Island restoration

The ecological restoration of islands, or island restoration, is the application of the principles of ecological restoration to islands and island groups. Islands, due to their isolation, are home to many of the world's endemic species, as well as important breeding grounds for seabirds and some marine mammals. Their ecosystems are also very vulnerable to human disturbance and particularly to introduced species, due to their small size. Island groups such as New Zealand and Hawaii have undergone substantial extinctions and losses of habitat. Since the 1950s several organisations and government agencies around the world have worked to restore islands to their original states; New Zealand has used them to hold natural populations of species that would otherwise be unable to survive in the wild. The principal components of island restoration are the removal of introduced species and the reintroduction of native species.

Islands, endemism and extinction

Isolated islands have been known to have greater levels of endemism since the 1970s when the theory of Island biogeography, formulated by Robert MacArthur and E.O. Wilson was developed. This higher occurrence of endemism is because isolation limits immigration of new species to the island, allowing new species to evolve separately from others on the mainland. For example, 71% of New Zealand's bird species (prior to human arrival) were endemic. As well as displaying greater levels of endemism, island species have characteristics that make them particularly vulnerable to human disturbance.

Many island species evolved on small islands, or even restricted habitats on small islands. Small populations are vulnerable to even modest hunting, and restricted habitats are vulnerable to loss or modification of said habitat. More importantly, island species are often ecologically naive, that is they have not evolved alongside a predator, or have lost appropriate behavioural responses to predators. This often resulted in flightlessness, or unusual levels of tameness. This made many species susceptible to hunting (it is thought, for example, that moas were hunted to extinction in a few short generations) and to predation by introduced species. Some, such as the dodo, are thought to have become extinct because of the pressure of both humans and introduced animals. One estimate of birds in the Pacific islands puts the extinctions at 2000 species. Between 40 and 50% of the bird species of New Zealand have become extinct since 200 AD.

Takahe and chick
Takahe have bred after translocation to restored islands, like these on Kapiti Island.

The field of island restoration is usually credited with having been started in New Zealand in the 1960s, but other smaller projects, such as the restoration of Nonsuch Island in Bermuda (which began in 1962) have been going on for almost as long. Nevertheless, the program undertaken by the Department of Conservation (DOC) is one of the largest in the world. It began on Cuvier Island, where ecologists removed stock, goats, feral cats and finally, in 1993, Pacific rats. The success of the project resulted in similar projects around New Zealand. The advantages to the DOC were considerable; in addition to protecting species endemic to smaller islands, like the magenta petrel, islands near the mainland, once restored, could act as habitat for species of birds that were unable to survive on the mainland. Species like the takahe, where the remaining wild population was at considerable risk from feral cats and dogs, could be moved to these islands to safeguard the species.

Eradication of introduced alien species

One important aspect of island restoration is the removal of invasive alien species. Since these species are most often the reason that native fauna and flora is threatened, their removal is essential to the restoration project. From 1673 until 2009, 786 successful invasive vertebrate eradication have been recorded and in the last few decades the frequency of eradications and the size of islands from which invasive vertebrates have been eradicated has increased. A definitive list of past island restoration efforts exists as the Database of Island Invasive Species Eradications. [1] In addition a list of the current invasive species present on the world's islands exists as the Threatened Island Database [2]

Islands are particularly suitable for restoration as once cleared of an introduced species they can be kept cleared of these species by virtue of being an island. Species removal is intensive and expensive, and methods used must be carefully chosen as to not create too much impact on non-target species. Feral cats, goats and three species of rats are among the most damaging species introduced to islands (Moors & Atkinson 1984). The differences in size, lifestyle and behaviour preclude the use of the same techniques for all of them, but with many species a range of techniques needs to be used in order to ensure success. Larger animals, such as goats and pigs, can be effectively hunted; in the case of Round Island, in Mauritius, all the goats were eliminated by a single marksman. On larger islands ecologists use a Judas goat, where a radio collared goat is released into the wild. This goat is then followed and groups it joins are removed. To remove cats a combination of techniques is needed: hunting, trapping and poisoning. Cats are more difficult to hunt than goats and pigs, requiring the use of experienced hunters and night hunting.

