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Christmas Island
Country/Territory Christmas Island (to Australia)
Area 140 
Altitude 0 - 300m  
Priority high 
Habitat loss moderate 
Knowledge good 


General characteristics 

Christmas Island, an external territory of Australia, is a raised coral island in the Indian Ocean, c.200 km south of Java in Indonesia (EBAs 160 and 161) and 2,600 km west of Darwin in North-West Australia (EBA 187).

The native vegetation includes mixed closed rain forest above 180 m, occasionally extending down to coastal terraces where deciduous forest predominates (Davis et al. 1986).

The best known member of the island

Restricted-range species 

The island is also important for its bird species and, in particular, for its two endemic land birds. These both rely primarily on forest: Ducula whartoni is largely restricted to remaining patches, while Zosterops natalis occurs more widely in a variety of habitats.

Two seabirds, Abbott's Booby Papasula abbotti and Christmas Island Frigatebird Fregata andrewsi, are endemic while breeding, and also rely on the remaining forest for nesting sites.

Species IUCN Category
Christmas Imperial-pigeon (Ducula whartoni)  NT 
Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis)  NT 

Threats and conservation 

In 1887 rock specimens collected from Christmas Island were shown to be rich in phosphate, a discovery which led to a century of phosphate mining on the island (stopped in 1987 and recommenced in 1990, but then restricted to previous cleared areas: T.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: Christmas Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife