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  Sterna sumatrana Raffles, 1822
  Family Name : Laridae

  Taxonomic Group : Vertebrates (Bird)

  Common Names : Black-naped Tern

Black-naped Tern
  • Description
    • Description :
      Medium-sized tern, very pale tern with thin black nape and deeply forked tail are distinctive. Bill and legs black. Bill black.
  • Ecology, Habitat & Location
    • Ecological Notes :
      In Singapore, the Black-naped Tern frequents both in-shore and offshore waters though it is usually found in the latter habitat and seldom journeys into inland rivers and reservoirs like some species. Feeds by diving headlong into the sea like most Sterna terns. Nests gregariously on remote rocky outcrops where a single egg is laid with almost no nesting material. 
      Distribution :
      Found throughout Singapore waters but common only in eastern half of the Johor Straits and the waters off Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. Only one small unprotected colony, at Squance Rock, off Loyang, is currently active. The species has a tropical Indo-West Pacific distribution. Found along coasts, rocky islets and buoys in seas, seldom near Singapore.
      Nature Areas :
      Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin
  • Conservation
    • Trends & Threats :
      Harassment of the nesting colony.
      Scientific Interest & Potential Value :
      Of some iconic value to Singapore, having featured on the old $2 note. Singapore's only regularly colonial nesting seabird, it was a favourite subject of teh renowned bird photographer, Loke Wan Tho.
      Conservation Notes :
      Estimated at between 25 and 100 birds. Recommendations should be made to preserve the Squance Rock colony as a restricted-access ternery by prohibiting boat approach and landing. This is to deter frequent disturbances at this site by errant fishermen, photographers and picnickers. Surveys of the granite rocks off Pulau Ubin in the last ten years to locate possible nest sites have not been successful.
  • Status
    • Species Status :
      Conservation Status :
      Singapore Red Data Book 2008 status :
      Endangered (EN)
      Singapore Red Data Book 1994 status :
      Vulnerable (V)
  • References
    • Davison, G.W.H., Ng, P.K.L. & Ho, H.C (Eds.). 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book (2nd Edition). Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore). 285pp 
      Lim, K.S. & Gardner, D. 1997. Birds: An illustrated field guide to the birds of Singapore. Singapore: Sun Tree Publishing Limited. 226pp 
      Ng, P.K.L. & Wee, Y.C. (Eds.). 1994. The Singapore Red Data Book (1st Edition). Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore). 343pp 
      Wang, L.K. & Hails, C.J. 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement no. 15. 179pp 

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