Thalasseus bernsteini (Schlegel, 1863)

Chinese crested tern



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Sterna bernsteini Schlegel, 1863 (original combination)


Conservation Status

Last Record: July 1937

Rediscovered in 2000

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered



China (eastern)


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Schlegel, H. (1863). Procellariae. Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle des Pays-Bas, Revue Méthodique et Critique des Collections déposées dans cet Etablissement. Tome 6, Monographie 22: 1-40. Leiden, E.J. Brill.

Other references:

Anonymous. (2000). Chinese Crested Tern rediscovered. Dutch Birding 24(4): 248-249.

Anonymous. (2007a). "Alarm-call" for China's rarest bird. Suara Enggang 15(5): 2-3.

Anonymous. (2007b). Notes from the Chinese Crested Tern Working Group meeting in Taiwan. Pacific Seabirds 34(2): 47.

BirdLife International. (2013). Thalasseus bernsteini. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. ( Downloaded on 07 February 2015.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

Candido, E. P. M. 2006. Chinese Crested Tern: observation on juveniles in the Matsu Archipelago of Taiwan. BirdingASIA 6: 34-35.

Chan, S.; Chen Shuihua; Yuan Hsiao-wei. 2010. International Single Species Action Plan for the conservation of the Chinese Crested Tern (Sterna bernsteini). BirdLife International Asia Division & CMS Secretariat, Tokyo & Bonn, Germany.

Chen, Shuihua et al. (2015). Human harvest, climate change and their synergistic effects drove the Chinese Crested Tern to the brink of extinction. Global Ecology and Conservation 4: 137-145. [Abstract]

Chen Lin; He Fenqi. 2011. Are they hybrids of Sterna bergii x Sterna bernsteini? Chinese Birds 2(3): 152-156.

Chen Shuihua. 2007. Chinese Crested Tern (Thalasseus bernsteini) facing extinction. Newsletter of China Ornithological Society 16(2): 40.

Chen Shui-Hua. 2008. Chinese Crested Tern succeeded in breeding in Wusishan Archipelago, Zhejiang Province. China Crane News 12(2): 34-35.

Chen Shuihua. 2009. 2009 International Symposium of Chinese Crested Tern held in Matzu Archipelago. Newsletter of China Ornithological Society 18(2): 40-41.

Chen Shuihua; Chang Shou-Hua; Yang Liu; Simba Chan; Fan Zhongyong; Chen Cangsong; Yen Chung-Wei; Guo Dongsheng. 2009. A small population and severe threats: status of the Critically Endangered Chinese Crested Tern Sterna bernsteini. Oryx 43(2): 209-212.

Chen Shuihua; Fan Zhongyong; Chen Cangsong; Lu Yiwei; Wang Zhongde. 2010. A new breeding site of the Critically Endangered Chinese Crested Tern Sterna bernsteini in the Wuzhishan Archipelago, eastern China. Forktail 26: 132-134.

Cheung, F. 2010. Action for the Critical Endangered Chinese Crested Tern. Hong Kong Bird Watching Society Bulletin: 12-13.

del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Gill, V. 2010. Committee Reports: Chinese Crested Tern Working Group. Pacific Seabirds 37(1): 19.

Jiang Hangdong; Chen Lin; He Fenqi. 2010. Preliminary assessment on the current knowledge of the Chinese Crested Tern (Sterna bernsteini). Chinese Birds 1(2): 163-166.

Kejia, Z., Xi, Y., Xiaojing, G. and Melville, D.S. 2004. Chinese crested tern at Chongming Dao, Shanghai, China. Birding Asia 2: 66-67.

Robert S. Kennedy, Pedro C. Gonzales, Edward C. Dickinson, Hector Miranda, and Timothy H. Fisher. (2000). A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines.

Liu Yang; Guo Dongsheng; Zhang Er; Cai Bofeng. 2009. Regional extirpation of the Critically Endangered Chinese Crested Tern (Thalasseus bernsteini) from the Shandong Coast, China? Waterbirds 32(4): 597-599.

Lu, Yiwei et al. (2020). Creating a conservation network: Restoration of the critically endangered Chinese crested tern using social attraction. Biological Conservation 248: 108694. [Abstract]

Qin Yupin; He Fenqi. 2011. Latest evdence of the existence of the northern flock of the Chinese Crested Tern (Sterna bernsteini). Chinese Birds 2(4): 206-207.

Robson, C. (2011). A wintering Chinese Crested Tern Sterna bernsteini in eastern Indonesia. BirdingASIA 15: 51.

Shou-hwa Chang; Dustin Wang. 2008. Status of the highly endangered Chinese Crested Tern in the Matzu Archipelago of Taiwan. Abstracts, 35th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Seabird Group, Blaine, Washington, 27 Feb - 2 Mar 2008, pp. 54. Little River, CA, USA, Pacific Seabird Group.


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