VU
Damara Tern Sternula balaenarum



Taxonomy

Taxonomic note
Sternula balaenarum (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Sterna.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2016 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2012 Near Threatened C2a(i)
2010 Near Threatened C2a(i)
2008 Near Threatened C2a(i)
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 Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 1,350,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 7,330,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 2002-5370 medium estimated 2011
Population trend Decreasing poor suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9 - - -

Population justification:

 The population is estimated at 2002-5370 mature individuals, roughly equating to 9000 individuals in total.

Trend justification: The continuing demand on Namibia’s beaches (holding 87-93% of the population) by off-road vehicles, diamond mining and residential development is currently impacting the population (with three colonies extinct and six declining) and will probably impact most colonies in the future. 


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

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Angola Iona National Park
Angola Mussulo
Angola Quiçama
Benin Lake Ahémé and Aho complex
Congo Lower Kouilou basin
Gabon Akanda
Gabon Gamba Protected Areas Complex
Gabon Ogooué delta and Mandji island
Namibia 30-Kilometre Beach: Walvis - Swakopmund
Namibia Cape Cross lagoon
Namibia Epupa - Ruacana
Namibia Mile 4 saltworks
Namibia Namib-Naukluft Park
Namibia Sandwich Harbour
Namibia Sperrgebiet
Namibia Walvis Bay
Nigeria Akassa forests
South Africa Agulhas Plain - Heuningnes Estuary
South Africa Orange River Mouth Wetlands
South Africa Woody Cape Section: Addo Elephant National Park

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

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 3
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines 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 Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Canis mesomelas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Residential & commercial development Tourism & recreation areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Sternula balaenarum. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/10/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/10/2019.