Stercorarius antarcticus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Stercorarius antarcticus
Species Authority: (Lesson, 1831)
Common Name(s):
English Southern Skua, Subantarctic Skua, Brown Skua
French Labbe antarctique
Catharacta antarctica (Lesson, 1831)
Taxonomic Notes: Catharacta skua, C. lonnbergi, C. antarctica and C. maccormicki (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993), cross-regional species, are retained as separate species contra Christidis and Boles (1994) and Turbott (1990) who include lonnbergi and antarctica as subspecies of C. skua and AERC TAC (2003) who include C. maccormicki as a subspecies of C. skua.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R.
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Southern Skua is found on the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) on in south-east Argentina, wintering off south-east South America (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Argentina; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Uruguay
Present - origin uncertain:
Angola (Angola); Antarctica; Brazil; Chile; French Southern Territories; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Africa
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This marine species is found on or around subantarctic islands populated by burrow-nesting seabirds or penguins. It is highly predatory, feeding mainly on other birds but will also scavenge around fishing boats and ships and feed at sea. Breeding begins in October and November. Birds are loosely colonial but highly territorial, nesting on grass, gravel or bare rock (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Stercorarius antarcticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <>. Downloaded on 23 July 2014.
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