Damara Tern (Sternula balaenarum): Revise global status?

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1 Response to Damara Tern (Sternula balaenarum): Revise global status?

  1. The numbers of Damara Terns were stable from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s but had decreased substantially by the mid-2010s. this is attributable to a loss in numbers of breeding localities in Northern cape and De Mond. The population of Damara terns breeding in South Africa was estimated at a range between 40 to 44 breeding pairs, with about 10 pairs breeding in the Northern Cape. And up to 11 pairs being counted around De Mond and 25–29 pairs found in the Eastern Cape between the 1980s and 2010s (Whittington et al. 2015, Crawford et al. 2018). The recent estimates of 37 breeding pairs have been recorded in 2018 (DFFE unpublished data). Namibia host a large number of Damara terns population with about 2347 breeding pairs having been recorded in 2010 (Braby 2011). The overall global population in the present century has doubled with numbers to peak at 2473 pairs between the 1990s and 2018 (DFFE unpublished data) and about 7% (190 pairs) in North of Cunene river in Angola.

    Likely drivers of recent fluctuation in breeding birds especially in South Africa include the loss of suitable breeding habitat, at coastal pans and islands, which has resulted from a variety of human alterations, off-road uses, and disturbances.

    Whittington PA, Tree AJ, Connan M, Watkins EG. 2015. The status
    of the Damara Tern in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Ostrich
    86: 65–73.
    Crawford RJM, Dyer BM, Geldenhuys L, Oosthuizen WH, Makhado AB. 2018. Seabird breeding populations decrease along the arid coastline of South Africa’s Northern Cape province. Ostrich.89:299-305.

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