Marshall Islands

Country/Territory Marshall Islands
Area 0 km2
Altitude 0 - 0 m
Priority -
Habitat loss -
Knowledge -

General characteristics

Lying c.500 km east of the Caroline Islands (EBA 192), the Marshall Islands are an archipelago of 31 coral atolls strung out in two chains and totalling 181 km2 in area (Ralik and Ratak). Small remnants of atoll/beach and mangrove forest remain, although all the islands have been greatly modified by coconut and breadfruit plantations, and some have been drastically damaged by the testing of atomic weapons (Davis et al. 1986). The islands have been identified as a Secondary Area because two restricted-range species which occur in other Micronesian/Polynesian EBAs are or were present there: Purple-capped Fruit-dove Ptilinopus porphyraceus is locally extinct on Ebon in the Ralik chain, and Micronesian Imperial-pigeon Ducula oceanica is extant on four atolls. The recognition of Gilbert Rail Gallirallus conditicus-listed as extinct and known only from the type-specimen supposedly from Ebon (mistakenly taken to be in the Gilbert Islands of Kiribati by Sibley and Monroe 1990, but corrected in Sibley and Monroe 1993)-is probably traceable to an early curatorial error, and the specimen is more likely one of Lord Howe Rail G. sylvestris (EBA 204) (Olson 1992). Bristle-thighed Curlew Numenius tahitiensis (classified as Vulnerable), a restricted-range species which breeds in western Alaska (Secondary Area s002), winters on islands in the Pacific region including the Marshall Islands.

Restricted-range species

Species IUCN Red List category
Micronesian Imperial-pigeon (Ducula oceanica) VU
(Ptilinopus porphyraceus) NR

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
Country IBA Name IBA Book Code
Marshall Islands Mili Atoll MH06
Marshall Islands Northeast Islets, Majuro Atoll MH05

Threat and conservation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Marshall Islands. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/eba/factsheet/422 on 24/09/2023.