The birds of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean: A review

Subject: The birds of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean: A review
From: Rohan Clarke <>
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2014 05:29:49 +0000

Hi All,
The birds of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean: A review by David James and Ian McAllan has just been published in the journal Australian Field Ornithology. This is a comprehensive review (180 pages) and a significant contribution to ornithology in the region. I expect it will be of great interest to many on birding-aus and is a must-have for anyone planning to visit the island. The summary is copied below. A pdf of the review is freely available on the Birdlife Australia website at:

SUMMARY This paper is an account of all known records of birds from Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. It also includes reviews of the history of the Island’s ornithology, its avian biogeography, the taxonomy of selected endemic taxa, population estimates of resident species, and current and past threats to its birds. One hundred and forty-nine species of birds have been recorded from the Island, of which 14 are breeding landbirds, nine are breeding seabirds, 18 are rare visitors and 108 are vagrant species. The Island has a high degree of endemism and this is expressed in the avifauna through 11 endemic taxa among the 23 breeding species. Biogeographically, Christmas Island is an oceanic island, with breeding and visiting species originating from several sources including South-East Asia, Australia, the Palaearctic, pelagic, and other undetermined sources. Links to the Greater Sunda Islands and Wallacea are very minor. The Island was first occupied by humans in 1888. Since then, three bird species have been introduced (two deliberately) and four have self-colonised. No bird taxa have become extinct locally, despite several extinctions of other endemic and indigenous fauna. However, numerous threatening processes are placing increasing pressure on native birds.


Rohan Clarke

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