Trapping is ineffective for rats, given their sheer numbers, and the only method that works is poisoning, which can be delivered into the field by broadcasting (by hand or from the air) or by the maintenance of bait stations. This method has been employed around the world, in the Falkland Islands, in the tropical Pacific, and off New Zealand, where over 40 islands have been cleared. This method is not without problems, especially if the rats share the island with other, native species of rodent that might take the bait as well, as has happened on Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands and Rat Island (Hawadax)[3][4] in the Aleutian archipelago. In the Pacific poison intended for rats was taken by land crabs instead; the crabs were not affected by the poison but frustrated attempts to clear the rats.

The removal of invasive weeds is, in most cases, more difficult than removing animal species. One such eradication was that of sandbur, Cencrus echinatus, an introduced grass on Laysan. The grass, introduced to Laysan around 1961, had taken over 30% of the island by 1991, displaced the native bunchgrass, and reduced the breeding habitat of two endemic threatened species, the Laysan duck and Laysan finch, as well as those of several seabirds. The removal took ten years, with controlled spraying for the first year, then individual removal of plants, then, when few plants were being found, sifting of the sands around plants to remove seeds. The cost of the eradication program was $150,000/year.

Strategies

There are three strategies to reduce the numbers of the introduced animals in order to lighten the problems caused by them: exclusion, control, and eradication. Exclusion is removal of introduced species in limited areas and focused on a local impact. Control has a meaning of mitigation by reducing the numbers of introduced species down to ecologically and economically less harmful level. Since it is not complete wiping out strategy, this has to be taken constantly and repeatedly. This strategy is said to be feasible but less cost effective due to its incompleteness. Eradication is the complete removal of all the individuals of the population, down to the last potentially reproducing individual, or the reduction of their population density below sustainable levels[5] ( J. H. Myerset al., 2000). For islands, it is usually the best strategy as it gives permanent effects, which potentially means most cost effective. However, it is still logistically and economically high cost. Also, this strategy is sometimes hard to accomplish depending on the environment of island and the alien species.[6]

Methods

Fencing is used for excluding the alien mammals. This method intends to limit the area for the mammals before control or eradication. Shooting is often used for large animals to control them. This method has meanings of gaining food supply and recreation. It requires accessibility in the field and experience for the hunters. Also, to maintain the effect, it requires good amount of manpower for long time, so it can be costly. Trapping is designed for medium-sized mammals which are hard to shoot at. This method is usually only for reduction not eradication. The advantage of this method is that it can be selective since it is possible to exclude or reduce the possibility of trapping native animals. However, trapping requires limited area to cover and limited population to capture.

Poisoning is very effective for small species. However, there are some disadvantages of this method. It is possible that untargeted animals take the poison. It is also necessary to consider the secondary poisoning that other animals are affected by poisoned species. This method can be costly if the area to cover is large.[7]

Pathogen Introduction (parasitism) is one of the biological methods to eradicate alien species. It is very effective for limited species, but the viruses and bacteria need to be specified clearly for use.[7]

Predator introduction is another biological method to eradicate the introduced species. It is less costly and environmentally clean, but it can cause greater problems, because it is possible that the introduced predator targets the native animals instead of alien species and its existence and its parasites can be new problems.

Competitor introduction is also a biological method to eradicate introduced carnivores. It can be very effective with good amount of information. In the end, the competitor has to be removed as well. Virus vectored immune-contraception is one of the newest method that is to infect introduced animals with genetically engineered viruses. This method is considered environmentally clean, low cost, selective, and ethical. However, it is not fully operational and the effect comes slowly.[6]

Restoration of former habitat

In many cases the removal of introduced species is sufficient to allow a return to a pre-disturbance state, but generally active management, often in the form of replanting native flora and reintroduction of extirpated fauna is needed to achieve restoration goals. Planting of native species helps to replenish species that were either grazed or out competed. Species of animal can be translocated either from existing populations, or from captive bred populations. These reintroductions need to be carefully managed, particularly in the case of endangered species, where the potential benefits need to be weighed against the possibility of failure. Not all translocations succeed, and it may be necessary to help the reintroduced animals along with supplementary feeding or other kinds of management.

