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Virgin Islands

View of Buck Island Reef National Monument from space. Image courtesy of NASA. Located 2.4 km (1.5 mi) northeast of the island of Saint Croix, Buck Island Reef National Monument includes over 7,700 ha (19,000 acres) of both submerged and dry lands. On land, trails on Buck Island wind through tropical dry forests, a manchineel beach forest, pristine sand beaches, and rocky shores. The beaches are home to several endangered and threatened species, such as hawksbill, green, leatherback, and loggerhead sea turtles, and the Saint Croix Ground Lizard. Every summer, least terns arrive to nest, followed by pelicans in the fall. Elkhorn coral surrounds two-thirds of the island.