Jarvis Island

Jarvis Island (English: Jarvis Iceland [ dʒɑrvɨs ] ) is a geographically and politically to the Line Islands to the outer areas of the United States belonging to small, uninhabited island in the South Pacific Ocean, about midway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands. It is a so-called unincorporated territory of the United States and is assigned for statistical purposes the United States Minor Outlying Islands.

The sandy, full of a coral reef fringed island has a land area of about 4.5 square kilometers and a height of 7 meters above the sea level. On the Jarvis Island has a tropical climate with scarce rainfall, constant wind and strong sunlight. The island has no natural fresh water sources.


The Jarvis island was discovered on August 21, 1821 by the crew of the British ship Eliza Francis and received its name from its Captain Brown. In March 1857 it was claimed by the United States and formally annexed on February 27, 1858, citing the Guano Islands Act, but in 1879 left again after tons of guano had been removed.

On 3 June 1889, the British Crown annexed the country, but took no further steps for use or habitation. The guano deposits were mined until the end of the 19th century.

In 1935, the island was claimed by the U.S. as uninhabited territory and managed by the U.S. Department of Interior on 13 May 1936 to 27 June 1974. March 26, 1935 to February 7, 1942, she fell under the administration of Baker, Howland and Jarvis Colonization Schemes.

The settlement Millersville in the west of the island was occasionally used as a weather station from 1935 until the end of World War II. In 1957, with the beginning of the International Geophysical Year, it was colonized by scientists for some time and had until 1958 even has its own local government.

Since June 27, 1974, the Jarvis island from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is managed as Jarvis Iceland National Wildlife Refuge. Entering the now uninhabited island requires a special permit and is basically only for scientific and teaching purposes approved. Jarvis is visited annually by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the United States Coast Guard.


Once introduced animal species such as cats, rats, mice and goats had caused severe damage to the ecosystem of the Jarvis Island of people, the number of breeding birds declined sharply. In 1966, only three breeding bird species have been recorded on the island. Measures to eradicate this invasive species again, the original fauna could take to become once again on the Jarvis Island foot. Meanwhile, nesting again 14 different species of birds on the island. A particularly large inventory, the Sooty Tern on with about a million individual animals. The coral reef around the island is home to many species of fish. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is based on 252 Jarvis Island native species. The population density larger fish species is thereby exceeded only by the likewise located in the Central Pacific Atoll Palmyra. The reef around the island Jarvis remained largely unexplored until around the year 2000. In the meantime, you can find 62 species of coral and about 90 mollusc species. For dives on the west side of Jarvis Island in depths of 200 to 1000 meters an extremely diverse fauna could be discovered with numerous corals.