Hunga Ha'apai, Hunga Tonga Islands

Country/territory: Tonga

IBA criteria met: A1, A2 (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 22 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2007 not assessed low not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2007 baseline)
The Hungas IBA comprises both the islands of Hunga Ha’apai and Hunga Tonga, two isolated volcanic islands of the Ha’apai Group with a combined area of just over one square kilometre. The islands are uninhabited and are very rarely visited by people. The Hungas are renowned for their seabird colonies, although these are poorly documented they probably exceed over 10,000 pairs of several species. A breeding record of the globally threatened Phoenix petrel from the Hungas is doubted, but the threatened friendly ground-dove Gallicolumba stairi occurs on both islands as well as four other ‘central Polynesian’ restricted range species.

Key biodiversity
Ornithological information There are very few published ornithological observations for the Hungas. The Whitney South Seas Expedition visited the islands in July 23,24 1925 but not all their observations or collections have been published. Information from journal accounts of the Expedition’s collectors was extracted for seabirds by Jenkins (1980). Rinke et al. (1992) records some of DRs previous observations on a visit to the Hungas in April 1991. Two globally threatened species (A1) have been recorded although the record of the Phoenix Petrel is doubted; and, five ‘central polynesian’ restricted range species (A2). It is considered probable that there are more than 10,000 pairs of seabirds of mixed species on the islands (A4iii).

Non-bird biodiversity: No records.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Hunga Ha'apai, Hunga Tonga Islands. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.