Christmas Island

Country/Territory Christmas Island (to Australia)
Area 140 km2
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 White-eye (Zosterops natalis) NT

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country

Threat 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 (2018) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Christmas Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2018.