Kure Atoll

Kure Atoll (/ˈkʊəriː/; Hawaiian: Mokupāpapa) or Ocean Island is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean 48 nautical miles (89 km; 55 mi) beyond Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at 28°25′N 178°20′W / 28.417°N 178.333°WCoordinates: 28°25′N 178°20′W / 28.417°N 178.333°W. The only land of significant size is called Green Island and is a habitat for hundreds of thousands of seabirds. A short, unused and unmaintained runway and a portion of one building, both from a former United States Coast Guard LORAN station, are located on the island. Politically it is part of Hawaii, although separated from the rest of the state by Midway, which is a separate unorganized territory. Green Island, in addition to being the nesting grounds of tens of thousands of seabirds, has recorded several vagrant terrestrial birds including snow bunting, eyebrowed thrush, brambling, olive-backed pipit, black kite, Steller's sea eagle and Chinese sparrowhawk.

Kure Atoll
Satellite image of Kure Atoll (north is towards the upper-left corner)
Satellite image of Kure Atoll (north is towards the upper-left corner)
Location of Kure Atoll in the Pacific Ocean
Location of Kure Atoll in the Pacific Ocean
Kure Atoll
Geography
LocationPacific Ocean
Coordinates28°25′N 178°20′W / 28.417°N 178.333°W
ArchipelagoNorthwestern Hawaiian Islands
Total islands2
Major islandsGreen Island
Area0.884 km2 (0.341 sq mi)
Length5.8 mi (9.3 km)
Width4.8 mi (7.7 km)
Administration
StateHawaii
CountyHonolulu County
Demographics
Population0 (2012)
Additional information
Time zone
  • UTC−10
Hawaiianislandchain USGS
Map showing the location of Kure Atoll in the Hawaiian island chain

Geography

The International Date Line lies approximately 100 miles (87 nmi/160 km) to the west. Although located to the west of Midway Atoll, Kure Atoll has a timezone +1 hour ahead at UTC−10:00 (the same as the rest of Hawaii). Kure is the northernmost coral atoll in the world.[1][2] It consists of a 6-mile (10 km) wide nearly circular barrier reef surrounding a shallow lagoon and several sand islets. There is a total land area of 213.097 acres (86.237 ha), with Green Island on the southeast side[3] having 191.964 acres (77.685 ha) of this total. A growing number of Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) haul out on its beaches.[4]

Climate

Data chart below has been taken from Midway Atoll due to a lack of any weather stations present on Kure Atoll.

Kure Atoll features a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw) with high year-round temperatures. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, with only two months being able to be classified as dry season months (May and June).

Geological history

The geological history of Kure is generally similar to Midway, but Kure lies close to what is called the Darwin Point, the latitude at which reef growth just equals reef destruction by various physical forces. As Kure continues to be slowly carried along to the northwest by the motion of the Pacific Plate, it will move into waters too cool for coral and coralline algae growth to keep up with isostatic subsidence of the mountain. Currently the atoll is warmed by the pools of water at the ends of the warm Kuroshio Current, keeping it in very comfortable range in winter. Barring unforeseen evolution, it will then begin to join the other volcanic and reef-topped remnants of the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain to the northwest, all of which are now seamounts.[4][6]

Human exploration and use

Kure Aerial
Green Island from the air

In the Hawaiian language the term Mokupāpapa was used for any flat island with reefs.[7] The northwestern islands are associated with Kāne Milohai in Hawaiian mythology. The brother of Pele (creator of the islands) was left to stand guard for travelers.[8] Before the mid-19th century, Kure Atoll was visited by several ships and given new names each time. Sometimes spelled Cure, its English name was for a Russian navigator who sighted the atoll.[9] It was officially named Kure Island in 1924 and then Kure Atoll in 1987.[10]