One other important aspect of restoration is prevention, that is, keeping invasive species from returning to a cleared island. This can be achieved by restricting access to the island in question (reducing possible instances of invasion) to more stringent quarantine methods. For example, in order to prevent invasive weeds from returning to Laysan, people working on the island must bring entirely new clothes to the island, which must be frozen prior to arrival.

Opposition to island restoration

Prior to the initial efforts to remove rats from New Zealand's offshore islands there was a great deal of skepticism as to the feasibility of island restoration amongst ecologists and conservation workers. However, as the techniques have improved and larger islands have been restored, most of the initial criticisms from within the field have been dropped, in particular as the costs of eradication are often much lower than continuous pest control. Outside of the field of conservation there has been some opposition from other interested groups, particularly from the animal rights movement, which contends that the welfare of the pests in question is not adequately addressed in island restoration plans. Because a broad spectrum of pest removal techniques needs to be used, including leg traps, animal rights campaigners accuse ecologists of cruelty, and indifference to non-targeted species that also take bait or are trapped, and suggest that more humane methods such as capture and sterilization be used instead (something those working in island restoration contend would be too expensive, and potentially ineffective as in Kangaroo Island koalas.). Some also defend the rights of the introduced species to exist as well. Others, including scientists affiliated with the animal rights movement, accept that when the choice is between the future of a species and a population of pests, the future of a species must take priority (with the caveat that the extermination is conducted as humanely as possible). Opposition to island restoration has not led to the abandonment of many projects but has delayed several, particularly through court action. Groups sometimes adopt different approaches; opponents of hedgehog removal in the Outer Hebrides offered bounties for live hedgehogs removed from the islands and relocated in their natural habitat. Invasive plants can also generate strong feelings. The removal of Eucalyptus trees from Angel Island in San Francisco Bay faced considerable opposition.

Island restoration projects

Island restoration has been attempted in many countries since the 1960s, and has met with varying degrees of success. The following examples highlight some of the factors that influence projects. A comprehensive list of projects can be found on the Database of Island Invasive Species Eradications.[8]

Round Island

Round Island (Île Ronde in French) is a tropical island 22.5 kilometres north of Mauritius, with an area of 1.69 square kilometres and a maximum elevation of 280 metres.[9] Compared to other Mascarene islands and islets, Round Island remained relatively pristine until goats and rabbits were introduced in the 19th century (goats were introduced between 1846 and 1868, whilst rabbits were present in large numbers before 1810).[10] These herbivores, along with other factors, such as sporadic logging and frequent cyclones, led to the eventual dwindling of the island's forests and dependent fauna. In turn, this led to soil erosion by wind and rain, impeding forest regeneration, acting as a positive feedback mechanism that caused rapid deforestation of the island. In 1957, however, Round Island was officially made a nature reserve, and in 1979 and 1986 was rid of goats (shooting) and rabbits (poisoning), respectively, after several unsuccessful attempts.[10]

Since removal of the introduced herbivores, the Round Island plant community has recovered dramatically. This is especially stark for three of the endemic tree species, Latania loddigesii, Pandanus vandermeerschii and Hyophorbe lagenicaulis, which constituted a large portion of the Round Island forest historically. This has led to six reptile species (five of which were critically endangered) recovering in tandem with the plant community; these are the skinks Leiolopisma telfaririi and Scelotes bojerii, the geckos Phelsuma guentheri, P. ornata and Nactus serpensinsula, and the snake Casarea dussumerii.[11]

The Round Island restoration program represents one of the longest-running projects of its kind in the world, since its conservation status was confirmed in 1957. Much of the current conservation work on Round Island is conducted by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation[12] and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust[13] and revolves around maintaining soil levels, reforestation of the island, and eradication of remaining invasive plants and invertebrates.

