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Damara Tern Sternula balaenarum

IUCN Red List Criteria

Near Threatened (criteria nearly met) C2a(i) 

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 Threatened

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) 228,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 392,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 9300 medium Estimated 2002
Population trend Stable poor -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9 - - -
Population justification: The population is estimated at 14,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 9,300 mature individuals.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Angola Native Extant       Yes
Benin Native Extant   Yes    
Cameroon Native Extant   Yes    
Congo Native Extant   Yes    
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant   Yes    
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant   Yes    
Equatorial Guinea Unknown Extant        
Gabon Native Extant   Yes    
Ghana Native Extant   Yes    
Liberia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Namibia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Nigeria Native Extant   Yes    
South Africa Native Extant Yes      
Togo Native Extant   Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Angola Iona National Park site factsheet
Angola Mussulo site factsheet
Angola Quiçama site factsheet
Benin Lake Ahémé and Aho complex site factsheet
Congo Lower Kouilou basin site factsheet
Gabon Akanda site factsheet
Gabon Gamba Protected Areas Complex site factsheet
Gabon Ogooué delta and Mandji island site factsheet
Namibia 30-Kilometre Beach: Walvis - Swakopmund site factsheet
Namibia Cape Cross lagoon site factsheet
Namibia Epupa - Ruacana site factsheet
Namibia Mile 4 saltworks site factsheet
Namibia Namib-Naukluft Park site factsheet
Namibia Sandwich Harbour site factsheet
Namibia Sperrgebiet site factsheet
Namibia Walvis Bay site factsheet
Nigeria Akassa forests site factsheet
South Africa Alexandria coastal belt site factsheet
South Africa Heuningnes river and estuary system site factsheet
South Africa Orange River Mouth Wetlands site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Salt Exploitation Sites suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Salt Exploitation Sites suitable non-breeding
Desert Hot major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes major non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes major non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries major breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable 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 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance
Residential & commercial development Tourism & recreation areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Sternula balaenarum. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/08/2014.

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 (Strickland, 1852)
Population size 9300 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 228,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change