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Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia

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) 6,290,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 9,330,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Increasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 12.2 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.240,000-420,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population estimates include: c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Taiwan; < c.50 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Japan and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations are decreasing, stable, or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a large and statistically significant increase over the last 40 years in North America (266% increase over 40 years, equating to a 38.3% increase per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007)

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant     Yes  
Albania Native Extant   Yes    
Algeria Native Extant        
Angola Native Extant        
Anguilla (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Antigua and Barbuda Vagrant Extant        
Aruba (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Australia Native Extant Yes      
Austria Native Extant     Yes  
Azerbaijan Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Bahamas Native Extant        
Bahrain Native Extant     Yes Yes
Bangladesh Native Extant        
Barbados Native Extant        
Belarus Native Extant     Yes  
Belgium Vagrant Extant        
Belize Native Extant Yes      
Benin Unknown Extant        
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Botswana Native Extant        
Brunei Native Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant        
Burkina Faso Native Extant        
Burundi Vagrant Extant        
Cambodia Native Extant        
Cameroon Native Extant        
Canada Native Extant Yes      
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Central African Republic Native Extant        
Chad Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Colombia Native Extant        
Comoros Native Extant        
Congo Native Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Vagrant Extant        
Costa Rica Native Extant   Yes    
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant        
Croatia Vagrant Extant        
Cuba Native Extant        
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Cyprus Native Extant        
Czech Republic Native Extant        
Denmark Native Extinct     Yes  
Djibouti Native Extant        
Dominica Vagrant Extant        
Dominican Republic Native Extant        
Ecuador Vagrant Extant        
Egypt Native Extant Yes      
El Salvador Native Extant   Yes    
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Estonia Native Extant Yes      
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
France Native Extant     Yes  
French Guiana Native Extant        
Gabon Native Extant        
Gambia Native Extant Yes      
Germany Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Ghana Native Extant        
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Greece Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Guadeloupe (to France) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Guatemala Native Extant        
Guinea Native Extant Yes      
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant Yes      
Haiti Native Extant        
Honduras Native Extant        
Hong Kong (China) Native Extant        
Hungary Native Extant        
India Native Extant        
Indonesia Native Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant     Yes Yes
Iraq Native Extant     Yes Yes
Ireland Vagrant Extant        
Israel Native Extant        
Italy Native Extant        
Jamaica Native Extant        
Japan Native Extant        
Jordan Native Extant   Yes    
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant     Yes Yes
Kyrgyzstan Vagrant Extant        
Laos Native Extant        
Latvia Native Extant Yes      
Liberia Native Extant        
Libya Native Extant        
Lithuania Native Extant     Yes  
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Madagascar Native Extant        
Malaysia Native Extant        
Maldives Native Extant        
Mali Native Extant        
Malta Native Extant        
Martinique (to France) Vagrant Extant        
Mauritania Native Extant Yes      
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Moldova Native Extant     Yes  
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Vagrant Extant        
Morocco Native Extant        
Mozambique Native Extant        
Myanmar Native Extant        
Namibia Native Extant Yes      
Nepal Native Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant        
New Zealand Native Extant Yes      
Nicaragua Native Extant        
Niger Native Extant        
Nigeria Native Extant        
Norway Vagrant Extant        
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant        
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant     Yes  
Panama Native Extant        
Philippines Native Extant        
Poland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Portugal Native Extant   Yes    
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant        
Qatar Native Extant       Yes
Romania Native Extant        
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Rwanda Vagrant Extant        
Saudi Arabia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Senegal Native Extant Yes      
Serbia Vagrant Extant        
Seychelles Native Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant        
Singapore Native Extant        
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Slovakia Native Extant     Yes  
Slovenia Vagrant Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Native Extant Yes      
South Sudan Native Extant   Yes   Yes
Spain Native Extant       Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant        
St Kitts and Nevis Vagrant Extant        
St Lucia Vagrant Extant        
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Sudan Native Extant        
Swaziland Vagrant Extant        
Sweden Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Switzerland Native Extant        
Syria Native Extant     Yes  
