Sterna nereis (Gould, 1843)
Sternula nereis ssp. nereis Gould, 1843 — Christidis and Boles (2008)
||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.
||Sternula nereis (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Sterna.
||25 cm. Very small white and grey tern with black cap. Upperparts pale grey; white forked tail; underparts white; legs orange-yellow; bill yellow-brown; white forehead with black crown, nape and line to eye. Similar species: Very similar to Little Tern S. albifrons except upperwings more uniformly grey and forehead steep. Hints: . Voice: Flight call high pitched 'zwitt'.
|Red List Category & Criteria:
||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
||Baker, P.E., Barré, N., Beauchamp, T., Burbidge, A.H., Burbidge, A., Christidis, L., Dunlop, N., Ford, H., Garnett, S., Herman, K., Holmes, D., Lacey, G., Menkhorst, P., Paton, D., Saunders, D., Southey, I. & Wilson, D.
||Anderson, O., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Garnett, S., Harding, M., Mahood, S., McClellan, R., Moreno, R.
This species is classified as Vulnerable owing to recent declines over much of its breeding range. Predation by introduced species, disturbance and inappropriate water level management are thought to have contributed most to this decline. However, data is patchy, and a clarification of trends in its strongholds may lead to its status being revised.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
- 2012 – Vulnerable (VU)
- 2010 – Vulnerable (VU)
- 2008 – Vulnerable (VU)
- 2004 – Least Concern (LC)
- 2000 – Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
- 1996 – Vulnerable (VU)
- 1994 – Vulnerable (VU)
- 1988 – Near Threatened (NT)
Sternula nereis occurs in Australia (subspecies nereis), New Caledonia (to France) (exsul) and northern New Zealand (davisae). Population estimates in the 2011 listing advice (Commonwealth of Australia 2011) 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 (Burbidge et al. 1996). Though it may be stable in Western Australia, numbers elsewhere in Australia have declined rapidly during the last thirty years. In New Zealand, davisae to three pairs in 1983 but, due to intensive conservation efforts has increased and in 1998, totalled 25-30 birds and 8-10 pairs over four sites. In 2006 this had increased to 30-40 individuals and 10 pairs (Parrish and Honnor 1997, Taylor 2000, S. Garnett in litt. 2007). By 2011, this had increased again to 40-45 individuals and c.10 pairs (P-J. Pridham in litt. 2011). In New Caledonia, exul numbers 100-200 pairs, but was formerly much more abundant (F. Hannecart per. M. Pandolfi in litt. 1999, N. Barre in litt. 2007). One small population in the Southern Lagoon of New Caledonia may be increasing (Baling et al. 2009).
Australia; New Caledonia; New Zealand
|♦ Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):||Unknown|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):||No||♦ Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:||12000000|
|♦ Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):||Unknown||♦ Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):||No|
|♦ Number of Locations:||11-100||♦ Continuing decline in number of locations:||Yes|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:||No|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
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.
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|♦ Number of mature individuals:||2500-9999||♦ Continuing decline of mature individuals:||Yes|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations:||No||♦ Population severely fragmented:||No|
|♦ No. of subpopulations:||2-100||♦ Continuing decline in subpopulations:||Unknown|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:||No||♦ All individuals in one subpopulation:||No|