Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed marine
Listed migratory - JAMBA
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Marine bioregional plan for the Temperate East Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012aa) [Admin Guideline].
Marine bioregional plan for the North Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012x) [Admin Guideline].
Marine bioregional plan for the North-west Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012y) [Admin Guideline].
Marine bioregional plan for the South-west Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012z) [Admin Guideline].
Inshore and coastal foraging seabirds - A Vulnerability Assessment for the Great Barrier Reef (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), 2011g) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under section 248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of Marine Species (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000c) [Legislative Instrument].
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - Amendment of the List of Migratory Species (12/03/2009) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009r) [Legislative Instrument].
Scientific name Sterna dougallii [817]
Family Laridae:Charadriiformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Montagu,1813
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Marine bioregional plans have been developed for four of Australia's marine regions - South-west, North-west, North and Temperate East. Marine Bioregional Plans will help improve the way decisions are made under the EPBC Act, particularly in relation to the protection of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of our oceans and their resources by our marine-based industries. Marine Bioregional Plans improve our understanding of Australia's oceans by presenting a consolidated picture of the biophysical characteristics and diversity of marine life. They describe the marine environment and conservation values of each marine region, set out broad biodiversity objectives, identify regional priorities and outline strategies and actions to address these priorities. Click here for more information about marine bioregional plans.

The Roseate Tern has been identified as a conservation value in the South-west (DSEWPaC 2012z), North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y), North (DSEWPaC 2012x) and Temperate East (DSEWPaC 2012aa) marine regions. See Schedule 2 of the South-west Marine Bioregional Plan (DSEWPaC 2012z), the North-west Marine Bioregional Plan (DSEWPaC 2012y) and the North Marine Bioregional Plan (DSEWPaC 2012x) for regional advice. Maps of Biologically Important Areas have been developed for Roseate Tern in the South-west (DSEWPaC 2012z), North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) and North (DSEWPaC 2012x) marine regions and may provide additional relevant information. Go to the conservation values atlas to view the locations of these Biologically Important Areas. The "species group report card - seabirds" for the South-west (DSEWPaC 2012z), North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y), North (DSEWPaC 2012x) and Temperate East (DSEWPaC 2012aa) marine regions provide additional information.

No threats data available.

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1969). Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Volume 3. Bombay: Oxford Unversity Press.

BA NRS (2002). Birds Australia Nest Record Scheme.

Blaber, S.J.M., D.A. Milton, M.J. Farmer & G.C. Smith (1998). Seabird breeding populations on the far northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia: trends and influences. Emu. 98:44-57.

Burbidge, A.A. & P.J. Fuller (1998). Montebello Islands, Pilbara Region, Western Australia. Corella. 22:118--122.

Chatto, R. (1998b). Higginson Islet, North-east Arnhemland, Northern Territory. Corella. 22:69-70.

Chatto, R. (1999). Low Rock, south-west Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory. Corella. 23:72--74.

Chatto, R. (2001). The distribution and status of colonial breeding seabirds in the Northern Territory. Parks & Wildlife Commission of the NT Technical Report. 70.

Coates, B.J. (1985). The Birds of Papua New Guinea. Volume 1. Alderley, Queensland: Dove Publications.

Cramp, S. (1985). Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Volume 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

de Schauensee, R.M. (1984). The Birds of China. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Garnett, S.T. & G.M. Crowley (2000). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia and Birds Australia. Available from:

Gochfeld, M. (1983). The Roseate Tern: world distribution and status of a threatened species. Biological Conservation. 25:103--125.

Hatch, J.J. & P. Szczys (2000). Lack of evidence for female-female pairs among Roseate Terns Sterna dougallii in Western Australia contrasts with North Atlantic. Emu. 100:152-155.

Higgins, P.J. & S.J.J.F. Davies, eds (1996). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume Three - Snipe to Pigeons. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Hulsman, K. (1977). Breeding success and mortality of Terns at One Tree Island, Great Barrier Reef. Emu. 77:49--60.

Hulsman, K., T.A. Walker & C.J. Limpus (1999). Wreck Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Corella. 23:88--90.

King, B.R., C.J. Limpus, J. Hicks & A. Oldroyd (1989). Wallace Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Corella. 13:43-44.

McLean, J.A. (1999). Low Wooded Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Corella. 23:16-17.

Medway, Lord & D.R. Wells (1976). The Birds of the Malay Peninsula, Volume 5. Witherby, London.

Milton, D.A., G.C. Smith & S.J.M. Blaber (1996). Variable success in breeding of the Roseate Tern Stern dougallii on the northern Great Barrier Reef. Emu. 96:123--131.

O'Neal, P. (2002b). Roseate Terns- Missing birds located. Australian Bird Study Association Newsletter. 66:5.

Queensland Government (2002). Bird survey lands discovery. Ministerial Media Statements. [Online]. Available from:

Ramos, J.A. & A.J. del Nevo (1995). Nest-site selection by Roseate Terns and Common Terns in the Azores. Auk. 112:580-589.

Rand, A.L. & E.T. Gilliard (1967). Handbook of New Guinea Birds. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Smith, G.C. (1991). The Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii gracilis breeding on the northern Great Barrier Reef Queensland. Corella. 15:33-36.

Stokes, T., K. Hulsman, P. Ogilvie & P. O'Neill (1996). Management of human visitation to seabird islands of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park region. Corella. 20:1-13.

Urban, E.K., C.H. Fry & S. Keith, eds. (1986). The Birds of Africa. Volume 2. Gamebirds to Pigeons. London: Academic Press.

Walker, T.A. (1988b). Roseate Terns Sterna dougallii on southern Great Barrier Reef islands, 1985-1986. Corella. 12:56-58.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Sterna dougallii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:10:58 +1000.