Statistical information United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges 2023United%20States%20Pacific%20Island%20Wildlife%20Refuges

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United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges in the World
United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges in the World


United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - Introduction 2023
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All of the following US Pacific Island territories except Midway Atoll constitute the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex and as such are managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior. Midway Atoll NWR has been included in a Refuge Complex with the Hawaiian Islands NWR and also designated as part of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. These remote refuges are the most widespread collection of marine- and terrestrial-life protected areas on the planet under a single country's jurisdiction. They sustain many endemic species including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, water birds, land birds, insects, and vegetation not found elsewhere.
Baker Island: The US took possession of the island in 1857. Its guano deposits were mined by US and British companies during the second half of the 19th century. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The island was established as a NWR in 1974.
Howland Island: Discovered by the US early in the 19th century, the uninhabited atoll was officially claimed by the US in 1857. Both US and British companies mined for guano deposits until about 1890. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island, similar to the effort on nearby Baker Island, but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The famed American aviatrix Amelia EARHART disappeared while seeking out Howland Island as a refueling stop during her 1937 round-the-world flight; Earhart Light, a day beacon near the middle of the west coast, was named in her memory. The island was established as a NWR in 1974.
Jarvis Island: First discovered by the British in 1821, the uninhabited island was annexed by the US in 1858 but abandoned in 1879 after tons of guano had been removed. The UK annexed the island in 1889 but never carried out plans for further exploitation. The US occupied and reclaimed the island in 1935. It was abandoned in 1942 during World War II. The island was established as a NWR in 1974.
Johnston Atoll: Both the US and the Kingdom of Hawaii annexed Johnston Atoll in 1858, but it was the US that mined the guano deposits until the late 1880s. Johnston and Sand Islands were designated wildlife refuges in 1926. The US Navy took over the atoll in 1934. Subsequently, the US Air Force assumed control in 1948. The site was used for high-altitude nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s. Until late in 2000 the atoll was maintained as a storage and disposal site for chemical weapons. Munitions destruction, cleanup, and closure of the facility were completed by May 2005. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Air Force are currently discussing future management options; in the interim, Johnston Atoll and the three-mile Naval Defensive Sea around it remain under the jurisdiction and administrative control of the US Air Force.
Kingman Reef: The US annexed the reef in 1922. Its sheltered lagoon served as a way station for flying boats on Hawaii-to-American Samoa flights during the late 1930s. There are no terrestrial plants on the reef, which is frequently awash, but it does support abundant and diverse marine fauna and flora. In 2001, the waters surrounding the reef out to 12 nm were designated a NWR.
Midway Islands: The US took formal possession of the islands in 1867. The laying of the transpacific cable, which passed through the islands, brought the first residents in 1903. Between 1935 and 1947, Midway was used as a refueling stop for transpacific flights. The US naval victory over a Japanese fleet off Midway in 1942 was one of the turning points of World War II. The islands continued to serve as a naval station until closed in 1993. Today the islands are a NWR and are the site of the world's largest Laysan albatross colony.
Palmyra Atoll: The Kingdom of Hawaii claimed the atoll in 1862, and the US included it among the Hawaiian Islands when it annexed the archipelago in 1898. The Hawaii Statehood Act of 1959 did not include Palmyra Atoll, which is now partly privately owned by the Nature Conservancy with the rest owned by the Federal government and managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These organizations are managing the atoll as a wildlife refuge. The lagoons and surrounding waters within the 12-nm US territorial seas were transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and designated a NWR in January 2001.

