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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species can be found found on islands and coastlines of the tropical and subtropical Old World, ranging from the Atlantic Coast of South Africa, south around the Cape and continuing along the coast of Africa and Asia almost without break to south-east Asia and Australia. It can also be found on Madagascar, islands of the western Indian ocean and islands of the western and central Pacific Ocean. Outside the breeding season it can be found at sea throughout this range, with the exception of the central Indian Ocean (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

Length: 46-50 cm. Plumage: above, dark grey tail, rump, wings and back with white leading and trailing edges to spread wing; white collar on hindneck; crest and crown black; clearly demarcated forehead white (white speckling on forecrown in non-breeding bird); underparts white. Immature above dark brownish black with white edges to feathers. Bare parts: iris dark brown; bill yellow or geenish yellow; feet and legs black sometimes with yellow soles. Habitat: seashores and estuaries. Breeds in WIO. <389><391><393>
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Description

Length: 46-50 cm. Plumage: above, dark grey tail, rump, wings and back with white leading and trailing edges to spread wing; white collar on hindneck; crest and crown black; clearly demarcated forehead white (white speckling on forecrown in non-breeding bird); underparts white. Immature above dark brownish black with white edges to feathers. Bare parts: iris dark brown; bill yellow or geenish yellow; feet and legs black sometimes with yellow soles. Habitat: seashores and estuaries. Breeds in WIO. <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 Many populations of this species remain sedentary in their breeding areas or disperse locally (del Hoyo et al. 1996) although some are more migratory (Urban et al. 1986). The species breeds in large dense colonies, or in small groups of less than 10 pairs amidst colonies of other species (e.g. King Gull Larus hartlaubii or Silver Gull Larus novaehollandiae) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It usually forages singly (Urban et al. 1986) or in small groups (del Hoyo et al. 1996) but several hundred individuals may gather at roost sites (Langrand 1990). Habitat The species inhabits tropical and subtropical coastlines, foraging in the shallow waters of lagoons (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996), coral reefs (del Hoyo et al. 1996), estuaries (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), bays, harbours and inlets (Higgins and Davies 1996), along sandy, rocky, coral (del Hoyo et al. 1996) or muddy shores, on rocky outcrops in open sea, in mangrove swamps (Langrand 1990) and also far out to sea on open water (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It shows a preference for nesting on offshore islands (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), low-lying coral reefs, sandy or rocky coastal islets, coastal spits, lagoon mudflats (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and artificial islets in saltpans and sewage works (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) within 3 km of the coast (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of pelagic fish 10-50 cm long (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) although it will also take cephalopods (e.g. squid), crustaceans (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. crabs (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and prawns (Higgins and Davies 1996)), insects and hatchling turtles opportunistically (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape in bare sand, rock or coral (del Hoyo et al. 1996) in flat open sites (Urban et al. 1986) on offshore islands (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), low-lying coral reefs, sandy or rocky coastal islets, coastal spits, lagoon mudflats (del Hoyo et al. 1996) or islets in saltpans and sewage works (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species nests in dense colonies (Urban et al. 1986) with neighbouring nests very close together (rims may be touching) (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and usually forages within 3 km of the breeding colony (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 30 specimens in 2 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 30 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 27.353 - 27.501
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.038 - 0.050
  Salinity (PPS): 34.912 - 34.984
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.655 - 4.664
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.160 - 0.169
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.208 - 3.344

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 27.353 - 27.501

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.038 - 0.050

Salinity (PPS): 34.912 - 34.984

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.655 - 4.664

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.160 - 0.169

Silicate (umol/l): 3.208 - 3.344
 
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Depth range based on 30 specimens in 2 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 30 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 27.353 - 27.501
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.038 - 0.050
  Salinity (PPS): 34.912 - 34.984
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.655 - 4.664
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.160 - 0.169
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.208 - 3.344

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 27.353 - 27.501

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.038 - 0.050

Salinity (PPS): 34.912 - 34.984

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.655 - 4.664

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.160 - 0.169

Silicate (umol/l): 3.208 - 3.344
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Thalasseus bergii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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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
2015

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely 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 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.

History
  • 2012
    Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
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