Image: Janos Hennicke

Fight for the Christmas Island frigatebird

  • BY Jemma Castle |
  • April 12, 2012

With an estimated 1200 mating pairs left these seabirds urgently need your help!

ENDEMIC TO CHRISTMAS Island, the Christmas Island frigatebird has only three remaining colonies on the island. It is the world's rarest frigatebird and is critically endangered due to habitat loss and changes to their food supply. It has an estimated remaining population of only 1200 pairs.

Help us assist the Australasian Seabird Group in protecting the Christmas Island frigatebird and many other vulnerable seabirds by donating today.  


Did you know?
*All male frigatebirds have a red pouch-like throat that inflates during courtship to attract the opposite sex.

*It can take between 15-25 years for an adult pair to be replaced. One egg is laid each breeding season and it takes 15-17 months to rear a chick.

*These rare seabirds are known to forage for food up to hundreds, and sometimes thousands of kilometres away from their colony. One has been documented undertaking a non-stop, 26-hour flight, covering 4000km flying from Christmas Island via Sumatra and Borneo then back.

Why they need your help?
The Christmas Island frigatebird population is in steady decline, with a 66 per cent decrease over the past three generations and it is expected to continue.

Threats to the frigatebird are likely to include land clearing, dust fallout from phosphate mining, over fishing, marine pollution and the invasive yellow crazy ant, which is killing the island's dominant red crabs, and will have knock-on impacts for the whole island's ecosystem.

The AG Society is working with BirdLife Australia's Australasian Seabird Group (ASG) to study the foraging behaviour of the species through satellite and geo-location tagging, helping to focus conservation efforts. Barry Baker, president of ASG, hopes for the same success with frigatebirds that Australian projects have achieved with penguins, albatrosses and petrels in recent years.

Your donation will help the ASG achive their goal and undertake important research on Christmas Island frigatebirds and other vulnerable seabirds.


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