Kiribati


1143 km
3475384 km2
24

Summary/History
The island nation of Kiribati consists of 32 atolls plus one raised coral island and is spread over 3.5 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean (Kiribati Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, 2007). Published records on the seabirds of Kiribati stretch back to the 1880s (Finsch, 1880a), but the first detailed information was collected by the Whitney South Seas expedition (1921-1932). Subsequently the Pacific Ocean Biological Program (1963-1970) collected and catalogued birds present on each island (Amerson, 1969; Garnett, 1983). Recent studies have concentrated on specific atolls and smaller island groups, particularly Kiritimati and the Phoenix Islands (see Pierce et al, 2006; Pierce et al, 2007; Pierce, 2010). Kiribati holds globally important seabird colonies, such as Kiritimati where between 350,000 and 650,000 pairs of Sooty Terns bred in 2007 (Pierce et al, 2007). In addition to large seabird colonies Kiribati supports important breeding populations of Globally Threatened species including Phoenix Petrel (EN) and White-throated Storm-petrel (EN) (Garnett, 1983; Pierce et al, 2006). Conservation actions to date include the designation of the 400,000 square kilometre Phoenix Island Protected Area in 2006 and successful eradications of invasive rats from Mckean Island and invasive European rabbits from Rawaki (Phoenix) Island (Pierce et al, 2010). Since eradication of these invasive species seabird productivity has increased and native vegetation has begun to regenerate.
The major threats to seabirds in Kiribati are:
o Invasive species - rats and cats on Kiritimati have virtually eliminated all smaller species of seabird from the mainland (Pierce et al, 2007). Other invasive animals from ants to rabbits along with a range of plants are present with known and unknown impacts on the native biodiversity.
o Habitat degradation

National priorities
o Invasive species eradication

Government's support/relevant policy
Government of Kiribati is a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and used the Conference of Parties in 2006 to launch the Phoenix Island Protected Area; then the largest Marine Protected Area in the world. The Government of Kiribati supports the CBD's ongoing process to identify Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) at sea to help countries achieve their target to designate a minimum of 10% of their marine areas within Marine Protected Areas by 2020. To date the Phoenix Islands have been proposed as an EBSA. Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.




Albatrosses
0
Penguins
0
Petrels and shearwaters
5
Cormorants
0

Storm-petrels
2
Auks
0
Gulls and terns
9
Ducks, geese and swans
0


IUCN Red List Status

0
0
3 (98th)
14% (55th)
0
2
1
0
19
0

The numbers in brackets refer to the country's rank when compared to other countries and territories globally.

References
o Amerson, A. (1969) Ornithology of the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 127: 1-348.
o Finsch, O. (1880a) Beobachtungen uber die Vogel der Inseln Ponape (Carolinen). Journal f

Kiribati at a glance

Capital

Tarawa

Area

811 km2

BirdLife Partner

None

Species

Total number of birds 39
Globally threatened birds 6
Country endemics 1

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas

Number of IBAs 25
Total IBA area 34,131,963 ha

Endemic Bird Areas

Number of EBAs 2



Recommended Citation
BirdLife International (2021) Country profile: Kiribati. Available from http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country/kiribati. Checked: 2021-01-27