Philatelic Aspects of Ascension

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Bird Life of Ascension

Before the first settlement here there were tens of thousands of breeding sea-birds all over the island, but with the coming of men there also came rats and cats. Both of these found the trusting birds an easy prey, and before very long only sooty terns survived on the main island, all the other species having been driven off to inhabit the off-shore stacks and Boatswain Bird Island,off the south east corner of the island, (shown in the photograph, below right) .


Apart from an extinct rail there were no land birds on Ascension, but several species have been gradually introduced since 1850, with the result that there are now at least 16 species of breeding birds, just enough to fill a definitive series of stamps.


Copyright © 2000, Neil MacFall
Created by Stephen C Fowler
Last revised on the 2nd of July 2000