Phaethon rubricauda 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Phaethontiformes Phaethontidae

Scientific Name: Phaethon rubricauda Boddaert, 1783
Common Name(s):
English Red-tailed Tropicbird
French Phaéton à queue rouge
Taxonomic Source(s): Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Red-tailed Tropicbird nests in the southern Indian Ocean, and just north of the Tropic of Cancer and south of the Tropic of Capricorn in the Pacific Ocean. It breeds on islands, but can also be found on the south-west coast of Australia1.

Countries occurrence:
Australia; Bangladesh; British Indian Ocean Territory; Canada; Chile; China; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; French Polynesia; Guam; India; Indonesia; Japan; Madagascar; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Norfolk Island; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Philippines; Pitcairn; Réunion; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Taiwan, Province of China; Tonga; United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands; Wallis and Futuna
Brazil; Fiji; Kenya; Peru; Thailand
Present - origin uncertain:
American Samoa; Cook Islands; French Southern Territories; Kiribati; Malaysia; Maldives; Nauru; Niue; Papua New Guinea; Samoa; Somalia; Tanzania, United Republic of; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tuvalu; Vanuatu
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:95100000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):250
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is estimated to number > c.32,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al), while the population of Japan has been estimated at < c.100 breeding pairs and < c.50 individuals on migration (Brazil 2009).

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species feeds mostly on fish, especially flying-fish, and large quantities of squid. Crustaceans are also taken in places. Prey is caught by plunge-diving, but flying-fish can be taken in flight. Breeding is seasonal in places, takin place in loose colonies on small, remote oceanic islands mostly on inaccessible cliffs. No regular migrations are known and adults can be found in the vicinity of colonies all year round (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Systems:Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):13
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Phaethon rubricauda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22696641A93576304. . Downloaded on 16 August 2018.
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