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NASA picture of Takutea Island.
Map of Takutea

Takutea, in the Cook Islands, is a small uninhabited island 21 km northwest of Atiu in the southern Cook Islands. Because it is only 1.22 km² in size and has a very dangerous landing at the northwest corner of the reef, it has been designated a wildlife sanctuary, mainly for the red-tailed tropic birds and red-footed Boobies.

Administratively, the island is considered part of Atiu, the closest island. It is owned equally by all inhabitants of Atiu and not allocated to one specific village or district of Atiu.

The wildlife sanctuary is administered by a Trust and special permission for visits is needed from the Trust Chairman, High Chief Rongomatane Ariki. Alternatively, it is possible join the research vessel Bounty Bay for an eco tour, run by Pacific Expeditions Ltd. out of Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands.

Copra cutters from Atiu visit once a year to cut coconuts from the trees, and a quantity of the tail feathers of the tropic birds.

The conservation service, made up of local residents from other islands, makes regular trips to the island to monitor the conservation.


Takutea is the only island in the Cook Islands that never had a permanent population. When Captain Cook sighted the island on 4 April, 1777, and some crew members went ashore, they found some huts, but no evidence of a permanent settlement.

External links

Coordinates: 19°48′47″S 158°17′39″W / 19.81306°S 158.29417°W / -19.81306; -158.29417

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