Aleutian Islands

Fox with auklet
Arctic fox with least auklet.

The Aleutian Islands, prior to the 18th century, lacked any terrestrial predators, but from the mid-18th century Arctic foxes were introduced to act as a source for the fur trade, a practice that continued into the early 20th century. This introduction decimated the birds of the chain, particularly seabirds like the whiskered auklet. The reduction in seabirds, in turn, had effects on the ecology of the islands, as many of the plants were dependent on the guano from nesting birds acting as a fertilizer. In the early 1950s managers of the Aleutian Islands Reservation became aware of the damage, and an eradication program began. Since then over 80 islands have been cleared of non-native foxes (only six islands remain) and bird populations have rebounded. Whiskered auklets, which numbered 25,000 in 1974, had increased to 116,000 in 2003.

Campbell Island

Campbell Island is a sub Antarctic island 700 km south of New Zealand that became infested with rats in the 19th century. Several endemic birds, including the Campbell teal and Campbell snipe, only survived on small rocky islets just off the island, and the populations were perilously low. Several teals were taken into captivity for ex-situ conservation, but once they had bred in captivity there was no-where else to return them to until the island was cleared of rats. The DOC's plan to remove rats from the island was one of the most ambitious attempted, as the island was so remote, the rat populations had the highest density of rats anywhere in the world, the weather treacherous and, at 113 km2, it was the largest island at that point where eradication had been attempted. The poison had to be dropped in the winter, to minimize disturbance to nesting seabirds and reduce the chance of bird strike for the pilots. After several experiments, the eradication began in 2001. In 2003 trackers with dogs were unable to find any rats. Soon after the island was cleared it was possible to return the teals to the island. Snipe have self-reintroduced to the island and have begun breeding.

South Georgia

Rats, brought to South Georgia Island as stowaways on sealing and whaling ships in the late 18th century,[14] have caused much damage to native wildlife, destroying tens of millions of ground-nesting birds’ eggs and chicks. While previously the island's glaciers formed a natural barrier to the spread of rats, these glaciers are now slowly melting as the climate warms.[15] In 2011, scientists instituted a four-year programme to entirely eradicate the rats and mice, in what would be by far the largest rodent eradication attempt in the world to date.[16][17][18] The project was led by zoologist Anthony Martin of The University of Dundee who stated, "This is a man-induced problem and it's about time that man put right earlier errors."[19] In July 2013, the success of the main phase of the extermination of the rats, which took place in May that year, was announced. 180 tonnes of rat poison, brodifacoum, were dropped over 70% of the island, in what was the world's largest ever operation of this kind.[20] Another 95t of rat poison was planned to be dropped by three helicopters in January 2015.[21] In June 2015 the eradication programme concluded, apparently successfully, with the island believed "very likely" to be rat free. Monitoring will continue for a further two or three years.[22]

