INTRODUCTION - Ascension Island is home to 16 breeding bird species. Eleven of these are native seabirds, while the remaining five are introduced landbirds. Two endemic species, a night heron and a rail, are thought to have become extinct since the discovery of the island, while one further species has become locally extinct. These losses are thought to be primarily due to the introduction of cats to the island, which has also resulted in a large reduction in the numbers of breeding seabirds on the island. (Pic Right: Richard White RSPB Conservation Officer)

An ambitious programme has recently been initiated to remove feral cats from the island and recreate suitable conditions for seabirds to recolonise the mainland of Ascension.

A further 52 species have either been recorded as vagrants or have been failed introductions on Ascension; making a total of at least 68 species recorded on the island. (Pic Left: Boatswain Bird Island)

Further reading: Harrison, P. 1983. Seabirds An Identification Guide

Bourne, WRP & Simmons, KEL. 1998. A preliminary list of the birds of Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean. Sea Swallow 47: 42-56

Ratcliffe, N. 2001. Monitoring methods for seabirds on Ascension Island. Unpublished RSPB report.

For more information about birds on Ascension mail from the link below:

Richard White RSPB Ascension Island Conservation Officer