|Anthem: Fanohge Chamoru
"Stand Ye Guamanians"
Location of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean.
|Ethnic groups (2012)|
|-||President||Barack Obama (D)|
|-||Governor||Eddie Calvo (R)|
|-||Lt. Governor||Raymond Tenorio (R)|
|-||Delegate||Madeleine Bordallo (D)|
|-||Total||541.3 km2 (190th)
209 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2000 estimate|
|-||Total||$2.5 billiona (167th)|
very high · 55th
|Currency||United States dollar (
|Time zone||Chamorro Standard Time (UTC+10)|
|ISO 3166 code||GU|
Guam (i//; Chamorro: Guåhån) is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of seventeen Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United Nations. The island's capital is Hagåtña (formerly named Agana). Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands.
The Chamorros, Guam's indigenous people, first populated the island approximately 4,000 years ago. The island has a long history of European colonialism, beginning with Ferdinand Magellan's Spanish expedition landing on March 6, 1521. The first colony was established in 1668 by Spain with the arrival of settlers including Padre San Vitores, a Catholic missionary. For more than two centuries Guam was an important stopover for the Spanish Manila Galleons that crossed the Pacific annually. The island was controlled by Spain until 1898, when it was surrendered to the United States during the Spanish–American War and later formally ceded as part of the Treaty of Paris.
As the largest island in Micronesia and the only U.S.-held island in the region before World War II, Guam was captured by the Japanese on December 8, 1941, just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and was occupied for two and a half years. During the occupation, the people of Guam were subjected to acts that included torture, beheadings, and rape, and were forced to adopt the Japanese culture. Guam was subject to fierce fighting when U.S. troops recaptured the island on July 21, 1944, a date commemorated every year as Liberation Day.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Climate
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Culture
- 6 Government and politics
- 7 Villages and military bases
- 8 Economy
- 9 Transportation and communications
- 10 Ecological issues
- 11 Education
- 12 Health care
- 13 Film-making
- 14 Sports
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Guam was first discovered by people from southeastern Indonesia around 2000 BC. Most of what is known about pre-contact ("ancient") Chamorros comes from legends and myths, archaeological evidence, Jesuit missionary accounts, and observations from visiting scientists like Otto von Kotzebue and Louis de Freycinet.
When Europeans first arrived on Guam, Chamorro society had three classes: matua (upper class), achaot (middle class), and mana'chang (lower class). The matua were located in the coastal villages, which meant they had the best access to fishing grounds, whereas the mana'chang were located in the interior of the island. Matua and mana'chang rarely communicated with each other, and matua often used achaot as an intermediary. There were also "makåhna" (similar to shamans), skilled in healing and medicine. Belief in spirits of ancient Chamorros called "Taotao mo'na" still persists as a remnant of pre-European culture. When Magellan arrived on Guam, he was greeted by hundreds of small outrigger canoes that appeared to be flying over the water, due to their considerable speed. These outrigger canoes were called Proas, and resulted in Magellan naming Guam Islas de las Velas Latinas ("Islands of the Lateen sails").
Guam, the only Spanish outpost in the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines, became the regular port between Acapulco, Mexico, and Manila from 1565 to 1815, and (since Philippine independence) the most western outpost of actual United States territory in the Pacific. It is the biggest single segment of Micronesia, the largest islands between the islands of Kyushu (Japan), New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Hawaiian Islands.
Latte stones are stone pillars that are found only in the Mariana Islands and are a recent development in Pre-Contact Chamorro society. The latte stone was used as a foundation on which thatched huts were built. Latte consist of a base shaped from limestone called the haligi and with a capstone, or tåsa, made either from a large brain coral or limestone, placed on top. Using carbon-dating, archaeologists have broken Pre-Contact Guam (i.e. Chamorro) history into three periods: "Pre-Latte" (BC 2000? to AD 1) "Transitional Pre-Latte" (AD 1 to AD 1000), and "Latte" (AD 1000 to AD 1521).
Archaeological evidence also suggests that Chamorro society was on the verge of another transition phase by 1521, as latte stones became bigger. Assuming the larger latte stones were used for chiefly houses, it can be argued that Chamorro society was becoming more stratified, either from population growth or the arrival of new people. The theory remains tenuous, however, due to lack of evidence, but if proven correct, would support the idea that Pre-Contact Chamorros were in a transitioning society.
Spanish colonization and the Manila galleons
Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, sailing for the King of Spain, reached the island in 1521 during his fleet's circumnavigation of the globe. General Miguel López de Legazpi claimed Guam for Spain in 1565. Spanish colonization commenced in 1668 with the arrival of Padre San Vitores, who established the first Catholic mission. The islands were part of the Spanish East Indies governed from the Philippines, which were in turn part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain based in Mexico City.
