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Brown Booby Sula leucogaster

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 not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 26,600,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 136,000,000
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) 17.3 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number > c.200,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1992), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Taiwan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs, c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to disturbance and unsustainable levels of exploitation.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
American Samoa Native Extant      
Anguilla (to UK) Native Extant Yes    
Antigua and Barbuda Native Extant      
Argentina Native Extant      
Aruba (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Australia Native Extant Yes    
Bahamas Native Extant      
Barbados Native Extant      
Belize Native Extant      
Benin Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Brazil Native Extant      
British Indian Ocean Territory Native Extant Yes    
Brunei Native Extant      
Cambodia Unknown Extant      
Cameroon Unknown Extant      
Canada Native Extant      
Cape Verde Native Extant      
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant      
Chile Unknown Extant      
China (mainland) Native Extant      
Christmas Island (to Australia) Native Extant Yes    
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (to Australia) Native Extant Yes    
Colombia Native Extant      
Comoros Native Extant      
Cook Islands Native Extant Yes    
Costa Rica Native 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 Native Extant      
Eritrea Native Extant      
Fiji Native Extant      
French Guiana Native Extant      
French Polynesia Native Extant Yes    
French Southern Territories Unknown Extant      
Gabon Native Extant      
Gambia Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Ghana Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Grenada Native Extant      
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant      
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes  
Guatemala Native Extant      
Guinea Native Extant Yes    
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant      
Guyana Native Extant      
Haiti Native Extant      
Honduras Native Extant      
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant   Yes  
India Native Extant      
Indonesia Native Extant      
Israel Native Extant      
Jamaica Native Extant Yes    
Japan Native Extant      
Jordan Native Extant   Yes  
Kenya Native Extant      
Kiribati Native Extant      
Liberia Native Extant      
Madagascar Native Extant      
Malaysia Native Extant      
Maldives Native Extant      
Marshall Islands Native Extant Yes    
Martinique (to France) Native Extant      
Mauritania Native Extant      
Mauritius Unknown Extant      
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant      
Mexico Native Extant      
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant Yes    
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant      
Morocco Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Mozambique Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Myanmar Native Extant      
Nauru Native Extant   Yes  
New Caledonia (to France) Native Extant Yes    
New Zealand Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Nicaragua Native Extant      
Nigeria Native Extant      
Norfolk Island (to Australia) Unknown Extant      
North Korea Unknown Extant      
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant Yes    
Oman Native Extant   Yes  
Pakistan Unknown Extant      
Palau Native Extant Yes    
Panama Native Extant      
Papua New Guinea Unknown Extant      
Philippines Native Extant Yes    
Pitcairn Islands (to UK) Unknown Extant      
Portugal Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant      
Samoa Native Extant      
São Tomé e Príncipe Native Extant Yes    
Saudi Arabia Native Extant      
Senegal Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Seychelles Native Extant      
Sierra Leone Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Singapore Native Extant      
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Solomon Islands Native Extant Yes    
Somalia Native Extant      
South Africa Vagrant Extant   Yes  
South Korea Unknown Extant      
Spain Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Sri Lanka Native Extant      
St Helena (to UK) Native Extant      
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant      
St Lucia Native Extant      
St Martin (to France) Native Extant      
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant      
Sudan Native Extant      
Suriname Native Extant      
Taiwan (China) Native Extant      
Tanzania Unknown Extant      
Thailand Native Extant      
Timor-Leste Native Extant   Yes  
Togo Unknown Extant      
Tokelau (to New Zealand) Unknown Extant      
Tonga Native Extant Yes    
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant      
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant Yes    
Tuvalu Unknown Extant      
United Arab Emirates Vagrant Extant   Yes  
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Native Extant Yes    
Uruguay Vagrant Extant   Yes  
USA Native Extant      
Vanuatu Native Extant Yes    
Venezuela Native Extant      
Vietnam Native Extant      
Virgin Islands (to UK) Native Extant      
Virgin Islands (to USA) Native Extant      
Wallis and Futuna Islands (to France) Native Extant Yes    
Western Sahara Unknown Extant      
Yemen Native Extant      

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
Anguilla (to UK) Sombrero site factsheet
Antigua and Barbuda Redonda site factsheet
Australia Adele Island site factsheet
Australia Ashmore Reef site factsheet
Australia Bedout Island site factsheet
Australia Booby Island (Kimberley) site factsheet
Australia Capricornia Cays site factsheet
Australia Cato Island (Coral Sea) site factsheet
Australia Islands North of Port Stewart site factsheet
Australia Lacepede Islands site factsheet
Australia Manowar and Rocky Islands site factsheet
Australia Raine Island, Moulter and Maclennan Cays site factsheet
Australia Stapleton Island site factsheet
Australia Wilson Reef (Great Barrier Reef) site factsheet
Bahamas Booby Cay site factsheet
Bahamas Booby Rocks and Pirates Bay site factsheet
Bahamas Cay Verde site factsheet
Bahamas Graham's Harbour site factsheet
Bahamas Mira Por Vos site factsheet
Bahamas Sandy Point site factsheet
Brazil Arquipélago dos Alcatrazes site factsheet
Christmas Island (to Australia) Christmas Island site factsheet
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Gorgona site factsheet
Dominica L'llet site factsheet
Dominica Point Des Foux site factsheet
Guinea Ile Alcatraz et Ile du Naufrage site factsheet
Guyana Shell Beach site factsheet
Indonesia Pulau Gunung Api site factsheet
Indonesia Pulau Manuk site factsheet
Jamaica Pedro Cays and Bank site factsheet
Japan Danjo islands site factsheet
Japan Senkaku islands site factsheet
Kiribati Malden Island site factsheet
Kiribati Malden Island Marine site factsheet
Martinique (to France) Rocher du Diamant site factsheet
Mexico Bay and Islands of San Jorge site factsheet
Micronesia, Federated States of Gaferut Island Marine site factsheet
New Caledonia (to France) Île Matthew site factsheet
Nicaragua Booby Cay Island site factsheet
Philippines Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park site factsheet
Puerto Rico (to USA) Culebra site factsheet
Puerto Rico (to USA) Mona and Monito site factsheet
São Tomé e Príncipe Tinhosas islands site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Farasan Islands site factsheet
St Barthelemy (to France) Îlets les Petits Saints et Gros Islets site factsheet
St Barthelemy (to France) Petite Islette site factsheet
St Vincent and the Grenadines All Awash Island site factsheet
St Vincent and the Grenadines Battowia Island site factsheet
St Vincent and the Grenadines Petit Canouan site factsheet
Tonga 'Ata Island site factsheet
Tonga Ata Island Marine site factsheet
Trinidad and Tobago Little Tobago Island site factsheet
Trinidad and Tobago St Giles Islands site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Jarvis Island site factsheet
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Jarvis Island Marine site factsheet
USA Lehua Islet site factsheet
USA Lehua Islet site factsheet
Venezuela Isla La Blanquilla site factsheet
Venezuela Isla La Blanquilla - Marine site factsheet
Virgin Islands (to USA) North-west Cays site factsheet
Yemen Jaza'ir al-Hanish site factsheet
Yemen Jaza'ir al-Zubayr site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable resident
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major resident
Marine Neritic Pelagic major resident
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major resident
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major resident
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major resident
Altitude 0 - 100 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Sula leucogaster. Downloaded from on 13/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 13/07/2014.

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 Sulidae (Gannets and boobies)
Species name author (Boddaert, 1783)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 26,600,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species