Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

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Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

  • Country: 
    United States of America
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    204,127.2 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    05°52'N 162°06'W
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. 1/04/11; 204,127 ha; 05°52'N 162°06'W. Coral reefs, permanent shallow marine waters, and intertidal forested wetlands of the atoll and submerged lands and associated waters out to 12 nautical miles from it, in the equatorial Pacific 960 miles south of Honolulu. A National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) since 2001, the site supports a variety of species with different conservation status under the National Endangered Species Act and IUCN Red List, such as the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi), Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas). It is also an important feeding and nesting ground for seabirds like the Red-footed Booby (Sula sula), with the third largest colony in the world, and it sustains approximately 5% of the total population of the Bristle-thighed Curlew (Numenius tahitiensis). As a National Wildlife Refuge, the site is closed to public use without a permit issued by the manager, but scientific research and CEPA activities are coordinated between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy along with the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium. Threats include the presence of invasive species like the scale (Pulvinaria urbicola), which is responsible for the recent decline in the Pisonia grandis forest coverage. A conservation plan is under development and expected to be completed in 2012. Ramsar Site no. 1971. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

Administrative region: 
Pacific Region

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Wildlife Refuge
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)