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Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus

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) 24,500 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 22,500,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 3300-13000 poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10.1 - - -
Population justification: The population is estimated to number 5,000-20,000 individuals, roughly equating to 3,300-13,000 mature individuals.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to predation by invasive species and unsustainable levels of exploitation.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Angola Vagrant Extant        
Anguilla (to UK) Native Extant        
Antigua and Barbuda Native Extant        
Bahamas Native Extant        
Bahrain Unknown Extant        
Barbados Native Extant        
Belize Unknown Extant        
Benin Unknown Extant        
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Brazil Native Extant        
Cameroon Unknown Extant        
Cape Verde Native Extant Yes      
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Chile Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes      
Colombia Native Extant        
Congo Unknown Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Unknown Extant        
Costa Rica Vagrant Extant        
Côte d'Ivoire Unknown Extant        
Cuba Native Extant        
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Djibouti Native Extant        
Dominica Native Extant        
Dominican Republic Native Extant        
Ecuador Native Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
El Salvador Native Extant        
Equatorial Guinea Unknown Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
French Guiana Native Extant        
French Polynesia Vagrant Extant        
Gabon Vagrant Extant        
Gambia Vagrant Extant        
Ghana Unknown Extant        
Grenada Native Extant Yes      
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant        
Guatemala Unknown Extant        
Guinea Native Extant        
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant        
Guyana Unknown Extant        
Haiti Native Extant        
Honduras Unknown Extant        
India Vagrant Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Iraq Unknown Extant        
Israel Vagrant Extant        
Jamaica Vagrant Extant        
Jordan Vagrant Extant        
Kuwait Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Liberia Unknown Extant        
Madagascar Vagrant Extant        
Malaysia Vagrant Extant        
Maldives Native Extant        
Martinique (to France) Native Extant        
Mauritania Vagrant Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant        
Myanmar Vagrant Extant        
Netherlands Vagrant Extant        
Nicaragua Unknown Extant        
Nigeria Unknown Extant        
Oman Native Extant       Yes
Pakistan Native Extant        
Panama Native Extant        
Peru Native Extant        
Portugal Native Extant Yes      
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant        
Qatar Native Extant       Yes
São Tomé e Príncipe Unknown Extant        
Saudi Arabia Native Extant       Yes
Senegal Native Extant Yes      
Seychelles Vagrant Extant        
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Vagrant Extant        
Spain Vagrant Extant        
Sri Lanka Vagrant Extant        
St Helena (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant        
St Lucia Native Extant        
St Martin (to France) Native Extant        
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant        
Sudan Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Suriname Unknown Extant        
Togo Unknown Extant        
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant        
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
United Arab Emirates Native Extant Yes      
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
USA Vagrant Extant        
Venezuela Native Extant        
Vietnam Vagrant Extant        
Virgin Islands (to UK) Native Extant       Yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) Native Extant       Yes
Western Sahara Unknown Extant        
Yemen Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Anguilla (to UK) Dog Island site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Prickly Pear (East and West) site factsheet
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Boven, Sint Eustatius site factsheet
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Saba site factsheet
Cape Verde Central mountain range of Ilha de São Nicolau - Marine site factsheet
Cape Verde Coastal cliffs between Porto Mosquito and Baia do Inferno site factsheet
Cape Verde Coastal cliffs between Porto Mosquito and Baia do Inferno - Marine site factsheet
Cape Verde Ilhéu Raso site factsheet
Ecuador Áreas costeras de Fernandina y del occidente de Isabela site factsheet
Ecuador Isla Española site factsheet
Ecuador Isla Floreana site factsheet
Ecuador Isla San Cristóbal site factsheet
Guadeloupe (to France) Falaises du Nord Grande-Terre site factsheet
Guadeloupe (to France) Falaises Nord et Îlet de Vieux-Fort de Marie-Galante site factsheet
Guadeloupe (to France) Pointe des Châteaux site factsheet
Oman Halaaniyaat Islands site factsheet
Oman Khor Mughsayl site factsheet
Oman Musandam islands site factsheet
Senegal Parc National des Iles de la Madeleine site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Ascension Island: mainland and stacks site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Boatswainbird Island site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) North-east St Helena site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) South-west St Helena site factsheet
St Lucia North-east coast site factsheet
St Lucia Point Sables site factsheet
St Martin (to France) Tintamarre site factsheet
Trinidad and Tobago Little Tobago Island site factsheet
Trinidad and Tobago St Giles Islands site factsheet
United Arab Emirates Qarnayn island site factsheet
Virgin Islands (to USA) North-west Cays site factsheet
Yemen Islands north of Al-Hudaydah site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic 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
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Utilisation

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Phaethon aethereus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014.

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 Phaethontidae (Tropicbirds)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size 3300-13000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 24,500 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species