Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis

Family: Laridae (Gulls, Terns, Skimmers)

Authority: Swainson, 1838

Red List Category

Criteria: C1+2a(ii)

Click here for more information about the Red List categories and criteria

Justification of Red List category
As a result of decades of population decline, Indian Skimmer is listed as Endangered as it now has a small global population size and is suffering a continuing decline in excess of 20% in 11 years (two generations). Increased variation in water levels along the rivers on which it breeds due to dams, irrigation and sand mining leads to both flooding of colonies and low water levels that allow access to terrestrial predators and people onto breeding islands. Both situations result in high egg and chick mortality, and the rate of reproduction does not appear to be sufficient to maintain the population. Declines have been continuing for many decades in this previously common and distinctive bird. The species has been lost as a breeding bird from all of South East Asia, Myanmar and probably now also Pakistan. The recent and future rate of population reduction is thus estimated at 34-46% over three generations.

Population size: 2450-2900 mature individuals

Population trend: decreasing

Extent of occurrence (breeding/resident): 1,400,000 km2

Country endemic: no

Land-mass type - continent
Realm - Indomalayan
Realm - Palearctic
IUCN Ecosystem -- Freshwater biome

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Rynchops albicollis. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/indian-skimmer-rynchops-albicollis on 24/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 24/02/2024.