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Australia-Oceania :: Howland Island
(territory of the US)
Page last updated on October 14, 2014
 
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Howland Island
  • Introduction :: HOWLAND ISLAND

  • Discovered by the US early in the 19th century, the island was officially claimed by the US in 1857. Both US and British companies mined for guano until about 1890. Earhart Light is a day beacon near the middle of the west coast that was partially destroyed during World War II, but subsequently rebuilt; it is named in memory of the famed aviatrix Amelia EARHART. The island is administered by the US Department of the Interior as a National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Geography :: HOWLAND ISLAND

  • Oceania, island in the North Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and Australia
    0 48 N, 176 38 W
    Oceania
    total: 1.6 sq km
    land: 1.6 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 255
    about three times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
    0 km
    6.4 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun
    low-lying, nearly level, sandy, coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef; depressed central area
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed location 3 m
    guano (deposits worked until late 1800s), terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
    arable land: 0%
    permanent crops: 0%
    other: 100% (2014 est.)
    0 sq km
    the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
    no natural fresh water resources
    almost totally covered with grasses, prostrate vines, and low-growing shrubs; small area of trees in the center; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife
  • People and Society :: HOWLAND ISLAND

  • uninhabited
    note: American civilians evacuated in 1942 after Japanese air and naval attacks during World War II; occupied by US military during World War II, but abandoned after the war; 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 :: HOWLAND ISLAND

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Howland Island
    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
    the laws of the US, where applicable, apply
    the flag of the US is used
  • Transportation :: HOWLAND ISLAND

  • none; offshore anchorage only; note - there is one small boat landing area along the middle of the west coast
    Earhart Light, a day beacon near the middle of the west coast, was partially destroyed during World War II but rebuilt during the 1960s; today it is crumbling and in poor repair; named in memory of famed aviatrix Amelia EARHART
  • Military :: HOWLAND ISLAND

  • defense is the responsibility of the US; visited annually by the US Coast Guard
  • Transnational Issues :: HOWLAND ISLAND

  • none
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