Between 1668 and 1815, Guam was an important resting stop for the Spanish Manila galleons, a fleet that covered the Pacific trade route between Acapulco (Mexico) and Manila (Philippines). To protect these Pacific fleets, Spain built a number of defensive structures such as Fort Nuestra Señora de la Soledad in Umatac, which are still standing today. Other reminiscences of colonial times include the old Governor's Palace in Plaza de España and the Spanish Bridge, both in Hagatña. Guam's Cathedral Dulce Nombre de Maria was also built during Spanish times in the 17th century. Guam, along with the rest of the Mariana and Caroline Islands, were treated as part of Spain's colony in the Philippines. While Guam's Chamorro culture has indigenous roots, the cultures of both Guam and the Northern Marianas have many similarities with Spanish and Mexican culture due to three centuries of Spanish rule.
The Spanish-American War and World War II
The United States took control of the island in the 1898 Spanish-American War, as part of the Treaty of Paris. Guam came to serve as a station for American ships traveling to and from the Philippines, while the Northern Mariana Islands passed to Germany, and then to Japan.
The Northern Mariana Islands had become a Japanese protectorate before the war. It was the Chamorros from the Northern Marianas who were brought to Guam to serve as interpreters and in other capacities for the occupying Japanese force. The Guamanian Chamorros were treated as an occupied enemy by the Japanese military. After the war, this would cause resentment between the Guamanian Chamorros and the Chamorros of the Northern Marianas. Guam's Chamorros believed their northern brethren should have been compassionate towards them, whereas having been occupied for over 30 years, the Northern Mariana Chamorros were loyal to Japan.
Guam's Japanese occupation lasted for approximately thirty-one months. During this period, the indigenous people of Guam were subjected to forced labor, family separation, incarceration, execution, concentration camps and forced prostitution. Approximately one thousand people died during the occupation, according to Congressional Testimony in 2004. Some historians estimate that war violence killed 10% of Guam's some 20,000 population.
The United States returned and fought the Battle of Guam on July 21, 1944, to recapture the island from Japanese military occupation. More than 18,000 Japanese were killed as only 485 surrendered. Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi, who surrendered in January 1972, appears to have been the last confirmed Japanese holdout in Guam. The United States also captured and occupied the Northern Marianas.
After the war, the Guam Organic Act of 1950, established Guam as an unincorporated organized territory of the United States, provided for the structure of the island's civilian government, and granted the people U.S. citizenship. Since Guam is not a U.S. state, U.S. citizens residing on Guam are not allowed to vote for president and their congressional representative is a non-voting member.
On August 6, 1997, Guam was the site of the Korean Air Flight 801 aircraft accident. The Boeing 747-300 jetliner was preparing to land when it crashed into a hill, killing 228 of the 254 people on board.
Guam lies between 13.2°N and 13.7°N and between 144.6°E and 145.0°E, and has an area of 212 square miles (549 km2), making it the 31st largest island of the United States. It is the southernmost and largest island in the Mariana island chain and is also the largest island in Micronesia. This island chain was created by the colliding Pacific and Philippine Sea tectonic plates. Guam is the closest land mass to the Mariana Trench, a deep subduction zone, that lies beside the island chain to the east. Challenger Deep, the deepest surveyed point in the Oceans, is southwest of Guam at 35,797 feet (10,911 m) deep. The highest point in Guam is Mount Lamlam at an elevation of 1,332 feet (406 metres).
The island of Guam is 30 miles (48 km) long and 4 to 12 miles (6 to 19 km) wide, 3/4 the size of Singapore. The island experiences occasional earthquakes due to its location on the western edge of the Pacific Plate and near the Philippine Sea Plate. In recent years, earthquakes with epicenters near Guam have had magnitudes ranging from 5.0 to 8.7. Unlike the Anatahan volcano in the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam is not volcanically active. However, due to its proximity to Anatahan, vog (i.e., volcanic smog) does occasionally affect Guam.
A coral table reef with deepwater channels surrounds most of Guam. Sandy beaches, rock cliff lines and mangroves characterize the coastline area. Sheer limestone coastal cliffs dominate the north, while the southern end of the island is mountainous, with lower hills in between.
The climate is characterized as tropical marine. The weather is generally hot and very humid with little seasonal temperature variation. The mean high temperature is 86 °F (30 °C) and mean low is 76 °F (24 °C) with an average annual rainfall of 96 inches (2,180 mm). The dry season runs from December through June. The remaining months (July through November) constitute the rainy season. The months of January and February are considered the coolest months of the year with night time temperatures in the mid to low 70s and generally lower humidity levels. The highest risk of typhoons is during October and November. They can, however, occur year-round.
Guam is located in Typhoon Alley and it is common for the island to be threatened by tropical storms and possible typhoons during the wet season. The most intense typhoon to pass over Guam recently was Super Typhoon Pongsona, with sustained winds of 144 miles per hour, gusts to 173 miles per hour, which slammed Guam on December 8, 2002, leaving massive destruction.
Since Super Typhoon Pamela in 1976, wooden structures have been largely replaced by concrete structures. During the 1980s wooden utility poles began to be replaced by typhoon-resistant concrete and steel poles. After the local Government enforced stricter construction codes, many home and business owners built their structures out of reinforced concrete with installed typhoon shutters.
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||18.8||15.7||16.8||17.0||19.3||22.6||24.7||25.3||24.3||25.1||23.4||22.1||254.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||176.7||186.0||217.0||213.0||220.1||195.0||155.0||142.6||132.0||133.3||135.0||142.6||—|
|Source #1: NOAA (normals)|
|Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory (sun only 1961–1990)|
The largest ethnic group are the native Chamorros, accounting for 37.1% of the total population. Another 75,000 live outside the Marianas in California, Washington, Texas, and Hawaii. Other significant ethnic groups include those of Filipino (25.5%), White (10%), often of Spanish and European American ancestry. The rest are of Chinese, Japanese and Korean ancestry. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, with 85% of the population stating an affiliation with it.
While the population of Guam increased only by 2.9% from 2000 to 2010, the programmed U.S. military buildup (2010–14) will cause an unprecedented surge of approximately 40% or nearly 80,000 people at the peak of constructions.
The official languages of the island are English and Chamorro.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2011)|
Traditional Chamorro culture is a combination of indigenous pre-Hispanic customs, Spanish and Mexican traditions. It is manifested in language, music, dance, sea navigation, unique cuisine, fishing, games (such as batu, chonka, estuleks, and bayogu), songs and fashion. During Spanish colonial rule (1668–1898) the majority of the population was converted to Roman Catholicism and religious festivities such as Easter and Christmas became widespread. Traditional Chamorro cuisine is largely based on corn, and includes tortillas, tamales, atole and chilaquiles, which are a clear influence from Mexico. The Chamorro language is a Malayo-Polynesian language with much Spanish influence. Many Chamorros also have Spanish surnames because of their conversion to Roman Catholic Christianity and the adoption of names from the Catálogo alfabético de apellidos, a phenomenon common to the Philippines.
Due to foreign cultural influence from Spain and the United States, important aspects of the early indigenous culture have been lost over the years, though there has been a resurgence in preserving this pre-Hispanic culture in the last few decades. Some scholars have traveled throughout the Pacific Islands conducting research to study what the original Chamorro cultural practices such as dance, language, and canoe building may have been like.
Two aspects of indigenous pre-Hispanic culture that withstood time are chenchule' and inafa'maolek. Chenchule' is the intricate system of reciprocity at the heart of Chamorro society. It is rooted in the core value of inafa'maolek. Historian Lawrence Cunningham in 1992 wrote, "In a Chamorro sense, the land and its produce belong to everyone. Inafa'maolek, or interdependence, is the key, or central value, in Chamorro culture ... Inafa'maolek depends on a spirit of cooperation and sharing. This is the armature, or core, that everything in Chamorro culture revolves around. It is a powerful concern for mutuality rather than individualism and private property rights."
The core culture or Pengngan Chamorro is based on complex social protocol centered upon respect: From sniffing over the hands of the elders (called mangnginge in Chamorro), the passing down of legends, chants, and courtship rituals, to a person asking for permission from spiritual ancestors before entering a jungle or ancient battle grounds. Other practices predating Spanish conquest include galaide' canoe-making, making of the belembaotuyan (a string musical instrument made from a gourd), fashioning of åcho' atupat slings and slingstones, tool manufacture, Måtan Guma' burial rituals, and preparation of herbal medicines by Suruhanu.
Master craftsmen and women specialize in weavings, including plaited work (niyok- and åkgak-leaf baskets, mats, bags, hats, and food containments), loom-woven material (kalachucha-hibiscus and banana fiber skirts, belts and burial shrouds), and body ornamentation (bead and shell necklaces, bracelets, earrings, belts and combs made from tortoise shells) and Spondylus.
The cosmopolitan nature of modern Guam poses challenges for Chamorros struggling to preserve their culture and identity amidst forces of acculturation. The increasing numbers of Chamorros, especially Chamorro youth, relocating to the U.S. Mainland has further complicated both definition and preservation of Chamorro identity. While only a few masters exist to continue traditional art forms, the resurgence of interest among the Chamorros to preserve the language and culture has resulted in a growing number of young Chamorros who seek to continue the ancient ways of the Chamorro people.
Government and politics
Guam is governed by a popularly elected governor and a unicameral 15-member legislature, whose members are known as senators. Guam elects one non-voting delegate, currently Democrat Madeleine Z. Bordallo, to the United States House of Representatives. U.S. citizens in Guam vote in a straw poll for their choice in the U.S. Presidential general election, but since Guam has no votes in the Electoral College, the poll has no real effect. However, in sending delegates to the Republican and Democratic national conventions, Guam does have influence in the national presidential race. These delegates are elected by local party conventions.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a significant movement in favor of the territory becoming a commonwealth, which would give it a level of self-government similar to Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. However, the federal government rejected the version of a commonwealth that the government of Guam proposed, due to it having clauses incompatible with the Territorial Clause (Art. IV, Sec. 3, cl. 2) of the U.S. Constitution. Other movements are also in existence that advocate becoming a U.S. state, union with the state of Hawaii, union with the Northern Mariana Islands as a single territory, or independence. Guam is generally thought of as conservative on the political spectrum.
