Volume 43, No. 2

Search by author or title:

Threats to the critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird Fregata andrewsi in Jakarta Bay, Indonesia, and implications for reconsidering conservation priorities


1Burung Laut Indonesia, Depok, East Java, 16421, Indonesia (
2Dept. of Ecology and Conservation, University of Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
3CEBC-CNRS, 79360 Villiers-en-Bois, France


TIRTANINGTYAS, F.N. & HENNICKE, J.C. 2015. Threats to the critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird Fregata andrewsi in Jakarta Bay, Indonesia, and implications for reconsidering conservation priorities. Marine Ornithology 43: 137 - 140

Received 4 November 2014, accepted 26 February 2015

Date Published: 2015/10/15
Date Online: 2017/02/28
Key words: Christmas Island Frigatebird, Fregata andrewsi, conservation, mortality, anthropogenic threats, Jakarta Bay, Southeast Asia


The Christmas Island Frigatebird Fregata andrewsi is one of the most endangered seabirds in the world. The reasons for its population decline are unknown, but recommended protection measures and management actions focus on the species' breeding site. Threats to the species away from Christmas Island have received little consideration. Here, we report on several previously undescribed anthropogenic threats to Christmas Island Frigatebirds based on observations in Jakarta Bay, Indonesia: accidental entanglement in fishing gear, as well as capture, poisoning and shooting. Based on these findings, we suggest that it is imperative to reconsider the present management strategies and conservation priorities for the species and to urgently include protection measures away from Christmas Island. 


Anderson, A. 1996. Origins of Procellariidae hunting in the Southwest Pacific. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 6: 403–410.

Anderson, O.R.J., Small, C.J., Croxall, J.P., Dunn, E.K., Sullivan, B.J., Yates, O. & Black, A. 2011. Global seabird bycatch in longline fisheries. Endangered Species Research 14: 91–106.

Anderson, R.C. 1996. Seabirds and the Maldivian tuna fishery. Rasain Newsletter 16: 134–147.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International red data book. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.

BirdLife International. 2014. Species factsheet: Fregata andrewsi. [Available online from:; accessed 10 October 2014].

Denlinger, L.M. & Wohl, K.D. 2001. Harvest of seabirds in Alaska. In: Denlinger, L.M. & Wohl, K.D. (Eds.) Seabird harvest regimes in the circumpolar nations. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Technical Report 9. pp. 3–10. 

Diamond, A.W. & Schreiber, E.A. 2002. Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens. In: Poole, A. & Gill, F. (Eds.) The birds of North America, No. 601. Philadelphia, PA: The Birds of North America Inc.

Garnett, S.T., Szabo, J.K. & Dutson, G. 2011. The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010. Collingwood, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

Hill, R. & Dunn, A. 2004. National Recovery Plan for the Christmas Island Frigatebird Fregata andrewsi. Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth of Australia.

INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES (IUCN). 2013. Red List of Threatened Species. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: Species Survival Commission, IUCN.

James, D.J. 2003. A survey of Christmas Island Frigatebird nests in 2003. Christmas Island, Australia: Parks Australia North.

James, D.J. 2004. Identification of Christmas Island, Great and Lesser Frigatebirds. Birding Asia 1: 22–38.

JAMES, D.J. & McALLAN, I.A.W. 2014. The birds of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean: a review. Australian Field Ornithology 31 (Supplement).

Jensen, A.E. & Tan, J.M.L. 2010. First observation and subsequent records of Christmas Island Frigatebird Fregata andrewsi in the Philippines with notes on its occurrence and distribution. Birding Asia 13: 68–70.

Lewison, R.L., Crowder, L.B., Read, A.J. & Freeman, S.A. 2004. Understanding impacts of fisheries bycatch on marine megafauna. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19: 598−604.

Lyver, P.O., Moller, H. & Thompson, C. 1999. Changes in sooty shearwater Puffinus griseus chick production and harvest precede ENSO events. Marine Ecology Progress Series 188: 237–248.

Metz, V.G. & Schreiber, E.A. 2002. Great Frigatebird Fregata minor. In: Poole, A. & Gill, F. (Eds.) The birds of North America, No. 681. Philadelphia, PA: The Birds of North America Inc. 

Merino, S., Hennicke, J.C., Martínez, J., Ludynia, K., Torres, R., Work, T.M., Masello, J.F. & Quillfeldt, P. 2012. Infection by Haemoproteus parasites in four species of frigatebirds and the description of a new species of Haemoproteus (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae). Journal of Parasitology 98: 388–397.

Orta, J. 1992. Family Fregatidae. In: del Hoya J., Elliot, A. & Sargatal, J. (Eds.) Handbook of the birds of the world, Vol. 1. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edecions. pp. 362–374.

Phillipps, Q. & Phillipps, K. 2009. Phillipps' Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo: Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan. Oxford, UK: Beaufoy Books.

Quillfeldt, P., Martínez, J., Hennicke J.C., Ludynia, K., Gladbach, A., Masello, J.F., Riou, S. & Merino, S. 2011. Hemosporidian blood parasites in seabirds—a comparative genetic study of species from Antarctic to tropical habitats. Naturwissenschaften 97: 809–817.

Skira, I.J., Wapstra, J. E., Towney, G.N. & Naarding, J.A. 1986. Conservation of the short-tailed shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris in Tasmania, Australia. Biological Conservation 37: 225–236.

Steadman, D.W. & Olson, S.L. 1985. Bird remains from an archaeological site on Henderson Island, South Pacific: man-caused extinctions on an “uninhabited” island. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 82: 6191–6195.

TIRTANINGTYAS, F.N., Febrianto, I., Hadi, N.K., Wardhani, P. & Yordan, K. 2012. Conservation of Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) in West Java, Indonesia. Final report. Bogor, Indonesia: Burung Laut Indonesia.

United Nations. 2013. World population prospects: the 2012 revision, vol. II: Demographic profiles. ST/ESA/SER.A/345. New York, US: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division.

Wells, D.R. 1999. The birds of the Thai-Malay peninsula, non-passerines, Vol. 1. London: Academic Press.

Yodzis, P. 2001. Must top predators be culled for the sake of fisheries? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16: 78–84.

Search by author or title:

Browse previous volumes: