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Range DescriptionThis poorly known species breeds along the coasts of the Red Sea south to Socotra (Yemen) and Somalia, and around the Persian Gulf off Saudi Arabia, Iran and Oman, to north-west India, Sri Lanka, Adu Atoll (Maldives), and possibly the Amirantes and Seychelles (del Hoyo et al. 1996). North-east African birds move south as far as Tanzania in winter, and birds around the Red Sea also move south within the breeding range. Birds in south-east Somalia, Sudan and Socotra are resident. Other populations appear to migrate eastwards to the west coast of India, Sri Lanka, Laccadives (to India) and Maldives, Seychelles and Malaysia (Snow and Perrins 1998). The location of its breeding colonies is mostly unknown, but in Iran, c.150 pairs nested in the 1970s in seven colonies, a small population was known to breed in Bahrain which appeared to decrease substantially from 1969-1971 to 1981, and 29+ pairs bred in 1983 on the Farasan Archipelago in Saudi Arabia (Gallagher et al. 1984).