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Haven for seabirds

The small coral islands of the remote Phoenix Islands are important resting and nesting areas for millions of seabirds, some of them rare and endangered. Over time, seafaring Polynesians, explorers, whalers, and miners of bird guano introduced cats, rats, and even pigs—all of which consume bird eggs. These non-native species have reduced seabird populations on the islands, and the Kiribati government is working to eradicate them from the Phoenix Islands Protected Area — the core of the world’s largest marine protected area. Meanwhile, on McKean Island, juvenile frigate birds await their parents’ return from sea. (Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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