Villages and military bases
Guam is divided into nineteen municipalities called villages: Agana Heights, Agat, Asan‑Maina, Barrigada, Chalan‑Pago‑Ordot, Dededo, Hagåtña, Inarajan, Mangilao, Merizo, Mongmong‑Toto‑Maite, Piti, Santa Rita, Sinajana, Talofofo, Tamuning, Umatac, Yigo, Yona.
The U.S. military maintains jurisdiction over its bases, which cover approximately 39,000 acres (16,000 ha), or 29% of the island's total land area:
- U.S. Naval Base Guam, U.S. Navy – Sumay
- U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, – Sumay
- Andersen Air Force Base, U.S. Air Force – Yigo
- Apra Harbor – Orote peninsula
- Ordnance Annex, U.S. Navy – South Central Highlands (formerly known as Naval Magazine)
- Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, U.S. Navy – Barrigada and Finegayan
- Joint Force Headquarters-Guam, Guam National Guard – Radio Barrigada and Fort Juan Muna
In addition to on-shore military installations, Guam, along with the rest of the Mariana Islands, is being prepared to be the westernmost military training range for the U.S. Guam is currently viewed as a key military hub that will further allow U.S. military power to be projected via sea and sky.
The U.S. military has proposed to build a new aircraft carrier berth on Guam and to move 8,600 Marines, and 9,000 of their dependents, to Guam from Okinawa, Japan. Including the required construction workers, this buildup would increase Guam's population by 45%. In a February 2010 letter, the United States Environmental Protection Agency sharply criticized these plans because of a water shortfall, sewage problems and the impact on coral reefs. By 2012, these plans had been cut to only have a maximum of 4,800 Marines stationed on the island, two thirds of which would be there on a rotational basis without their dependents.
With the proposed increased military presence stemming from the upcoming preparation efforts and relocation efforts of U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan to Guam slated to begin in 2010 and last for the next several years thereafter, the amounts of total land that the military will control or tenant may grow to or surpass 40% of the entire landmass of Guam.
In January 2011, the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for FY2011 indicated that recent significant events will delay the deadline for realigning U.S. Marine Corps service members and their families from Okinawa to Guam. The transfer may be as late as 2020. In addition, the Defense Authorization Act cut approximately $320 million from the 2011 budget request.
Villagers and the military community are inter-connected in many ways. Many villagers serve in the military or are retired. Many active duty personnel and Defense Department civilians also live in the villages outside of the military installation areas. The military and village communities have "adoption" programs where Guam's population and military personnel stationed on Guam perform community service projects.
Guam's economy depends primarily on tourism, Department of Defense installations and locally owned businesses. Despite paying no income or excise tax, it receives large transfer payments from the general revenues of the U.S. federal treasury. Under the provisions of a special law of Congress, it is Guam's treasury rather than the U.S. treasury that receives the federal income taxes paid by local taxpayers (including military and civilian federal employees assigned to Guam).
Lying in the western Pacific, Guam is a popular destination for Japanese tourists. Its tourist hub, Tumon, features over 20 large hotels, a Duty Free Shoppers Galleria, Pleasure Island district, indoor aquarium, Sandcastle Las Vegas–styled shows and other shopping and entertainment venues. It is a relatively short flight from Asia or Australia compared to Hawaii, with hotels and seven public golf courses accommodating over a million tourists per year. Although 75 percent of the tourists are Japanese, Guam receives a sizable number of tourists from South Korea, the U.S., the Philippines, and Taiwan. Significant sources of revenue include duty-free designer shopping outlets, and the American-style malls: Micronesia Mall, Guam Premier Outlets, the Agana Shopping Center, and the world's largest Kmart.
The economy had been stable since 2000 due to increased tourism, but took a recent downturn along with the rest of the global economy. It is expected to stabilize with the transfer of U.S. Marine Corps' 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, currently in Okinawa, Japan, (approximately 8,000 Marines, along with their 10,000 dependents), to Guam between 2010 and 2015. In 2003, Guam had a 14% unemployment rate, and the government suffered a $314 million shortfall.
The Compacts of Free Association between the United States, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau accorded the former entities of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands a political status of "free association" with the United States. The Compacts give citizens of these island nations generally no restrictions to reside in the United States (also its territories), and many were attracted to Guam due to its proximity, environmental, and cultural familiarity. Over the years, it was claimed by some in Guam that the territory has had to bear the brunt of this agreement in the form of public assistance programs and public education for those from the regions involved, and the federal government should compensate the states and territories affected by this type of migration. Over the years, Congress had appropriated "Compact Impact" aids to Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii, and eventually this appropriation was written into each renewed Compact. Some, however, continue to claim the compensation is not enough or that the distribution of actual compensation received is significantly disproportionate.
Guam's largest single private sector employer, with about 1,400 jobs, is United Airlines, a subsidiary of Chicago-based United Continental Holdings, Inc. As of 2008 the airline's annual payroll in Guam was $90 million.
Transportation and communications
Most of the island has state-of-the-art mobile phone services and high-speed internet widely available through either cable or DSL. Guam was added to the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1997 (country code 671 became NANP area code 671), removing the barrier of high cost international long-distance calls to the U.S. Mainland.
