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Range DescriptionSterna aurantia occurs across a wide range in southern Asia, being found in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and southern China (Yunnan) (del Hoyo et al. 1996), with vagrant records from Iran and Afghanistan, although it is generally resident over most of its range. The global population is estimated at between 50,000 and 100,000 individuals (Delaney and Scott 2006). It has reportedly declined in abundance in Thailand, where it is now considered very rare (del Hoyo et al.1996). The species has also declined in Laos since the early 20th century (Thewlis et al. 1998), and is very close to being extirpated from the country (W. Duckworth in litt. 2011). It is said to be declining throughout its range in Cambodia (F. Goes in litt. 2011), with sharp declines noted in the number of pairs in the largest breeding colony on the Mekong, and the number of breeding locations, during the period 2007-2011 (A. Claassen in litt. 2011). In view of its historical and recent precipitous decline in Cambodia, the species is said to be heading towards extinction there in 5-10 years if no specific conservation action is carried out (A. Claassen in litt. 2011). The species is now a rare and very local visitor in Nepal, with a maximum population of 20 individuals estimated in 2011, having rapidly declined since the 1990s (C. Inskipp and H. S. Baral in litt. 2011). The species is described as uncommon along the Dayingjiang river in south-western Yunnan (Yang Liu in litt. 2011). In contrast to declines noted in South-East Asia, the species is now more regular in southern India than was once thought, having probably benefitted from the development of reservoirs (Praveen J. in litt. 2012). Likewise, the species is described as having increased in Andhra Pradesh over the past 10 years (S. Riyazuddin in litt. 2012).