Many crews were stranded on Kure Atoll after being shipwrecked on the surrounding reefs and had to survive on the local seals, turtles, and birds. The shipwrecks remain on the reef today, including the USS Saginaw. Because of these incidents, King Kalākaua sent Colonel J. H. Boyd to Kure as his Special Commissioner. On September 20, 1886, he took possession of the island for the Hawaiian government. The King ordered that a crude house be built on the island, with tanks for holding water and provisions for any other unfortunates who might be cast away there. But the provisions were stolen within a year and the house soon fell into ruins.[11]

Largely neglected for most of its history, during World War II Kure was routinely visited by U.S. Navy patrols from nearby Midway to ensure that the Japanese were not using it to refuel submarines or flying boats from submarine-tankers for attacks elsewhere in the Hawaiian chain. During the Battle of Midway, a Japanese Nakajima B5N "Kate" bomber, operating from aircraft carrier Hiryū, piloted by Lieutenant Kikuchi Rokurō, and which had been involved in the initial Japanese attack on Midway's US installations, crash-landed near Kure after being damaged by US fighters.[12] Once ashore, Lt. Kikuchi and the two other members of his crew (Warrant Officer Yumoto Noriyoshi and Petty Officer (1st Class) Narasaki Hironori) refused capture and were either killed or committed suicide when an American landing party tried to capture them.[12]

Kure Atoll aerial 1971
The United States Coast Guard LORAN station at Kure in 1971
Starr 010520-0034 Lobularia maritima
Volunteer tents and albatrosses at Kure

Kure is located within a major current which washes up debris from the Great Pacific garbage patch, such as fishing nets and large numbers of cigarette lighters, on the island. These pose threats to the local animals, especially birds, whose skeletons are frequently found with plastic in the stomach cavity.[4][13]

On October 16, 1998, the longline fishing vessel Paradise Queen II ran aground on the eastern edge of Green Island of Kure Atoll, spilling approximately 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel before recovery operations could commence. Debris from that shipwreck continued to pollute the reef and shoreline for many years, endangering wildlife and damaging the coral reef. The long-term impact of this and other wrecks within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) highlight the dangers to sensitive habitats in the area. To help ensure their protection, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was designated a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in 2008 by the International Maritime Organization.[14][15] In addition to avoiding specific areas, owners must identify when their ship enters and leaves the PSSA's 10 nautical mile wide reporting area so a timely response can be taken should there be a maritime emergency.

From 1960 to 1992, a United States Coast Guard LORAN station was located on Green Island. A short coral runway was built on the island to support Coast Guard operations,[11] but it was abandoned and is currently unusable.[16] Although there is no permanent human population, the atoll is formally part of the City and County of Honolulu.[17] It became a state wildlife sanctuary in 1981.[18] Since 1993 the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and volunteers from the Kure Atoll Conservancy group have helped to restore the atoll to a more natural state.[19] Jean-Michel Cousteau produced a video on a voyage to Kure which first aired in 2006.[20] Since 2010 the Division of Forestry and Wildlife has had a year-round presence on Kure Atoll.

Amateur radio

Because of its particularly remote location, Kure Island has been the scene of several amateur radio DX expeditions, or DX-peditions. Because the radio propagation path between Kure and Europe runs right over the North Polar region, opportunities for distant communication with Kure are particularly popular among European amateurs. Some of the DXpeditions to Kure were:

  • 1969 – Callsign: KH6NR/KH6 – From November 11 to November 14, 1969, Marine Staff Sergeant Don Chilcote, KH6GKV (now VE6NN), and Navy ICFN Gene Lewis, KH6HDB (now W5LE), operated from Kure Island, using the U.S. Navy Reserve Training Center, Honolulu's callsign.[21]
  • 1970  – Callsign: W7UXP/KH6 - October by WB2OIF, KH6HCM/W7UXP, KH6HGP/W7WOX
  • 1971–72 – Callsign: KH6EDY—The U.S. Coast Guard Loran Station Kure Island's callsign.
  • 1973–74 – Callsign: KH6HDB – From September 1973 to September 1974, Gene Lewis, KH6HDB (now W5LE), operated from Kure Island. Lewis had been one of the two operators to activate Kure during the one-week DXpedition of KH6NR/KH6 during November 1969. He subsequently joined the Coast Guard for the express purpose of getting to spend a one-year tour of duty on Kure Island.[22]
  • 1997 – Event call sign: K7K. This was a joint scientific/radio operation including four fish and wildlife scientists and the eight members of the Midway-Kure DX Foundation's 1996 Midway team. The team included four scientists from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.[23]
  • 2005 – Event call sign: K7C. The team consisted of 12 amateur radio operators from the United States, Canada, and Germany.[21]
  • 2018 - the Pacific Island DX-pedeition Group's 4th application since 2014 was rejected by the Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, citing the inability to provide "adequate safeguards for the resources and ecological integrity" of Kure Atoll, despite successful Amateur Radio activations, with U. S. Fish and Wildlife representation, on Palmyra, Navassa, and Baker Island with no harmful impact to those island habitats.[24]

Gallery

Kure map lrg

Bathymetric map of Kure Atoll

KureAtoll

Satellite image of Kure Atoll

NASA KureAtoll

NASA astronaut image of Kure Atoll (2004/2/22)

Atoll research bulletin (1972) (20159194319)

Photo of Green Island shot from the air (1968/2/27)

Kure Masked Booby juveniles

Young Masked Boobies Sula dactylatra on Green Island, Kure Atoll

Starr 010520-0024 Scaevola taccada

Scaevola taccada (habit with sooty terns). Location: Kure Atoll, inland

Starr 010520-0006 Verbesina encelioides

The flower of Verbesina encelioides at near camp of Kure Atoll

Kure Marine Debris

Young masked boobies (Sula dactylatra) sitting on marine debris on Green Island.

References

  1. ^ Samu, Tanya (2004). Geography: Year 12. Government of Samoa: Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture. Page 18. ISBN 9825170611.
  2. ^ Reynolds, M.H., Berkowitz, P., Courtot, K.N., Krause, C. M. (editors) (2012). Predicting sea-level rise vulnerability of terrestrial habitat and wildlife of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1182 (PDF). USGS. p. 7.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Green Island
  4. ^ a b c Safina, Carl (2003). Eye of the albatross : visions of hope and survival (1st Owl Books ed.). New York: H. Holt. ISBN 9780805062298. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Midway Island, Midway Islands Travel Weather Averages (Weatherbase)". weatherbase.com. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Kure Atoll (Moku Pāpapa)". Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  7. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of moku papapa". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  8. ^ ʻAha Pūnana Leo and Hale Kuamoʻo (2003). "lookup of Kānemilohaʻi ". in Māmaka Kaiao: a modern Hawaiian vocabulary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  9. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel Hoyt Elbert and Esther T. Mookini (2004). "lookup of Kure ". in Place Names of Hawai'i. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  10. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kure Atoll
  11. ^ a b Mark J. Rauzon (2001). Isles of Refuge: Wildlife and history of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8028-5088-X.
  12. ^ a b Jonathan B. Parshall; Anthony P. Tully (2005). Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books. pp. 200, 204, 516, 553 note 45, note 56. ISBN 1-57488-923-0.
  13. ^ Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Kure Atoll Archived 2006-02-12 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Designation of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area" (PDF). International Maritime Organization (IMO). Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  15. ^ Shallanberger, Robert J. (February 2006). "History of Management in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands" (PDF). Atoll Research Bulletin. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (543): 26. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Hawaiian Monk Seal Population Assessment Field Camps In The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  17. ^ "Kure Atoll, including Green Island: Blocks 1023 and 1024, Census Tract 114.98, Honolulu County, Hawaii". 2000 Census. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  18. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary
  19. ^ "Kure Atoll Conservancy". volunteer web site. 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  20. ^ "Voyage to Kure". Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures. KQED-TV. 2006. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  21. ^ a b "The 2005 Cordell Expedition to Kure Atoll". www.cordell.org. Cordell Expeditions. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  22. ^ "QRZ Callsign Database Search by QRZ.COM". qrz.com. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  23. ^ "k7k.html". qsl.net. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  24. ^ "How's DX: The Elusive Kure Atoll". QST. 103, No. 1: 93. January 2019.

