Under the Guano Act of 1856, Jarvis Island became a U.S. possession. It was placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior on May 13, 1936 (Executive Order 7358).

Political Status
Jarvis Island is a possession of the United States. Since June 27, 1974, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has administered the island as a national wildlife refuge.

Uninhabited Jarvis Island, at latitude 0 degrees, 22 minutes, south and longitude 160 degrees, one minute, west, is about 1350 miles south of Honolulu.  Jarvis lies 100 miles east of Baker and Howland Islands.

It is about two miles long and a little over one mile wide, with a total land area of 2.2 square miles.  Its beach rim, for the most part is15 to 20 feet high, encloses a basin. It is a sandy, coral island with a narrow fringing reef.

The refuge is managed primarily as nesting, roosting, and foraging habit at for seabirds and shorebirds. The vegetation is mainly grasses, prostrate vines, and low-growing shrubs due to scant rainfall. Jarvis Island is rich in guano. Large numbers of fish are found in pools on its reef.


Uninhabited.  Like Howland and Baker Islands, Jarvis Island has been uninhabited since 1942, when colonists from the United States mainland and Honolulu, established there by the Department of the Interior in 1936, were evacuated following sea and air attacks by Japanese forces.

Transportation Facilities

For Additional Information
Entry to Jarvis Island requires a special use permit. For permit information contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Refuge Complex Office, P.O. Box 50167, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850.