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HOWLAND ISLAND




Howland Island, Location: Oceania, uninhabited island in the North Pacific Ocean, near the equator, about half way between Hawaii and Australia. (1,620 mi (2610 km) SW of Honolulu.) Area comparative: about three times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC Climate:equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun. Terrain: low-lying, nearly level, sandy, coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef; depressed central area. Almost totally covered with grasses, vines and low-growing shrubs; small area of trees in the center; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife.





Discovered by American traders early in the 19th century, the island was officially claimed by the US in 1857. Both US and British companies mined for guano until about 1890.

The guano industry declined, and the islands were forgotten until they became a stop on the air route to Australia. American colonists were brought from Hawaii in 1935 in order to establish U.S. control against British claims, but the colony was disbanded at the outbreak of World War II.
While en-route to Howland Island in 1937 the aviator Amelia Earhart was lost in the Pacific. Earhart Light is a day beacon near the middle of the west coast that was partially destroyed during World War II,





But has since been rebuilt in 1964; it is named in memory of the famed lady pilot Amelia Earhart.





The island is administered by the US Department of the Interior as a National Wildlife Refuge.







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