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Baker Island[Country flag of Baker Island]
[Country map of Baker Island]

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
land: 1.4 sq km
water: 0 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:
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% (2001)
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
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 (2005 est.)
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
Ports and harbors:
none; offshore anchorage only; note - there is one small boat landing area along the middle of the west coast
1 abandoned World War II runway of 1,665 m, completely covered with vegetation and unusable (2004 est.)
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:

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


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