This species is classified as Vulnerable owing to recent declines over much of its breeding range. Predation by introduced species, disturbance and inappropriate water level management are thought to have contributed most to this decline. However, data is patchy, and a clarification of trends in its strongholds may lead to its status being revised.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 1994. The taxonomy and species of birds of Australia and its territories. Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, Melbourne.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.
The BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group is aware that phylogenetic analyses have been published which have proposed generic rearrangements which may affect this species, but prefers to wait until work by other taxonomists reveals how these changes affect the entire groups involved.
Sternula nereis Christidis and Boles (2008), Sternula nereis nereis Christidis and Boles (2008)
25 cm. Very small white and grey tern with black cap. Upperparts pale grey; white forked tail; underparts white; legs orange-yellow; bill yellow-brown; white forehead with black crown, nape and line to eye. Similar species: Very similar to Little Tern S. albifrons except upperwings more uniformly grey and forehead steep. Hints: . Voice: Flight call high pitched 'zwitt'.
Baling, M.; Jeffries, D.; Barré, N.; Brunton, D. H. 2009. A survey of Fairy Tern (Sterna nereis) breeding colonies in the Southern Lagoon, New Caledonia. Emu 109(1): 57-61.
Higgins, P. J.; Davies, S. J. J. F. 1996. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds vol 3: snipe to pigeons. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Parrish, R.; Honnor, L. 1997. New Zealand Fairy Tern (Tara-iti) Sterna nereis davisae recovery plan 1997-2002. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
Preddey, J. M. 2008. Post-fledging parental care of a juvenile New Zealand Fairy Tern (Sterna nereis davisae). Notornis 55(3): 159-161.
Taylor, G. A. 2000. Action plan for seabird conservation in New Zealand. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
Further web sources of information
View photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection
Text account compilers
Anderson, O., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Garnett, S., Harding, M., Mahood, S., McClellan, R.
Baker, P., Barr, N., Burbidge, A., Burbidge, A., Christidis, L., Ford, H., Garnett, S., Herman, K., Holmes, D., Lacey, G., Menkhorst, P., Paton, D., Saunders, D.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Sterna nereis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2013. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2013.
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.
Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Vulnerable|
|Family||Laridae (Gulls and terns)|
|Species name author||(Gould, 1843)|
|Population size||2500-9999 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||11,700 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|