External links

1955 Hawaiian submarine eruption

The 1955 Hawaiian submarine eruption was a submarine eruption that occurred 90 km (56 mi) northeast of Necker Island on August 20, 1955. Steaming water, water discoloration and an eruption column took place during the eruption. A possible pumice raft was also witnessed. The eruption originated about 4 km (2.5 mi) below sea level from an unnamed submarine volcano. The eruption produced a column of smoke several meters high. It is probably the westernmost historical eruption within the Hawaiian Islands. Another but less certain submarine eruption may have occurred 60 km (37 mi) northwest of Oahu on May 22, 1956.

Asymphorodes dimorpha

Asymphorodes dimorpha is a species of gelechioid moth of subfamily Agonoxeninae of the palm moth family (Agonoxenidae), whose taxonomic status is disputed. Alternatively, the palm moths might be a subfamily of the grass-miner moth family (Elachistidae), with the Agonoxeninae becoming a tribe Agonoxenini.Formerly, this genus was included in the cosmet moths (Cosmopterigidae). It is found in Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Lanai, Hawaii, Nihoa, Necker Island, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Midway Atoll, Kure Atoll, Wake Island, Kanton Island and Jarvis Island, but is probably much more widely distributed in the Pacific.

The wings are folded at rest and the moth appears brown on the sides with a broad, pale, longitudinal stripe down the middle of the back. The hindwing of the male is most unusual. Not only is the venation much reduced, but there is a singular, bladderlike, thorn-bearing protuberance near the middle of the hind margin of the cell near the wing margin. Part of this organ projects above the dorsal wing surface, but the greatest protuberance is from the ventral surface.

Larvae have been recorded feeding on dead leaves, dead grass and dead plant materials in turf. The larvae are whitish and do not make cases.

Atoll

An atoll ( ), sometimes called a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands or cays on the rim. The coral of the atoll often sits atop the rim of an extinct seamount or volcano which has eroded or subsided partially beneath the water. The lagoon forms over the volcanic crater or caldera while the higher rim remains above water or at shallow depths that permit the coral to grow and form the reefs. For the atoll to persist, continued erosion or subsidence must be at a rate slow enough to permit reef growth upward and outward to replace the lost height.

Bonin petrel

The Bonin petrel (Pterodroma hypoleuca) is a seabird in the family Procellariidae. It is a small gadfly petrel. The species is native to the North Pacific Ocean. Its secretive habits, remote breeding colonies and limited range have resulted in few studies and many aspects of the species' biology are poorly known.

Endemism in the Hawaiian Islands

Located about 2300 miles (3680 km) from the nearest continental shore, the Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated group of islands on the planet. The plant and animal life of the Hawaiian archipelago is the result of early, very infrequent colonizations of arriving species and the slow evolution of those species—in isolation from the rest of the world's flora and fauna—over a period of at least 5 million years. As a consequence, Hawai'i is home to a large number of endemic species. The radiation of species described by Charles Darwin in the Galapagos Islands which was critical to the formulation of his theory of evolution is far exceeded in the more isolated Hawaiian Islands.

The relatively short time that the existing main islands of the archipelago have been above the surface of the ocean (less than 10 million years) is only a fraction of time span over which biological colonization and evolution have occurred in the archipelago. High, volcanic islands have existed in the Pacific far longer, extending in a chain to the northwest; these once mountainous islands are now reduced to submerged banks and coral atolls. Midway Atoll, for example, formed as a volcanic island some 28 million years ago. Kure Atoll, a little further to the northwest, is near the Darwin point—defined as waters of a temperature that allows coral reef development to just keep up with isostatic sinking. And extending back in time before Kure, an even older chain of islands spreads northward nearly to the Aleutian Islands; these former islands, all north of the Darwin point, are now completely submerged as the Emperor Seamounts.

The islands are well known for the environmental diversity that occurs on high mountains within a trade winds field. On a single island, the climate can differ around the coast from dry tropical (< 20 in or 500 mm annual rainfall) to wet tropical; and up the slopes from tropical rainforest (> 200 in or 5000 mm per year) through a temperate climate into alpine conditions of cold and dry climate. The rainy climate impacts soil development, which largely determines ground permeability, which affects the distribution of streams, wetlands, and wet places.

The distance and remoteness of the Hawaiian archipelago is a biological filter. Seeds or spores attached to a lost migrating bird's feather or an insect falling out of the high winds found a place to survive in the islands and whatever else was needed to reproduce. The narrowing of the gene pool meant that at the very beginning, the population of a colonizing species was a bit different from that of the remove, contributing population.

Eragrostis variabilis

Eragrostis variabilis is a species of grass known by the common names variable lovegrass, kawelu, emoloa, and kalamalo. It is endemic to Hawaii, where it occurs on all the main islands plus Kure Atoll, Midway Atoll, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Lisianski Island, Laysan, and Nihoa.This species is a perennial grass which is variable in appearance. The smooth, erect stems are up to 3 feet tall or more. The leaves and inflorescences are variable in length. The panicles are open and spreading or dense and spike-shaped. Plants from the main islands look different from those growing on the other Hawaiian islands. There are about 3,136,000 seeds in a pound.This plant grows in several types of island habitat from dunes at sea level to ridges and cliffs at up to 3700 feet in elevation. It grows in areas that receive 40 to 100 inches of precipitation per year.On Laysan Island this plant provides the main nesting habitat for the rare Laysan finch (Telespiza cantans). The bird hides its nest in clumps of the grass. The grass also provides important nesting cover for the rare Laysan duck (Anas laysanensis). It is used by other bird species, such as the brown noddy (Anous stolidus), wedge-tailed shearwater (Puffinus pacificus), and red-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda).This plant was used as thatching by Native Hawaiians. It is also used as an ornamental grass.This grass is displaced by the introduced weed sandbur (Cenchrus echinatus). This displacement reduces the amount of available nesting habitat for birds.

Extreme points of Oceania

This is a list of the extreme points of Oceania.

Northernmost point – Kure Atoll, United States (28°25′N)

Southernmost point – Jacquemart Island, New Zealand (52°37′S)

Westernmost point – Dirk Hartog Island, Australia (112°55″E)

Easternmost point – Easter Island, Chile (109°13'W)

Lowest point on land – Lake Eyre, Australia: −15 m (−49 ft)

Highest point – Puncak Jaya, Indonesia: 4,884 metres (16,024 ft)

Deepest sea – Challenger Deep: 10,994 metres (36,070 ft)

Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian: Mokupuni o Hawai‘i) are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name chosen by James Cook in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The contemporary name is derived from the name of the largest island, Hawaii Island.

Although Hawaii is now a U.S. state, it is only a part of the U.S. politically and not geographically connected to North America. The state of Hawaii occupies the archipelago almost in its entirety (including the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands), with the sole exception of Midway Island, which instead separately belongs to the United States as one of its unincorporated territories within the United States Minor Outlying Islands.

The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain, formed by volcanic activity over a hotspot in the Earth's mantle. The islands are about 1,860 miles (3,000 km) from the nearest continent.

Hawaiian grouper

The Hawaiian grouper (Hyporthodus quernus, formerly Epinephelus quernus) is a species of marine fish in the family Serranidae. It is large inquisitive inhabitant endemic to the Hawaiian Archipelago (most common around Midway and Kure Atoll) and Johnston Island.

