Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed marine
Listed migratory - CAMBA, JAMBA, ROKAMBA
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Marine bioregional plan for the North Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012x) [Admin Guideline].
Marine bioregional plan for the North-west Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012y) [Admin Guideline].
Offshore and foraging pelagic seabirds - A Vulnerability Assessment for the Great Barrier Reef (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), 2011h) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
List of Migratory Species (13/07/2000) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000b) [Legislative Instrument].
Declaration under section 248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of Marine Species (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000c) [Legislative Instrument].
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - Listed Migratory Species - Approval of an International Agreement (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007h) [Legislative Instrument].
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Least Concern (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Fregata ariel [1012]
Family Fregatidae:Pelecaniformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Gray,1845)
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Marine bioregional plans have been developed for four of Australia's marine regions - South-west, North-west, North and Temperate East. Marine Bioregional Plans will help improve the way decisions are made under the EPBC Act, particularly in relation to the protection of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of our oceans and their resources by our marine-based industries. Marine Bioregional Plans improve our understanding of Australia's oceans by presenting a consolidated picture of the biophysical characteristics and diversity of marine life. They describe the marine environment and conservation values of each marine region, set out broad biodiversity objectives, identify regional priorities and outline strategies and actions to address these priorities. Click here for more information about marine bioregional plans.

The Lesser Frigatebird has been identified as a conservation value in the North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) and North (DSEWPaC 2012x) marine regions. See Schedule 2 of the North-west Marine Bioregional Plan (DSEWPaC 2012y) and the North Marine Bioregional Plan (DSEWPaC 2012x) for regional advice. Maps of Biologically Important Areas have been developed for Lesser Frigatebird in the North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) and North (DSEWPaC 2012x) marine regions and may provide additional relevant information. Go to the conservation values atlas to view the locations of these Biologically Important Areas. The "species group report cards - seabirds" for the North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) and North (DSEWPaC 2012x) marine regions provide additional information.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:Direct exploitation by humans including hunting Fregata ariel in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ld) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Fregata ariel in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ld) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Infection by parasites Fregata ariel in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ld) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low fecundity, reproductive rate and/or poor recruitment Fregata ariel in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ld) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Species Disturbance:Inappropriate disturbance regime Fregata ariel in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ld) [Internet].

Abbott, I. (1979b). The distribution and abundance of seabirds at sea and on islands near the mid- and north-western coasts of Australia. Corella. 3:93-102.

Ainley, D.G. & R.J. Boekelheide (1983). An ecological comparison of oceanic seabird communities of the south Pacific Ocean. Studies in Avian Biology. 8:2--23.

Barrett, G., A. Silcocks, S. Barry, R. Poulter & R. Cunningham (2002b). Australian Bird Atlas 1998-2001 Main Report To Environment Australia. Melbourne: Birds Australia.

Blakers, M., S.J.J.F. Davies & P.N. Reilly (1984). The Atlas of Australian Birds. Melbourne, Victoria: Melbourne University Press.

Burbidge, A.A., P.J. Fuller, J.A.K. Lane & S.A. Moore (1987). Counts of nesting boobies and Lesser Frigate-birds in Western Australia. Emu. 87:128--129.

Carter, M. (2000b). Christmas Island, Western Australia. Australian Birding Magazine. 6 (3,4):23-24.

Diamond, A.W. (1975b). Biology and behaviour of frigatebirds Fregata spp. on Aldabra Atoll. Ibis. 117:302-323.

Garnett, S.T. & G.M. Crowley (1987). Manowar Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland. Corella. 11:73--74.

Gibson-Hill, C.A. (1948). The island of North Keeling. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 21:68--103.

Heatwole, H., J.P. O'Neill, M. Jones & M. Preker (1996). Long-term population trends for seabirds in the Swain Reefs, Queensland. In: CRC Reef Research Technical Report. 12. [Online]. Available from:

Johnstone, R.E. & G.M. Storr (1998). Handbook of Western Australian Birds. Vol. 1: Non-passerines (Emu to Dollarbird). Perth, Western Australia: West Australian Museum.

Kikkawa, J. (1975). Birds of Weipa, Cape York Peninsula. Sunbird. 6:43--47.

King, B.R. (1986). Raine Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Corella. 10:73--77.

King, B.R. & R.C. Buckley (1985). Quoin Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Corella. 9:75--77.

Marchant, S. & P.J. Higgins, eds. (1990). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume One - Ratites to Ducks. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

O'Neill, P. (2002). Personal communication.

Pocklington, R. (1979). An oceanographic interpretation of seabird distributions in the Indian Ocean. Marine Biology. 51:9--21.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) (2002a). Coastal Bird Atlas, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Rockhampton, Qld (curators: P. O'Neill and R. White). Queried 16 April 2002.

Ross, G.J.B., A.A. Burbidge, N. Brothers, P. Canty, P. Dann, P.J. Fuller, K.R. Kerry, F.I. Norman, P.W. Menkhorst, D. Pemberton, G. Shaughnessy, P.D. Shaughnessy, G.C. Smith, T. Stokes & J. Tranter (1996a). The status of Australia's seabirds. In: Zann, L., ed. The State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia, Technical Summary. Dept of the Environment, Sport & Territories, Canb.

Sibley, F.C. & R.B. Clapp (1967). Distribution and dispersal of central Pacific Lesser Frigatebirds Fregata ariel. Ibis. 109:328--337.

Stokes, T. & K. Dunn (1989). Movement of Least Frigatebirds from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. Corella. 13:62.

Stokes, T., W. Sheils & K. Dunn (1984). Birds of the Cocos - Keeling Islands, Indian Ocean. Emu. 84:23-28.

Walker, T.A. & M.E. Jones (1986a). Bell Cay, Barrier Reef, Queensland. Corella. 10:95-97.

Walker, T.A. & M.E. Jones (1986b). Frigate Cay, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Corella. 10:89-90.

WBM Oceanics & G. Claridge (1997). Guidelines for managing visitation to seabird breeding islands. [Online]. Townsville, Queensland: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Available from:

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Fregata ariel in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:08:11 +1000.