Guam is also a major hub for submarine cables travelling between Western USA, Hawaii, Australia and Asia. Guam currently serves 12 submarine cables, with most continuing to China.
In 1899, the local postage stamps were overprinted "Guam" as was done for the other former Spanish colonies, but this was discontinued shortly thereafter and regular U.S. postage stamps have been used ever since. Because Guam is also part of the U.S. Postal System (postal abbreviation: GU, ZIP code range: 96910–96932), mail to Guam from the U.S. mainland is considered domestic and no additional charges are required. Private shipping companies, such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL, however, have no obligation to and do not regard Guam as domestic.
The speed of mail traveling between Guam and the states varies depending on size and time of year. Light, first-class items generally take less than a week to or from the mainland, but larger first-class or Priority items can take a week or two. Fourth-class mail, such as magazines, are transported by sea after reaching Hawaii. Most residents use post office boxes or private mail boxes, although residential delivery is becoming increasingly available. Incoming mail not from the Americas should be addressed to "Guam" instead of "USA" to avoid being routed the long way through the U.S. mainland and possibly charged a higher rate (especially from Asia).
The Commercial Port of Guam is the island's lifeline because most products must be shipped into Guam for consumers. The port is also the regional transhipment hub for over 500,000 customers throughout the Micronesian region. The port is the shipping and receiving point for containers designated for the island's US Department of Defense installations, Andersen Air Force Base and Commander, Naval Forces Marianas and eventually the Third Marine Expeditionary Force.
Guam is served by the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport, which is a hub for United Airlines. The island is outside the United States customs zone so Guam is responsible for establishing and operating its own customs and quarantine agency and jurisdiction. Therefore, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection only carries immigration (but not customs) functions. Since Guam is under federal immigration jurisdiction, passengers arriving directly from the United States skip immigration and proceed directly to Guam Customs and Quarantine.
However, due to the Guam and CNMI visa waiver program for certain countries, an eligibility pre-clearance check is carried on Guam for flights to the States. For travel from the Northern Mariana Islands to Guam, a pre-flight passport and visa check is performed before boarding the flight to Guam. On flights from Guam to the Northern Mariana Islands, no immigration check is performed. Traveling between Guam and the States through a foreign point, however, does require a passport.
Most residents travel within Guam using personally owned vehicles. The local government currently outsources the only public bus system (Guam Regional Transit Authority), and some commercial companies operate buses between tourist-frequented locations
Brown tree snake
Believed to be a stowaway on a U.S. military transport near the end of World War II, the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) was accidentally introduced to Guam and nearly eliminated the native bird population of an island that previously had no native species of snake; this snake has no natural predators on the island. The brown tree snake, known locally as the kulepbla is native to Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. While slightly venomous, the brown tree snake is relatively harmless to human beings. Although some studies have suggested a high density of brown tree snakes on Guam, residents rarely see these nocturnal snakes. The United States Department of Agriculture has trained detector dogs to keep brown tree snakes out of the island's cargo flow, and the United States Geological Survey has dogs capable of detecting snakes in forested environments around the region's islands.
Before the introduction of the brown tree snake, Guam was home to two endemic and several native bird species. Among them was the Guam Rail or ko'ko' bird in Chamorro and the Guam Flycatcher which were common throughout the island. Today the flycatcher is extinct and the Guam Rail is now being bred in captivity by the Guam Department of Agriculture. The consequence of the introduction of the brown tree snake has been significant over the past several decades. The severe reduction of the island's bird population has been attributed to the brown tree snakes, who eat them. According to many elders, ko'ko' birds were common in Guam before World War II; they are no longer around largely due to predation by brown tree snakes.
Due to the diminished bird population, Guam is said to have 40 times more spiders than neighboring islands, as there are not as many birds on the island to eat the spiders.
Coconut rhinoceros beetle
An infestation of the coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB), Oryctes rhinoceros, was detected on Guam on September 12, 2007. CRB is not known to occur in the United States except in American Samoa. Delimiting surveys performed September 13–25, 2007 indicated that the infestation was limited to Tumon Bay and Faifai Beach, an area of approximately 900 acres (3.6 km2). Guam Department of Agriculture (GDA) placed quarantine on all properties within the Tumon area on October 5 and later expanded the quarantine to about 2,500 acres (10 km2) on October 25; approximately 0.5 miles (800 m) radius in all directions from all known locations of CRB infestation. CRB is native to Southern Asia and distributed throughout Asia and the Western Pacific including Sri Lanka, Upolu, Samoa, American Samoa, Palau, New Britain, West Irian, New Ireland, Pak Island and Manus Island (New Guinea), Fiji, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Mauritius, and Reunion.
Adults are the injurious stage of the insect. They are generally night-time fliers and when they alight on a host, they chew down into the folded, emerging fronds of coconut palms to feed on sap. V-shaped cuts in the fronds and holes through the midrib are visible when the leaves grow out and unfold. If the growing tip is injured, the palm may be killed or severe loss of leaf tissue may cause decreased nut set. Feeding wounds may also serve as an infection pathway for pathogens or other pests. The effects of adult boring may be more severe on younger palms where spears are narrower. Mortality of young palms has already been observed on Guam. Oviposition and larval development typically occurs in decaying coconut logs or stumps.
