Necker Island Archeological District
|Nearest city||Pu'uwai, Ni'ihau, Kaua'i County Hawaii|
|Area||45.193 acres (182,890 m2)|
|NRHP reference No.||88000641|
|Added to NRHP||June 13, 1988|
Necker Island (Hawaiian: Mokumanamana) is a small island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It is located at Coordinates: in the Pacific Ocean, 155 miles (135 nmi; 249 km) northwest of Nihoa and 8 miles (7.0 nmi; 13 km) north of the Tropic of Cancer. It contains important prehistoric archaeological sites of the Hawaiian culture and is part of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument.
The United States Census Bureau reports its land area as 45.193 acres (182,890 m2). The island is rocky with steep sides and has very little soil. Its highest elevation is 277 feet (84 m). The island is named after Jacques Necker, a finance minister of Louis XVI.
Necker island is an about 1.1 km long rocky ridge about 100 meters wide with a hook shape.The hook is on the west end and hooks around what is called Shark Bay on the north side of the island. Total area is about 41 acres.
The westernmost land is called Mo'o point, and the northernmost point is called the Northwest Cape.Between Mo'o and Northwest Cape is West Cove.
The ridge of the island has five peaks along it:
The island is covered in some low shrubs and grasses.The island is also noted for large numbers of birds.
Five species of plants known to occur include:
The seabird, the Blue-Grey Noddy was first discovered at Necker island in 1903.It is thought about 16 species of seabirds nest on Necker island, in the populations of tens of thousands of birds.
The waters around Necker island have been studied for their fish populations and type.Deep sea fish types that live hundreds of meters/yards under water on the Necker sea mount include Stomiiformes, Gadiformes, Myctophiformes, and Aulopiformes.
The island contains dozens of stone artifact sites which are thought to be ritual shrines.There are not many signs of long-term habitation, giving rise to the theory that people visited the island for short periods instead of settling it. Many anthropologists believe that the island was a ceremonial and religious site. According to the myths and legends of the people of Kauai, which lies to the southeast, Necker Island was the last known refuge for a race of mythical "little people" called the Menehune. According to the legend, the Menehune settled on Necker after being chased off Kaua'i by the stronger Polynesians and subsequently built the various stone structures there. Visits to the island are said to have started a few hundred years after the main Hawaiian Islands were inhabited, and ended a few hundred years before European contact. French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse was the first European to visit the island, in 1786. The island is named after Jacques Necker. The islands were formally annexed in 1894 by the Provisional Government of Hawaii.
Because of the island's usage by Native Hawaiians as a ceremonial and religious site in Ancient Hawaii, the island was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Numerous artifacts have been found on visits to the island, and among the most mysterious are a dozen or so carved stone sculptures of little neckless people.The sculptures are not more than a foot and half long, and do not match the style of Hawaiian or other Polynesian idols.
Artifacts found on the island include the stone images, carved stone bowls, and various tools.
Necker island is believed to be 10 million years old according to early 21st century geological research.It is thought that while it is only about 100 meters above sea level now, it used to be a kilometer in altitude.
The island was discovered by French explorer Compte de La Pérouse in 1786.His ships were L'Astrolabe (under command of Fleuriot de Langle) and the La Boussole . La Perouse was on a mission of exploration from the French Academy of Sciences, and they made many discoveries across the Pacific; they had also just discovered the French Frigate Shoals ( Basse des Frégates Françaises) (and his namesake rock La Perouse Pinnacle). The expedition were lost at sea in 1788, but were able to send their logs home.
The abandoned settlements seen by the early explorers caused Nihoa and Necker to be called the 'mystery islands'.
In 1859 the position of Necker island was determined by Lieutenant J.M. Brook the survey schooner, USS Fenimore Cooper.
In the 1890s is was considered as potential waypoint location for a Pacific cable between Canada and Australia.(see also All Red Line for the British telegraph network)
In 1902, the ship Albatross from the U.S. Fish Commission visited Necker island, and was able to discover the Blue-grey noddy bird, which was named the Necker island tern.
The United States Revenue Cutter Service visited the island in 1910 and 1913 with the ship USRC Thetis.
The warden of the Hawaiian Islands Bird Reservation visited the island in 1919, and also found part of stone artifact.