Taiwan (China) Native Extant   Yes    
Tanzania Native Extant        
Thailand Native Extant        
Timor-Leste Native Extant   Yes    
Togo Native Extant        
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant       Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Uganda Native Extant        
Ukraine Native Extant Yes      
United Arab Emirates Native Extant     Yes Yes
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
USA Native Extant Yes      
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Venezuela Native Extant        
Vietnam Native Extant   Yes    
Virgin Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
Western Sahara Native Extant        
Yemen Native Extant     Yes Yes
Zambia Native Extant        
Zimbabwe Native Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Australia Lake Eyre site factsheet
Australia Paroo Floodplain and Currawinya site factsheet
Australia Strzelecki Desert Lakes site factsheet
Canada Lake St. Martin Islands site factsheet
Canada Limestone Islands site factsheet
Canada Little George Island site factsheet
Canada Pigeon Island site factsheet
Canada Presqu'ile Provincial Park site factsheet
Canada Sand Reef Islands site factsheet
Canada Spruce Island Reef site factsheet
Canada The Cousins site factsheet
Canada The Watchers site factsheet
Colombia Ciénaga Grande, Isla de Salamanca and Sabana Grande RAMSAR biosphere reserve site factsheet
Egypt Hurghada archipelago site factsheet
Estonia Irbe strait site factsheet
Estonia Kahtla-Kübassaare site factsheet
Estonia Väinameri site factsheet
Finland Eckerö and Hammarland archipelago site factsheet
Finland Itäinen Suomenlahti National Park site factsheet
Finland Kirkon-Vilkkiläntura Bay site factsheet
Finland Kokkola and Kälviä archipelago site factsheet
Finland Kristiinankaupunki southern archipelago site factsheet
Finland Krunnit archipelago site factsheet
Finland Merenkurkku archipelago site factsheet
Finland Oulu region wetlands site factsheet
Finland Oura and Enskeri archipelagos site factsheet
Finland Pernaja outer archipelago site factsheet
Finland Pori archipelago and wetlands site factsheet
Finland Porvoo outer archipelago site factsheet
Finland Tammisaari and Inkoo western archipelago site factsheet
France Camargue site factsheet
Gambia Allahein to Kartung coast site factsheet
Gambia Niumi National Park site factsheet
Gambia Tanbi wetland complex site factsheet
Gambia Tanji River (Karinti) Bird Reserve site factsheet
Ghana Keta Lagoon Ramsar Site site factsheet
Greece Lake Amvrakia site factsheet
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary site factsheet
Guinea Iles Tristao site factsheet
Guinea-Bissau Arquipélago dos Bijagós site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bahu Kalat (Gandu) Protected Area site factsheet
Iraq Haur Al Hammar site factsheet
Italy Pantani di Vendicari e di Capo Passero site factsheet
Kenya Tana River Delta site factsheet
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park site factsheet
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo site factsheet
Mali Lac Horo site factsheet
Mauritania Aftout es Sâheli site factsheet
Mauritania Banc d'Arguin National Park site factsheet
Mauritania Cap Blanc site factsheet
Mauritania Chott Boul site factsheet
Mauritania Diawling National Park site factsheet
Mauritania Lac d'Aleg site factsheet
Mongolia Khar Lake site factsheet
Mongolia Khar Us Lake site factsheet
Morocco Baie d'Ad Dakhla site factsheet
Namibia Sandwich Harbour site factsheet
Namibia Walvis Bay site factsheet
Oman Barr al Hikman site factsheet
Oman Duqm site factsheet
Oman Khawr Ghawi site factsheet
Oman Masirah island site factsheet
Romania Black Sea site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Chanovskaya lake system site factsheet
Russia (European) Delta of the Kuban' river site factsheet
Russia (European) Delta of the River Don site factsheet
Russia (European) Dolgy Reef and Bol'shoi Fiskar archipelagos site factsheet
Russia (European) Khanskoye Lake site factsheet
Russia (European) Kiziltash limans site factsheet
Russia (European) Mouth of Samur river site factsheet
Russia (European) Valaamski archipelago site factsheet
Russia (European) Yeiski salt-lakes site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Jiddah south corniche and port site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Tarut Bay site factsheet
Senegal Delta du Saloum site factsheet
Senegal Joal-Fadiouth site factsheet
Senegal La Petite Côte site factsheet
Senegal Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie site factsheet
South Africa Berg River Estuary site factsheet
South Africa Lake St Lucia and Mkuze Swamps site factsheet
Spain Isla Cristina and Ayamonte marshes and Prado lagoon site factsheet
Sweden Archipelago of Östergötland site factsheet
Sweden Björn archipelago site factsheet
Sweden Bråviken - Hävringe site factsheet
Sweden Coastal areas of eastern Gotland island site factsheet
Sweden Coastal areas of eastern Öland island site factsheet
Sweden Gräsö archipelago site factsheet
Sweden Holmöarna archipelago site factsheet
Sweden Lake Storhjälmaren site factsheet
Sweden Lake Tämnaren site factsheet
Sweden Ledskär-Karlholm bay site factsheet
Sweden North-east Scania coastline and archipelago site factsheet
Sweden Outer Stockholm archipelago site factsheet
Sweden Rödkallen-SörÄspen site factsheet
Sweden Strandstuguviken site factsheet
Taiwan (China) Budai Wetlands site factsheet
Turkey Büyük Menderes Delta site factsheet
Turkey Gediz Delta site factsheet
Turkey Keban Islands site factsheet
Turkey South Keban Dam site factsheet
Turkey Tuz Lake site factsheet
Ukraine Karkinits'ka and Dzharylgats'ka bays site factsheet
Ukraine Syvash Bay site factsheet
USA East Sand Island site factsheet
Yemen Aden site factsheet
Yemen Bahr Ibn Abbas - Ra's Isa site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable 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
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Hydroprogne caspia. Downloaded from on 07/10/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 07/10/2015.

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 Pallas, 1770
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 6,290,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change
- 2015 European Red List assessment