Jarvis Island General Information

General: Discovered by the British in 1821, the uninhabited island was annexed by the United States in 1858, but abandoned in 1879 after the guano deposits were depleted. Britain annexed the island in 1889, but never made plans to use it. According to ALLPUBLICLIBRARIES, the US occupied and laid claim to the island in 1935. Abandoned after World War II, the island is now managed by the US Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service; there is a lighthouse in the middle of the west coast.


Location: Oceania, an island in the South Pacific, about halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands.
Geographic coordinates: 0° 22’S sh., 160 03’z.
Reference map: Oceania.
Area: total: 4.5 sq. km.; land surface area: 4.5 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: about eight times the size of Mall Park in Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 8 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; meager rainfall, constant wind, scorching sun.
Terrain: sand, coral island surrounded by a narrow reef.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: unnamed point 7 m.
Natural resources: guano (mined until the end of the 19th century).
Land use: arable land: 0%; cultivated land: 0%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 100%.
Irrigated land: 0 sq. km. (1998).
Natural Hazards: The narrow girdle reef surrounding the island can pose a threat to navigation.
Current environmental problems: there are no natural sources of drinking water.
International agreements on environmental protection:
Note to the section “Geography”: scanty tufts of grass, creeping plants and low shrubs; mainly a place for nesting, breeding and feeding of sea and coastal birds, as well as marine species of animals.


Population: uninhabited; note: Millersville, on the island’s west coast, was used occasionally as a weather station from 1935 until World War II when it was abandoned; in 1957, as part of the International Geophysical Year, again occupied by scientists who left the island in 1958; visiting the island is possible only with special permission from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is mainly carried out by scientists and teachers; the island is visited annually by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (July 2001 est.).


Common long form: no;
Common short form: Jarvis Island. Dependency Status: Non-U.S. Territory; operated from Washington DC by the US Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the National Wildlife Conservation System.


Transport Railways:
Ports and harbours: none; only anchorages; note – there is one boat stop in the center of the west coast and another near the southwestern tip of the island. Transport – note: there is a lighthouse in the center of the west coast. Armed Forces Armed Forces – note: US is responsible for defense; The US Coast Guard visits the island once a year.

Jarvis Island General Information