Sterna albostriata

The Black-fronted Tern also known as Sea Martin, Ploughboy, Inland Tern, Riverbed Tern or Tarapiroe, is a small tern generally found in or near bodies of fresh water in New Zealand and forages for freshwater fish, arthropods and worms. It has a predominantly grey plumage. Restricted to breeding in the eastern regions of South Island, it is declining and threatened by introduced mammals and birds.

The Sterna albostriata is classified as Endangered (EN), considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

larger tern genus Sterna, so Sterna albostriata is an alternate scientific name. The species has several vernacular names; it is called ploughboy or ploughman's friend for its habit of foraging for earthworms and grubs in newly-ploughed soil. Description - Measuring 29 cm (12 in) in length, the adult tern has predominantly grey plumage with a black cap typical of many terns. More

Range & population Sterna albostriata breeds in the South Island, New Zealand. It is found along the eastern riverbeds from Marlborough to Southland, and on the upper Motueka and Buller Rivers in southern Nelson3. Birds disperse to the coastline and estuaries in winter, mostly from Stewart Island to the southern North Island, feeding at sea within 10 km of the coast3,6. The most recent estimate puts the total population at 7,000-10,000 individuals10. All populations of this species that have been studied have been in decline7. More

tern Sterna albostriata were listed in 'serious decline' but are now 'nationally endangered'. The grey duck population is diminishing because of hybridisation with non-indigenous mallard ducks. The Ashburton River/Hakatere population of black-fronted tern dropped from 750 to 200 birds between 1981 and 1990. More

The black-fronted tern, Sterna albostriata, an endemic species, is classified as "endangered" according to IUCN criteria, breeding in South Island riverbeds, as is the black-billed gull. The New Zealand fairy tern, Sterna nereis davisae, is an endemic subspecies, which breeds only in Northland at Papakanui Spit (South Kaipara Head), and Mangawhai and Waipu estuaries, with the total New Zealand population in 1997-1999 about 25-30 birds (ie, about 8-10 breeding pairs), representing about a 50% population decline since 1970. More

Order : Charadriiformes
Family : Laridae
Genus : Sterna
Species : albostriata
Authority : (Gray, 1845)