Great Frigatebird Fregata minor


Taxonomic source(s)
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Least Concern
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 126,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 170,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 120000 poor estimated 2002
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 16.6 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number 120,000 mature individuals (Kushlan et al. 2002).

Trend justification: The population is undergoing a small decline (Kushlan et al. 2002, Partners in Flight 2019), which is thought to be caused by climate change and human disturbance.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
American Samoa N Extant Yes
Aruba (to Netherlands) N Extant Yes
Australia N Extant Yes
Brazil N Extant Yes
British Indian Ocean Territory N Extant Yes
Brunei N Extant Yes
Cambodia U Extant
Chile N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Christmas Island (to Australia) N Extant Yes
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (to Australia) N Extant Yes
Colombia N Extant Yes
Comoros N Extant Yes
Cook Islands U Extant
Costa Rica N Extant Yes
Ecuador N Extant Yes
El Salvador U Extant
Fiji N Extant Yes
French Polynesia N Extant Yes
French Southern Territories U Extant
Guam (to USA) N Extant Yes
Guatemala U Extant
High Seas N Extant Yes
India N Extant Yes
Indonesia N Extant Yes
Japan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Kiribati U Extant
Madagascar N Extant Yes
Malaysia N Extant Yes
Maldives N Extant Yes
Marshall Islands N Extant Yes
Mauritius V Extant Yes
Mayotte (to France) N Extant Yes
Mexico N Extant Yes
Micronesia, Federated States of N Extant Yes
Mozambique N Extant Yes
Nauru N Extant Yes
New Caledonia (to France) N Extant Yes
New Zealand V Extant Yes
Nicaragua U Extant
Niue (to New Zealand) U Extant
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
Oman V Extant Yes
Palau N Extant Yes
Panama V Extant Yes
Papua New Guinea U Extant
Philippines N Extant Yes
Pitcairn Islands (to UK) U Extant
Réunion (to France) N Extant Yes
Samoa U Extant
Seychelles N Extant Yes
Solomon Islands N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant Yes
South Africa N Extant Yes
Sri Lanka N Extant Yes
St Helena (to UK) U Extant
Taiwan, China N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Thailand N Extant Yes
Timor-Leste N Extant Yes
Tokelau (to New Zealand) U Extant
Tonga N Extant
Tuvalu U Extant
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes
Vanuatu N Extant Yes
Vietnam U Extant
Wallis and Futuna Islands (to France) N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe V Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Marshall Islands Bokak Atoll
French Polynesia Hatu iti
French Polynesia Fangataufa
French Polynesia Manuae, Motu One et Maupihaa
French Polynesia Tetiaroa
Kiribati Malden Island
Seychelles Aldabra Special Reserve
Indonesia Pulau Manuk
Christmas Island (to Australia) Christmas Island
French Polynesia Manui, Kamaka, Makaroa
French Polynesia Maria
Marshall Islands Taongi Atoll
Micronesia, Federated States of Wolouna, Ahnd Atoll
Chile Isla Sala y Gómez
Kiribati McKean Island
Kiribati Orona Atoll (Hull Island)
Kiribati Nikumaroro (Gardner Island)
Kiribati Abariranga (Canton) Island
Kiribati Enderbury Island
Kiribati Rawaki (Phoenix Island)
Kiribati Tabuaeran (Fanning Island)
Kiribati Vostok Island
Kiribati Kiritimati (Christmas Island)
Kiribati Millenium (Caroline) Island
Fiji Namenalala
American Samoa National Park of American Samoa - Tutuila
French Polynesia Fatu Hiva
French Polynesia Rimatara
French Polynesia Makatea
French Polynesia Ilots rocheux de Rapa et Marotiri
French Polynesia Morane
French Polynesia Motane (Mohotani)
French Polynesia Moruroa
French Polynesia Tikehau
Kiribati Teraina (Washington Island)
French Polynesia Motu de l'ouest et du sud de Rangiroa
French Polynesia Reitoru
French Polynesia Fatu Huku
French Polynesia Hatuta'a
American Samoa Rose Atoll
French Polynesia Akamaru island
French Polynesia Mangareva
French Polynesia Tahanea
French Polynesia Motu Teiku
Kiribati Starbuck Island
French Polynesia Hiva Oa
French Polynesia Ilots rocheux de Ua Pou
French Polynesia Ilots rocheux de Ua Huka
French Polynesia Bora Bora
French Polynesia Anuanuraro
French Polynesia Fakarava Atolls
French Polynesia Manuhangi
French Polynesia Motutunga
French Polynesia Nukutepipi
French Polynesia Tekokota
French Polynesia Hatu iti
USA Lehua Islet
USA Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Cook Islands Suwarrow Atoll National Park
Indonesia Pulau Gunung Api
USA Lehua Islet
Palau Ngeriungs, Palau
Palau Fana Island
Christmas Island (to Australia) Christmas Island - Marine
Seychelles Aldabra atoll / Cosmoledo atoll - Marine
Indonesia Pulau Gunung Api - Marine
Indonesia Pulau Manuk - Marine
Seychelles African Banks / Boudeuse island / Etoile island / Marie Louise island - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Western 32 - Marine
Micronesia, Federated States of Gaferut (Faiyew) Island
Micronesia, Federated States of East Fayu
Marshall Islands Bikar Atoll
Marshall Islands Taka Atoll
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Wake Island
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Baker Island
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Howland Island
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Johnston Atoll
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Palmyra Atoll
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Jarvis Island
Cook Islands Takutea Wildlife Sanctuary
Cook Islands Aitutaki
Marshall Islands Bokak Atoll Marine
Kiribati Kiritimati (Christmas Island) Marine
Kiribati Millenium (Caroline) Island Marine
Kiribati Vostok Island Marine
Kiribati Malden Island Marine
Kiribati Flint Island
New Caledonia (to France) Récifs d'Entrecasteaux
New Caledonia (to France) Îles des récifs Bampton et Chesterfield
New Caledonia (to France) Île Hunter
New Caledonia (to France) District de Wetr à Lifou
Tonga Late
Tonga 'Ata Island
Vanuatu Ambrym West
Tokelau (to New Zealand) Atafu
Solomon Islands Kolombangara Upland Forest
Solomon Islands Gizo
Solomon Islands East Rennell
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Maug Islands
Australia Bramble Cay
Papua New Guinea Tench Island
Wallis and Futuna Islands (to France) Futuna

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major resident
Marine Neritic Pelagic major resident
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major resident
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major resident
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 150 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Fregata minor. Downloaded from on 05/02/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 05/02/2023.