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Black Tern
Chlidonias niger

Map of the common names


Small tern (L 22 cm), with light, rather jaunty flight. Has a uniform black-grey plumage, black bill and yellow legs. Black Terns breed at lagoons, marshes and wetlands, characterized by shallow water and the presence of floating vegetation. Nestinf commonly occurs on floating dead or cut vegetation. Food mostly comprises insects, but also includes fish and amphibians. Migrant.

Watercolour by Serge Nicolle

Reasons for the need for protection/inclusion in annex I

The decline which has occurred over most of the European range is due to habitat loss and deterioration through wetland drainage and river canalization, water eutrophication, the reductions in the extent of floating vegetation, water pollution which may reduce food resources and increasing disturbance from recreational activities such as water-sports and tourism.

Distribution map

yellow = summer visitor
green = resident
blue = winter visitor

Population : about 4,000 pairs

Drawing by Manuel Manolos

back to list of threatened species