Baker Island

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{island, water, area}
{land, century, early}
{service, military, aircraft}
{water, park, boat}
{area, part, region}
{specie, animal, plant}
{village, small, smallsup}

Baker Island (pronounced /ˈbeɪkər/) is an uninhabited atoll located just north of the equator in the central Pacific Ocean about 3,100 kilometers (1,700 nmi; 1,900 mi) southwest of Honolulu. The island lies almost halfway between Hawaii and Australia, and is a possession of the United States. Its nearest neighbor is Howland Island, 68 kilometers (37 nmi; 42 mi) to the north.

Located at 0°11′41″N 176°28′46″W / 0.19472°N 176.47944°W / 0.19472; -176.47944.[1] the island covers 1.64 square kilometers (0.63 sq mi), with 4.9 kilometers (3.04 mi) of coastline. The climate is equatorial, with little rainfall, constant wind, and strong sunshine. The terrain is low-lying and sandy: a coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef with a depressed central area devoid of any lagoon with its highest point being 8 meters (26 ft) above sea level.

The island now forms the Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge, which consists of all 405 acres (164 ha) of the island and a surrounding 30,500 acres (12,343 ha) or 47.656 sq mi (123.43 km2) of submerged land. The National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an insular area under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the U.S.

Its defense is the responsibility of the United States; though uninhabited, it is visited annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For statistical purposes, Baker is grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands.



A cemetery and rubble from earlier settlements are located near the middle of the west coast, where the boat landing area is located. There are no ports or harbors, with anchorage available only offshore. The narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard, so there is a day beacon near the old village site. Baker's abandoned World War II runway, 1,665 m (5,463 ft) long, is completely covered with vegetation and is unusable.

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