Fregata magnificens 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Suliformes Fregatidae

Scientific Name: Fregata magnificens
Species Authority: Mathews, 1914
Common Name(s):
English Magnificent Frigatebird
French Frégate superbe
Taxonomic Source(s): 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. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Calvert, R., Butchart, S.
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is distributed on the Pacific and Atalantic coasts of America, from California (USA) to Ecuador (including the Galapagos), and from Florida to south Brazil. One relict population breeds at Cape Verde off the coast of Africa. Outside the breeding season it is largely sedentary, with the dispersal of immature and non-breeding individuals.
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Saba, Sint Eustatius); Brazil; Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador (Galápagos); El Salvador; French Guiana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Martinique; Mexico; Montserrat; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Puerto Rico; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Argentina; Chile; Denmark; France; Gambia; Mauritania; Portugal; Spain
Present - origin uncertain:
Canada; Senegal; Western Sahara
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 191000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Magnificent Frigatebird often nests in mangroves, but also in bushes and even on cactus. It can breed on the ground (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Data reveals it is almost continuously on the wing, with morphology and flight pattern resulting in extremely low costs of foraging, relying on prey driven to the surface by underwater predators such as tuna. Low cost of flight due to extensive use of thermals allows exploitation of tropical waters in which prey is scarce (Weimerskirch et al. 2003). It feeds mainly on flying-fish and squid, but also jellyfish, baby turtles, seabird eggs and chicks, offal and fish scraps (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 15.9
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Fregata magnificens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22697724A40273052. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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