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LC
Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus

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 175 g

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 120,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 173,000,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Unknown -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10.9 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.21,000,000-22,000,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while the population in Japan has been estimated at < c.100,000 breeding pairs and < c.1,000 individuals on migration (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are increasing or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
American Samoa Native Extant Yes      
Angola Unknown Extant        
Anguilla (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
Antigua and Barbuda Native Extant        
Argentina Native Extant        
Aruba (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Australia Native Extant Yes      
Bahamas Native Extant        
Bahrain Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Bangladesh Unknown Extant        
Barbados Native Extant        
Belgium Vagrant Extant        
Belize Native Extant        
Benin Unknown Extant        
Bermuda (to UK) Native Extant        
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Brazil Native Extant        
British Indian Ocean Territory Native Extant Yes      
Cambodia Unknown Extant        
Cameroon Native Extant        
Canada Native Extant        
Cape Verde Vagrant Extant        
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Chile Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Christmas Island (to Australia) Vagrant Extant        
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (to Australia) Native Extant Yes      
Colombia Native Extant        
Comoros Native Extant        
Congo Unknown Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Unknown Extant        
Cook Islands Native Extant Yes      
Costa Rica Native Extant        
Côte d'Ivoire Vagrant Extant        
Cuba Native Extant        
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Denmark Vagrant Extant        
Djibouti Native Extant        
Dominica Native Extant        
Dominican Republic Native Extant        
Ecuador Native Extant        
El Salvador Native Extant        
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant Yes      
Eritrea Vagrant Extant        
Fiji Native Extant       Yes
France Vagrant Extant        
French Guiana Native Extant        
French Polynesia Native Extant Yes      
French Southern Territories Native Extant Yes      
Gabon Unknown Extant        
Gambia Unknown Extant        
Germany Vagrant Extant        
Ghana Vagrant Extant        
Grenada Native Extant        
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant Yes      
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Guatemala Native Extant        
Guinea Unknown Extant        
Guinea-Bissau Unknown Extant        
Guyana Native Extant        
Haiti Native Extant        
Honduras Native Extant        
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant        
Iceland Vagrant Extant        
India Native Extant        
Indonesia Native Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Iraq Unknown Extant        
Israel Vagrant Extant        
Italy Vagrant Extant        
Jamaica Native Extant Yes      
Japan Native Extant        
Kenya Native Extant        
Kiribati Native Extant Yes      
Kuwait Unknown Extant        
Liberia Native Extant        
Madagascar Native Extant        
Malawi Vagrant Extant        
Malaysia Native Extant        
Maldives Native Extant Yes      
Marshall Islands Native Extant Yes      
Martinique (to France) Native Extant        
Mauritania Native Extant        
Mauritius Native Extant Yes      
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant       Yes
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant        
Mozambique Native Extant        
Myanmar Native Extant        
Namibia Unknown Extant        
Nauru Native Extant Yes      
New Caledonia (to France) Native Extant        
New Zealand Native Extant Yes      
Nicaragua Native Extant        
Nigeria Native Extant        
Niue (to New Zealand) Unknown Extant        
Norfolk Island (to Australia) Native Extant Yes      
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant Yes      
Norway Vagrant Extant        
Oman Native Extant Yes      
Pakistan Unknown Extant        
Palau Native Extant Yes      
Panama Native Extant        
Papua New Guinea Native Extant        
Peru Native Extant        
Philippines Native Extant        
Pitcairn Islands (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant        
Réunion (to France) Native Extant Yes      
Samoa Native Extant Yes      
São Tomé e Príncipe Native Extant Yes      
Saudi Arabia Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Senegal Native Extant        
Seychelles Native Extant Yes      
Sierra Leone Vagrant Extant        
Singapore Unknown Extant        
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Solomon Islands Native Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Native Extant        
South Korea Native Extant        
Spain Vagrant Extant        
Sri Lanka Native Extant        
St Helena (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant        
St Lucia Native Extant        
St Martin (to France) Native Extant Yes      
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant        
Sudan Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Suriname Native Extant        
Swaziland Vagrant Extant        
Sweden Vagrant Extant        
Taiwan (China) Native Extant        
Tanzania Native Extant Yes      