The Tanager expedition visited the island in early 1920s, which is noted for exploring the islands biology and archeology.
In the early 21st century Necker island was a place of study for benthic invertebrates and algal assembliges.
Baker Island is an uninhabited atoll just north of the equator in the central Pacific Ocean about 3,090 km (1,920 mi) southwest of Honolulu. The island lies almost halfway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbor is Howland Island, 42 mi (68 km) to the north-northwest; both have been claimed as territories of the United States since 1857, though the United Kingdom considered them part of the British Empire between 1897 and 1936.
Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse was a French naval officer and explorer whose expedition vanished in Oceania.
The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name that James Cook chose in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Cook came across the islands by chance when crossing the Pacific Ocean on his Third Voyage, on board HMS Resolution; he was later killed on the islands on a return visit. The contemporary name of the islands, dating from the 1840s, is derived from the name of the largest island, Hawaiʻi Island.
La Perouse is a suburb in south-eastern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The suburb of La Perouse is located about 14 kilometres southeast of the Sydney central business district, in the City of Randwick.
Nihoa, also known as Bird Island or Moku Manu, is the tallest of ten islands and atolls in the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). The island is located at the southern end of the NWHI chain, 296 km (160 nmi) southeast of Necker Island. Nihoa is the closest NWHI in proximity to the eight main windward Hawaiian Islands at approximately 240 km (130 nmi) northwest of the island of Kauaʻi. The island has two peaks, 272 m (892 ft) Miller's Peak in the west, and 259 m (850 ft) Tanager Peak in the east. Nihoa's area is about 171 acres (0.69 km2) and is surrounded by a 142,000-acre (57,000 ha) coral reef. Its jagged outline gives the island its name, Nīhoa, which is Hawaiian for "tooth".
The French Frigate Shoals is the largest atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Its name commemorates French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse, who nearly lost two frigates when attempting to navigate the shoals. It consists of a 20-mile (32 km) long crescent-shaped reef, twelve sandbars, and the 120-foot (37 m) high La Perouse Pinnacle, the only remnant of its volcanic origins. The total land area of the islets is 61.508 acres (24.891 ha). Total coral reef area of the shoals is over 232,000 acres (94,000 ha). Tern Island, with an area of 26.014 acres (10.527 ha), has a landing strip and permanent habitations for a small number of people. It is maintained as a field station in the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The French Frigate Shoals are about 487 nautical miles northwest of Honolulu.
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or Leeward Islands are the small islands and atolls in the Hawaiian island chain located northwest of the islands of Kauai and Niihau. Politically, they are all part of Honolulu County in the U.S. state of Hawaii, except Midway Atoll, which is a territory distinct from Hawaii and grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. The United States Census Bureau defines this area, except Midway, as Census Tract 114.98 of Honolulu County. Its total land area is 3.1075 square miles (8.048 km2). All the islands except Nihoa are north of the Tropic of Cancer, making them the only islands in Hawaii that lie outside the tropics.
Laysan, located 808 nautical miles northwest of Honolulu at N25° 42' 14" W171° 44' 04", is one of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It comprises one land mass of 1,016 acres (4.11 km2), about 1 by 1 1⁄2 miles in size. It is an atoll of sorts, although the land completely surrounds a shallow central lake some 8 feet (2.4 m) above sea level that has a salinity approximately three times greater than the ocean. Laysan's Hawaiian name of Kauō means egg.
The black noddy or white-capped noddy is a seabird from the family Laridae. It is a medium-sized species of tern with black plumage and a white cap. It closely resembles the lesser noddy with which it was at one time considered conspecific. The black noddy has slightly darker plumage and dark rather than pale lores.
Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is a National Wildlife Refuge on the northwest coast of the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi.
Pritchardia remota, the Nihoa pritchardia, Nihoa fan palm, or Loulu, is a species of palm endemic on the island of Nihoa, Hawaiʻi, and later transplanted to the island of Laysan. It is a smaller tree than most other species of Pritchardia, typically reaching only 4–5 metres (13–16 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of 15 centimetres (5.9 in). It is the only type of tree on the island and used to be abundant. In 1885 a wildfire ravaged the island, destroying most of the palms. Only about 700 of these trees remain, making the species endangered but numbers are slowly increasing. The palm is being cultivated in botanical gardens.
