IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

Distribution

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Range Description

Nesofregetta fuliginosa breeds in the Line and Phoenix Islands (Kiribati), Austral, Society (formerly Tahiti), Gambier and Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia), New Caledonia (to France) (3-4 pairs in 1996-1997 [V. Bretagnolle in litt. 1999], although repeated visits in 2007 failed to produce any records pointing to local extinction [J. Baudat-Franceschi in litt. 2007], but since sighted twice off the northern tip and may possibly breed on atolls off the northern end of the island [C. Collins in litt. 2011]), Sala y Gomez (Chile) (100 pairs in 1997 [Vilina and Gazitua 1999]) and, historically (perhaps even currently), in Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji. In the Line Islands, c.1,000 pairs were present on Kiritimati (= Christmas Island) in the 1960s and early 1970s (Garnett 1983) but, in 1993, the population was estimated at several hundred (M. Rauzon in litt. 1999), supported by observations in 1999 and 2009 (D. Watling in litt. 1999, R. Pierce in litt. 2009). In the Phoenix Islands, c.1,400 birds were present on Phoenix and McKean Islands, but the total population on the two islands is now thought to be 40-100 and c.10 individuals respectively (Garnett 1983, R. Pierce in litt. 2009). In the Australs, tens of pairs occurred on Rapa and surrounding islets (Holyoak and Thibault 1984), and the situation was unchanged in 1990 (Thibault and Varney 1991). However, following Cyclone Oli in February 2010, 36 dead birds were found in the port of Tubuai, (possibly through the combined effects of light-attraction and strong winds), which may have had a significant impact on the small local population around Rapa and the long-term survival of the species in French Polynesia (Anon. 2009). In the Gambiers, 100-200 pairs occurred on Motu Teiku and 100-300 pairs on Manui in 1996, but it may have become extinct on two further islands (Thibault and Bretagnolle 1999). In the Marquesas, one pair was found on Ua Pou in 1989 (V. Bretagnolle in litt. 1999). No evidence was found of this species during a survey of the historical nesting site of Mt Washington (=Nabukulevu) on Kadavu (Fiji) in August 2004. There has been only one unconfirmed sighting in Fijian waters in the last three decades, and it is thought to be very unlikely that it still breeds in Fiji (D. Watling in litt. 2005).

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Source: IUCN

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