Notes

  1. ^ "Database of Island Invasive Species Eradications (DIISE)". Island Conservation). Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Threatened Island Biodiversity database (TIB)". Island Conservation). Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  3. ^ "THE RAT ISLAND RAT ERADICATION PROJECT: A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF NONTARGET MORTALITY. PREPARED FOR ISLAND CONSERVATION THE NATURE CONSERVANCY and the U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, ALASKA MARITIME NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE. PREPARED BY THE ORNITHOLOGICAL COUNCIL. Final report issued December 2010" (PDF). 2010.
  4. ^ "US Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Report of Investigation #2009703127R001". 2009.
  5. ^ Myers, J. H., Simberloff, D., Kuris, A. M. & Carey, J. R. (2000). Eradication revisited : dealing with exotic species. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 15, 316–320.
  6. ^ a b Courchamp, F., Chapuis, J., and Pascal, M. (2003). Mammal invaders on islands: impact, control and control impact. Cambridge Philosophical Society. 78, 347-383.
  7. ^ a b Kolbert, Elizabeth (23 December 2014). "The Big Kill : New Zealand's crusade to rid itself of mammals". The New Yorker. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  8. ^ "DIISE". Island Conservation. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  9. ^ Foundation, Mauritian Wildlife. "Welcome to the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) - In The Field - Mauritius - Round Island". www.mauritian-wildlife.org. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  10. ^ a b S.), Cheke, A. S. (Anthony (2008). Lost land of the dodo : an ecological history of Mauritius, Réunion & Rodrigues. Hume, Julian P. (Julian Pender). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300141863. OCLC 216936090.
  11. ^ North, S.G.; Bullock, D.J.; Dulloo, M.E. (1994-01-01). "Changes in the vegetation and reptile populations on Round Island, Mauritius, following eradication of rabbits". Biological Conservation. 67 (1): 21–28. doi:10.1016/0006-3207(94)90004-3. ISSN 0006-3207.
  12. ^ Foundation, Mauritian Wildlife. "Welcome to the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) - Home". www.mauritian-wildlife.org. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  13. ^ "Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust | Home". Durrell. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  14. ^ "Eradication of Rodents". South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. Archived from the original on 2015-08-03. Retrieved 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  15. ^ "Climate Change - Overview". British Antarctic Survey. Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  16. ^ Hastings, Chris (7 March 2010). "South Georgia to poison millions of rats". Times Online.
  17. ^ Connor, Steve (8 March 2010). "Ecologists turn exterminators in the great rat hunt". The Independent.
  18. ^ Amos, Jonathan (4 May 2011). "'Success' in South Georgia rat eradication". BBC.
  19. ^ Hogenboom, Melissa (4 July 2013). "South Georgia rat removal hits milestone". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  20. ^ Cookson, Clive (July 3, 2013). "Rats removed from South Georgia in biggest mass poisoning". Financial Times.
  21. ^ Sarsfield, Kate (3 December 2014), "Habitat Restoration Project gears up for final phase of airborne rodent eradication programme", Flightglobal, Reed Business Information, retrieved 4 December 2014
  22. ^ "Rare birds return to remote South Georgia island after successful rat eradication programme", The Independent, 25 June 2015

References

  • Courchamp, F., Chapuis, J., and Pascal, M. (2003). Mammal invaders on islands: impact, control and control impact. Cambridge Philosophical Society. 78, 347-383.
  • Myers, J. H., Simberloff, D., Kuris, A. M. & Carey, J. R. (2000). Eradication revisited : dealing with exotic species. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 15, 316–320.

Further reading

  • Atkinson, I A E, (1988). Presidential address: Opportunities for Ecological Restoration. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 11: 1-12 [1]
  • Flint, E. & Rehkemper, G. (2002) Control and eradication of the introduced grass, Cenchrus echinatus, at Laysan Island, Central Pacific Ocean. Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species (proceedings of the international conference on eradication of island invasives) (Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No. 27. Veitch, C. R. and Clout, M.N., eds) [2].
  • Kettmann, M. ( April 29, 2003) Death for Life on Anacapa island, The Santa Barbara Independent
  • Moors, P.J.; Atkinson, I.A.E. (1984). Predation on seabirds by introduced animals, and factors affecting its severity.. In Status and Conservation of the World's Seabirds. Cambridge: ICBP. ISBN 0-946888-03-5.
  • Nogales, Manuel et al. (2004). A review of feral cat eradication on islands. Conservation Biology. 18 (2), 310-319. [3]
  • Williams, J.C., Byrd G.V.& Konyukhov, N.B. (2003) "Whiskered Auklets Aethia pygmaea, foxes, humans and how to right a wrong." Marine Ornithology 31: 175-180 [4]
  • Wingate, D.B. (1985) The restoration of Nonsuch Island as a living museum of Bermuda's precolonial terrestrial biome. In Conservation of Island Birds. ICBP Technical Publication. ISBN 0-946888-04-3
  • THE RAT ISLAND RAT ERADICATION PROJECT: A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF NONTARGET MORTALITY. PREPARED FOR ISLAND CONSERVATION THE NATURE CONSERVANCY and the U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, ALASKA MARITIME NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE. PREPARED BY THE ORNITHOLOGICAL COUNCIL. Final report issued December 2010.
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Report of Investigation #2009703127R001

