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Bird Island
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Longitude Min 143 05 W Latitude Min 17 50 S
Reitoru is a small, low lying, coral atoll in the central Tuamotus with an enclosed lagoon that is about twenty square kilometres in area. It lies approximately 120 kilometres to the west of Hao.

Reitoru was an important pearling centre during the nineteenth and for much of the twentieth centuries.

The first Europeans to sight the atoll were the voyagers of Bougainville's expedition in 1768. Cook saw the atoll in early April the following year, noting in his journal that he named it Bird Island because it appeared to have 'no Inhabitants but birds'.

In 1903 the island was submerged during a cyclone that is estimated to have killed around a hundred islanders.

Today the island is inhabited by a small number of people who live by farming pearls and gathering copra .

Related Entries for Reitoru
Places: Hao, Bow Island
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Created: 1 December 2003
Modified: 17 April 2004

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000334

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