The Birds of Christmas Island, Indian ocean: a review

David J. James, Ian A. W. McAllan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is an account of all known records of birds from Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. It also includes reviews of the history of the Island's ornithology, its avian biogeography, the taxonomy of selected endemic taxa, population estimates of resident species, and current and past threats to its birds. One hundred and forty-nine species of birds have been recorded from the Island, of which 14 are breeding landbirds, nine are breeding seabirds, 18 are visitors and 108 are vagrant species. The Island has a high degree of endemism and this is expressed in the avifauna through 11 endemic taxa among the 23 breeding species. Biogeographically, Christmas Island is an oceanic island, with breeding and visiting species originating from several sources including South-East Asia, Australia, the Palaearctic, pelagic, and other undetermined sources. Links to the Greater Sunda Islands and Wallacea are very minor. The Island was frst occupied by humans in 1888. Since then, three bird species have been introduced (two deliberately) and four have self-colonised. No bird taxa have become extinct locally, despite several extinctions of other endemic and indigenous fauna. However, numerous threatening processes are placing increasing pressure on native birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S1-S175
Number of pages175
JournalAustralian Field Ornithology
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The Birds of Christmas Island, Indian ocean: a review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this