Baker Island: Background & Geography

Introduction Baker Island
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
Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and Australia
Geographic coordinates:
0 13 N, 176 31 W
Map references:
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
4.8 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun
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

See Also: