Christmas Island (flora and fauna)

The Robber Crab (Birgus latro) is the largest of the various crab species found in the island. Able to climb trees, the crabs only return to water during breeding season to lay its eggs. However, the most notorious are the Red Crabs (Gecardcoidea natalis) which migrates by the millions at the end of the dry season around November to mid-December. The dry season spans May to November while the wet season is between December to April. The coconut trees growing freely were probably brought by the natives of the Cocos Islands. Other indigenous fauna peculiar to the island include:

The Whitetailed Tropic bird (Phaethon leturus fulvus) first described by Brandt in 1840.
Christmas Island Fruit Bat (Pteropus melanotus natalis) which usually feeds on papayas, introduced to the island and is closely related to similar bats in Indonesia.
Shrew (Crocidura trichura), no longer sighted on the island.
Rats, (Rattus macleari and M. nativitatis), no longer sighted on the island.
Andrews' or Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi).
The Christmas Island Silver-eye (Zosterops natalis), a species of bird common throughout Southeast Asia.
The Christmas Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus erythropleurus), a distinct form of thrush.
The Christmas Island Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis), a land bird.


Bonny Tan

Bentley, J. (1979). The story behind the stamp: Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Islands (Indian Ocean), Australia Antar[c]tic Territory, Norfolk Island decimal stamps : complete issues to 1980 (p. 11 - 29). Bathurst, N.S.W.: Robert Brown and Associates
(Call no.: R 769.569699 BEN) 

Gray, H. (1981). Christmas Island naturally: The natural history of an isolated oceanic island, the Australian territory of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean (pp. 64 - 109). Geraldton, W.A.: H. Gray.
(Call no.: 508.94 GRA) 

Further Readings
Ridley, H. N. (190?). Christmas Island Flora. Journal of Straits Branch Royal Asiatic Society, 48, 107-108.
(Call no.: R 959.5 JSBRAS

Ridley, H. N. (1905). The botany of Christmas Island. Journal of Straits Branch Royal Asiatic Society, 45, 156 - 271.
(Call no.: R 959.5 JSBRAS) 

Ridley, H. N. (1891). A day at Christmas Island. Journal of Straits Branch Royal Asiatic Society, 23, 23-140.
(Call no.: R 959.5 JSBRAS)

Science and technology>>Biology>>Ecology>>Marine ecology
Singapore offshore islands
Science and technology>>Agriculture>>Horticulture>>Flowers and ornamental plants
Geography>>Geographical Areas and Countries>>Singapore Offshore Islands

All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2005.