The Roseate Tern has a very wide distribution around the world but almost everywhere it
occurs, populations are declining.
|Roseate Tern on egg © Frankie Hobro
Many breeding colonies in Seychelles have been lost through the introduction of predators (rats and cats), collection of eggs by humans or habitat change. Now only one large colony remains, on Aride Island. Here, they have been threatened by introduced Barn Owls killing the adults. Breeding success is very variable, depending on the food supply (Small fish) available during the breeding season (May – August). Climate change could affect the numbers of fish available while the birds are rearing their young.
No-one knows where Aride’s Roseate Terns spend September to April, when they are not breeding.
Scientific name: Sterna dougallii (race arideensis)
Creole name: Dyanman Roz
Wingspan: 72 – 80 cm
Population in the Seychelles: Breeding population of about 1,600 pairs in Seychelles; 1,200 of these on the granitic islands (Aride)
World distribution: Worldwide in warmer oceans, also western Europe and North America
Distribution in Seychelles: Breeds on Aride, with small populations on two of the Amirante Islands
Nest: Nests on the ground in big colonies. One or two eggs laid.
Identification: In breeding season, underside white or pink , beak red cap black. When not breeding, bill black and cap black only behind the eyes.