email a friend
printable version
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

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
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing Suspected -
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 Resident
American Samoa Native Extant       Yes
Anguilla (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
Antigua and Barbuda Native Extant       Yes
Argentina Native Extant       Yes
Aruba (to Netherlands) Native Extant       Yes
Australia Native Extant Yes      
Bahamas Native Extant       Yes
Barbados Native Extant       Yes
Belize Native Extant       Yes
Benin Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant       Yes
Brazil Native Extant       Yes
British Indian Ocean Territory Native Extant Yes      
Brunei Native Extant       Yes
Cambodia Unknown Extant        
Cameroon Unknown Extant        
Canada Native Extant       Yes
Cape Verde Native Extant       Yes
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant       Yes
Chile Unknown Extant       Yes
China (mainland) Native Extant       Yes
Christmas Island (to Australia) Native Extant Yes      
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (to Australia) Native Extant Yes      
Colombia Native Extant       Yes
Comoros Native Extant       Yes
Cook Islands Native Extant Yes      
Costa Rica Native Extant       Yes
Côte d'Ivoire Unknown Extant        
Cuba Native Extant       Yes
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant       Yes
Djibouti Native Extant       Yes
Dominica Native Extant       Yes
Dominican Republic Native Extant       Yes
Ecuador Native Extant       Yes
Egypt Native Extant       Yes
El Salvador Native Extant       Yes
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Eritrea Native Extant       Yes
Fiji Native Extant       Yes
French Guiana Native Extant       Yes
French Polynesia Native Extant Yes      
French Southern Territories Unknown Extant        
Gabon Native Extant       Yes
Gambia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Ghana Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Grenada Native Extant       Yes
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant       Yes
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Guatemala Native Extant       Yes
Guinea Native Extant Yes      
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant       Yes
Guyana Native Extant       Yes
Haiti Native Extant       Yes
Honduras Native Extant       Yes
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant   Yes    
India Native Extant       Yes
Indonesia Native Extant       Yes
Israel Native Extant       Yes
Jamaica Native Extant Yes      
Japan Native Extant       Yes
Jordan Native Extant   Yes    
Kenya Native Extant       Yes
Kiribati Native Extant       Yes
Liberia Native Extant       Yes
Madagascar Native Extant       Yes
Malaysia Native Extant       Yes
Maldives Native Extant       Yes
Marshall Islands Native Extant Yes      
Martinique (to France) Native Extant       Yes
Mauritania Native Extant       Yes
Mauritius Unknown Extant        
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant       Yes
Mexico Native Extant       Yes
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant Yes      
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant       Yes
Morocco Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Mozambique Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Myanmar Native Extant       Yes
Nauru Native Extant   Yes    
New Caledonia (to France) Native Extant Yes      
New Zealand Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Nicaragua Native Extant       Yes
Nigeria Native Extant       Yes
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       Yes
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       Yes
Samoa Native Extant       Yes
São Tomé e Príncipe Native Extant Yes      
Saudi Arabia Native Extant       Yes
Senegal Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Seychelles Native Extant       Yes
Sierra Leone Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Singapore Native Extant       Yes
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant       Yes
Solomon Islands Native Extant Yes      
Somalia Native Extant       Yes
South Africa Vagrant Extant   Yes    
South Korea Unknown Extant        
Spain Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Sri Lanka Native Extant       Yes
St Helena (to UK) Native Extant       Yes
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant       Yes
St Lucia Native Extant       Yes
St Martin (to France) Native Extant       Yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant       Yes
Sudan Native Extant       Yes
Suriname Native Extant       Yes
Taiwan (China) Native Extant       Yes
Tanzania Unknown Extant        
Thailand Native Extant       Yes
Timor-Leste Native Extant   Yes    
Togo Unknown Extant        
Tokelau (to New Zealand) Unknown Extant        
Tonga Native Extant Yes      
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant       Yes
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       Yes
Vanuatu Native Extant Yes      
Venezuela Native Extant       Yes
Vietnam Native Extant       Yes
Virgin Islands (to UK) Native Extant       Yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) Native Extant       Yes
Wallis and Futuna Islands (to France) 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
Anguilla (to UK) Sombrero Island 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
Fiji Kibobo Islet site factsheet
Fiji Nukubasaga & Nukupureti site factsheet
Fiji Ringgold Islands site factsheet
Fiji Ringgold Islands Marine site factsheet
French Polynesia Clipperton site factsheet
French Polynesia Clipperton Marine 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
Mexico Farallon San Ignacio site factsheet
Mexico Morros El Potosí site factsheet
Micronesia, Federated States of Gaferut Island Marine site factsheet
New Caledonia (to France) Île Matthew site factsheet
New Caledonia (to France) Île Walpole site factsheet
New Caledonia (to France) Récifs d'Entrecasteaux 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
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Sula leucogaster. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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, 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