Baker Island


Baker Island
an island in the central Pacific near the equator, belonging to the U.S. 1 sq. mi. (2.6 sq. km).

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Baker Island

Introduction Baker Island -
Background: The US took possession of the island in 1857, and 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 was begun on this island - as well as on nearby Howland Island - but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. Presently the island is a National Wildlife Refuge run by the US Department of the Interior; a day beacon is situated near the middle of the west coast. Geography Baker Island
Location: Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and Australia
Geographic coordinates: 0 13 N, 176 31 W
Map references: Oceania
Area: total: 1.4 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 1.4 sq km
Area - comparative: about 2.5 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 4.8 km
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun
Terrain: low, nearly level coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: unnamed location 8 m
Natural resources: guano (deposits worked until 1891), terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
Land use: arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard Environment - current issues: no natural fresh water resources
Geography - note: treeless, sparse, and scattered vegetation consisting of grasses, prostrate vines, and low growing shrubs; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife People Baker Island -
Population: 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; a cemetery and remnants of structures from early settlement are located near the middle of the west coast; visited annually by US Fish and Wildlife Service (July 2002 est.)
Population growth rate: NA Government Baker Island -
Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Baker Island
Dependency status: 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
Legal system: the laws of the US, where applicable, apply
Flag description: the flag of the US is used Economy Baker Island
Economy - overview: no economic activity Transportation Baker Island -
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: none; offshore anchorage only; note - there is one small boat landing area along the middle of the west coast
Airports: 1 abandoned World War II runway of 1,665 m, completely covered with vegetation and unusable
Transportation - note: there is a day beacon near the middle of the west coast Military Baker Island -
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the US; visited annually by the US Coast Guard Transnational Issues Baker Island - Disputes - international: none

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▪ island and territory, United States
formerly  New Nantucket Island  or  Phoebe Island 

      unincorporated territory of the United States in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1,650 miles (2,650 km) southwest of Honolulu. A coral atoll rising to 25 feet (8 metres), it measures 1 mile (1.6 km) long by 0.7 mile (1.1 km) wide and has a land area of about 0.6 square mile (1.5 square km). The reef-fringed island is visited by more than a dozen species of seabirds and shorebirds, as well as threatened and endangered sea turtles, and is a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge.

      In 1825 Capt. Obed Starbuck of the American whaling ship Loper recorded sighting the island. In 1832 it was sighted by another American mariner, Capt. Michael Baker. The United States claimed it (1857) along with nearby Howland Island under the Guano Act of 1856, but its guano deposits were exhausted by 1891. In the 1930s, rising interest in transpacific aviation prompted the United States to strengthen its claim on Baker by colonizing it from Hawaii. In 1936 it came under the administration of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Evacuated in early 1942 during World War II, the island was reoccupied by Allied forces in late 1943, and an air base was built. The island is now uninhabited except for periodic visits by scientists and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under whose jurisdiction it has been since 1974. In 2009 Baker Island was designated part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine national monument.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Baker Island — geographical name atoll central Pacific near the equator at 176°31′W; belongs to United States …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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