Henderson Island

Latitude 24.37 S
Longitude 128.33 W

Henderson Island, North Beach, June, 1997

This island in the Pacific Ocean has been designated a World Heritage Site. It is one the few places in the world with its ecology virtually unaltered by man which permits the study of the dynamics of insular evolution and natural selection. Henderson is particularly notable for ten plants and four land birds endemic to the island.

Henderson Island was sighted by European voyagers in 1606. Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, a Portuguese navigator sailing for the Spanish King, discovered the island on January 29, 1606, naming it "San Juan Bautista". Years later in 1819, Henderson Island was sighted by the HMS Hercules, and was named for its Captain. It was then sighted by the American ship Elizabeth and was called Elizabeth Island in early accounts.

With its nearest neighbor being Pitcairn Island, Henderson is a long way from anything else. Where is Pitcairn?

It is a good example of the many barren islands that but for lack of a source of water could be another lush tropical paradise.

The above two photos are from our June, 1997 visit to the Pitcairn Islands. Click on the images for larger pictures (left: the dense interior of Henderson Island; right: a masked booby with baby nesting). More details of the trip can be found in our Pitcairn Island Adventure.

The four endemic bird species are:

If you have any more information about Henderson Island, please let me know. email: lynn@thesalmons.org

More on Henderson Island:

Lynn Salmon <>{

Last updated: July 1, 2023