Extant        
Kenya Native Extant        
Kiribati Native Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant       Yes
Madagascar Native Extant Yes      
Malaysia Native Extant Yes      
Maldives Native Extant Yes      
Marshall Islands Native Extant Yes      
Mauritius Native Extant        
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant        
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant Yes      
Mozambique Native Extant        
Myanmar Native Extant        
Namibia Native Extant Yes      
Nauru Vagrant Extant        
New Caledonia (to France) Native Extant Yes      
New Zealand Vagrant Extant        
North Korea Vagrant Extant        
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Oman Native Extant     Yes Yes
Pakistan Native Extant        
Palau Native Extant Yes      
Papua New Guinea Native Extant Yes      
Philippines Native Extant Yes      
Qatar Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Saudi Arabia Native Extant       Yes
Seychelles Native Extant Yes      
Singapore Native Extant        
Solomon Islands Native Extant Yes      
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Native Extant Yes      
Sri Lanka Native Extant        
Sudan Native Extant Yes      
Taiwan (China) Native Extant Yes      
Tanzania Native Extant Yes      
Thailand Native Extant        
Timor-Leste Native Extant       Yes
Tonga Native Extant Yes      
Tuvalu Native Extant Yes      
United Arab Emirates Native Extant       Yes
USA Vagrant Extant        
Vanuatu Native Extant Yes      
Vietnam Native Extant        
Wallis and Futuna Islands (to France) Native Extant        
Yemen Native Extant     Yes Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Australia Bountiful Islands site factsheet
Australia Lowendal Islands site factsheet
Australia Michaelmas Cay site factsheet
Australia Pearce, Urquhart and Hervey Islands (Sir Edward Pellew Group) site factsheet
Australia Seagull Island (Tiwi Islands) site factsheet
China (mainland) Beiji Islands site factsheet
China (mainland) Jiushan Islands Nature Reserve site factsheet
China (mainland) Taizhou Islands site factsheet
China (mainland) Yushan Islands site factsheet
Djibouti Les Sept Frères site factsheet
India Baliapannium Islands site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bahu Kalat (Gandu) Protected Area site factsheet
Japan Nishinoshima island site factsheet
Japan Senkaku islands site factsheet
Madagascar Cape Anorontany archipelago site factsheet
Madagascar Southwestern Coastal Wetlands and Nosy Manitse site factsheet
Malaysia Kinabatangan floodplain site factsheet
Malaysia Pulau Layang-Layang site factsheet
Namibia Cape Cross lagoon site factsheet
Namibia Lüderitz Bay islands site factsheet
Namibia Sandwich Harbour site factsheet
Namibia Sperrgebiet site factsheet
Namibia Walvis Bay site factsheet
Oman Al Batinah coast site factsheet
Oman Barr al Hikman site factsheet
Oman Duqm site factsheet
Oman Halaaniyaat Islands site factsheet
Oman Khawr ad Dahariz site factsheet
Oman Khawr Hassan site factsheet
Oman Masirah island site factsheet
Oman Ras al Hadd site factsheet
Philippines Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Gulf coral islands site factsheet
Seychelles Cosmoledo atoll site factsheet
Singapore Kranji-Mandai site factsheet
Singapore Ubin-Khatib site factsheet
South Africa Dassen Island site factsheet
South Africa Dyer Island Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa False Bay Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Lower Berg river wetlands site factsheet
South Africa Robben Island National Historical Monument site factsheet
South Africa West Coast National Park and Saldanha Bay islands site factsheet
Sudan Suakin archipelago site factsheet
Taiwan (China) Matsu (Mazu) Islands Tern Refuge site factsheet
Taiwan (China) Northeastern Sea Islets site factsheet
Taiwan (China) Southern Sea Islets site factsheet
Tanzania Latham Island site factsheet
Yemen Abdullah Gharib lagoons site factsheet
Yemen Aden site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Salt Exploitation Sites suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Salt Exploitation Sites suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Wastewater Treatment Areas suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Wastewater Treatment Areas suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Eggs Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Thalasseus bergii. Downloaded from on 06/05/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/05/2015.

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 Least Concern
Family Laridae (Gulls, Terns, Skimmers)
Species name author Lichtenstein, 1823
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 42,300,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change