LC
Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.htm#.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2019 Least Concern
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
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 -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 136,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 86,300,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 16000 - 30000 medium suspected 2019
Population trend Decreasing 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) 10.1 - - -

Population justification: The largest colonies with several thousand pairs are found on the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador) and in the Caribbean (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Orta et al. 2019), followed by approximately 1,000 pairs along the Pacific coast of Mexico (Hernández-Vázquez et al. 2018, Piña-Ortiz et al. 2018). The population in the southern Atlantic Ocean numbers less than 3,000 pairs, and those on Cape Verde and around the Arabian Peninsula contain a few hundred pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Orta et al. 2019). The population size is therefore preliminarily estimated at 8,000-15,000 pairs, equating to 16,000-30,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The species’s current population trend is not very clear. It is suspected to be undergoing a decline, mainly due to the severe consequences of predation by cats and rats. So far, however, this threat was assumed to only affect a minority of the global population. New evidence suggests that predation is particularly severe in Caribbean breeding colonies, where a large part of the global population occurs (B. Denneman in litt. 2014, Orta et al. 2019). Unfortunately, in most cases, there is not much information available about the decline. For some breeding colonies, we know the direction of the population change, but have no data on its intensity or rate. For many other colonies, we have no information about the trend. The current trend in most of the colonies is thus unknown. Whilst it is therefore not possible to confidently determine the overall population trend for this species, it is precautionarily suspected to be undergoing a small decline.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Angola V Extant
Anguilla (to UK) N Extant
Antigua and Barbuda N Extant
Bahamas N Extant
Bahrain U Extant
Barbados N Extant
Belize U Extant
Benin U Extant
Bermuda (to UK) V Extant
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) N Extant
Brazil N Extant
Cameroon U Extant
Cape Verde N Extant Yes
Cayman Islands (to UK) N Extant
Chile N Extant
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Colombia N Extant
Congo U Extant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the U Extant
Costa Rica V Extant
Côte d'Ivoire U Extant
Cuba N Extant
Curaçao (to Netherlands) N Extant
Djibouti N Extant
Dominica N Extant
Dominican Republic N Extant
Ecuador N Extant
Egypt N Extant
El Salvador N Extant
Equatorial Guinea U Extant
Eritrea N Extant
French Guiana N Extant
French Polynesia V Extant
Gabon V Extant
Gambia V Extant
Ghana U Extant
Grenada N Extant Yes
Guadeloupe (to France) N Extant
Guatemala U Extant
Guinea N Extant
Guinea-Bissau N Extant
Guyana U Extant
Haiti N Extant
Honduras U Extant
India V Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq U Extant
Israel V Extant
Jamaica V Extant
Jordan V Extant
Kuwait V Extant Yes
Liberia U Extant
Madagascar V Extant
Malaysia V Extant
Maldives N Extant
Martinique (to France) N Extant
Mauritania V Extant
Mexico N Extant
Montserrat (to UK) N Extant
Myanmar V Extant
Netherlands V Extant
Nicaragua U Extant
Nigeria U Extant
Oman N Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant
Panama N Extant
Peru N Extant
Portugal N Extant Yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) N Extant
Qatar N Extant Yes
São Tomé e Príncipe U Extant
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes
Senegal N Extant Yes
Seychelles V Extant
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) N Extant
Somalia N Extant
South Africa V Extant
Spain V Extant
Sri Lanka V Extant
