island

Wake Island

21 species

Wake Island is a coral atoll in the western Pacific Ocean in the northeastern area of the Micronesia subregion, 1,501 miles east of Guam, 2,298 miles west of Honolulu, 1,991 miles southeast of Tokyo and 898 miles north of Majuro. Wake Island is one of the most isolated islands in the world. The nearest inhabited island is Utirik Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 592 miles to the southeast.

Native vegetation communities include scrub, grass, and wetlands. Tournefortia argentia dominated scrublands exist in association with Scaevola taccada, Cordia subcordata, and Pisonia grandis. Grassland species include Dactyloctenium aegyptium and Tribulus cistoides. Wetlands are dominated by Sesuvium portulacastrum, and Pemphis acidula is found near intertidal lagoons.

The atoll is home to multiple species of land crabs, with Coenobita perlatus being especially abundant.

The atoll, with its surrounding marine waters, has been recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for its sooty tern colony, with some 200,000 individual birds estimated in 1999. 56 bird species have been sighted on the atoll.

Due to human use, several invasive species have become established on the atoll. Feral cats were introduced in the 1960s as pets and for pest control. Eradication efforts began in earnest in 1996, and were deemed successful in 2008. Two species of rat, Rattus exulans and Rattus tanezumi, have colonized the island. R. tanezumi populations were successfully eradicated by 2014, however, R. exulans persists. Casuarina equisetifolia was planted on Wake Island by boy scouts in the 1960s for use as a windbreak. It formed large mono-cultural forests that choked out native vegetation. Concerted efforts to kill the populations began in 2017. Other introduced plant species include Cynodon dactylon and Leucaena leucocephala. Non-native species of ants are also found on the atoll.

Wake Island is a coral atoll in the western Pacific Ocean in the northeastern area of the Micronesia subregion, 1,501 miles east of Guam, 2,298 miles west of Honolulu, 1,991 miles southeast of Tokyo and 898 miles north of Majuro. Wake Island is one of the most isolated islands in the world. The nearest inhabited island is Utirik Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 592 miles to the southeast.

Native vegetation communities include scrub, grass, and wetlands. Tournefortia argentia dominated scrublands exist in association with Scaevola taccada, Cordia subcordata, and Pisonia grandis. Grassland species include Dactyloctenium aegyptium and Tribulus cistoides. Wetlands are dominated by Sesuvium portulacastrum, and Pemphis acidula is found near intertidal lagoons.

The atoll is home to multiple species of land crabs, with Coenobita perlatus being especially abundant.

The atoll, with its surrounding marine waters, has been recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for its sooty tern colony, with some 200,000 individual birds estimated in 1999. 56 bird species have been sighted on the atoll.

Due to human use, several invasive species have become established on the atoll. Feral cats were introduced in the 1960s as pets and for pest control. Eradication efforts began in earnest in 1996, and were deemed successful in 2008. Two species of rat, Rattus exulans and Rattus tanezumi, have colonized the island. R. tanezumi populations were successfully eradicated by 2014, however, R. exulans persists. Casuarina equisetifolia was planted on Wake Island by boy scouts in the 1960s for use as a windbreak. It formed large mono-cultural forests that choked out native vegetation. Concerted efforts to kill the populations began in 2017. Other introduced plant species include Cynodon dactylon and Leucaena leucocephala. Non-native species of ants are also found on the atoll.