The Baker Island (english Baker Iceland, [ beɪkər ] ) is a small uninhabited island in the Pacific, which is geographically upstream of the Phoenix Islands and politically belongs to the outer areas of the United States. It is a so-called unincorporated territory and is assigned for statistical purposes the United States Minor Outlying Islands. The island forms along with Howland Island, the only land surface with the time zone UTC -12 ( International Date Line West, IDLW ).
The island is located 3100 km southwest of Honolulu, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia, only 21.7 kilometers north of the equator. The distance to the north adjacent Howland Island is 68.3 km. It has an area of 1.64 km ² with a circumference of 4.9 km. The Baker Island is an upscale Atoll. It is surrounded by a coral reef and has no natural fresh water sources.
Baker was discovered in 1818 by Captain Elisha Folger from Nantucket whaling ship from the equator and baptized New Nantucket. In August 1825, the island from the American whaling captain Obed Starbuck was wiedergesichtet on the Loper. Today she is after Michael Baker, who visited it in 1834 for the first time named. On February 12, 1857, seven days after Howland Island, Baker Island was taken, citing the Guano Islands Act for the United States in possession. From 1859 to 1878 Guano was mined intensively, then took the economic interest in the island again.
On 3 April 1935, the ship Itasca brought four settlers from the island of Hawaii, in order to colonize under the Baker, Howland and Jarvis Colonization Scheme. However, the Kolonialisierungsversuch failed in the turmoil of World War II; after Japanese air attacks on the only settlement Meyerton the colonists were evacuated in 1942. Since the end of the war, the island is uninhabited, the runway from that time can not now be used.
In 1974 the entire island was put under protection. Since the early 1980s, the Baker Island by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, as Baker Iceland National Wildlife Refuge managed. Trespassing on the island requires a special permit and is basically only for scientific and teaching purposes approved.
Flora and Fauna
The treeless island is covered only sparsely. In addition to various sea birds that nest on the island, finds the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle habitat along the coasts of the island.