Sula sula 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Suliformes Sulidae

Scientific Name: Sula sula (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Red-footed Booby
French Fou à pieds rouges
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

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.
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not 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:This species winters on tropical islands in most oceans, excluding the eastern Atlantic. It winters at sea in the same area, just ranging north of the Tropic of Cancer, and just south of the Tropic of Capricorn (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Australia; Bahamas; Bangladesh; Barbados; Belize; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Saba, Sint Eustatius); Brazil; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cayman Islands; China; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Colombia; Comoros; Cook Islands; Costa Rica; Cuba; Curaçao; Djibouti; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador (Galápagos); El Salvador; Fiji; French Guiana; French Polynesia; Grenada; Guam; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; India; Indonesia; Jamaica; Japan; Kiribati; Madagascar; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Martinique; Mayotte; Mexico; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Montserrat; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn; Puerto Rico; Réunion; Russian Federation (Eastern Asian Russia - Vagrant); Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Sri Lanka; Timor-Leste; Tonga; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; Tuvalu; United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Viet Nam; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Wallis and Futuna
Guadeloupe; Hong Kong; Kenya; Maldives; Nauru; Oman; Panama; Portugal; Saint Martin (French part); Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; United Arab Emirates
Present - origin uncertain:
American Samoa; French Southern Territories; Guyana; Mozambique; Nicaragua; Norfolk Island; Somalia; Suriname; Taiwan, Province of China; Tokelau; Vanuatu
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:185000000
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):100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is estimated to number > c.1,000,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1992), while national population sizes have been estimated at < c.100 breeding pairs and < c.50 individuals on migration in Taiwan and < c.100 breeding pairs and < c.50 individuals on migration in Japan (Brazil 2009).

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat loss, predation by invasive species and unsustainable levels of exploitation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
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 is strictly marine and largely pelagic. It feeds mainly on flying-fish and squid with a mean prey length of 8.8 cm. Prey are caught by plunge-diving, but flying fish are also taken in flight especially when chased by underwater predators. It often rests on boats using them as vantage points. Breeding is not seasonal in most of its range. Individuals form large colonies, nesting and roosting mainly in trees or on islets with abundant vegetation (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. Sula sula. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22696694A93579530. . Downloaded on 24 May 2018.
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