New York Natural Heritage Program
Gull-billed Tern
Gelochelidon nilotica (Gmelin, 1789)
Gull-billed Tern Changhua Coast Conservation Action (TWSG)
Family: Terns, Gulls and Relatives (Laridae)

State Protection: Protected Bird
Defined as a Protected Bird by New York State law. This species may not be hunted or taken at any time in New York.

Federal Protection: Migratory Bird Treaty Act
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act implements various treaties and conventions between the U. S. and Canada, Japan, Mexico and the former Soviet Union for the protection of migratory birds. Under this Act, taking, killing, or possessing migratory birds, including nests or eggs, is unlawful unless specifically permitted by other regulations.

State Rarity Rank: S1
A State Rarity Rank of S1 means: Typically 5 or fewer occurrences, very few remaining individuals, acres, or miles of stream, or some factor of its biology makes it especially vulnerable in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Did you know?
Gull-billed Terns are very rare in New York and are known currently from only five saltmarsh islands off the south shore of Long Island in Nassau County.

State Ranking Justification [-]
Gull-billed Terns are at the northern extent of their range in New York and their statewide distribution is highly restricted. They are known to breed on only five marsh islands off the south coast of Long Island in Nassau County. They are threatened by habitat loss and human disturbance. Their coastal salt marsh habitat is threatened by changes to hydrological processes due to coastal development and by sea-level rise and increasing storms due to global climate change. This species is especially sensitive to human activity near nesting locations (Molina et al. 2009).

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]