Tasman booby

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Sula dactylatra tasmani
Temporal range: Holocene
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Sulidae
Genus: Sula
S. d. tasmani
Trinomial name
Sula dactylatra tasmani
van Tets, Meredith, Fullagar & Davidson, 1988

Sula dactylatra fullagari
Sula tasmani van Tets, Meredith, Fullagar & Davidson, 1988

The Tasman booby (Sula dactylatra tasmani) or Lord Howe masked booby is a large seabird of the gannet family, Sulidae, described from bones found on Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands in the Tasman Sea (van Tets et al. 1988). It was believed to have become extinct in the late 18th century or early 19th century on Lord Howe Island because of predation by visiting sailors, with the last sight record dating from 1788, when it was already extinct on Norfolk Island.

However, this taxon has more recently (Priddel et al. 2005) been considered to be a subspecies of the masked booby, Sula dactylatra tasmani, still extant as a breeding species on Lord Howe Island, and more recently described as S. d. fullagari. Holdaway & Anderson (2001) attribute subfossil material from Norfolk Island simply to Sula dactylatra. Research at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand indicates that the proposal of Priddel's team is correct, and the masked booby subspecies fullagari is the same as tasmani. The latter name, being older, would thus apply to both.[1]


  • BirdLife International (2004). "Sula tasmani". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this "species" is extinct (note that this information is outdated)
  • Holdaway, Richard N.; & Anderson, Atholl. (2001). Avifauna from the Emily Bay settlement site, Norfolk Island: a preliminary account. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 27 (2001): 85-100. ISBN 0-7347-2305-9
  • Priddel, David; Hutton, Ian; Olson, Samantha; & Wheeler, Robert. (2005). Breeding biology of Masked Boobies (Sula dactylatra tasmani) on Lord Howe Island, Australia. Emu 105(2): 105-113.
  • van Tets, Gerard Frederick; Meredith, C.W.; Fullagar, P.J.; Davidson, P.M. (1988). "Osteological differences between Sula and Morus, and a description of an extinct new species of Sula from Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, Tasman Sea" (PDF). Notornis. 35: 35–57.