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Elegant Tern Thalasseus elegans

IUCN Red List Criteria

Near Threatened (criteria nearly met) D2 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Near Threatened
2010 Near Threatened
2008 Near Threatened
2006 Near Threatened
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
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) 1,400 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 2,160,000 medium
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 1,300 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals medium Estimated 2002
Population trend Stable poor -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10.9 - - -
Population justification: Kushlan et al. (2002).
Trend justification: The population is suspected to undergo dramatic fluctuations in response to El Niño Southern Oscillation events and subsequent fluctuations in fish populations (Velarde and Anderson 1994, B. Tershy and B. Keitt in litt. 1999).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Belgium Vagrant Extant        
Chile Native Extant   Yes    
Colombia Native Extant   Yes    
Costa Rica Native Extant   Yes    
Denmark Vagrant Extant        
Ecuador Native Extant   Yes    
El Salvador Native Extant   Yes    
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Vagrant Extant        
France Vagrant Extant        
Guatemala Unknown Extant   Yes    
Honduras Unknown Extant        
Ireland Vagrant Extant        
Mexico Native Extant Yes      
Nicaragua Native Extant   Yes    
Panama Native Extant   Yes    
Peru Native Extant        
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
USA Native Extant Yes      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Chile Bahía de Mejillones site factsheet
Chile Chan chan site factsheet
Chile Costa sur de Arica site factsheet
Chile Desembocadura del río Chauhuín site factsheet
Chile Desembocadura del Río Itata site factsheet
Chile Desembocadura del Río Lluta site factsheet
Chile Desembocadura del Río Maipo site factsheet
Chile Estero Mantagua y Desembocadura del Río Aconcagua site factsheet
Chile Humedal-Estuario Tubul-Raqui site factsheet
Chile Humedal-Marisma Rocuant Andalién site factsheet
Chile Lago Budi site factsheet
Chile Muelle Casa del Soldado site factsheet
Chile Paradero de aves Roquerios de Laucho y Lisera site factsheet
Chile Patranca Island site factsheet
Chile Playa las Machas site factsheet
Chile Playa sector Chacalluta site factsheet
Chile Playa Sur de Arica site factsheet
Chile Puerto de Arica site factsheet
Ecuador Lagunas de Ecuasal-Salinas site factsheet
Mexico Istmo de Tehuantepec-Mar Muerto site factsheet
Peru Laguna de Ite site factsheet
Peru Reserva Nacional de Paracas site factsheet
USA Pier 400 Tern Colony (formerly Terminal Island) site factsheet
USA San Diego Bay site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

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

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources / Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Unknown Past Impact
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Other impacts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Causing/Could cause fluct Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance

Utilisation

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Thalasseus elegans. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/09/2014.

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 Near Threatened
Family Laridae (Gulls, Terns, Skimmers)
Species name author Gambel, 1849
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,400 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species