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Australia - Oceania :: Jarvis Island Print
Page last updated on October 16, 2018
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  • Introduction :: Jarvis Island
  • Background field listing
    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 deposits had been removed for use in producing fertilizer. The UK annexed the island in 1889 but never carried out plans for further exploitation. The US occupied and reclaimed the island in 1935. Abandoned after World War II, the island is currently a National Wildlife Refuge administered by the US Department of the Interior.
  • Geography :: Jarvis Island
  • Location field listing
    Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and the Cook Islands
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    0 22 S, 160 01 W
    Map references field listing
    Oceania
    Area field listing
    total: 4.5 sq km
    land: 4.5 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 252
    Area - comparative field listing
    about eight times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
    Land boundaries field listing
    0 km
    Coastline field listing
    8 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun
    Terrain field listing
    sandy, coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef
    Natural resources field listing
    guano (deposits worked until late 1800s), terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
    Natural hazards field listing
    the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island poses a maritime hazard
    Environment - current issues field listing
    no natural fresh water resources
    Geography - note field listing
    sparse bunch grass, prostrate vines, and low-growing shrubs; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife
  • People and Society :: Jarvis Island
  • Population field listing
    uninhabited

    note: 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; public entry is by special-use permit from US Fish and Wildlife Service only and generally restricted to scientists and educators; visited annually by US Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Government :: Jarvis Island
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Jarvis Island
    etymology: named after three brothers JARVIS, the owners of the British ship from which the island was discovered in 1821
    Dependency status field listing
    unincorporated territory of the US; administered from Washington, DC, by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System
    Flag description field listing
    the flag of the US is used
  • Transportation :: Jarvis Island
  • Ports and terminals field listing
    none; offshore anchorage only; note - there is one small boat landing area in the middle of the west coast and another near the southwest corner of the island
    Transportation - note field listing
    there is a day beacon near the middle of the west coast
  • Military and Security :: Jarvis Island
  • Military - note field listing
    defense is the responsibility of the US; visited annually by the US Coast Guard
  • Transnational Issues :: Jarvis Island
  • Disputes - international field listing
    none