The Hawaiian grouper prefers deep cool waters and has been sighted at 380 ft. It is carnivorous and feeds on fishes and large invertebrates, attaining a length and weight of at least 3 feet and 50 pounds. Hawaiian groupers are protogynious and reproduce externally (fertilization in open water/substratum egg scatterers). They do not guard their eggs once laid. It is a long-lived, commercially important species (member of the 'Deep Seven') and highly sensitive to over-harvesting. The species is currently listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Least Concern (LC). The Hawaiian name for this grouper is hāpu‘u, juveniles known as hāpu‘upu‘u.

Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain

The Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain is a mostly undersea mountain range in the Pacific Ocean that reaches above sea level in Hawaii. It is composed of the Hawaiian ridge, consisting of the islands of the Hawaiian chain northwest to Kure Atoll, and the Emperor Seamounts: together they form a vast underwater mountain region of islands and intervening seamounts, atolls, shallows, banks and reefs along a line trending southeast to northwest beneath the northern Pacific Ocean. The seamount chain, containing over 80 identified undersea volcanoes, stretches about 6,200 kilometres (3,900 mi) from the Aleutian Trench in the far northwest Pacific to the Loʻihi seamount, the youngest volcano in the chain, which lies about 35 kilometres (22 mi) southeast of the Island of Hawaiʻi.

Hillebrandia

Hillebrandia sandwicensis is a species of a herbaceous perennial flowering plant native to some of the Hawaiian Islands. Common names include aka ʻaka ʻawa and puʻa maka nui. The genus name honors the German physician William Hillebrand.In terms of morphology, H. sandwicensis is similar to Begonia, but differences in flower structure, pollen morphology, and fruit separate the two genera. It produces tubers, to which above–ground parts of the plant die back to after producing fruit in the summer. The seeds are very small. Plants regrow in January. It blooms from February to June. It is monoecious, with succulent branches. It is found in humid ravines covered with forest at altitudes of 900–1800 meters. Additionally, H. sandwicensis is the only member of its family natively found in the Hawaiian Islands.It is classified in the family Begoniaceae and is the only species in the genus Hillebrandia; indeed, it the only one of the 1900 or so species in the family Begoniaceae not to be a member of the genus Begonia. It is the sister taxon to the rest of its family. The time of the split is considerably older than the oldest above–water Hawaiian Island (Kure Atoll) by an appreciable period of time. This arises a bit of a mystery as to how a monotypic genus got to a remote island chain considerably younger than itself. It has been proposed that, even though forested ravines are not particularly windy, Hillebrandia island–hopped down the Hawaiian – Emperor seamount chain (then islands) via the wind often enough to colonize each island in turn, a process aided by a Cenozoic climate allowing it to live at lower altitudes than today, regardless of where the genus originated from. Hillebrandia may also be younger than previous estimates.H. sandwicensis is currently found only on the islands of Maui, Molokai, and Kauai. It is locally extinct on Oahu, and does not occur on the Big Island. Despite an abundance of suitable habitat, the species is localized and uncommon. It has recently been getting rarer, but despite this, it is not (as of 2011) listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List. However, a 1999 document from the American Fish and Wildlife Service did list H. sandwicensis as one of 202 "Other Species of Concern".

Hypselodoris insulana

Hypselodoris insulana is a species of sea slug or dorid nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Chromodorididae.

Laysan duck

The Laysan duck (Anas laysanensis), also known as the Laysan teal, is a dabbling duck endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. Fossil evidence reveals that Laysan ducks once lived across the entire archipelago, but today survive only on Laysan Island and two atolls. The duck has evolved several physical and behavioral traits linked to the absence of ground-based predators in its habitat. By 1860, the ducks had disappeared from everywhere except Laysan Island. The introduction of rabbits brought the bird to the brink of extinction in 1912 with twelve surviving individuals. Rabbits were eradicated from the island in 1923 and numbers of Laysan ducks began to rise, reaching 500 by the 1950s. In an effort to ensure the long-term future of this duck, 42 birds were translocated to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in 2002. These thrived in their new surroundings, and another group were later relocated to Kure Atoll.

