Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The White-cheeked Tern ranges from the Red Sea (seasonal breeding) south to Somalia and Kenya (resident), in the Persian Gulf and Oman (seasonal breeding) and locally in western India (resident). Seasonally breeding birds winter from the Arabian Sea to south-west Indian and the Laccadives (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
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Range

Islands and coasts of Red Sea and Persian Gulf to India.

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

Length: 30-37 cm. Plumage: darkish grey back and wings, crown black in breeding bird; in non-breeding bird forehead white, forecrown speckled white, cheeks and collar on hind neck white; below white in non-breeding, grey in breeding birds; leading edge of wing in non-breeding bird very dark grey; trailing edge of primaries blackish in all plumages. Immature similar to non-breeding adult but with dark band on upperwing coverts. Bare parts: iris brown; bill with dark red base, black distal half and pale tip; feet and legs red. Habitat: seashores and open ocean. Resident, breeds on offshore islands. <389><391><393>
  • Urban, E.K., C.H. Fry & S. Keith (1986). The Birds of Africa, Volume II. Academic Press, London.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Behaviour Most of this species is migratory (Snow and Perrins 1998) although individuals breeding in East African may remain in their breeding range throughout the year (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It breeds with other tern species in well-dispersed colonies of 10-200 pairs (sometimes up to 900 pairs) (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and remains gregarious throughout the year (Snow and Perrins 1998). Habitat The species inhabits tropical coasts and inshore waters, foraging mainly within 3 km of land over coral reefs or occasionally up to 10 km offshore (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It nests on rock, sand, gravel or coral islands (del Hoyo et al. 1996), bare and exposed sandflats and sparsely vegetated open ground on sand-dunes and above the high-water mark on beaches (Snow and Perrins 1998). Diet Its diet consists of small fish (average 5 cm long) and invertebrates (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape on rock, sand, gravel or coral in barren or sparsely vegetated areas on islands (del Hoyo et al. 1996), sandflats, sand-dunes and beaches (Snow and Perrins 1998).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 29 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 28 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 14.365 - 26.954
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.275 - 1.715
  Salinity (PPS): 32.419 - 36.265
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.683 - 6.009
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.057 - 0.419
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.042 - 2.466

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 14.365 - 26.954

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.275 - 1.715

Salinity (PPS): 32.419 - 36.265

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.683 - 6.009

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.057 - 0.419

Silicate (umol/l): 1.042 - 2.466
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
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). 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 very 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.
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Status in Egypt

Migrant breeder.

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Population

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
In India the species is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at levels which may affect embryo development (Kunisue et al. 2003). Utilisation The species is subject to egg collecting from colonies in many areas (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
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Wikipedia

White-cheeked Tern

The white-cheeked tern (Sterna repressa) is a species of tern in the Sternidae family. It is found in Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

References[edit]


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