LC
Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus



Taxonomy

Taxonomic note
Onychoprion fuscatus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Sterna as S. fuscata.

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#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
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#.
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
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 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 full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass 175 g
Distribution

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 195,000,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 250,000,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 23000000 poor estimated 2020
Population trend Unknown not applicable -
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 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.1 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.35 million individuals (Wetlands International 2020), which roughly equates to 23 million mature individuals.

Trend justification: The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are fluctuating, some are stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2020).


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
American Samoa N Extant Yes
Angola U Extant
Anguilla (to UK) N Extant Yes
Antigua and Barbuda N Extant
Argentina N Extant
Aruba (to Netherlands) N Extant
Australia N Extant Yes
Bahamas N Extant
Bahrain V Extant Yes
Bangladesh U Extant
Barbados N Extant
Belgium V Extant
Belize N Extant
Benin U Extant
Bermuda (to UK) N Extant
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) N Extant Yes
Brazil N Extant
British Indian Ocean Territory N Extant Yes
Cambodia U Extant
Cameroon N Extant
Canada N Extant
Cape Verde V Extant
Cayman Islands (to UK) N Extant
Chile N Extant
China (mainland) N Extant
Christmas Island (to Australia) V Extant
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (to Australia) N Extant Yes
Colombia N Extant
Comoros N Extant
Congo U Extant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the U Extant
Cook Islands N Extant Yes
Costa Rica N Extant
Côte d'Ivoire V Extant
Cuba N Extant
Curaçao (to Netherlands) N Extant Yes
Denmark V Extant
Djibouti N Extant
Dominica N Extant
Dominican Republic N Extant
Ecuador N Extant
El Salvador N Extant
Equatorial Guinea N Extant Yes
Eritrea V Extant
Eswatini V Extant
Fiji N Extant Yes
France V Extant
French Guiana N Extant
French Polynesia N Extant Yes
French Southern Territories N Extant Yes
Gabon U Extant
Gambia U Extant
Germany V Extant
Ghana V Extant
Grenada N Extant
Guadeloupe (to France) N Extant Yes
Guam (to USA) N Extant Yes
Guatemala N Extant
Guinea U Extant
Guinea-Bissau U Extant
Guyana N Extant
Haiti N Extant
Honduras N Extant
Hong Kong (China) V Extant
Iceland V Extant
India N Extant
Indonesia N Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq U Extant
Israel V Extant
Italy V Extant
Jamaica N Extant Yes
Japan N Extant
Kenya N Extant
Kiribati N Extant Yes
Kuwait U Extant
Liberia N Extant
Madagascar N Extant
Malawi V Extant
Malaysia N Extant
Maldives N Extant Yes
Marshall Islands N Extant Yes
Martinique (to France) N Extant
Mauritania N Extant
Mauritius N Extant Yes
Mayotte (to France) N Extant
Mexico N Extant
Micronesia, Federated States of N Extant Yes
Montserrat (to UK) N Extant
Mozambique N Extant
Myanmar N Extant
Namibia U Extant
Nauru N Extant Yes
New Caledonia (to France) N Extant
New Zealand N Extant Yes
Nicaragua N Extant
Nigeria N Extant
Niue (to New Zealand) U Extant
Norfolk Island (to Australia) N Extant Yes
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
Norway V Extant
Oman N Extant Yes
Pakistan U Extant
Palau N Extant Yes
Panama N Extant
Papua New Guinea N Extant
Peru N Extant
Philippines N Extant
Pitcairn Islands (to UK) N Extant Yes
Portugal V Extant
Puerto Rico (to USA) N Extant
Réunion (to France) N Extant Yes
Samoa N Extant Yes
São Tomé e Príncipe N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia V Extant Yes
Senegal N Extant
Seychelles N Extant Yes
Sierra Leone V Extant
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) N Extant Yes
Solomon Islands N Extant
Somalia N Extant
South Africa N Extant
South Korea N Extant
Spain V Extant
Sri Lanka N Extant
St Barthelemy (to France) N Extant
St Helena (to UK) N Extant Yes
St Kitts and Nevis N Extant
St Lucia N Extant
St Martin (to France) N Extant Yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines N Extant
Sudan V Extant Yes
Suriname N Extant
Sweden V Extant
Taiwan, China N Extant
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Thailand N Extant
