VU
Fairy Tern Sternula nereis



Taxonomy

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

Taxonomic source(s)
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
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.
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - C1

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Vulnerable C1
2016 Vulnerable C1
2012 Vulnerable C1
2010 Vulnerable C1
2008 Vulnerable C1
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Near Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Land-mass type - Australia
Average mass 72.30000305175781 g
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 12,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 12,600,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 2500-9999 medium estimated 2007
Population trend Decreasing medium estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 20-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 20-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11 - - -

Population justification:

Population estimates indicate that there are a few hundred pairs of Fairy Terns breeding in South Australia (in the Gulfs region) and Tasmania, 120-150 pairs in Victoria with up to 70 individuals in New South Wales. The statement cites a population of 1,600 pairs for Western Australia although this likely to be a significant under-estimate. All up the population of Australian Fairy Terns is currently considered to consist of between 5,000 and 10,000 individuals across all age classes. In New Zealand, davisae numbers 40-45 individuals. In New Caledonia, exul numbers 100-200 pairs. The total population is best placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification: Data indicates a decline of 23% due to, perhaps most importantly, disturbance and predation.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Australia N Extant Yes
New Caledonia (to France) N Extant Yes
New Zealand N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Australia Barrow Island
Australia Carnac Island (Perth)
Australia Chalky, Big Green and Badger Island Groups
Australia Coffin Bay
Australia Coorong
Australia Corner Inlet
Australia Eastern Flinders Island
Australia Faure and Pelican Islands (Shark Bay)
Australia Gippsland Lakes
Australia Goose Island (Spencer Gulf)
Australia Gulf St Vincent
Australia Houtman Abrolhos
Australia Investigator Islands
Australia Kangaroo Island
Australia King Island
Australia Lake Hawdon System
Australia Lake MacLeod
Australia Lake Newland
Australia Lakes Alexandrina and Albert
Australia Marion Bay
Australia Montebello Islands
Australia North-west Tasmanian Coast
Australia Orford (Tasmania)
Australia Peel-Harvey Estuary
Australia Recherche Archipelago
Australia Robbins Passage and Boullanger Bay
Australia Rottnest Island
Australia Sandy Island (Windy Harbour)
Australia Seagull Lake (Eyre Peninsula)
Australia Sir Joseph Banks Islands
Australia Southern Yorke Peninsula
Australia St Helens (Tasmania)
Australia Swan Bay and Port Phillip Bay Islands
Australia Troubridge Island
Australia Venus Bay
Australia Western Port
New Caledonia (to France) Grand Lagon Nord Marin
New Caledonia (to France) Grand Lagon Sud Marin
New Caledonia (to France) Îles des récifs Bampton et Chesterfield
New Caledonia (to France) Îlot Amédée
New Caledonia (to France) Îlots de Poindimié
New Caledonia (to France) Îlots de Poindimié Marin
New Caledonia (to France) Îlots du lagon sud
New Caledonia (to France) Îlots du Nord-Ouest
New Caledonia (to France) Récifs Bampton et Chesterfield Marin
New Zealand Kaipara Harbour
New Zealand Mangawhai
New Zealand North Auckland Seabird Flyway
New Zealand North Eastern North Island (offshore)
New Zealand Pakiri Beach
New Zealand Papakanui Spit
New Zealand Waipu Estuary
New Zealand West Coast North Island (offshore)

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes major breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches 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
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
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 Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Canis familiaris Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Felis catus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Vulpes vulpes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Abstraction of surface water (unknown use) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Sternula nereis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2019.