|Location||Pitcairn Islands (to UK)|
|Central coordinates||124o 47.00' West 24o 41.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 5m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2005|
Site description Ducie is a low oceanic atoll of exceptional remoteness at the extreme south-east of Polynesia. It is the southernmost atoll in the world. The fringing reef is oval, roughly 3 km along the east-west axis and 2.5 km along the north-south axis. The single passage at the south-west corner faces south-west and experiences the full impact of the prevailing heavy swells. It is not navigable. The principal motu, called Acadia Island, has an area of 55 ha and stretches for about 3.5 km along the northern reef. Three other small motus are named Edwards, Pandora and Westward; all can be reached by walking from Acadia over the reef at low tide. Their combined land area is about 5 ha.The central lagoon, up to 12 m deep, is characterised by a well-preserved death assemblage of a formerly prolific coral fauna, encrusted by a much sparser live coral assemblage. Presumably the formerly abundant corals have been killed by influxes of cold water at this island which is towards the southern limit of coral growth.Ducie's remoteness is evident in the depauperate flora. Acadia is covered in a monospecific forest of Argusia argentea. A second woody species, Pemphis acidula, was recorded in 1991, and there are records from the 1922 Whitney Expedition of a grass and a vine. No other vascular plants are known. Ducie receives visits once or twice a year from cruise ships which land their passengers on the north shore of Acadia. It is quite possible that there are other visits which are unrecorded, but probably infrequent.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Kermadec Petrel Pterodroma neglecta||breeding||1991||30,000 breeding pairs||good||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Herald Petrel Pterodroma heraldica||breeding||1991||10,000-100,000 breeding pairs||good||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Murphy's Petrel Pterodroma ultima||breeding||1991||250,000 breeding pairs||good||A1, A4ii||Near Threatened|
|Christmas Island Shearwater Puffinus nativitatis||breeding||1991||3,000 breeding pairs||good||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda||breeding||1991||500-1,000 breeding pairs||good||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Common White Tern Gygis alba||breeding||1991||5,000 breeding pairs||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - seabirds||breeding||1991||293,500-384,000 breeding pairs||good||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Sea||Open Sea; Shallow marine areas, coral reefs and keys||major|
Other biodiversity For all taxonomic groups hitherto investigated, Ducie has proved to be poor in species. This is a consequence of its isolation at the extreme south-east of Polynesia, the source of nearly all taxa. Somewhat perversely, the very paucity of species is what makes the atoll so interesting to students of biogeography.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ducie Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/03/2014
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