Control measures have been developed for CRB and the current strategy on Guam is to implement an integrated eradication program using pheromone-baited, attractive traps to capture adults, various methods to eliminate infested and susceptible host material, and pesticides to kill larvae and adults. Pesticides may also be applied to uninfested trees as a preventive treatment. USDA-APHIS has completed an Environmental Assessment for the coconut rhinoceros beetle eradication program on Guam. The eradication program is a cooperative effort between USDA (APHIS and Forest Service), GDA and the University of Guam (UOG). This document follows the Forest Service Pest Risk Assessment (Kliejunas et al. 2001) format and is intended to provide information regarding the current status of CRB on Guam, its potential to spread to uninfested locales, and the consequences of establishment. The high, moderate or low riskvalues are based on available biological information and the subjective judgment of the authors. In 2010, GDA and UOG set out to introduce a virus in the adult population designed to kill the beetle through infection by beetles released from the labs.
In June 2010, during a controlled release of infected adult beetles and in a joint venture with a team from New Zealand, they discovered "...unusual rhino beetle behavior: the beetles were not breeding on the ground in decayed logs as normal; they were breeding in the detritus trapped in the tree branches. In cutting down 11 large coconut palms they found a complete ecosystem in the crowns including brown tree snakes, crabs, and, unfortunately, all life stages of rhinoceros beetles, from eggs to larva to young adults. This new discovery makes the release of the bio-control virus even more vital. Moore thinks this arboreal breeding behavior, seen only on Guam, may be because the brown tree snake has wiped out most of Guam's rats. Elsewhere, rats love to live in coconut crowns, and they love to eat rhino beetle grubs. This never-before-seen rhino beetle behavior of breeding in the crowns of coconut trees underscores an important point of invasive species on small islands. Their impact is often severe because there are no natural enemies, such as predators, parasites, or diseases, to control their population growth."
A joint initiative between Guam Customs and Quarantine (which trains CRB detector dogs and CRB handlers), Guam Department of Agriculture (which employs CRB detector dog handlers), University of Guam College of Agriculture (which provides CRB Detector Dog program funding) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Station (the federal agency providing strategic direction and regulatory guidance) to form the nation's first Bio-Security Task Force which features the nation's first CRB trained detector dogs. This program will provide enhanced capability and capacity for the invasive species interdiction and eradication program in order to mitigate these species on Guam and prevent it from spreading to other jurisdictions in the United States. This Task Force increases the island's capacity to handle the increased volume of invasive species associated with the unprecedented military buildup on Guam.
Other invasive animal species
From the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, the Spanish introduced pigs, dogs, chickens, the Philippine deer (Rusa mariannus), black francolins, and carabao (a subspecies of water buffalo), which have cultural significance. Herds of carabao obstruct military base operations and harm native ecosystems. After birth control and adoption efforts were ineffective, the U.S. military began culling the herds in 2002 leading to organized protests from island residents.
Other introduced species include cane toads imported in 1937, the giant African snail (an agricultural pest introduced during World War II by Japanese occupation troops) and more recently frog species which could threaten crops in addition to providing additional food for the brown tree snake population. Reports of loud chirping frogs native to Puerto Rico and known as coquí, that may have arrived from Hawaii, have led to fears that the noise could threaten Guam's tourism.
Introduced feral pigs and deer, over-hunting, and habitat loss from human development are also major factors in the decline and loss of Guam's native plants and animals.
Threats to indigenous plants
Invading animal species are not the only threat to Guam's native flora. Tinangaja, a virus affecting coconut palms, was first observed on the island in 1917 when copra production was still a major part of Guam's economy. Though coconut plantations no longer exist on the island, the dead and infected trees that have resulted from the epidemic are seen throughout the forests of Guam.
During the past century, the dense forests of northern Guam have been largely replaced by thick tangan-tangan brush (Leucaena leucocephala). Much of Guam's foliage was lost during World War II. In 1947, the U.S. military is thought to have planted tangan-tangan by seeding the island from the air to prevent erosion. Tangan-tangan was present on the island before 1905 (Stone,Useful Plants of Guam, 1905).
In southern Guam, non-native grass species dominate much of the landscape.
Although the colorful and impressive Flame Tree (Delonix regia) is found throughout the Marianas, the tree on Guam has been largely decimated.
Wildfires plague the forested areas of Guam every dry season despite the island's humid climate. Most fires are man-caused with 80 percent resulting from arson. Poachers often start fires to attract deer to the new growth. Invasive grass species that rely on fire as part of their natural life cycle grow in many regularly burned areas. Grasslands and "barrens" have replaced previously forested areas leading to greater soil erosion. During the rainy season sediment is carried by the heavy rains into the Fena Lake Reservoir and Ugum River, leading to water quality problems for southern Guam. Eroded silt also destroys the marine life in reefs around the island. Soil stabilization efforts by volunteers and forestry workers (planting trees) have had little success in preserving natural habitats.