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - Geography 2023
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Baker Island: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 3,390 km southwest of Honolulu, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia;
Howland Island: island in the North Pacific Ocean 3,360 km southwest of Honolulu, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia;
Jarvis Island: island in the South Pacific Ocean 2,415 km south of Honolulu, about halfway between Hawaii and Cook Islands;
Johnston Atoll: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 1,330 km southwest of Honolulu, about one-third of the way from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands;
Kingman Reef: reef in the North Pacific Ocean 1,720 km south of Honolulu, about halfway between Hawaii and American Samoa;
Midway Islands: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 2,335 km northwest of Honolulu near the end of the Hawaiian Archipelago, about one-third of the way from Honolulu to Tokyo;
Palmyra Atoll: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 1,780 km south of Honolulu, about halfway between Hawaii and American Samoa

Geographic coordinates:
Baker Island: 0 13 N, 176 28 W;
Howland Island: 0 48 N, 176 38 W;
Jarvis Island: 0 23 S, 160 01 W;
Johnston Atoll: 16 45 N, 169 31 W;
Kingman Reef: 6 23 N, 162 25 W;
Midway Islands: 28 12 N, 177 22 W;
Palmyra Atoll: 5 53 N, 162 05 W

Map referenceOceania

6,959 km² (emergent land - 22.41 km²; submerged - 6,937 km²)
Baker Island: total - 129.1 km²; emergent land - 2.1 km²; submerged - 127 km²
Howland Island: total - 138.6 km²; emergent land - 2.6 km²; submerged - 136 km²
Jarvis Island: total - 152 km²; emergent land - 5 km²; submerged - 147 km²
Johnston Atoll: total - 276.6 km²; emergent land - 2.6 km²; submerged - 274 km²
Kingman Reef: total - 1,958.01 km²; emergent land - 0.01 km²; submerged - 1,958 km²
Midway Islands: total - 2,355.2 km²; emergent land - 6.2 km²; submerged - 2,349 km²
Palmyra Atoll: total - 1,949.9 km²; emergent land - 3.9 km²; submerged - 1,946 km²

Baker Island: about 2.5 times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC;
Howland Island: about three times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC;
Jarvis Island: about eight times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC;
Johnston Atoll: about 4.5 times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC;
Kingman Reef: a little more than 1.5 times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC;
Midway Islands: about nine times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC;
Palmyra Atoll: about 20 times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries
Total: 0 km

Baker Island: 4.8 km
Howland Island: 6.4 km
Jarvis Island: 8 km
Johnston Atoll: 34 km
Kingman Reef: 3 km
Midway Islands: 15 km
Palmyra Atoll: 14.5 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun;
Johnston Atoll and Kingman Reef: tropical, but generally dry; consistent northeast trade winds with little seasonal temperature variation;
Midway Islands: subtropical with cool, moist winters (December to February) and warm, dry summers (May to October); moderated by prevailing easterly winds; most of the 107 cm of annual rainfall occurs during the winter;
Palmyra Atoll: equatorial, hot; located within the low pressure area of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) where the northeast and southeast trade winds meet, it is extremely wet with between 400-500 cm of rainfall each year

Terrain: low and nearly flat sandy coral islands with narrow fringing reefs that have developed at the top of submerged volcanic mountains, which in most cases rise steeply from the ocean floor

Highest point:
highest point: Baker Island, unnamed location 8 m; Howland Island, unnamed location 3 m; Jarvis Island, unnamed location 7 m; Johnston Atoll, Sand Island 10 m; Kingman Reef, unnamed location 2 m; Midway Islands, unnamed location less than 13 m; Palmyra Atoll, unnamed location 3 m
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Natural resources: terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
Land use

Land use
Other: 100% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards:
Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island poses a maritime hazard;
Kingman Reef: wet or awash most of the time, maximum elevation of less than 2 m makes Kingman Reef a maritime hazard;
Midway Islands, Johnston, and Palmyra Atolls: NA

Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: scattered vegetation consisting of grasses, prostrate vines, and low growing shrubs; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife; closed to the public;
Johnston Atoll: Johnston Island and Sand Island are natural islands, which have been expanded by coral dredging; North Island (Akau) and East Island (Hikina) are manmade islands formed from coral dredging; the egg-shaped reef is 34 km in circumference; closed to the public;
Kingman Reef: barren coral atoll with deep interior lagoon; closed to the public;
Midway Islands: a coral atoll managed as a National Wildlife Refuge and open to the public for wildlife-related recreation in the form of wildlife observation and photography;
Palmyra Atoll: the high rainfall and resulting lush vegetation make the environment of this atoll unique among the US Pacific Island territories; supports a large undisturbed stand of Pisonia beach forest

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - People 2023
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Population: no indigenous inhabitants
public entry is only by special-use permit from US Fish and Wildlife Service and generally restricted to scientists and educators; visited annually by US Fish and Wildlife Service
Jarvis Island: Millersville settlement on western side of island occasionally used as a weather station from 1935 until World War II, when it was abandoned; reoccupied in 1957 during the International Geophysical Year by scientists who left in 1958; currently unoccupied
Johnston Atoll: in previous years, an average of 1,100 US military and civilian contractor personnel were present; as of May 2005, all US Government personnel had left the island
Midway Islands: approximately 40 people make up the staff of US Fish and Wildlife Service and their services contractor living at the atoll
Palmyra Atoll: four to 20 Nature Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife staff, and researchers


Ethnic groups



Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Dependency ratios
Total dependency ratio: NA
Youth dependency ratio: NA
Elderly dependency ratio: NA
Potential support ratio: NA

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: NA

Death rate: NA

Net migration rate

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues:
Baker Island: no natural freshwater resources; feral cats, introduced in 1937 during a short-lived colonization effort, ravaged the avian population and were eradicated in 1965
Howland Island: no natural freshwater resources; the island habitat has suffered from invasive exotic species; black rats, introduced in 1854, were eradicated by feral cats within a year of their introduction in 1937; the cats preyed on the bird population and were eliminated by 1985
Jarvis Island: no natural freshwater resources; feral cats, introduced in the 1930s during a short-lived colonization venture, were not completely removed until 1990
Johnston Atoll: no natural freshwater resources; the seven decades under US military administration (1934-2004) left the atoll environmentally degraded and required large-scale remediation efforts; a swarm of Anoplolepis (crazy) ants invaded the island in 2010 damaging native wildlife; eradication has been largely, but not completely, successful
Midway Islands: many exotic species introduced, 75% of the roughly 200 plant species on the island are non-native; plastic pollution harms wildlife, via entanglement, ingestion, and toxic contamination
Kingman Reef: none
Palmyra Atoll: black rats, believed to have been introduced to the atoll during the US military occupation of the 1940s, severely degraded the ecosystem outcompeting native species (seabirds, crabs); following a successful rat removal project in 2011, native flora and fauna have begun to recover

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth

Total fertility rate

Contraceptive prevalence rate: NA

Drinking water source
Improved urban: NA
Improved rural: NA
Improved total: NA
Unimproved urban: NA
Unimproved rural: NA
Unimproved total: NA

Current health expenditure: NA

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight: NA

Education expenditures: NA


School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - Government 2023
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Palmyra Atoll
Etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the territories' affiliation and location

Government type


Administrative divisions

Dependent areas


National holiday


Legal system: the laws of the US apply where applicable

International law organization participation



Executive branch

Legislative branch

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation

Diplomatic representation
From the us: none (territories of the US)

Flag descriptionflag of United%20States%20Pacific%20Island%20Wildlife%20Refuges: the flag of the US is used

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - Economy 2023
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Economy overview

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products


Industrial production growth rate

Labor force
Labor force

Unemployment rate

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index


Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - Energy 2023
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - Communication 2023
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - Military 2023
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - Transportation 2023
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: Midway Islands: 3 - one operational (2,377 m paved); no fuel for sale except emergencies (2013)
With paved runways: note - abandoned but usable

Airports with paved runways: note - abandoned but usable

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine

Ports and terminals
Major seaports: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands, and Kingman Reef

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges - Transnational issues 2023
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Disputes international: none identified

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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