Timor-Leste U Extant
Togo V Extant
Tokelau (to New Zealand) N Extant Yes
Tonga N Extant Yes
Trinidad and Tobago N Extant
Tunisia V Extant
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) N Extant Yes
Tuvalu N Extant Yes
United Arab Emirates V Extant Yes
United Kingdom V Extant
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes
Vanuatu N Extant Yes
Venezuela N Extant
Vietnam N Extant
Virgin Islands (to UK) N Extant Yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
Wallis and Futuna Islands (to France) U Extant
Yemen N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe V Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
French Polynesia Tetiaroa
Bahamas Great Isaac Cay
French Polynesia Hatu iti
French Polynesia Manuae, Motu One et Maupihaa
Marshall Islands Bokak Atoll
Kiribati Malden Island
Mauritius Serpent Island
Mauritius Cargados Carajos Shoals
French Southern Territories Glorieuses Islands
French Southern Territories Juan de Nova
French Southern Territories Europa
Seychelles Bird Island
Seychelles Aride Island Special Reserve
Seychelles African Banks
Seychelles Desnoeufs island
Seychelles Farquhar - South Island and islets
Seychelles Cosmoledo
St Helena (to UK) Ascension Island: mainland and stacks
São Tomé e Príncipe Tinhosas islands
Tanzania Latham Island
British Indian Ocean Territory Middle Brother, Chagos Bank
British Indian Ocean Territory Ile Parasol, Peros Banhos
British Indian Ocean Territory Ile Longue, Peros Banhos
Jamaica Morant Cays and Bank
Jamaica Pedro Cays and Bank
Chile Islas Desventuradas
Venezuela Refugio de Fauna Silvestre Isla de Aves
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Caicos Bank Southern Cays
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Turks Bank Seabird Cays
Anguilla (to UK) Dog Island
Bahamas Cay Lobos
Bahamas Graham's Harbour
Bahamas Goulding Cay Wild Bird Reserve
New Zealand Curtis & Cheeseman Islands
St Vincent and the Grenadines Ashton Wetland
Bahamas Conception Island National Park
Bahamas Peterson Cay (National Park)
Bahamas Samana Cay
Bahamas Mira Por Vos
Bahamas Cay Verde
Bahamas Low Cay, High Cay and Sandy Hook
Panama Frailes del Sur Islands
Bahamas Guana Cays
Bahamas Booby Island
Bahamas North Atlantic Abaco Cays
Bahamas Tee Cay, Goat Cay and Long Rocks
Martinique (to France) Îlets et falaises de Sainte Anne
Bahamas Cay Sal
Dominican Republic Siete Hermanos Keys
Dominican Republic Jaragua National Park
Guadeloupe (to France) Pointe des Châteaux
Guadeloupe (to France) Falaises Nord et Îlet de Vieux-Fort de Marie-Galante
Antigua and Barbuda Offshore Islands
Puerto Rico (to USA) Culebra
Cuba Gran Humedal del Norte de Ciego de Ávila
Dominica Point Des Foux
Dominica L'llet
St Lucia Point Sables
Anguilla (to UK) Scrub Island
Anguilla (to UK) Prickly Pear (East and West)
St Kitts and Nevis Booby Island
Virgin Islands (to USA) Saba Island and Cays
Guadeloupe (to France) Islet of Tête à l’Anglais
Aruba (to Netherlands) San Nicolas Bay Reef Islands
St Vincent and the Grenadines All Awash Island
Trinidad and Tobago Little Tobago Island
New Caledonia (to France) Îles des récifs Bampton et Chesterfield
French Polynesia Fangataufa
St Vincent and the Grenadines Petit Canouan
St Vincent and the Grenadines Battowia Island
Palau Helen Island, Hatohobei
Australia Houtman Abrolhos
Australia Cato Island (Coral Sea)
Brazil Atol das Rocas
French Polynesia Ilots rocheux de Ua Huka
French Polynesia Ilots rocheux de Ua Pou
Marshall Islands Taongi Atoll
Tonga Fonualei
Marshall Islands Bikar Atoll
Marshall Islands Taka Atoll
Marshall Islands Enewetok Atoll
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Aguiguan Island and Naftan Rock
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Uracus
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Guguan Island
Micronesia, Federated States of Wolouna, Ahnd Atoll
Chile Isla Sala y Gómez
Chile Isla Rapa Nui
Kiribati McKean Island
Kiribati Orona Atoll (Hull Island)
Kiribati Nikumaroro (Gardner Island)
Kiribati Abariranga (Canton) Island
Kiribati Enderbury Island
Kiribati Rawaki (Phoenix Island)
Kiribati Kiritimati (Christmas Island)
Kiribati Starbuck Island
Kiribati Vostok Island
Kiribati Millenium (Caroline) Island
American Samoa Swain's Atoll
French Polynesia Fatu Hiva
French Polynesia Rimatara
French Polynesia Morane
French Polynesia Motane (Mohotani)
USA Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
French Polynesia Moruroa
French Polynesia Kauehi
French Polynesia Tikehau
French Polynesia Motu de l'ouest et du sud de Rangiroa
French Polynesia Hatuta'a
French Polynesia Fatu Huku
American Samoa Rose Atoll
French Polynesia Akamaru island
French Polynesia Tahuata
French Polynesia Bora Bora
French Polynesia Haraiki
