The islands of Henderson, Ducie and Oeno, support remarkably pristine habitats and it is important for future generations that visitors help keep them this way. The greatest threat to these islands’ ecology is non-native plant seeds and animals being accidentally brought ashore. Introduced animals and plants can wreak havoc on the native ecosystems, causing irreversible damage. When visiting, it is important you do not inadvertently introduce plant seeds or animals that will disturb these fragile habitats.

DUCIE ISLAND
Ducie is a reef-ringed atoll only 6 meters above sea level. Sighted by Captain Edwards, of HMS Pandora, on his mission to find the “Bounty” mutineers in 1791, he sighted Ducie Island; but not Pitcairn, which lay 479km to the west.
The land surrounding the lagoon is covered at the edges by delicate coral. There are few trees, no undergrowth, little soil, and no freshwater. The Island is a nesting place for several varieties of Pacific birds. Lizards are the only other known inhabitants.

 

OENO ISLAND
Oeno is a low-lying atoll island located about 120km North-West of Pitcairn. Although first discovered by Captain Henderson of “Hercules”, it takes its name from an American Whaler, who sighted the Island in 1824. inside a lagoon, the sand bar is continually changing and is currently unattached from the Island.
Once a retreat for Pitcairners for generations, who would only make the trip during the summer months. Leaving Pitcairn in the evening, they board the Longboats and make the overnight trip to Oeno, arriving early the following morning to make their way through the breakers and into the lagoon.

 

The Longboat crews are very experienced in avoiding the coral shoals edging the channel leading to the Island. Once landed to accommodate the campers, two camps with two tents are set up, consisting of ropes strung between two trees with a large tarpaulin stretched as far as possible.
Beautiful and untouched by development, surrounded by white sandy beaches, Oeno is home to several species of birds such as the Murphy’s Petrel, Sooty Tern, and the Brown Noddy. With the successful eradication of the rat populations in 1997, these birds now have a higher chance of survival.

 

HENDERSON ISLAND
Henderson is one of the world’s least disturbed raised coral islands. Measuring 37km2 rising to 30 meters above sea level.

 

With its unique assemblage of plant and animal species, the Island supports 73 plant species, of which nine are found nowhere else in the world. Its four land bird’s species are unique to Henderson: a fruit pigeon, a small parrot, warbler, and a flightless rail. The Island is a vital haven for nesting seabirds. Henderson was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, because its ecology is virtually intact, despite extensive early Polynesian occupation.

 

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