McKean Island

Year of compilation: 2010

Site description
McKean Island is a low and flat, circular-shaped, coral island surrounded by a fringing reef.

Key biodiversity
A seabird colony with good numbers of a range of species.During the 1960s McLean Island was one of the flagship islands of the Phoenix group, supporting diverse and important populations of seabirds

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Recent accidental introduction of Asian Rats is correlated with a decline in seabird numbers, and evidence of reduced seabird productivity, on the island.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Asian Rat Rattus tanezumi was accidentally introduced to the island probably following a ship wreck in 2002. A rodent eradication programme was undertaken in 2008 - with results to be confirmed in 2010.

Protected areas
The island was declared a bird sanctuary in 1938. In addition it is included as part of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), formally designated in 2008.

Habitat and land use
The island is a reef-fringed, essentially sea-level or very slightly elevated emergent coral reef, with accumulations of coral or algal debris and some phosphate from seabird droppings.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: McKean Island. Downloaded from on 28/01/2022.