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Kydd's Palmyra

Photos by Kydd Pollock

A lone kayak parked on the shores of Palmyra’s tranquil eastern lagoon.

The shadow of a gecko is visible through the leaf of the indigenous nau paka tree.

A red-clawed fiddler crab waves his oversized claws (chelipeds) high in the air and taps it on the ground to attract females.

A melon- headed whale surfaces for air. Melon heads feed at night and rest during the day, gathering in pods of up to 1,000 at Palmyra.

A spinner dolphin at play in Palmyra’s offshore waters. Pods of 100 to 200 can be found at the atoll.

A manta ray in the surf. Manta rays form feeding trains of up to 80 individuals at Palmyra, feasting on plumes of plankton in the nearshore waters.

A green sea turtle glides over Tortagonia reef in northwest Palmyra.

Black-tipped reef sharks occupy Palmyra’s shallow nearshore waters, utilizing the food supply and protection found there.

Dark blue water marks the edge of a shipping channel dredged during World War II. The channel is 20 feet deep and 275 feet wide and connects the atoll’s western lagoon to the sea.

Schools of big-eye jacks flourish in Palmyra’s offshore waters.

Tan-faced parrotfish are plentiful on Palmyra reefs. Parrotfish feed on soft, thin coral tissue and excrete limestone in their waste, helping to create sand for the atoll.

A red-footed booby flies over black-tipped reef sharks in Palmyra’s western lagoon. Palmyra has one of the world’s largest red-footed booby populations.

A breeding pair of great frigate birds. As part of their courtship ritual, the male inflates his red gular pouch for the female.

Palmyra's white terns are inquisitive about people and lay their eggs directly onto tree branches without nests.

The sun sets behind Ainsley Island in the atoll's western lagoon. The islet is named after Ainsley Fullard-Leo, whose family owned Palmyra from 1922 until it was sold to the Conservancy in 2000.

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