Thailand Native Extant        
Timor-Leste Unknown Extant        
Togo Unknown Extant        
Tokelau (to New Zealand) Native Extant Yes      
Tonga Native Extant Yes      
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant        
Tunisia Vagrant Extant        
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
Tuvalu Native Extant Yes      
United Arab Emirates Vagrant Extant     Yes  
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Native Extant Yes      
USA Native Extant Yes      
Vanuatu Native Extant Yes      
Venezuela Native Extant        
Vietnam Native Extant        
Virgin Islands (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
Virgin Islands (to USA) Native Extant Yes      
Wallis and Futuna Islands (to France) Unknown Extant        
Yemen Native Extant     Yes  
Zimbabwe Vagrant Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
American Samoa Rose Atoll site factsheet
American Samoa Rose Atoll Marine site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Dog Island site factsheet
Aruba (to Netherlands) San Nicolas Bay Reef Islands site factsheet
Australia Cato Island (Coral Sea) site factsheet
Australia Houtman Abrolhos site factsheet
Bahamas Cay Sal site factsheet
Bahamas North Atlantic Abaco Cays site factsheet
Brazil Atol das Rocas site factsheet
British Indian Ocean Territory Ile Longue, Peros Banhos site factsheet
British Indian Ocean Territory Ile Parasol, Peros Banhos site factsheet
British Indian Ocean Territory Middle Brother, Chagos Bank site factsheet
Chile Isla Rapa Nui site factsheet
Chile Isla Sala y Gómez site factsheet
Chile Islas Desventuradas site factsheet
Cook Islands Suwarrow Atoll Marine site factsheet
Cook Islands Suwarrow Atoll National Park site factsheet
Dominican Republic Jaragua National Park site factsheet
French Polynesia Ilots rocheux de Ua Huka site factsheet
French Polynesia Ilots rocheux de Ua Pou site factsheet
French Southern Territories Europa site factsheet
French Southern Territories Ile du Lys, Glorieuses Archipelago site factsheet
French Southern Territories Juan de Nova site factsheet
Guadeloupe (to France) Islet of Tête à l’Anglais site factsheet
Jamaica Morant Cays and Bank site factsheet
Jamaica Pedro Cays and Bank site factsheet
Kiribati Millenium (Caroline) Island site factsheet
Kiribati Millenium (Caroline) Island Marine site factsheet
Kiribati Orona Atoll (Hull Island) site factsheet
Kiribati Orona Atoll (Hull Island) Marine site factsheet
Kiribati Rawaki (Phoenix Island) site factsheet
Kiribati Starbuck Island site factsheet
Kiribati Starbuck Island Marine site factsheet
Marshall Islands Bikar Atoll site factsheet
Marshall Islands Bikar Atoll Marine site factsheet
Marshall Islands Bokak Atoll Marine site factsheet
Marshall Islands Taka Atoll site factsheet
Marshall Islands Taka Atoll Marine site factsheet
Marshall Islands Taongi Atoll site factsheet
Martinique (to France) Îlets et falaises de Sainte Anne site factsheet
Mauritius Cargados Carajos shoals (Saint Brandon) site factsheet
Mauritius Serpent Island site factsheet
New Caledonia (to France) Îles des récifs Bampton et Chesterfield site factsheet
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Guguan Island site factsheet
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Guguan Island Marine site factsheet
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Uracus site factsheet
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Uracus Marine site factsheet
Puerto Rico (to USA) Culebra site factsheet
São Tomé e Príncipe Tinhosas islands site factsheet
Seychelles African Banks site factsheet
Seychelles Aride island site factsheet
Seychelles Bird Island site factsheet
Seychelles Cosmoledo atoll site factsheet
Seychelles Desnoeufs island site factsheet
Seychelles Islets of Farquhar atoll site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Ascension Island: mainland and stacks site factsheet
St Lucia Point Sables site factsheet
St Vincent and the Grenadines Petit Canouan site factsheet
Tanzania Latham Island site factsheet
Tonga Fonualei site factsheet
Tonga Fonualei Marine site factsheet
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Turks Bank Seabird Cays site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Baker Island site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Howland and Baker Marine site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Howland Island site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Jarvis Island site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Jarvis Island Marine site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Johnston Atoll site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Johnston Atoll Marine site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Palmyra Atoll site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Palmyra Atoll Marine site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Wake Island site factsheet
USA Northwestern Hawaiian Islands site factsheet
Venezuela Refugio de Fauna Silvestre Isla de Aves site factsheet
Venezuela Wildlife Refuge Bird Island - Marine site factsheet
Virgin Islands (to USA) Saba Island and Cays site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches major breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 50 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Utilisation

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 (2014) Species factsheet: Onychoprion fuscatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014.

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 Least Concern
Family Laridae (Gulls, Terns, Skimmers)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1766
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 120,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change