In South America, Royal Terns (Thalasseus maximus maximus) and Cayenne Terns (Thalasseus sandvicensis eurygnathus) breed mostly in Argentina and Brazil. Royal Terns have been recorded in at least 22 locations (six in Brazil and 14 in Argentina). Cayenne Terns have been recorded in at least 38 locations (15 in Brazil and 23 in Argentina). At 15 locations, mostly located in Argentina, Royal and Cayenne terns breed in association, often with their nests intermingled. Total population size for Royal Terns was estimated in at least 750 pairs in Brazil and less than 5000 in Argentina, while that of Cayenne Tern was estimated in at least 8000 pairs in Brazil and less than 10000 in Argentina. However, lack of counts at some coastal sectors and changes among breeding sites between seasons preclude an accurate estimation of total population size for both species and make spatial management challenging. Main threats faced by their populations in both countries are human disturbance, fisheries, egging, and expanding Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) populations. Priority research and conservation actions are presented.
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Vol. 31 • No. 4