List of islands of Hawaii

The following is a list of islands of Hawaii. The state of Hawaii, consisting of the Hawaiian Islands, has the fourth-longest ocean coastline of the 50 states (after Alaska, Florida, and California) at 750 miles (1,210 km). It is the only state that consists entirely of islands with 6,422.62 mi² (16,635 km²) of land. The Hawaiian Island archipelago extends some 1,500 miles (2,400 km) from the southernmost island of Hawaiʻi to the northernmost Kure Atoll. Despite being within the boundaries of Hawaii, Midway Atoll, comprising several smaller islands, is not included as an island of Hawaii, because it is classified as a United States Minor Outlying Islands and is therefore administered by the federal government and not the state.

Hawaii is divided into five counties: Hawaiʻi, Honolulu, Kalawao, Kauaʻi, and Maui. Each island is included in the boundaries and under the administration of one of these counties. Honolulu County, despite being centralized, administers the outlying Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Kalawao (the smallest county in the United States in terms of land area) and Maui, both occupying the island of Molokaʻi, are the only counties that share the same island. Hawaii is typically recognized by its eight main islands: Hawaiʻi, Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, and Niʻihau.

The state of Hawaii officially recognizes only 137 islands in the state which includes four islands of the Midway Atoll. An island in this sense may also include much smaller and typically uninhabited islets, rocks, coral reefs, and atolls. For that reason, this article lists 152 separate islands (but also names smaller island chains such as the French Frigate Shoals, which includes 13 islands of its own). Some of these are too small to appear on maps, and others, such as Maro Reef, only appear above the water's surface during times of low tide. Others, such as Shark and Skate islands, have completely eroded away.

The majority of the Hawaiian Islands are inhabited, with Niʻihau being the westernmost island with a population of around 130 natives, no one else is allowed om the island. All the islands west of Niʻihau—those categorized as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands—are unpopulated and recently incorporated into the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The island of Oʻahu has 953,207 residents (about 70% of the state's population), and the island of Hawaiʻi is by far the largest island with an area of 4,028 mi² (10,432 km²)—62.7% of the state's land area. The islands were first settled as early as AD 300 by Polynesian long-distance navigators. British captain James Cook was the first European to land on the islands in January 1778. The islands, which were governed independently up until 1898 were then annexed by the United States as a territory from 1898–1959. On August 21, 1959, they were collectively admitted as the 50th state.

The islands are the exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain, formed by volcanic activity over a hotspot in the Earth's mantle. The archipelago formed as the Pacific plate moved slowly northwestward over a hotspot in the mantle at about 32 miles (51 km) per million years. The islands in the northwest of the archipelago are older and typically smaller, due to longer exposure to erosion. The age of the archipelago has been estimated using potassium-argon dating methods. It is estimated that the northwesternmost Kure Atoll is the oldest at approximately 28 million years, while the southeasternmost Hawaiʻi Island is approximately 400,000 years old and still subjected to ongoing volcanism—one of the most active hotspots on Earth.

List of species of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

This is a list of the species that inhabit the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Except for researchers and volunteers living on Midway Atoll, Kure Atoll, and Tern Island, the leeward islands are uninhabited by people but home to at least 7000 species ranging from marine mammals, fish, sea turtles, birds and invertebrates. Many of these species are rare or endangered and at least 25% are endemic to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This list identifies which islands the species lives on, and whether the species is endemic to the NWHI.

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or the Leeward Islands are the small islands and atolls in the Hawaiian island chain located northwest (in some cases, far to the northwest) of the islands of Kauai and Niihau. Politically, they are all part of Honolulu County in the U.S. state of Hawaii, except Midway Atoll, which is a territory distinct from Hawaii and grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. The United States Census Bureau defines this area, except Midway, as Census Tract 114.98 of Honolulu County. Its total land area is 3.1075 square miles (8.048 km2). All the islands except Nihoa are north of the Tropic of Cancer, making them the only islands in Hawaii that lie outside the tropics.