Efforts have been made to protect Guam's coral reef habitats from pollution, eroded silt and overfishing, problems that have led to decreased fish populations. (Since Guam is a significant vacation spot for scuba divers, this is important.) In recent years, the Department of Agriculture, Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources has established several new marine preserves where fish populations are monitored by biologists. Before adopting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, portions of Tumon Bay were dredged by the hotel chains to provide a better experience for hotel guests. Tumon Bay has since been made into a preserve. A federal Guam National Wildlife Refuge in northern Guam protects the decimated sea turtle population in addition to a small colony of Mariana fruit bats.
Harvest of sea turtle eggs was a common occurrence on Guam before World War II. The Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was harvested legally on Guam before August 1978, when it was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) has been on the endangered list since 1970. In an effort to ensure protection of sea turtles on Guam, routine sightings are counted during aerial surveys and nest sites are recorded and monitored for hatchlings.
Traditional harvests of sea turtles were primarily for local consumption at fiestas, weddings, funerals, and christenings. In recent times, poaching of sea turtles has been known to occur on Guam due to the traditional demand for its meat. Capture of the responsible parties has been difficult, although arrests have been made for unauthorized take. Effective conservation and enforcement will be critical to the recovery efforts of this project.
Guam's Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR) will continue to give sea turtle presentations for community awareness, especially through the elementary-secondary school system and University of Guam. In addition, the recommendation to produce and distribute sea turtle posters and pamphlets would help to enhance conservation and recovery awareness within the local community.
The DAWR Sea Turtle Recovery Program (STRP) is funded in part by the NMFS Honolulu PIAO to determine the extent of Guam's resident/nesting sea turtle populations and nesting habitats by conducting beach surveys and satellite tracking. ComNavMarianas has funded part of the satellite telemetry portion of the project through the purchase of satellite tags and satellite time. The objectives of the project are:
- To collect baseline population size-structure (age and size) and genetic information for sea turtles in and about Guam.
- To survey Guam's beaches for sea turtle nesting activity for both green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) throughout the nesting period in order to determine the size of the nesting population of sea turtles on Guam and to employ a variety of tagging techniques to determine movement, residency and further define population dynamics.
- To establish a Guam-based sea turtle-working group consisting of natural resource stakeholders and involve them in the refinement of the implementation plan.
The acquisition of satellite tagging materials and training was completed in March and April 2000. On June 28, 2000, an approximately 250–300 pound Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was Argos satellite-tagged and tracked after making a false crawl (i.e., one in which no nest was made) on Explosive Ordnance Disposal Beach, Andersen Air Force Base. A poaching arrest was also made on the following morning concerning a 22 lb. C. mydas that was illegally speared in the Tumon Bay Marine Preserve Area.
Colleges and universities
The University of Guam (UOG) and Guam Community College, both fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, offer courses in higher education. UOG is a member of the exclusive group of only 76 U.S. land-grant institutions in the entire United States. Pacific Islands University is a small Christian liberal arts institution nationally accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. They offer courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Primary and secondary schools
The Guam Public School System serves the entire island of Guam. In 2000, 32,000 students attended Guam's public schools. Guam Public Schools have struggled with problems such as high dropout rates and poor test scores. Guam's educational system has always faced unique challenges as a small community located 6,000 miles (9,700 km) from the U.S. mainland with a very diverse student body including many students who come from backgrounds without traditional American education. An economic downturn in Guam since the mid-1990s has compounded the problems in schools.
Before September 1997, the U.S. Department of Defense partnered with Guam Board of Education. In September 1997 the DoDEA opened its own schools for children of military personnel. DoDEA schools, which also serve children of some federal civilian employees, had an attendance of 2,500 in 2000. DoDEA Guam operates three elementary/middle schools and one high school.
The Government of Guam maintains the island's main health care facility, Guam Memorial Hospital, in Tamuning. U.S. board certified doctors and dentists practice in all specialties. In addition, the U.S. Naval Hospital in Agana Heights serves active-duty members and dependents of the military community. There is one subscriber-based air ambulance located on the island, CareJet, which provides emergency patient transportation across Guam and surrounding islands.
Over the years, a number of films have been shot on Guam, including Shiro's Head (directed by the Muna brothers) and the government-funded Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon (2004). The latter has been mired in lawsuits and accusations of fraud perpetrated against the government and people of Guam by its makers John Laing and Albert Pyun.
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The Guam national football team was founded in 1975 and joined FIFA in 1996. Guam is one of FIFA's weakest teams and only managed their first victory over a FIFA-registered side in 2009, when they defeated Mongolia in the East Asian Cup. The national team plays at the Guam National Football Stadium, which has a capacity of 1,000.
Guam is represented in rugby union by the Guam national rugby union team. The team has never qualified for a Rugby World Cup. Guam played their first match in 2005, an 8–8 draw with India. Guam's biggest win was a 74–0 thrashing of Brunei in June 2008.
