Fregata minor


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Fregata minor
Species Authority: (Gmelin, 1789)
Common Name(s):
English Great Frigatebird, Great Frigatebird
French Frégate du Pacifique

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., Butchart, S., Calvert, R.
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Major breeding populations of the Greater Frigatebird are found in tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Ocean, as well as one population in the South Atlantic (Trinidade and Martim Vaz, Brazil). It is predominately sedentary, with immature and non-breeding individuals dispersing throughout the tropical seas with the exception of the east and central Atlantic.

American Samoa (American Samoa); Aruba; Australia; Brazil; British Indian Ocean Territory; Brunei Darussalam; Chile; China; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Colombia; Comoros; Costa Rica; Ecuador (Galápagos); Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mayotte; Mexico; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Nauru; New Caledonia; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Philippines; Réunion; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tonga; United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna
Mauritius; New Zealand; Oman; Panama; Zimbabwe
Present - origin uncertain:
Cambodia; Cook Islands; El Salvador; French Southern Territories; Guatemala; Kiribati; Nicaragua; Niue; Papua New Guinea; Pitcairn; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Samoa; Singapore; Tokelau; Tuvalu; Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Greater Frigatebird breeds on small, remote tropical and sub-tropical islands, in mangroves or bushes and occaisionally on bare ground (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Fish, squid and chicks of other bird species (e.g. Sooty Terns) have all been identified as prey (Weimerskirch et al. 2004). It is frequently observed attempting to steal food from other bird species (kleptoparasitism) (Vickery and Brooke 1994). However, this behaviour represents a minor source of energy (Vickery and Brooke 1994, Weimerskirch et al. 2004), and they are frequently observed foraging at the coast or inland at most places where they breed (Weimerskirch et al. 2004).

Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Fregata minor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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