Island group, Papua New Guinea. An extension of the Bismarck Archipelago comprising about 40 islands, the Admiralty Islands lie about 190 mi (300 km) north of the mainland of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific Ocean. Most of the land area of the islands is contained in Manus Island, which is the site of Lorengau, the islands' principal settlement. First sighted by the Dutch explorer Willem Schouten in 1616, it was named by the British captain Philip Carteret in 1767. Subsequently ruled by the Germans, Australians, and Japanese, the islands were made part of the UN Trust Territory of New Guinea in 1946. When Papua New Guinea attained independence in 1975, the islands became part of that country.
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The Admiralty Islands are a group of 18 islands in the Bismarck Archipelago. These are also sometimes called the Manus Islands, named after the largest island. The islands form part of Manus Province of Papua New Guinea. The total area is .
The larger islands in the group include Manus Island, Los Negros Island, Tong Island, Pak Island, Rambutyo Island, Lou Island, St Andrews Islands, Baluan Island, and Ndrova Island. Many of the islands are atolls and uninhabited.
The temperature of the Admiralty Islands varies little throughout the year, reaching daily highs of 30-32°C and 20-24°C at night. Average annual rainfall is and is somewhat seasonal, with June-August being the wettest months.
Manus reaches an elevation of and is volcanic in origin and probably broke through the ocean's surface in the late Miocene, 8-10 million years ago. The substrate of the island is either directly volcanic or from uplifted coral limestone.
Due to the isolated location of the islands, Admiralty Islands are home to endemic species and is considered a separate ecoregion. The vegetation on the islands is broadly described as lowland tropical rain forest. The typical tree species in the forests are various Calophyllum and Sararanga species. The majority of the forests on Manus still remain, but some of the smaller islands have been cleared for coconut farming. Ndrolowa Wildlife Management Area was declared March 1985 south of Lorengau on Manus Island and contains both terrestrial and marine regions. protected area has been established around the highest mountain on Manus, Mt. Dremsel, but the level of protection is still undetermined in UNEP World Database on Protected Areas.
Three of the bird species endemic to Admiralty Islands have been listed as vulvenerable in IUCN Red List: Manus Fantail (Rhipidura semirubra), Superb Pitta (Pitta superba) and Manus Masked Owl (Tyto manusi). Three other birds are endemic to Admiralty Islands but are classified as non-threatened or least concern: White-naped Friarbird (Philemon albitorques), Manus Monarch (Monarcha infelix) and Manus Hawk Owl (Ninox meeki). In addition Admiralty Islands is home to two endemic mammals: Admiralty Island Cuscus (Spilocuscus kraemeri) and local Mosaic-Tailed Rat (Melomys matambuai).
The Lapita culture arose around 3500 years ago, and its extent ranged from the Admiralty Islands to Tonga and Samoa. Its origins are contested, but it may well have been a product of another wave of migration from South-East Asia. Lapita society featured renowned pottery, stilt houses, the introduction of domestic animals such as pigs, dogs, and chickens, and substantial developments in agriculture and boat technology, allowing long distance trade to develop. Lapita society, as a distinct culture and extended trade network, collapsed around 2000 years ago.
Between 1884 and 1914 the area was administered as a German colony. In November 1914, the islands were occupied by troops of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed from the SS Siar. A few shots fired from a machine gun on Siar over the heads of the tiny German garrison at Lorengau were the last shots fired in the battle. After the war, the islands were governed by Australia under a League of Nations mandate.
THE CAVALRY: Still heeding the call; At a national gathering of the Army's First Cavalry Division, there are no horses to be found, but the spirit of the veterans of the mounted forces rides on.(NEWS)
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