See also

External links

Anacapa Island

Anacapa Island (Chumash: 'Anyapakh) is a small volcanic island located about 11 miles (18 km) off the coast of Port Hueneme, California, in Ventura County. The island is composed of a series of narrow islets 6 mi (10 km) long, oriented generally east-west and 5 mi (8 km) east of Santa Cruz Island. The three main islets, East, Middle and West Anacapa, are collectively known as The Anacapas by some authors. All three islets have precipitous cliffs, dropping off steeply into the sea.

Anacapa is the smallest of the northern islands of the Channel Islands archipelago, and is within the Channel Islands National Park. It is 9 miles (14 km) across the Santa Barbara Channel from the nearest point on the mainland. It lies southwest of the city of Ventura.

Boondelbah Island

Boondelbah Island, also known as the Boondelbah Nature Reserve, is a protected nature reserve and uninhabited island lying 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) off the mouth of Port Stephens on the coast of New South Wales, Australia. The 14-hectare (35-acre) reserve and island is one of two breeding sites of the nominate subspecies of the threatened Gould's petrel and, with the nearby Cabbage Tree Island which hosts the principal colony, has been classified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area. Both Boondelbah and Cabbage Tree Islands are gazetted nature reserves under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974 (NSW), so protecting the islands' habitat from land uses incompatible with nature conservation. Access is only permitted for scientific and conservation purposes.

Broughton Island (New South Wales)

Broughton Island is an island 14 km north-east of Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia. It is part of the Myall Lakes National Park.(map)

Brush Island

The Brush Island is a continental island, contained within the Brush Island Nature Reserve, a protected nature reserve, that is located off the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. The 47-hectare (120-acre) island and reserve is situated within the Tasman Sea, approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) south-east of the coastal village of Bawley Point.

The island was gazetted as a nature reserve in July 1963 and is important for breeding seabirds. The reserve is listed on Australia’s Register of the National Estate, and has an unmanned lighthouse.

Cabbage Tree Island

Cabbage Tree Island, also known as the John Gould Nature Reserve, is a protected nature reserve and uninhabited continental island lying 1.4 km (0.87 mi) off the mouth of Port Stephens on the coast of New South Wales, Australia. The 30 ha (74-acre) reserve and island is named for the Cabbage-tree Palms in the two gullies on the island's western side which are the nesting site of Goulds petrel. It is the principal breeding site of the nominate subspecies of the threatened Gould's petrel and, with the nearby Boondelbah Island where there is also a small colony, has been classified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area. Both Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah Islands are gazetted nature reserves under the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Act, so protecting the island's habitat from land uses incompatible with nature conservation. Access is only permitted for scientific and conservation purposes.

Hawadax Island

Hawadax Island (Aleut: Hawadax) is an island in the Rat Islands archipelago of the western Aleutian Islands in the U.S. state of Alaska. The island was formerly known as Rat Island until May 2012 when it was renamed Hawadax Island, which is an Aleut name meaning "entry" and "welcome". The island has a land area of 10.3126 sq mi (26.7095 km²) and no permanent population. It is within the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. It is 9.3 miles (15 km) in length and 3.1 miles (5 km) in width.

The former name is the English translation of the name given to the islands by Captain Fyodor Petrovich Litke in 1827 when he visited the Aleutian Islands on a voyage around the world.

The Rat Islands are very earthquake-prone as they are on the boundary of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. In 1965, there was a major earthquake with the magnitude 8.7 in the Rat Islands.

Jarvis Island

Jarvis Island (; formerly known as Bunker Island, or Bunker's Shoal) is an uninhabited 1 3⁄4-square-mile (4.5 km2) coral island located in the South Pacific Ocean at 0°22′S 160°01′W, about halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands. It is an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States, administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system. Unlike most coral atolls, the lagoon on Jarvis is wholly dry.