The Northwestern or Leeward Hawaiian Islands include:

Nihoa (Moku Manu) at 23°03′38″N 161°55′19″W

Necker (Mokumanamana) at 23°34′N 164°42′W

French Frigate Shoals (Kānemilohaʻi) at 23°52.134′N 166°17.16′W

Gardner Pinnacles (Pūhāhonu) at 25°01′N 167°59′W

Maro Reef (Nalukākala) at 25.415°N 170.590°W / 25.415; -170.590

Laysan (Kauō) at 25.7675°N 171.7334°W / 25.7675; -171.7334

Lisianski (Papaāpoho) at 26.064031°N 173.965802°W / 26.064031; -173.965802

Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Holoikauaua) at 27.927687°N 175.737991°W / 27.927687; -175.737991

Midway (Pihemanu) at 28°12′N 177°21′W - not part of the State of Hawaii

Kure (Mokupāpapa) at 28°25′N 178°20′W

Ocean Island

Ocean Island may refer to:

Banaba Island, Kiribati

Kure Atoll, Hawaii, United States

Ocean Island Inn, a historic building in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Ocean Island, in Port Ross harbour, Auckland Islands, New Zealand

An alternative name for Tito v Waddell (No 2), a leading English trusts case

Red-tailed tropicbird

The red-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) is a seabird native to tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans. One of three closely related species of tropicbird, it was described by Pieter Boddaert in 1783. Superficially resembling a tern in appearance, it has almost all-white plumage with a black mask and a red bill. The sexes have similar plumage. Adults have red tail streamers that are about twice their body length, which gives rise to its common name. There are four subspecies recognised, though there is evidence there is a clinal change with smaller birds in the north and larger in the south (and hence no grounds for any subspecies).

Nesting takes place in loose colonies on oceanic islands, the nest itself a scrape found on a cliff face, in a crevice, or a sandy beach. A single egg is laid, being incubated by both sexes for about six weeks. The red-tailed tropicbird eats fish, mainly flying fish, and squid, catching them by plunge-diving into the ocean. This bird is considered to be a least-concern species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), though it is adversely affected by human contact. Rats and feral cats prey on eggs and young at nesting sites.

USS Saginaw (1859)

The first USS Saginaw was a sidewheel sloop-of-war in the United States Navy during the American Civil War.

Climate data for Kure Atoll
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
(27)
81
(27)
81
(27)
82
(28)
87
(31)
89
(32)
92
(33)
92
(33)
92
(33)
89
(32)
88
(31)
82
(28)
92
(33)
Average high °F (°C) 70
(21)
70
(21)
71
(22)
72
(22)
76
(24)
81
(27)
83
(28)
84
(29)
84
(29)
80
(27)
76
(24)
73
(23)
77
(25)
Daily mean °F (°C) 66
(19)
66
(19)
67
(19)
69
(21)
72
(22)
77
(25)
79
(26)
80
(27)
80
(27)
77
(25)
73
(23)
69
(21)
73
(23)
Average low °F (°C) 62
(17)
62
(17)
63
(17)
64
(18)
68
(20)
73
(23)
75
(24)
75
(24)
75
(24)
72
(22)
69
(21)
65
(18)
69
(20)
Record low °F (°C) 49
(9)
50
(10)
51
(11)
53
(12)
55
(13)
61
(16)
63
(17)
64
(18)
64
(18)
59
(15)
55
(13)
51
(11)
49
(9)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.0
(130)
3.8
(97)
3.0
(76)
2.5
(64)
2.3
(58)
2.2
(56)
3.3
(84)
4.3
(110)
3.5
(89)
3.5
(89)
3.8
(97)
4.1
(100)
41.3
(1,050)
Average precipitation days 16 14 12 11 9 9 15 15 15 14 14 16 160
Source: Weatherbase[5]

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