The brown noddy or common noddy is a seabird in the family Laridae. The largest of the noddies, it can be told from the closely related black noddy by its larger size and plumage, which is dark brown rather than black. The brown noddy is a tropical seabird with a worldwide distribution, ranging from Hawaii to the Tuamotu Archipelago and Australia in the Pacific Ocean, from the Red Sea to the Seychelles and Australia in the Indian Ocean and in the Caribbean to Tristan da Cunha in the Atlantic Ocean. The brown noddy is colonial, usually nesting on elevated situations on cliffs or in short trees or shrubs. It only occasionally nests on the ground. A single egg is laid by the female of a pair each breeding season. In India the brown noddy is protected in the PM Sayeed Marine Birds Conservation Reserve.
Amaranthus brownii was an annual herb in the family Amaranthaceae. The plant was found only on the small island of Nihoa in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, growing on rocky outcrops at altitudes of 120–215 m (394–705 ft). It was one of nine species of Amaranthus in the Hawaiian Islands, as well as the only endemic Hawaiian species of the genus. It is now considered extinct.
Sesbania tomentosa, commonly known as Oahu riverhemp and ʻŌhai, is an endangered species of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is endemic to the main Hawaiian Islands as well as Nihoa and Necker Island. It inhabits low shrublands and, rarely, dry forests, at elevations from sea level to 2,500 ft (760 m). Associated native plant species include akiʻaki, ilima, naupaka kahakai, and pili. Off-road vehicles, wildfires, grazing, and alien species competition have destroyed their habitat on the main islands, but they are still quite common on Nihoa and Necker. At least 2000 specimens grow on Nihoa, while there are far less on Necker.
The TanagerExpedition was a series of five biological surveys of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands conducted in partnership between the Bureau of Biological Survey and the Bishop Museum, with the assistance of the U.S. Navy. Four expeditions occurred from April to August 1923, and a fifth in July 1924. Led by Lieutenant Commander Samuel Wilder King on the minesweeper USS Tanager (AM-5), and Alexander Wetmore directing the team of scientists, the expedition studied the plant animal life, and geology of the central Pacific islands. Noted members of the team include archaeologist Kenneth Emory and herpetologist Chapman Grant.
Tern Island is a tiny coral island located in the French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, at , approximately 490 miles west north west of Oahu. It has a land area of 105,276 m2. The island provides a breeding habitat to 18 species of seabirds, threatened Hawaiian green sea turtles, and endangered Hawaiian monk seals. It is maintained as a field station in the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Paul Antoine Fleuriot de Langle was a French vicomte, académicien de marine, naval commander and explorer. He was second in command of the La Pérouse expedition, which departed France on 1 August 1785 and was eventually lost in the Pacific. Fleuriot de Langle died in an encounter with natives in what is now American Samoa before the expedition was lost; his remains were returned to France, and were buried in the choir of the church of Saint-Louis at Brest.
The Australian Museum's Cook Collection was acquired in 1894 when it was transferred from the Government of New South Wales. At that time it consisted of 115 artifacts collected on Captain James Cook's three voyages of discovery Throughout the Pacific Ocean, during the period 1768 - 1780, along with documents and memorabilia related to these voyages. Many of the ethnographic artifacts were collected at a time of first contact between Pacific Peoples and Europeans. In 1935 most of the documents and memorabilia were transferred to the Mitchell Library in the State Library of New South Wales. The provenance of the collection shows that the objects remained in the hands of Captain James Cook's widow, Mrs Elizabeth Cook and her descendants until 1886. In this year Mr John Mackrell, the great nephew of Isaac Smith, Elizabeth Cook's cousin, organized the display of this collection at the request of the NSW Government at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London. In 1887 the London-based Agent-General for the New South Wales Government, Saul Samuel, bought John Mackrell's items and also acquired those items belonging to the other relatives Reverend Canon Frederick Bennett, Mrs Thomas Langton, H.M.C.Alexander and Mr William Adams. The collection remained with the Colonial Secretary of NSW until 1894, when it was transferred to the Australian Museum.
The Northwestern Hawaii scrub is a tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
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