The location of Christmas Island.

Christmas Island

Christmas Island is located in the Indian Ocean 2,600 km northwest of Perth, WA and 360 km south of Jakarta, Indonesia (Wikipedia).

There are no coastal mangroves on Christmas Island, but some mangrove tree species are found in stands high above sea level ([1]).

View Mangroves and Saltmarshes of Australia in a larger map

Mangrove species found on Christmas Island include: Barringtonia racemosa, Bruguiera gymnorhiza, Bruguiera sexangula, Cynometra ramiflora_[as _Cynometra iripa_], _Heritiera littoralis and Pemphis acidula [2].

Hosnies Spring supports a Ramsar listed ([3]) freshwater inland mangrove forest, located 120m inland of a seaward cliff and about 24–37 m above sea-level. It appears to be a relict of a time when sea levels were much higher and is dominated by Bruguiera gymnorhiza and B. sexangula which reach up to 40 m high. Conditions favourable for normal mangrove establishment do not appear to have existed since the last interglacial period, implying this stand has persisted in its present location for up to 120,000 years ([4], [2]).

Heritiera littoralis can be found at Greta Beach on an inland terrace and south towards Dolly Beach, as well as on the terrace above Deans Point ([3]).

Cynometra ramiflora is found in two small stands south of Ross Hill at 220-300 m above sea level ([3]).


Christmas Island      
Site Latitude Longitude Source
5 sites      
Deans Point 10°29'S 105°41'E [3]
Dolly Beach 10°31'S 105°40'E [3]
Greta Beach 10°30'S 105°40'E [3]
Hosnies Spring 10°28'S 105°41'E [2], [4]
Ross Hill 10°31'S 105°40'E [3]
Note: where latitudes and longitudes were not provided in the Source, they have been derived from the Australian Gazetteer. Where individual sites or other sites referenced can be precisely located, these are shown as yellow markers. Blue markers represent the estuary location as per OzCoasts.

Mangrove and Saltmarsh Species

Christmas Island    
Group Taxon Source
  6 taxa  
Vascular Plants Barringtonia racemosa [2]
Vascular Plants Bruguiera gymnorhiza [3], [2]
Vascular Plants Bruguiera sexangula [3], [2]
Vascular Plants Cynometra ramiflora [3], [2]
Vascular Plants Heritiera littoralis [3], [2]
Vascular Plants Pemphis acidula [2]


  1. Director of National Parks (2002). Christmas Island National Park Management Plan. Environment Australia. Available online: (more)
  2. Duke, N.C. (2006). Australia's Mangroves. The authoritative guide to Australia's mangrove plants. University of Queensland, Brisbane. (more)
  3. Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA)(2010). Christmas Island National Park. Available at: (more)
  4. Woodroffe, C.D. (1988). Relict Mangrove Stand on Last Interglacial Terrace, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Journal of Tropical Ecology. 4:1-17. Available online: (more)

-- EmmaClifton - 15 Sep 2010