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Great Frigatebird Fregata minor
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 24,800 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 107,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 15.2 - - -
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
American Samoa Native Extant       Yes
Aruba (to Netherlands) Native Extant   Yes    
Australia Native Extant       Yes
Brazil Native Extant       Yes
British Indian Ocean Territory Native Extant       Yes
Brunei Native Extant       Yes
Cambodia Unknown Extant        
Chile Native Extant       Yes
China (mainland) Native Extant       Yes
Christmas Island (to Australia) Native Extant       Yes
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (to Australia) Native Extant Yes      
Colombia Native Extant       Yes
Comoros Native Extant       Yes
Cook Islands Unknown Extant        
Costa Rica Native Extant       Yes
Ecuador Native Extant       Yes
El Salvador Unknown Extant        
Fiji Native Extant   Yes    
French Polynesia Native Extant       Yes
French Southern Territories Unknown Extant        
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Guatemala Unknown Extant        
India Native Extant       Yes
Indonesia Native Extant       Yes
Japan Native Extant       Yes
Kenya Native Extant       Yes
Kiribati Unknown Extant        
Madagascar Native Extant       Yes
Malaysia Native Extant       Yes
Maldives Native Extant       Yes
Marshall Islands Native Extant Yes      
Mauritius Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant       Yes
Mexico Native Extant       Yes
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant Yes      
Mozambique Native Extant       Yes
Nauru Native Extant   Yes    
New Caledonia (to France) Native Extant       Yes
New Zealand Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Nicaragua Unknown Extant        
Niue (to New Zealand) Unknown Extant        
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant Yes      
Oman Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Palau Native Extant Yes      
Panama Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Papua New Guinea Unknown Extant        
Philippines Native Extant       Yes
Pitcairn Islands (to UK) Unknown Extant        
Réunion (to France) Native Extant Yes      
Samoa Unknown Extant        
Seychelles Native Extant Yes      
Singapore Unknown Extant        
Solomon Islands Native Extant       Yes
Somalia Native Extant       Yes
South Africa Native Extant       Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant       Yes
St Helena (to UK) Unknown Extant        
Taiwan (China) Native Extant       Yes
Tanzania Native Extant       Yes
Thailand Native Extant       Yes
Timor-Leste Native Extant   Yes    
Tokelau (to New Zealand) Unknown Extant        
Tonga Native Extant        
Tuvalu Unknown Extant        
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
USA Native Extant Yes      
Vanuatu Native Extant       Yes
Vietnam Unknown Extant        
Wallis and Futuna Islands (to France) Native Extant       Yes
Zimbabwe Vagrant Extant   Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Chile Isla Sala y Gómez site factsheet
Christmas Island (to Australia) Christmas Island site factsheet
Indonesia Pulau Manuk site factsheet
Kiribati Malden Island site factsheet
Kiribati Malden Island Marine site factsheet
Kiribati Millenium (Caroline) Island site factsheet
Kiribati Millenium (Caroline) Island Marine site factsheet
Kiribati Vostok Island site factsheet
Kiribati Vostok Island Marine site factsheet
Marshall Islands Bokak Atoll site factsheet
Marshall Islands Bokak Atoll Marine site factsheet
Marshall Islands Taongi Atoll site factsheet
Seychelles Aldabra Special Reserve site factsheet
USA Northwestern Hawaiian Islands site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major resident
Marine Neritic Pelagic major resident
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major resident
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major resident
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 150 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Other impacts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Fregata minor. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

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

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
Species name author (Gmelin, 1789)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 24,800 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species