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LC
Least Tern Sternula antillarum

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) 1,340,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 2,160,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.7 - - -
Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations are increasing or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (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
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 Native Extant        
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Brazil Native Extant        
Canada Native Extant        
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Colombia Native Extant        
Costa Rica Native Extant   Yes    
Cuba Native Extant        
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Dominica Native Extant        
Dominican Republic Native Extant        
Ecuador Vagrant Extant        
El Salvador Native Extant        
French Guiana Native Extant        
Grenada Vagrant Extant        
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant   Yes    
Guatemala Native Extant        
Guyana Native Extant        
Haiti Native Extant        
Honduras Native Extant        
Jamaica Native Extant Yes      
Martinique (to France) Native Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant        
Nicaragua Unknown Extant        
Panama Native Extant        
Peru Native Extant        
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant Yes      
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant        
St Lucia Native Extant        
St Martin (to France) Native Extant Yes      
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant        
Suriname Native Extant        
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant        
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant       Yes
USA Native Extant Yes      
Venezuela Native Extant        
Virgin Islands (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
Virgin Islands (to USA) Native Extant Yes      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Anguilla (to UK) Cauls Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Cove Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Grey Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Long Salt Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Meads Bay Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Prickly Pear (East and West) site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Rendezvous Bay Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Road Salt Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Scrub Island site factsheet
Antigua and Barbuda McKinnons Salt Pond site factsheet
Antigua and Barbuda Offshore Islands site factsheet
Antigua and Barbuda Valley Church Bay site factsheet
Aruba (to Netherlands) San Nicolas Bay Reef Islands site factsheet
Bahamas Booby Island site factsheet
Bahamas Cat Island Wetlands site factsheet
Bahamas Cay Lobos site factsheet
Bahamas Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park site factsheet
Bahamas Grog Pond site factsheet
Bahamas Guana Cays site factsheet
Bahamas Low Cay, High Cay and Sandy Hook site factsheet
Bahamas North Atlantic Abaco Cays site factsheet
Bahamas Sandy Point site factsheet
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Klein Bonaire, Bonaire site factsheet
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Pelkermeer Saltworks, Bonaire site factsheet
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Washikemba - Fontein - Onima, Bonaire site factsheet
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire site factsheet
Cayman Islands (to UK) Central Mangrove Wetland site factsheet
Cayman Islands (to UK) Crown Wetlands site factsheet
Colombia Ciénaga Grande, Isla de Salamanca and Sabana Grande RAMSAR biosphere reserve site factsheet
Cuba Cayería Centro - Oriental de Villa Clara site factsheet
Cuba Cayo Sabinal, Ballenatos y Manglares de la Bahía de Nuevitas site factsheet
Cuba Delta del Cauto site factsheet
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Eastpoint, Curaçao site factsheet
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Jan Thiel Lagoon, Curaçao site factsheet
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Klein Curaçao, Curaçao site factsheet
Curaçao (to Netherlands) North-east Curaçao parks and coast, Curaçao site factsheet
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Sint Jorisbaai-Koraal Tabak, Curaçao site factsheet
Dominican Republic Jaragua National Park site factsheet
French Guiana Amana site factsheet
French Guiana Amana - Marine site factsheet
French Guiana Connétable - Marine site factsheet
French Guiana Ile de Cayenne site factsheet
French Guiana Littoral site factsheet
French Guiana Littoral Iracoubo - Marine site factsheet
French Guiana Littoral Kourou site factsheet
French Guiana Littoral Kourou - Marine site factsheet
French Guiana Littoral Macouria site factsheet
French Guiana Littoral Sinnamary site factsheet
French Guiana Plaine Kaw et Pointe Béhague site factsheet
Guadeloupe (to France) Digue du port de pêche de Saint-François site factsheet
Guadeloupe (to France) îlets de la Petite-Terre site factsheet
Guadeloupe (to France) Pointe des Châteaux site factsheet
Jamaica Black River Great Morass site factsheet
Jamaica Font Hill site factsheet
Jamaica Yallahs site factsheet
Mexico Istmo de Tehuantepec-Mar Muerto site factsheet
Puerto Rico (to USA) Salinas de Punta Cucharas site factsheet
St Kitts and Nevis Ponds of the Southeast Peninsula site factsheet
St Martin (to France) Grand Etang 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
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Salt Cay Creek and Salinas site factsheet
USA Barrier Island/Lagoon System site factsheet
USA Camp Pendleton site factsheet
USA Mission Bay - San Diego River Estuary site factsheet
USA Orange Coast Wetlands site factsheet
USA San Diego Bay - South site factsheet
Virgin Islands (to UK) Anegada: Western salt ponds and coastal areas site factsheet
Virgin Islands (to USA) Great Pond site factsheet
Virgin Islands (to USA) Southgate and Green Cay site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic marginal resident
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  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Sternula antillarum. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/11/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/11/2014.

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 (Lesson, 1847)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,340,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species