New York Natural Heritage Program
Black Skimmer
Rynchops niger Linnaeus, 1758
Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) Larry Master
Family: Terns, Gulls and Relatives (Laridae)

State Protection: Species Of Special Concern
A native species at risk of becoming Threatened; does not qualify as Endangered or Threatened, but have been determined to require some measure of protection or attention to ensure that the species does not become threatened. NYSDEC may regulate the taking, importation, transportation, or possession of any Species of Special Concern as it deems necessary.

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: S2
A State Rarity Rank of S2 means: Typically 6 to 20 occurrences, few remaining individuals, acres, or miles of stream, or factors demonstrably make it very 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?
The Black Skimmer is so named by one of the ways it feeds-collecting food in its lower bill as it skims across the surface of the water (Arthur, 1921).

State Ranking Justification [-]
New York is near the northern limit of the Black Skimmer's breeding range, with breeding populations being restricted to beaches, dredge spoil islands, sandy non-barrier islands, and recently, salt marsh islands along the coast of southern Long Island (New York Natural Heritage Program 2009). Much of the former breeding habitat has been lost due to development and recreational activities along Long Island's beaches, resulting in the Black Skimmer and other beach-nesting species to nest on salt marsh islands (Gochfeld and Burger 1994; McGowen and Corwin 2008).

Short-term Trends [-]

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