St Helena (to UK) N Extant Yes
St Kitts and Nevis N Extant
St Lucia N Extant
St Martin (to France) N Extant
St Vincent and the Grenadines N Extant
Sudan V Extant Yes
Suriname U Extant
Togo U Extant
Trinidad and Tobago N Extant
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) N Extant
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes
United Kingdom V Extant
USA V Extant
Venezuela N Extant
Vietnam V Extant
Virgin Islands (to UK) N Extant Yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
Western Sahara U Extant
Yemen N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Cape Verde Coastal cliffs between Porto Mosquito and Baia do Inferno
Cape Verde Ilhéu Raso
St Helena (to UK) Ascension Island: mainland and stacks
St Helena (to UK) Boatswainbird Island
St Helena (to UK) North-east St Helena
St Helena (to UK) South-west St Helena
Senegal Parc National des Iles de la Madeleine
United Arab Emirates Qarnain Island
Oman Musandam islands
Oman Halaaniyaat Islands
Oman Khor Mughsayl
Yemen Islands north of Al-Hudaydah
Ecuador Isla San Cristóbal
Ecuador Isla Española
Ecuador Isla Floreana
Ecuador Áreas costeras de Fernandina y del occidente de Isabela
Ecuador Tierras altas de Santiago
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Saba
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Boven, Sint Eustatius
St Martin (to France) Tintamarre
St Kitts and Nevis Booby Island
Yemen Jaza'ir al-Zubayr
Martinique (to France) Îlets et falaises de Sainte Anne
Martinique (to France) Rocher du Diamant
Guadeloupe (to France) Pointe des Châteaux
Guadeloupe (to France) Falaises Nord et Îlet de Vieux-Fort de Marie-Galante
Guadeloupe (to France) Falaises du Nord Grande-Terre
Antigua and Barbuda Offshore Islands
Virgin Islands (to USA) North-west Cays
Djibouti Les Sept Frères
Yemen Sabuniya and Ka'l Fir'awn (Socotra)
St Lucia Point Sables
St Lucia Iyanola and Grande Anses, Esperance and Fond D'ors
Anguilla (to UK) Dog Island
Anguilla (to UK) Scrub Island
Anguilla (to UK) Prickly Pear (East and West)
St Barthelemy (to France) Turtle Island
Virgin Islands (to USA) Saba Island and Cays
Trinidad and Tobago Little Tobago Island
Trinidad and Tobago St Giles Islands
St Vincent and the Grenadines All Awash Island
St Vincent and the Grenadines Petit Canouan
St Vincent and the Grenadines Battowia Island
Mexico Isla San Pedro Mártir
Mexico Islas Revillagigedo
Ecuador Galápagos Colony Extensions - Marine
St Helena (to UK) North-east St Helena - Marine
St Helena (to UK) Ascension Island: mainland and stacks - Marine
Oman Jazirat Hino / Juzor al Halaaniyaat - Marine
United Arab Emirates Al-Ashat islands / Gulf of Salwah / Qarnayn island - Marine
Cape Verde Coastal cliffs between Porto Mosquito and Baia do Inferno - Marine
Cape Verde Raso / São Nicolau - marine
Senegal Parc National des Iles de la Madeleine - marine
Virgin Islands (to USA) Great Tobago / Culebra / Green Cay / North-west Cays / Saba Island and Cays - Marine
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Boven, Sint Eustatius - Marine
Anguilla (to UK) Sombrero / Scrub Island / Saba coastline / Dog Island / Îlets les Petits Saints et Gros Islets - Marine
Trinidad and Tobago Little Tobago Island - Marine
Guadeloupe (to France) Pointe des Châteaux - Marine
Guadeloupe (to France) Northern cliffs and the Vieux-Fort islet of Marie-Galante - Marine
Guadeloupe (to France) Cliffs of North Grande-Terre - Marine
Yemen Samha
Yemen Al-Ikhwan (Socotra)
Yemen Darsa
Yemen Jaza'ir al-Hanish
Mexico Farallon San Ignacio
Mexico Archipiélago Loreto
Mexico Morros El Potosí
St Helena (to UK) Ladder Hill
St Helena (to UK) Great Stone Top and Shore Island
Cape Verde Raso / São Nicolau - marine
Yemen Falang - Momi coast and cliffs (Socotra)
Yemen Abd al-Kuri (Socotra)
Yemen Sabuniya (Socotra)
Yemen Kal Farun, Socotra

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

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Rattus norvegicus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Rattus rattus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Phaethon aethereus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/07/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/07/2020.