Resource Management

emperor angelfish 512x219

 The refuge is a managed as a highly-restricted marine protected area.


Management goals include: 

  • Conserving, restoring, managing, and protecting native terrestrial habitats that are representative of remote tropical Pacific islands, primarily for the benefit of seabirds; 
  • Conserving, managing, and protecting native marine communities that are representative of remote tropical Pacific islands; 
  • Contributing to the recovery, protection, and management efforts for all native species with special consideration for seabirds, migratory shorebirds, federally listed threatened and endangered species, and species of management concern; 
  • Protecting, maintaining, enhancing, and preserving the wilderness character of Howland’s terrestrial and marine communities; 
  • Preserving Howland’s biological, cultural, and historic resources
  • Monitoring coral reefs and response of corals to periodic bleaching events
  • Polynesian rats were eliminated from the island sometime after 1938, and feral cats were eliminated from the island by 1986. Today the most numerous breeding seabird species at Howland are the lesser frigatebird (Fregata ariel), masked booby (Sula dactylatra), and sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus).