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Gilbert Islands,group of 16 islands, central Pacific, one of the island groups that form the Republic of KiribatiKiribati
, officially Republic of Kiribati (2005 est. pop. 103,000), 342 sq mi (886 sq km), consisting of 33 islands scattered across 2,400 mi (3,860 km) of the Pacific Ocean near the equator.
..... Click the link for more information. . The group includes TarawaTarawa
, atoll (1990 pop. 28,802), capital of Kiribati, central Pacific, previously capital of the former British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The administrative center of the atoll is Bairiki island.
..... Click the link for more information. , ButaritariButaritari
, also known as Makin , triangular atoll (4.5 sq mi/11.7 sq km; 1990 pop. 3,786), central Pacific, in the Gilbert Islands and part of the Republic of Kiribati. The town of Butaritari on the southernmost islet is a port of entry.
..... Click the link for more information. , Makin, Little Makin, Marakei, Abaiang, Maiana, Abemama, Kuria, and Aranuka in the north; Nonouti and Tabiteuea in the central region; and Beru, Nikunau, Onotoa, Tamana, and Arorae in the south. The total land area is 102 sq mi (260 sq km). The equator runs through the center of the group. Nikunau was explored by British Commodore John ByronByron, John,
1723–86, British vice admiral and explorer. Sailing in 1740 with Admiral George Anson on a voyage around the world, he was shipwrecked off Chile. His Narrative of Great Distresses on the Shores of Patagonia
..... Click the link for more information. in 1765; other islands were explored by captains Thomas Gilbert and John Marshall in 1788, and the remainder were visited between 1799 and 1824. The British made the islands a protectorate in 1892 and a colony in 1915–16. Tarawa, Butaritari, Abaiang, Marakei, and Abemama were occupied by the Japanese in 1941 and liberated by U.S. forces in 1943.
an island group in the western Pacific Ocean, in Micronesia (extending from 3°17’ N lat. to 2°38’ S lat.). They are part of the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. There are 16 coral atolls. Area, 260 sq km. Population, 44,000 (1968). The administrative center is Tarawa. The climate is equatorial, hot and humid, although the southern and sometimes the central islands are subject to drought. Natural vegetation consists of bushes. Coconut palms, vegetables, and fruits are raised. The Gilbert Islands were discovered by English naval officers between 1764 and 1824. They were named in honor of Captain J. Gilbert, who visited them in 1788.