Wildlife work to wax at Pacific isle refuges
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to step up its biological surveys and invasive-species monitoring at three remote Pacific island wildlife refuges.
The proposals are included in recently released draft plans for the Howland Island, Baker Island and Jarvis Island National Wildlife Refuges.
"These three remote refuges include nearly 100,000 acres of submerged lands, including some of the most pristine and spectacular coral reefs found in the Pacific, and almost 2,000 acres of terrestrial habitats that support an amazing assemblage of nesting seabirds," Refuges Manager Don Palawski said in a news release. "When these conservation plans are completed, we will have a 'roadmap' to lead us toward improved management of the natural and cultural resources of these refuges."
Howland, Baker and Jarvis islands are unincorporated territories that have been under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior since 1936 and have been national wildlife refuges since 1974. They are closed to public activities.
The Fish and Wildlife Service proposes doing biological surveys, monitoring for invasive species, and collection of shoreline marine debris every year, instead of every two years as is done now.
More intensive monitoring, although desirable, was deemed impractical, Palawski said.
Howland and Baker islands are approximately 1,650 miles southwest of Honolulu within the Phoenix Islands, and Jarvis Island is 1,100 miles south of Honolulu in the Line Islands.
The plans can be seen at www.fws.gov/pacific/planning or by requesting a compact disk or hard copy at (808) 792-9550.