Jarvis is one of the Line Islands and for statistical purposes is also grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands.

Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island is an island about 5 km (3 mi) off the west coast of the lower North Island of New Zealand. It is 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long, running southwest/northeast, and roughly 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide, being more or less rectangular in shape, and has an area of 19.65 km2 (7.59 sq mi).

The island is separated from the North Island by the Rauoterangi channel. The highest point on the island is Tuteremoana, 521 m (1,709 ft). The seaward (west) side of the island is particularly rocky and has high cliffs, some hundreds of metres high, that drop straight into the sea. The cliffs are subject to very strong prevailing westerly winds and the scrubby vegetation that grows there is low and stunted by the harsh environmental conditions. A cross-section of the island would show almost a right-angled triangle, revealing its origins from lying on a fault line (part of the same ridge as the Tararua Range).

The island's vegetation is dominated by scrub and forest of kohekohe, tawa, and kanuka. Most of the forest is regenerating after years of burn-offs and farming, but some areas of original bush with 30 m (98 ft) trees remain.

Its name has been used since 1989 by the Kapiti Coast District Council, which includes towns such as Paekakariki, Raumati, Paraparaumu and Waikanae.

Kermadec Islands

The Kermadec Islands (Rangitāhua in Māori) are a subtropical island arc in the South Pacific Ocean 800–1,000 km (500–620 mi) northeast of New Zealand's North Island, and a similar distance southwest of Tonga. The islands are part of New Zealand, 33 km2 (12.7 sq mi) in total area and nowadays uninhabited, except for the permanently manned Raoul Island Station, the northernmost outpost of New Zealand.

The islands are listed with the New Zealand Outlying Islands. The islands are an immediate part of New Zealand, but not part of any region or district, but instead Area Outside Territorial Authority, like all the other outlying islands except the Solander Islands.

Laysan

Laysan (; Hawaiian: Kauō [kɔuˈoː]), located 808 nautical miles (1,496 km; 930 mi) northwest of Honolulu at N25° 42' 14" W171° 44' 04", is one of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It comprises one land mass of 1,016 acres (4.11 km2), about 1 by 1 1⁄2 miles (1.6 by 2.4 km) in size. It is an atoll of sorts, although the land completely surrounds a shallow central lake some 8 feet (2.4 m) above sea level that has a salinity approximately three times greater than the ocean. Laysan's Hawaiian name of Kauō means egg, referring to its shape and how much life springs from the island.

Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica. Regionally part of Oceania and politically a part of Tasmania, Australia since 1900, it became a Tasmanian State Reserve in 1978 and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997.

It was a part of Esperance Municipality until 1993 when the municipality was merged with other municipalities to form Huon Valley Council. The island is home to the entire royal penguin population during their annual nesting season. Ecologically, the island is part of the Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundra ecoregion.

Since 1948 the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has maintained a permanent base, the Macquarie Island Station, on the isthmus at the northern end of the island at the foot of Wireless Hill. The population of the base, the island's only human inhabitants, usually varies from 20 to 40 people over the year. A heliport is located near the base.

In September 2016, the Australian Antarctic Division said it would close its research station on the island in 2017. However, shortly afterwards the Australian government responded to widespread backlash to the decision by announcing funding to upgrade ageing infrastructure and continue existing operations at Macquarie Island.

Mangere Island

Mangere Island is part of the Chatham Islands archipelago, located about 800 kilometres (500 mi) east of New Zealand's South Island and has an area of 113 hectares (279 acres). The island lies off the west coast of Pitt Island, 45 kilometres (28 mi) south-east of the main settlement in the Chathams, Waitangi, on Chatham Island.

Mangere and nearby Tapuaenuku (Little Mangere) are the eroded remains of an ancient volcano of Pliocene age. The island's highest point, Whakapa, is 292 metres (958 ft) above sea level.

