Washington Island

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washington island

coral atoll of the Northern Line Islands, part of Kiribati, in the west-central Pacific Ocean. With a circumference of 9 miles (14 km), it rises to about 10 feet (3 metres) and has a freshwater lake at its eastern end. It was sighted in 1798 by an American trader and explorer, Edmund Fanning. Annexed by Britain in 1889, it was included in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony in 1916 and became a part of independent Kiribati in 1979. In the first half of the 20th century the island was owned by a copra-processing company. Teraina supports a large population of the Kuhl's lorikeet, an endangered parrot species. Area 4 square miles (10 square km). Pop. (2005 prelim.) 1,155.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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