email a friend
printable version
LC
Royal Tern Sterna maxima

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 -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 983,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 1,910,000 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) 11.2 - - -
Trend justification: The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant increase over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007) Note, however, that these surveys cover less than 50% of the species's range in North America.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Angola Native Extant      
Anguilla (to UK) Native Extant      
Antigua and Barbuda Native Extant      
Argentina Native Extant      
Aruba (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Bahamas Native Extant      
Barbados Native Extant      
Belize Vagrant Extant      
Benin Native Extant      
Bermuda (to UK) Native Extant      
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Brazil Native Extant      
Cameroon Native Extant      
Canada Native Extant      
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant      
Chile Unknown Extant      
Colombia Native Extant      
Congo Native Extant      
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant      
Costa Rica Native Extant   Yes  
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant      
Cuba Native Extant      
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Dominica Native Extant      
Dominican Republic Native Extant      
Ecuador Native Extant   Yes  
El Salvador Native Extant      
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant      
French Guiana Native Extant      
Gabon Native Extant      
Gambia Native Extant Yes    
Ghana Native Extant      
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant      
Grenada Native Extant      
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant      
Guatemala Native Extant      
Guinea Native Extant   Yes  
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant Yes    
Guyana Native Extant      
Haiti Native Extant      
Honduras Native Extant      
Ireland Vagrant Extant      
Jamaica Native Extant      
Liberia Native Extant      
Martinique (to France) Native Extant      
Mauritania Native Extant Yes    
Mexico Native Extant      
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant      
Morocco Native Extant      
Mozambique Unknown Extant      
Namibia Native Extant      
Nicaragua Native Extant      
Nigeria Native Extant      
Norway Vagrant Extant      
Panama Native Extant      
Paraguay Vagrant Extant     Yes
Peru Native Extant      
Portugal Vagrant Extant      
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant      
Senegal Native Extant Yes    
Sierra Leone Native Extant      
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Spain Vagrant Extant      
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant      
St Lucia Native Extant   Yes  
St Martin (to France) Native Extant      
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant      
Sudan Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Suriname Native Extant      
Togo Native Extant      
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant      
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant   Yes  
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant      
Uruguay Native Extant Yes    
USA Native Extant Yes    
Venezuela Native Extant      
Virgin Islands (to UK) Native Extant      
Virgin Islands (to USA) Native Extant      
Western Sahara Native Extant      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Anguilla (to UK) Meads Bay Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Scrub Island site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) West End Pond site factsheet
Antigua and Barbuda Offshore Islands site factsheet
Argentina Reserva de Biosfera Albufera de Mar Chiquita site factsheet
Aruba (to Netherlands) San Nicolas Bay Reef Islands site factsheet
Bahamas Booby Rocks and Pirates Bay site factsheet
Bahamas Cay Sal site factsheet
Bahamas Graham's Harbour site factsheet
Bahamas Great Inagua site factsheet
Bahamas Harrold and Wilson Ponds National Park site factsheet
Bahamas Red Bays site factsheet
Bahamas Samana Cay site factsheet
Bahamas South Beach Tidal Flats site factsheet
Benin Lake Ahémé and Aho complex site factsheet
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Pelkermeer Saltworks, Bonaire site factsheet
Costa Rica Nicoya Gulf mangroves and coastal areas site factsheet
Costa Rica Sierpe Wetlands and Osa Peninsula site factsheet
Cuba Cayería Centro - Oriental de Villa Clara site factsheet
Cuba Gran Humedal del Norte de Ciego de Ávila site factsheet
French Guiana Connétable site factsheet
French Guiana Connétable - Marine site factsheet
French Guiana Plaine Kaw et Pointe Béhague site factsheet
Gabon Akanda site factsheet
Gabon Gamba Protected Areas Complex site factsheet
Gabon Ogooué delta and Mandji island site factsheet
Gambia Niumi National Park site factsheet
Gambia Tanbi wetland complex site factsheet
Gambia Tanji River (Karinti) Bird Reserve site factsheet
Ghana Amansuri wetland site factsheet
Ghana Densu Delta Ramsar Site site factsheet
Ghana Keta Lagoon Ramsar Site site factsheet
Ghana Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site site factsheet
Ghana Songor Ramsar Site site factsheet
Guinea Ile Alcatraz et Ile du Naufrage site factsheet
Guinea Ile Blanche site factsheet
Guinea Rio Kapatchez site factsheet
Guinea-Bissau Arquipélago dos Bijagós site factsheet
Jamaica Black River Great Morass site factsheet
Jamaica Morant Cays and Bank site factsheet
Jamaica Pedro Cays and Bank site factsheet
Liberia Cape Mount site factsheet
Mauritania Banc d'Arguin National Park site factsheet
Puerto Rico (to USA) Culebra site factsheet
Senegal Delta du Saloum site factsheet
Senegal Joal-Fadiouth site factsheet
Senegal Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie site factsheet
Sierra Leone Yawri Bay site factsheet
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Pelikan Rock, Sint Maarten site factsheet
St Barthelemy (to France) Turtle Island site factsheet
St Lucia Mandele Dry Forest site factsheet
St Lucia North-east coast site factsheet
St Lucia Pitons Management Area site factsheet
St Lucia Point Sables site factsheet
St Vincent and the Grenadines All Awash Island site factsheet
St Vincent and the Grenadines Mustique Island site factsheet
St Vincent and the Grenadines Petit Canouan site factsheet
Trinidad and Tobago West Coast Mudflats site factsheet
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Caicos Bank Southern Cays site factsheet
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) East Caicos and adjacent areas site factsheet
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Fish Ponds and Crossing Place Trail, Middle Caicos site factsheet
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Grand Turk Salinas and Shores site factsheet
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) North, Middle and East Caicos Ramsar Site site factsheet
USA Altamaha River Delta site factsheet
USA Barrier Island/Lagoon System site factsheet
Virgin Islands (to UK) Anegada: Western salt ponds and coastal areas site factsheet
Virgin Islands (to USA) Saba Island and Cays site factsheet
Virgin Islands (to USA) Southgate and Green Cay site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major 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 passage
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 - 100 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Utilisation

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Sterna maxima. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/07/2014.

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 and terns)
Species name author Boddaert, 1783
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 983,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Climate change species distributions