French Polynesia Manuhangi
French Polynesia Tekokota
New Zealand Kermadec Islands (Cheeseman Island)
New Zealand Kermadec Islands (Curtis Island)
New Zealand Kermadec Islands (Macauley Island)
New Zealand Kermadec Islands (Meyer Island)
New Zealand Kermadec Islands (Raoul Island) - Western Bay, Denham Bay, Islets
French Polynesia Hatu iti
New Zealand Kermadec (offshore)
Cook Islands Suwarrow Atoll National Park
Indonesia Pulau Gunung Api
Venezuela Wildlife Refuge Bird Island - Marine
St Helena (to UK) Ascension Island: mainland and stacks - Marine
Australia Houtman Abrolhos - Marine
French Southern Territories Europa - Marine
Mauritius Round Island / Serpent Island - Marine
French Southern Territories Juan de Nova - Marine
Mauritius Cargados Carajos shoals (Saint Brandon) - Marine
French Southern Territories Île du Lys, Glorieuses Archipelago - Marine
Seychelles Islets of Farquhar atoll - Marine
Seychelles Aldabra atoll / Cosmoledo atoll - Marine
Tanzania Latham Island - Marine
Indonesia Pulau Gunung Api - Marine
Seychelles African Banks / Boudeuse island / Etoile island / Marie Louise island - Marine
Seychelles Aride island - Marine
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Caicos Bank Southern Cays / East Caicos and adjacent areas / Turks Bank Seabird Cays - Marine
British Indian Ocean Territory Danger Island, Chagos Bank - Marine
Australia Cato Island (Coral Sea) - Marine
São Tomé e Príncipe Tinhosas islands - Marine
Jamaica Morant Cays and Bank - Marine
Virgin Islands (to USA) Great Tobago / Culebra / Green Cay / North-west Cays / Saba Island and Cays - Marine
Dominican Republic Jaragua National Park / Sierra de Bahoruco - Marine
Anguilla (to UK) Sombrero / Scrub Island / Saba coastline / Dog Island / Îlets les Petits Saints et Gros Islets - Marine
St Lucia Point Sables National Park - Marine
India Beliapani (Cherbaniani) Island - marine
India Beliyapani Island
Micronesia, Federated States of East Fayu
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Wake Island
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Baker Island
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Howland Island
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Johnston Atoll
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Palmyra Atoll
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Jarvis Island
Papua New Guinea Southern New Ireland Marine
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Uracus Marine
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Guguan Island Marine
Marshall Islands Bokak Atoll Marine
New Caledonia (to France) Récifs Bampton et Chesterfield Marin
Tonga Fonualei Marine
Kiribati Orona Atoll (Hull Island) Marine
Kiribati Kiritimati (Christmas Island) Marine
Kiribati Millenium (Caroline) Island Marine
Kiribati Starbuck Island Marine
French Polynesia Marquesas Marin
New Zealand Meyer & Herald Islands
New Zealand Macauley & Haszard Islands
New Caledonia (to France) Récifs d'Entrecasteaux
New Caledonia (to France) Île Matthew
New Caledonia (to France) Îlots du lagon sud
Tokelau (to New Zealand) Atafu
Tokelau (to New Zealand) Nukunonu
Solomon Islands Kolombangara Upland Forest
Solomon Islands East Rennell
Australia Bramble Cay
Papua New Guinea Tench Island
French Polynesia Clipperton
Cook Islands Suwarrow Atoll Marine
American Samoa Rose Atoll Marine
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Howland and Baker Marine
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Jarvis Island Marine
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Johnston Atoll Marine
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Palmyra Atoll Marine
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Wake Island Marine
Marshall Islands Bikar Atoll Marine
India Burnt Island (Bandra) Vengurla Rocks
Marshall Islands Taka Atoll Marine
St Helena (to UK) Wideawake Fairs
French Polynesia Kauehi Marine
Philippines Apo Reef Marine Natural Park
Philippines Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park
Mexico Arrecife Alacranes
British Indian Ocean Territory Western Great Chagos Bank island group
British Indian Ocean Territory Eastern Peros Banhos island group

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable 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 Intertidal Tidepools suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 50 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Felis catus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success

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 (2021) Species factsheet: Onychoprion fuscatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 15/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 15/10/2021.