Forested until the 1890s, the island was largely cleared for sheep grazing. Rabbits and then cats were also introduced but later died out. Farmed until 1966, the island was then purchased by the New Zealand government and gazetted as a Nature Reserve. The last sheep were removed in 1968 and restoration of the island started in 1973 and is ongoing. Several endemic Chatham Island bird species have since been reintroduced to the island, Chatham snipe in 1970, black robin in 1976, Chatham tomtit in 1987 and shore plover in the 1990s.

Oeno Island

Oeno Island ( oh-EE-noh) or Holiday Island is a coral atoll in the South Pacific Ocean, part of the Pitcairn Islands overseas territory.

Phoenix Islands Protected Area

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is located in the Republic of Kiribati, an ocean nation in the central Pacific approximately midway between Australia and Hawaii. PIPA constitutes 11.34% of Kiribati’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and with a size of 408,250 km2 (157,630 sq mi) it is one of the largest marine protected areas (MPA), and one of the largest protected areas of any type (land or sea) on Earth.

Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island is a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand. The 5.5 km wide island is an iconic and widely visible landmark of Auckland with its distinctive symmetrical shield volcano cone rising 260 metres (850 ft) high over the Hauraki Gulf. Rangitoto is the most recent and the largest (2311 hectares) of the approximately 50 volcanoes of the Auckland volcanic field. It is separated from the mainland of Auckland's North Shore by the Rangitoto Channel. Since World War II, it has been linked by a causeway to the much older, non-volcanic Motutapu Island.Rangitoto is Māori for 'Bloody Sky', with the name coming from the full phrase Ngā Rangi-i-totongia-a Tama-te-kapua ("The days of the bleeding of Tama-te-kapua"). Tama-te-kapua was the captain of the Arawa waka (canoe) and was badly wounded on the island, after having lost a battle with the Tainui iwi (tribe) at Islington Bay.

Rawaki Island

Rawaki Island is one of the Phoenix Islands in the Republic of Kiribati, also known by its previous name of Phoenix Island. It is a small, uninhabited atoll, approximately 1.2 by 0.8 kilometres (0.75 by 0.50 miles) in size and 65 hectares (160 acres) in area, with a shallow, brackish lagoon that is not connected to the open sea. It is located at 3.721°S 170.712°W / -3.721; -170.712.

The island is designated as a wildlife sanctuary. Kiribati declared the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in 2006, with the park being expanded in 2008. The 164,200-square-mile (425,000-square-kilometre) marine reserve contains eight coral atolls including Rawaki island.

Ringgold Isles

The Ringgold Isles are an archipelago in Fiji, forming an outlier group to Vanua Levu. The Budd, Nukusemanu, and Heemskercq Reefs form part of the group. The group is mostly uninhabited, but Qelelevu has a small village. In 2008 Pacific Rats were eradicated from seven islands of the group in an endeavour facilitated by BirdLife International's Fiji Programme.A 218 hectares (540 acres) area covering the archipelago is the Ringgold Islands Important Bird Area. This area supports globally and regionally significant populations of marine turtles, humpback whales, seabirds and semi-nomadic reef fish, and may hold concentrations of cold-water corals.

Île Ronde, Mauritius

Round Island is an uninhabited islet 22.5 kilometres north of Mauritius. It has an area of 1.69 square kilometres and a maximum elevation of 280 metres. The island has been a nature reserve since 1957 and is administered jointly by the National Parks and Conservation Service and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

Île Saint-Paul

Île Saint-Paul (Saint Paul Island) is an island forming part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises, TAAF) in the Indian Ocean, with an area of 6 km2 (2.3 sq mi; 1,500 acres). The island is located about 85 km (46 nmi) southwest of the larger Île Amsterdam (55 km2 (21 sq mi)), 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) northeast of the Kerguelen Islands, and 3,000 km (1,600 nmi) southeast of Réunion. It is an important breeding site for seabirds. A scientific research cabin on the island is used for scientific or ecological short campaigns, but there is no permanent population. It is under the authority of a senior administrator on Réunion.

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