Mixed martial arts
Pacific Xtreme Combat is Guam's premier mixed martial arts organization. Established in 2004, it has showcased more than 30 professional MMA events and over 40 amateur fights with a number of participants from Guam, Hawaii, U.S. mainland, Philippines, Japan, and South Korea. With its recent expansion in the Philippines, it continues to promote the development of local and regional athletes to compete in world-class settings.
|Chamorro language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
- Outline of Guam
- Index of Guam-related articles
- List of National Register of Historic Places in Guam
- List of people from Guam
- Voting in Guam
- Mariana Islands
- Mariana Trench
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- Rogers, Robert F. (1995). Destiny's Landfall: A History of Guam. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-1678-0.
- Werner Gruhl, Imperial Japan's World War Two, 1931–1945, Transaction Publishers, 2007 ISBN 978-0-7658-0352-8
- Kristof, Nicholas D. "Shoichi Yokoi, 82, Is Dead; Japan Soldier Hid 27 Years," New York Times. September 26, 1997.
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- "Guam Catastrophe Model". Risk Management Solutions. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- "Winds". PacificWorlds.com. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
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- "Climatological Information for Guam, Pacific Islands, United States". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- "Chamorro Population of the United States: 2010" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census.
- 2010 Guam Census Population Counts. bsp.guam.gov
- Thompson, Erin. EIS: 79,178 new people on island by 2014, Pacific Daily News (November 21, 2009)
- "Puntan dos Amantes". NPS: Explore Nature. The US National Park Service. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Military: Naval Air Station, Agana (Tiyan). GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
See also List of United States Navy installations#Guam.
- McAvoy, Audrey (February 25, 2010). "EPA sharply criticizes military's Guam plan". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- Parrish, Karen. "Carter: Guam Central to Asia-Pacific Strategy." American Forces Press Service, July 20, 2012.
- Guam Visitors Bureau Tourist Statistics. visitguam.org
- Kmart Guam. dangerboyandpixie.wordpress.com (July 11, 2011). Retrieved on July 20, 2013.
- "2004 Guam Yearbook" (PDF). Archived from the original on October 29, 2005. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
- Kerrigan, Kevin. "Guam Will Be The Pacific Hub for Merged Airlines." Pacific News Center (May 5, 2010). Retrieved on October 5, 2010. "Continental Micronesia is Guam's single largest employer. About 14-hundred jobs here on dependent on the airline."
- Blair, Chad. "'Air Mike' a rare bright spot in local aviation." Pacific Business News. Friday May 30, 2008. Retrieved on October 12, 2010.
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- Vice, Daniel S.; Engeman, Richard M. (2000). "Brown Tree Snake Discoveries During Detector Dog Inspections Following Supertyphoon Paka". Retrieved June 7, 2009.
- Rodda, Gordon H.; Thomas H. Fritts (June 1992). "The Impact of the Introduction of the Colubrid Snake Boiga irregularis on Guam's Lizards". Journal of Herpetology (Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles) 26 (2): 166–174. doi:10.2307/1564858. JSTOR 1564858.
- "'Natural experiment' Demonstrates Top-Down Control of Spiders by Birds on a Landscape Level". Plos One. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
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- Hodgson, R. A. J.; Wall, G. C.; Randles, J. W. (1998). "Specific Identification of Coconut Tinangaja Viroid for Differential Field Diagnosis of Viroids in Coconut Palm". Phytopathology 88 (8): 774–781. doi:10.1094/PHYTO.19126.96.36.1994. PMID 18944882. Archived from the original on June 14, 2007. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- Territory of Guam Fire Assessment January 2004, pp. 6–7, guamforestry.org
- National Park Service. "Fire and Guam". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- Brown, Valerie. "Guam's Marine Preserves". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- "Management of Contaminated Harbor Sediments in Guam". EPA Guam Report.
- Packbier, Paul E.R. "Tumon Bay – Engineering a Better Environment". Directions Magazine; June/July 1996. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- Holmes III, Rolston (2001). "Environmental Ethics in Micronesia, Past and Present, Part II—Guam Today: Still "on the Edge." Colonial Legacy and American Presence". International Society for Environmental Ethics Newsletter 12 (3). Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- "Politics Trumps Performance in Guam School System". Pacific Islands Report. June 15, 2006. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
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- "Merrow Report: First to Worst". Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- "State Comparisons". 1996. Archived from the original on July 13, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
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- "An act to establish a guam parental school choice program". 1999. Archived from "AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A GUAM PARENTAL SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAM" the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- "Rats, other problems face Guam schools." Pacific Stars and Stripes. October 3, 1993.
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- "District and School Contact Information". pac.dodea.edu. Retrieved May 10, 2006.
- . gpls.guam.gov[dead link]
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- U.S Naval Hospital Guam. med.navy.mil
- Guam's CareJet Program Resumes Service. Airmedical.net. Retrieved on September 27, 2012.
- "Philippine Expansion". Pacificxtremecombat.com. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
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- Guam.gov – Official Government Website
- Guampedia, Guam's Online Encyclopedia
- The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands, PBS documentary film website.
- Guam entry at The World Factbook
- U.S. Census Bureau: Island Areas Census 2000
- Guam at the Open Directory Project
- Portals to the World: Guam from the U.S. Library of Congress.
- Wikimedia Atlas of Guam