|native name: |
photograph of ducie island
|location||south pacific ocean|
|coordinates||24°40′09″s 124°47′11″w / 24°40′09″s 124°47′11″w / -24.66917; -124.78639|
|major islands||acadia, pandora, edwards, westward|
|area||0.27 sq mi (0.70 km2)|
1.5 sq mi (4 km2) (lagoon included)
|highest elevation||15 ft (4.6 m)|
pitcairn islands, (british overseas territory)
location of ducie atoll in the pacific ocean
location of ducie atoll within pitcairn islands
ducie island / is an uninhabited atoll in the pitcairn islands. it lies 575 kilometres (357 mi) east of pitcairn island, and 300 kilometres (190 mi) east of henderson island, and has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), which includes the lagoon. it is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long, measured northeast to southwest, and about 1 mile (1.6 km) wide. the island is composed of four islets: acadia, pandora, westward and edwards.
despite its sparse vegetation, the atoll is known as the breeding ground of a number of bird species. more than 90% of the world population of murphy's petrel nests on ducie, while pairs of red-tailed tropicbirds and fairy terns make around 1% of the world population for each species.
ducie was first discovered in 1606 by pedro fernandes de queirós, who named it luna puesta, and rediscovered by edward edwards, captain of hms pandora, who was sent in 1790 to capture the mutineers of hms bounty. he named the island ducie in honour of francis reynolds-moreton, 3rd baron ducie. in 1867, it was claimed by the united states under the guano islands act, but the united kingdom annexed it on 19 december 1902 as part of the pitcairn islands. due to its inaccessibility and the distance from pitcairn island, ducie is rarely visited today.