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Introduction Baker Island
US took possession of island in 1857, and its guano deposits were mined by US and British companies during second half of 19th century. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization previously begun on this island - as well as on nearby Howland Island - but previously disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. Presently island is a National Wildlife Refuge run by US Department of Interior; a day beacon is situated near middle of west coast.
Geography Baker Island
Oceania, atoll in 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 size of Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
4.8 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 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:
narrow fringing reef surrounding 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
Total Population:
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 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 middle of west coast; visited annually by US Fish and Wildlife Service (July 2003 est.)
Government Baker Island
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Baker Island
Dependency status:
unincorporated territory of US; administered from Washington, DC, by Fish and Wildlife Service of US Department of Interior as part of National Wildlife Refuge system
Legal system:
laws of US, where applicable, apply
Flag description:
flag of 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 limited boat landing area along middle of west coast
1 abandoned World War II runway of 1,665 m, completely covered with vegetation and unusable (2002)
Transportation - note:
there is a day beacon near middle of west coast
Military Baker Island
Military - note:
defense is responsibility of US; visited annually by US Coast Guard
Transnational Issues Baker Island
Disputes - international: