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Guam
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{{About|the U.S. territory|the international organization|GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development{{!}}GUAM}}{{short description|Island territory of the United States of America}}{{Use mdy dates|date=July 2019}}







factoids
()|nickname_link=List of U.S. state and territory nicknames|motto_link=List of U.S. state and territory mottoschitalics=off}} ()|anthem_link=List of U.S. state songs|anthem="Stand Ye Guamanians"|image_map=Guam on the globe (Southeast Asia centered) (small islands magnified).svg|map_alt=Location of Guam|map_caption=Location of Guam (circled in red)|mapsize=290px|subdivision_type=Sovereign state|subdivision_name=United States|established_title=Before annexation|established_date=Spanish East IndiesCession from Spain}}|established_date2=December 10, 1898English language>Chamorro}}|demonym=Guamanian|capital=Hagåtña|largest_city=DededoChamorro people>Chamorro26.3% Filipino Americans7.1% White Americans>White7.0% Chuukese people2.2% Korean Americans>Korean1.6% Chinese Americans1.6% Palauan Americans>Palauan1.5% Japanese Americans1.4% Pohnpei State>Pohnpeian9.4% Multiracial Americans4.6% otherAUSTRALIA-OCEANIA :: GUAM (TERRITORY OF THE US)WEBSITE=THE WORLD FACTBOOKACCESS-DATE=2015-08-26ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20131203005453/HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/GEOS/GQ.HTML, 2013-12-03, |ethnic_groups_year=2015Devolution>Devolved Presidential system constitutional Dependent territory>dependencyList of governors of Guam>GovernorLou Leon Guerrero (D)}}Lieutenant Governor of Guam>Lt. GovernorJosh Tenorio (D)}}Non-voting members of the United States House of Representatives>U.S. House DelegateMichael San Nicolas (D)}}|legislature=Legislature of Guam|religion=75% Catholicism17.7% Protestantism5.6% other1.7% unaffiliated|area_km2=540|area_rank=|area_sq_mi=210 |percent_water=|elevation_max_m=407|elevation_max_ft=1,334|population_estimate=162,742|population_census=159,358|population_estimate_year=2016|population_estimate_rank=|population_census_year=2010|population_density_km2=299|population_density_sq_mi=775 |population_density_rank=|GDP_PPP=$4.88 billion|GDP_PPP_year=2013|GDP_PPP_rank=|GDP_PPP_per_capita=$30,500|GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank=|GDP_nominal=|GDP_nominal_year=|GDP_nominal_rank=|GDP_nominal_per_capita=|GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank=|Gini=|Gini_year=|Gini_change=|Gini_ref=|HDI=0.835 |HDI_year=2008|HDI_change=increase |HDI_ref=|HDI_rank=|currency=United States dollar (US$)|currency_code=USDChamorro Standard Time>ChST|utc_offset=+10:00|date_format=mm/dd/yyyy|drives_on=rightNorth American Numbering Plan>+1-671USPS abbreviation}}|postal_code=GU(ISO 3166-2:GU(ISO 3166-2:US|US-GU)}}|cctld=.gu}}Guam ({{IPAc-en|audio=en-us-Guam.ogg|ˈ|ɡ|w|ɑː|m}}; {{IPA-ch|ˈɡʷɑhɑn|}}) is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean.WEB, U.S. Territories,weblink DOI Office of Insular Affairs, February 9, 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070209094507weblink">weblink February 9, 2007, WEB,weblink DEFINITIONS OF INSULAR AREA POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS., November 14, 2007, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110721034923weblink">weblink July 21, 2011, Office of Insular Affairs. Retrieved October 31, 2008. It is the westernmost point and territory of the United States, along with the Northern Mariana Islands. The capital city of Guam is Hagåtña and the most populous city is Dededo. The inhabitants of Guam are called Guamanians, and they are American citizens by birth. The indigenous Guamanians are the Chamorros, who are related to other Austronesian natives of Eastern Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. Guam has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983.In 2016, 162,742 people resided on Guam. Guam has an area of {{convert|210|mi2|km2 acre}} and a population density of {{convert|775|/mi2}}. In Oceania, it is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands and the largest island in Micronesia. Among its municipalities, Mongmong-Toto-Maite has the highest population density at {{convert|3,691|/mi2}}, whereas Inarajan and Umatac have the lowest density at {{convert|119|/mi2}}. The highest point is Mount Lamlam at {{convert|1332|ft|m|sp=us}} above sea level. Since the 1960s, the economy has been supported by two industries: tourism and the United States Armed Forces.BOOK, Robert F., Rogers, Destiny's Landfall: A History of Guam, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1995, 978-0-8248-1678-0, The indigenous Chamorros settled the island approximately 4,000 years ago. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, while in the service of Spain, was the first European to visit the island, on March 6, 1521. Guam was colonized by Spain in 1668 with settlers, including Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Catholic Jesuit missionary. Between the 16th century and the 18th century, Guam was an important stopover for the Spanish Manila Galleons. During the Spanish–American War, the United States captured Guam on June 21, 1898. Under the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded Guam to the United States on December 10, 1898. Guam is among the 17 non-self-governing territories listed by the United Nations.Non-Self-Governing Territories – Official U.N. Website {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20140227010648weblink|date=February 27, 2014}}Before World War II, there were five American jurisdictions in the Pacific Ocean: Guam and Wake Island in Micronesia, American Samoa and Hawaii in Polynesia, and the Philippines.On December 7, 1941, hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam was captured by the Japanese, who occupied the island for two and a half years. During the occupation, Guamanians were subjected to beheadings, forced labor, rape, and torture.War Restitution Act : hearing before the Subcommittee on Insular and International Affairs of the Co...|National Library of Australia {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20100406001230weblink|date=April 6, 2010}}. Catalogue.nla.gov.au (September 20, 1994). Retrieved June 13, 2012."Statement of David B. Cohen Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Affairs Before the House Committee on Resources Regarding the Report of the Guam War Claims Review Commission|July 21, 2004 {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130120023031weblink|date=January 20, 2013}}." Office of Insular Affairs. Retrieved September 19, 2012.JOURNAL, Higuchi, Wakako, The Japanisation Policy for the Chamorros of Guam, 1941–1944, The Journal of Pacific History, 2001,weblink 10.1080/00223340120049424, 36, 1, 19–35, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130120021514weblink">weblink January 20, 2013, American forces recaptured the island on July 21, 1944; Liberation Day commemorates the victory.NEWS, Associated Press, Guam police arrest suspect in memorial theft, Marine Corps Times, July 7, 2007,weblink April 5, 2010, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110515072107weblink">weblink May 15, 2011, An unofficial but frequently used territorial motto is "Where America's Day Begins", which refers to the island's proximity to the International Date Line.BOOK, Mack, Doug, 2017, The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches From the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA, W.W. Norton, 114, 9780393247602, BOOK, Grabowski, John F., 1992, U.S. Territories and Possessions (State Report Series), Chelsea House, 39, 9780791010532, registration,weblink

History

The original inhabitants of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands were the Chamorro people, who are believed to be descendants of Austronesian people originating from Southeast Asia as early as 2000 BC.BOOK, Carano, Paul, Sanchez, Pedro C., 1964, A Complete History of Guam, Tokyo, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 414965, {{rp|16}}{{Multiple image|align=|direction=|total_width=220|image1=Ladrones - Hunter from Marianas -Boxer Codex (1590).jpg|alt1=Chamorro people>Chamorro Hunter with Spear, as depicted in the Boxer Codex (1590) of the Philippines|image2=Hunter from Marianas 2 - Boxer Codex (1590).jpgChamorro people>Chamorro Hunter with Bow, as depicted in the Boxer Codex (1590) of the Philippines}}The ancient Chamorro society had four classes: chamorri (chiefs), matua (upper class), achaot (middle class), and mana'chang (lower class).{{rp|20–21}} 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 intermediaries. There were also "makåhna" or "kakahna", shamans with magical powers and "Suruhånu" or "Suruhåna" healers who use different kinds of plants and natural materials to make medicine. Belief in spirits of ancient Chamorros called "Taotao mo'na" still persists as a remnant of pre-European culture. It is believed that "Suruhånu" or "Suruhåna" are the only ones who can safely harvest plants and other natural materials from their homes or "hålomtåno" without incurring the wrath of the "Taotao mo'na". Their society was organized along matrilineal clans.{{rp|21}}Latte stones are stone pillars that are found only in the Mariana Islands; they are a recent development in Pre-Contact Chamorro society. The latte-stone was used as a foundation on which thatched huts were built.{{rp|26}} Latte stones 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.{{rp|27–28}} A possible source for these stones, the Rota Latte Stone Quarry, was discovered in 1925 on Rota.{{rp|28}}

Magellan's travel to Guam

File:Hernando de Magallanes del museo Madrid Fix.jpg|thumb|upright|Ferdinand MagellanFerdinand MagellanThe first European to travel to Guam was Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, sailing for the King of Spain, when he sighted the island on March 6, 1521, during his fleet's circumnavigation of the globe.{{rp|41–42}} 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"). Antonio Pigafetta (one of Magellan's original 18) said that the name was "Island of Sails", but he also writes that the inhabitants "entered the ships and stole whatever they could lay their hands on", including "the small boat that was fastened to the poop of the flagship."BOOK, Nowell, Charles E., 1962, Magellan's voyage around the world; three contemporary accounts, Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 347382, {{rp|129}} "Those people are poor, but ingenious and very thievish, on account of which we called those three islands Islas de los Ladrones ("Islands of thieves")."{{rp|131}}

Spanish colonization and the Manila galleons

File:Reception of the Manila Galleon by the Chamorro in the Ladrones Islands, ca. 1590.jpg|thumb|269.961x269.961px|Reception of the Manila Galleon by the Chamorro in the Ladrones Islands, ca. 1590 Boxer CodexBoxer CodexDespite Magellan's visit, Guam was not officially claimed by Spain until January 26, 1565, by General Miguel López de Legazpi.{{rp|46}} From 1565 to 1815, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, the only Spanish outposts in the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines, were an important resting stop for the Manila galleons, a fleet that covered the Pacific trade route between Acapulco and Manila.{{rp|51}} To protect these Pacific fleets, Spain built several defensive structures that still stand today, such as Fort Nuestra Señora de la Soledad in Umatac. Guam is the biggest single segment of Micronesia, the largest islands between the island of Kyushu (Japan), New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Hawaiian Islands.Spanish colonization commenced on June 15, 1668, with the arrival of Diego Luis de San Vitores and Pedro Calungsod, who established the first Catholic church.{{rp|64}} The islands were part of the Spanish East Indies, and in turn part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, based in Mexico City. Other reminders 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 formally opened on February 2, 1669, as was the Royal College of San Juan de Letran.{{rp|68}} Guam, along with the rest of the Mariana and Caroline Islands, were treated as part of Spain's colony in the Philippines. While the island's Chamorro culture has indigenous roots, the cultures of both Guam and the Northern Marianas have many similarities with Spanish culture due to three centuries of Spanish rule.

Internal conflicts

Intermittent warfare lasting from July 23, 1670, until July 1695, plus the typhoons of 1671 and 1693, and in particular the smallpox epidemic of 1688, reduced the Chamorro population from 50,000 to 10,000, finally to less than 5,000.{{rp|86}} Precipitated by the death of Quipuha, and the murder of Father San Vitores and Pedro Calungsod by local rebel chief Matapang, tensions led to a number of conflicts. Captain Juan de Santiago started a campaign to conquer the island, which was continued by the successive commanders of the Spanish forces.{{rp|68–74}}After his arrival in 1674, Captain Damian de Esplana ordered the arrest of rebels who attacked the population of certain towns. Hostilities eventually led to the destruction of villages such as Chochogo, Pepura, Tumon, Sidia-Aty, Sagua, Nagan and Ninca.{{rp|74–75}} Starting in June 1676, the first Spanish Governor of Guam, Capt. Francisco de Irrisarri y Vinar, controlled internal affairs more strictly than his predecessors in order to curb tensions. He also ordered the construction of schools, roads and other infrastructure.{{rp|75–76}}In 1680, Captain Jose de Quiroga arrived and continued some of the development projects started by his predecessors. He also continued the search for the rebels who had assassinated Father San Vitores, resulting in campaigns against the rebels which were hiding out in some islands, eventually leading to the death of Matapang, Hurao and Aguarin.{{rp|77–78}} Quiroga brought some natives from the northern islands to Guam, ordering the population to live in a few large villages.{{rp|78–79}} These included Jinapsan, Umatac, Pago, Agat and Inarajan, where he built a number of churches.{{rp|79}} By July 1695, Quiroga had completed the conquest of Guam, Rota, Tinian and Aguigan.{{rp|85}}File:The Island of Guajan (Guam), detail from Carta Hydrographica y Chorographica de las Islas Filipinas (1734).jpg|thumb|The island of Guajan (Guam), detail from Carta Hydrographica y Chorographica de las Islas FilipinasCarta Hydrographica y Chorographica de las Islas Filipinas

Expulsion of the Jesuits

On February 26, 1767, Charles III of Spain issued a decree confiscating the property of the Jesuits and banishing them from Spain and her possessions.{{rp|101}} As a consequence, the Jesuit fathers on Guam departed on November 2, 1769, on the schooner Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, abandoning their churches, rectories and ranches.{{rp|102–103}}The arrival of Governor Don Mariano Tobias, on September 15, 1771, brought agricultural reforms, including making land available to the islanders for cultivation, encouraged the development of cattle raising, imported deer and water buffalo from Manila, donkeys and mules from Acapulco, established cotton mills and salt pans, free public schools, and the first Guam militia.{{rp|107–109}} Later, he was transferred to Manila in June 1774.{{rp|113}}

Post-Napoleonic era

Following the Napoleonic Wars, many Spanish colonies in the Western Hemisphere had become independent, shifting the economic dependence of Guam from Mexico to the Philippines.{{rp|144}} Don Francisco Ramon de Villalobos, who became governor in 1831, improved economic conditions including the promotion of rice cultivation and the establishment of a leper hospital.{{rp|148–149}}Otto von Kotzebue visited the island in November 1817,{{rp|127}} and Louis de Freycinet in March 1819.{{rp|134}} Jules Dumont d'Urville made two visits, the first in May 1828.{{rp|139}} The island became a rest stop for whalers starting in 1823.{{rp|145}}A devastating typhoon struck the island on August 10, 1848, followed by a severe earthquake on January 25, 1849, which resulted in many refugees from the Caroline Islands, victims of the resultant tsunami.{{rp|151}} After a smallpox epidemic killed 3,644 Guamanians in 1856, Carolinians and Japanese were permitted to settle in the Marianas.{{rp|157}} Guam received nineteen Filipino prisoners after their failed 1872 Cavite mutiny.{{rp|160}}

Spanish–American War

After almost four centuries as part of the Kingdom of Spain, the United States occupied the island following Spain's defeat in the 1898 Spanish–American War, as part of the Treaty of Paris of 1898. Guam was transferred to the United States Navy control on December 23, 1898, by s:Executive Order 108-A|Executive Order 108-A]] from 25th President William McKinley.Guam came to serve as a station for American merchant and warships traveling to and from the Philippines (another American acquisition from Spain) while the Northern Mariana Islands were sold by Spain to Germany for part of its rapidly expanding German Empire. A U.S. Navy yard was established at Piti in 1899, and a United States Marine Corps barracks at Sumay in 1901.Rottman, G. (2004) Guam 1941 & 1944: Loss and Reconquest. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, {{ISBN|978-1-84176-811-3}}{{rp|13}}Following the Philippine–American War of 1899–1902, rebel nationalist leader Apolinario Mabini was exiled on Guam in 1901 after his capture.Mabini, A., 1969, The Philippine Revolution, Republic of the Philippines, Dept. of Education, National Historical Commission{{rp|vi}} Following the German defeat in World War I, the Northern Mariana Islands became part of a League of Nations Mandate in 1919 with the nearby Empire of Japan as the mandatory ("trustee") as a member nation of the victorious Allies in the "Great War".A marine seaplane unit was stationed in Guam from 1921 to 1930, the first in the Pacific.{{rp|13}} Pan American World Airways established a seaplane base on the island for its trans-Pacific San Francisco-Manila-Hong Kong route, and the Commercial Pacific Cable Company had earlier built a telegraph/telephone station in 1903 for its trans-oceanic communication line.{{rp|15}}

World War II

File:Three Marines and their machine gun on Guam.jpg|thumb|upright=1.2|U.S. Marines during the liberation of Guam, July 1944]]During World War II, Guam was attacked and invaded by Japan on Monday, December 8, 1941, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In addition, Japan made major military moves into Southeast Asia and the East Indies islands of the South Pacific Ocean against the British and Dutch colonies, opening a new wider Pacific phase in the Second World War. The Japanese renamed Guam (Great Shrine Island).The Northern Mariana Islands had become a League of Nations mandate assigned to Japan in 1919, pursuant to the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. Chamorros indigenous island people from the Northern Marianas 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 administered by Japan for over 30 years, the Northern Mariana Chamorros were loyal to the Japanese government.The Japanese occupation of Guam lasted for approximately 31 months. During this period, the indigenous people of Guam were subjected to forced labor, family separation, incarceration, execution, concentration camps and forced prostitution. Approximately 1,000 people died during the occupation, according to later Congressional committee testimony in 2004. Some historians estimate that war violence killed 10% of Guam's then 20,000 population.Werner Gruhl, Imperial Japan's World War Two, 1931–1945 {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160101014017weblink|date=January 1, 2016}}, Transaction Publishers, 2007 {{ISBN|978-0-7658-0352-8}}The United States returned and fought the Battle of Guam from July 21 to August 10, 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, having held out for 28 years in the forested back country on Guam.NEWS, Kristofferson, Nicholas D.,weblink Shoichi Yokoi, 82, Is Dead; Japan Soldier Hid 27 Years, The New York Times, September 26, 1997, live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090201172619weblink">weblink February 1, 2009, The United States also captured and occupied the nearby Northern Marianas Islands.North Field was established in 1944, and was renamed for Brigadier General James Roy Andersen of the old U.S. Army Air Forces as Andersen Air Force Base.

Post-war

File:B-52 Guam Linebacker II - Copia.jpg|thumb|B-52 at Andersen Air Force Base, during Operation Linebacker II in the Vietnam WarVietnam WarAfter World War II, 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. The Governor of Guam was federally appointed until 1968, when the Guam Elective Governor Act provided for the office's popular election.BOOK, Robert F., Rogers, Destiny's Landfall: A History of Guam, 1995, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, {{rp|242}} 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. They do, however, get to vote for party delegates in presidential primaries.NEWS,weblink NBC News, Nominating, but not voting for president: Clinton-Obama struggle spotlights Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Tom, Curry, May 28, 2008, August 19, 2016, live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160815080233weblink">weblink August 15, 2016,

Vietnam War and later

{{See also|Operation Arc Light|Operation Rolling Thunder}}Andersen Air Force Base played a major role in the Vietnam War. The host unit was later designated the 36th Wing (36 WG), assigned to the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Thirteenth Air Force (13AF). In September 2012, 13 AF was deactivated and its functions merged into PACAF. The multinational Cope North military exercise is an annual event.US, Japan, Australia to hold Cope North 2017 February 9, 2017 Guam Post Retrieved March 27, 2017.Since 1974, about 124 historic sites in Guam have been recognized under the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Guam temporarily hosted 100,000 Vietnamese refugees in 1975, and 6,600 Kurdish refugees in 1996.{{rp|17}}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.In August 2017, North Korea warned that it might launch mid-range ballistic missiles into waters within {{convert|18|to|24|mi|km}} of Guam, following an exchange of threats between the governments of North Korea and the United States.NEWS, Horton, Alex,weblink Why North Korea threatened Guam, the tiny U.S. territory with big military power, The Washington Post, August 9, 2017, August 11, 2017,weblink August 10, 2017, live, NEWS,weblink North Korea's missile threat to Guam crafted for 'maximum drama,' says former CIA analyst, Daniels, Jeff, CNBC News, August 10, 2017, August 11, 2017,weblink August 11, 2017, live,

Geography

(File:Guam ali 2011364 lrg.jpg|thumb|upright|Guam from space)Guam lies between 13.2° and 13.7°N and 144.6° and 145.0°E. It is {{convert|30|mi|km|sigfig=1|abbr=off|sp=us}} long and {{convert|4|to|12|mi|km|0|abbr=off|sp=us}} wide, giving it an area of {{convert|212|sqmi|km2|0|abbr=off|sp=us}} (three-fourths the size of Singapore) and making it the 32nd largest island of the United States. It is the southernmost and largest island in the Marianas as well as the largest in Micronesia. Guam's highest point is Mount Lamlam at {{convert|1334|ft|m|0|abbr=off|sp=us}}."Geography of Guam". Official site of Guam, April 19, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2014, from WEB,weblink Guam's Geography, 2016-05-02, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/19961027163532weblink">weblink October 27, 1996, . Challenger Deep, at {{convert|35797|ft|m|0|abbr=off|sp=us}} the deepest surveyed point in the Oceans, lies southwest of Guam.The Mariana chain of which Guam is a part was created by collision of the Pacific and Philippine Sea tectonic plates. Guam is the closest land mass to the Mariana Trench, the deep subduction zone that runs east of the Marianas. Due to its location on the Mariana Plate just westward of where the Pacific Plate subducts the Mariana and the Philippine Sea Plates, Guam occasionally experiences earthquakes.WEB, Mueller, Charles S., etal, Seismic Hazard Assessment for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands,weblink U. S. Geological Survey, September 23, 2018,weblink September 23, 2018, live, In recent years,{{when|date=June 2019}} most with epicenters near Guam have had magnitudes ranging from 5.0 to 8.7. Unlike Anatahan in the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam is not volcanically active, though vog (volcanic smog) from Anatahan affects it due to proximity."Home page of the Anahatan volcano". USGS-CNMI, November 8, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007 from WEB,weblink Home page of Anatahan Volcano, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 2007-11-08, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071013221850weblink">weblink October 13, 2007, .A coral table reef surrounds most of Guam, and the limestone plateau provides the source for most of the island's fresh water. Steep coastal cliffs dominate the north, while mountains inform the topography of the island's southern end; lower hills typify the area in between.

Climate

File:US Navy 030225-N-0000X-002 An aerial view of Apra Harbor on U.S. Naval Base Guam is seen during a fly-by, Feb. 25, 2003.jpg|thumb|upright=1.3|Apra HarborApra HarborGuam experiences a tropical rainforest climate, though its driest month of March almost averages dry enough to qualify as a tropical monsoon climate, moderated by seasonal northeasterly trade winds. However, due to its proximity to the equator, high sea surface temperature and warm ocean current that transports heat and moisture, the weather is generally hot and humid throughout the year with little seasonal temperature variation. Hence, Guam is known to have equable temperatures year round.The mean high temperature is {{convert|86|°F|°C|disp=or}} and mean low is {{convert|76|°F|°C|1}}. Temperatures rarely exceed {{convert|90|°F|°C|1}} or fall below {{convert|70|°F|°C|1}}. The relative humidity commonly exceeds 84 percent at night throughout the year, but the average monthly humidity hovers near 66 percent. The dry season runs from December to June. The remaining months (July to November) constitute the rainy season with an average annual rainfall between 1981 and 2010 of around {{convert|98|in|mm|-1|disp=or|sp=us}}.The months of January and February are considered the coolest months of the year with overnight low temperatures of {{convert|70|to|75|°F|°C|1}} and generally less oppressive humidity levels. The highest temperature ever recorded in Guam was {{convert|96|F|C|1}} on April 18, 1971, and April 1, 1990, and the lowest temperature ever recorded was {{convert|65|F|C|1}} on February 8, 1973.WEB,weblink Climatological Report, National Weather Service, February 26, 2014, February 26, 2014, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140307004247weblink">weblink March 7, 2014, Guam is located in Typhoon AlleyWEB, National Weather Service Dedicated Forecast Office in Typhoon Alley,weblink US NOAA NWS, August 19, 2012, April 27, 2000, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130107012415weblink">weblink January 7, 2013, and it is common for the island to be threatened by tropical storms and possible typhoons during the rainy season. The highest risk of typhoons is from August to October. They can, however, occur year-round. The most intense typhoon to pass over Guam recently was Super Typhoon Pongsona, with sustained winds of {{convert|144|mph|km/h}}, gusts to {{convert|173|mph|km/h}}, which slammed Guam on December 8, 2002, leaving massive destruction. The wettest month on record at Guam Airport has been August 1997 with {{convert|38.49|in|mm|1}} and the driest February 2015 with {{convert|0.15|in|mm|1}}. The wettest calendar year has been 1976 with {{convert|131.70|in|mm|1}} and the driest 1998 with {{convert|57.88|in|mm|1}}. The most rainfall in a single day occurred on October 15, 1953 when {{convert|15.48|in|mm|1|disp=or|sp=us}} fell.Since Typhoon Pamela in 1976, wooden structures have been largely replaced by concrete structures.WEB,weblink Risk Management Solutions, Guam Catastrophe Model, June 16, 2007, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110207111227weblink">weblink February 7, 2011, WEB,weblink Winds, PacificWorlds.com, June 16, 2007, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070827132157weblink">weblink August 27, 2007, 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.{{Weather box|location=Guam (Guam International Airport) (1981–2010)|single line=Y|open=Y|Jan record high F=94|Feb record high F=93|Mar record high F=93|Apr record high F=96|May record high F=94|Jun record high F=95|Jul record high F=95|Aug record high F=94|Sep record high F=93|Oct record high F=93|Nov record high F=92|Dec record high F=91|year record high F=96|Jan high F=84.9|Feb high F=84.9|Mar high F=85.8|Apr high F=87.3|May high F=87.9|Jun high F=87.9|Jul high F=87.1|Aug high F=86.5|Sep high F=86.7|Oct high F=86.8|Nov high F=86.5|Dec high F=85.6|year high F=86.5|Jan mean F=80.2|Feb mean F=79.9|Mar mean F=80.7|Apr mean F=81.9|May mean F=82.6|Jun mean F=82.6|Jul mean F=81.9|Aug mean F=81.4|Sep mean F=81.4|Oct mean F=81.7|Nov mean F=81.8|Dec mean F=81.2|year mean F=81.4|Jan low F=75.5|Feb low F=75.0|Mar low F=75.6|Apr low F=76.5|May low F=77.2|Jun low F=77.4|Jul low F=76.6|Aug low F=76.3|Sep low F=76.2|Oct low F=76.5|Nov low F=77.2|Dec low F=76.8|year low F=76.4|Jan record low F=66|Feb record low F=65|Mar record low F=66|Apr record low F=68|May record low F=70|Jun record low F=70|Jul record low F=70|Aug record low F=70|Sep record low F=70|Oct record low F=67|Nov record low F=68|Dec record low F=68|year record low F=65|Jan rain inch=4.96|Feb rain inch=4.53|Mar rain inch=2.77|Apr rain inch=3.58|May rain inch=4.30|Jun rain inch=7.09|Jul rain inch=12.14|Aug rain inch=17.15|Sep rain inch=14.17|Oct rain inch=11.80|Nov rain inch=9.17|Dec rain inch=5.98|unit rain days=0.01 in|Jan rain days=18.8|Feb rain days=15.7|Mar rain days=16.8|Apr rain days=17.0|May rain days=19.3|Jun rain days=22.6|Jul rain days=24.7|Aug rain days=25.3|Sep rain days=24.3|Oct rain days=25.1|Nov rain days=23.4|Dec rain days=22.1|Jan sun=176.7|Feb sun=186.0|Mar sun=217.0|Apr sun=213.0|May sun=220.1|Jun sun=195.0|Jul sun=155.0|Aug sun=142.6|Sep sun=132.0|Oct sun=133.3|Nov sun=135.0|Dec sun=142.6|year sun=PUBLISHER=NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATIONURL-STATUS=LIVEARCHIVE-DATE=OCTOBER 31, 2012, Hong Kong Observatory (sun only 1961–1990)HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV.HK/WXINFO/CLIMAT/WORLD/ENG/AUSTRALIA/PACIFIC/GUAM_E.HTMPUBLISHER=HONG KONG OBSERVATORYURL-STATUS=LIVEARCHIVE-DATE=JANUARY 20, 2013, |date=November 2012}}

Demographics

{{US Census population|1910=11806|1920=13275|1930=18509|1940=22290|1950=59498|1960=67044|1970=84996|1980=105979|1990=133152|2000=154805|2010=159358|estyear=2016|estimate=162742}}

Ethnic groups

Based on a 2010 estimate, the largest ethnic group are the native Chamorros, accounting for 37.3% of the total population. Other significant ethnic groups include those of Filipino (26.3%), White Americans (7.1%), and Chuukese (7%) ethnicities. The rest are from other Pacific Islands or of Asian ancestry. The estimated interracial marriage rate is over 40%.

Language

The official languages of the island are English and Chamorro. Filipino is also a common language across the island. Other Pacific island languages and many Asian languages are spoken in Guam as well. Spanish, the language of administration for 300 years, is no longer commonly spoken on the island, although vestiges of the language remain in proper names, loanwords and place names.

Religion

The most common religion is the Catholic Church. According to the Pew Research Center, 2010:WEB,weblink Guam, September 12, 2017,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170912191843weblink">weblink September 12, 2017, live, {{full short|date=February 2019}}{{div col|colwidth=20em}}
  • Roman Catholicism: 75%
  • Protestantism: 17.7%
  • Other religions: 1.6%
  • Folk religions: 1.5%
  • Other Christianity: 1.4%
  • Buddhism: 1.1%
  • Eastern Orthodoxy: |date=December 3, 2016|website=Guampedia|publisher=Guampedia|access-date=February 27, 2017|url-status=live|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170228163623weblink|archive-date=February 28, 2017}}
The United Nations is in favor of greater self-determination for Guam and other such territories. The UN's Special Committee on Decolonization has agreed to endorse the Governor's education plan. The commission's May 2016 report states: "With academics from the University of Guam, [the Commission] was working to create and approve educational materials. The Office of the Governor was collaborating closely with the Commission" in developing educational materials for the public.WEB,weblink Secretary-General Urges Concrete Action to Advance Decolonization Agenda as Pacific Regional Seminar Convenes, May 31, 2016, United Nations, United Nations, February 27, 2017, "Let us seize this opportunity to identify concrete actions to advance the decolonization agenda," Mr. Ban said ... according to the United Nations Charter and relevant General Assembly resolutions, a full measure of self-government could be achieved through independence, integration or free association with another State. The choice should be the result of the freely expressed will and desire of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories., live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170228082817weblink">weblink February 28, 2017, The United States Department of the Interior had approved a $300,000 grant for decolonization education, Edward Alvarez told the United Nations Pacific Regional Seminar in May 2016. "We are hopeful that this might indicate a shift in [United States] policy to its Non-Self-Governing Territories such as Guam, where they will be more willing to engage in discussions about our future and offer true support to help push us towards true self-governances and self-determination."WEB,weblink Secretary-General Urges Concrete Action to Advance Decolonization Agenda as Pacific Regional Seminar Convenes, May 31, 2016, United Nations, United Nations, February 27, 2017, live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170228082817weblink">weblink February 28, 2017,

Villages

File:Hagatna from Fort Santa Agueda.JPG|thumb|Hagåtña from Fort Santa AguedaFort Santa AguedaGuam is divided into 19 municipal villages:{{div col|colwidth=16em}} {{div end}}

Military bases

File:US Navy 110821-N-AZ907-015 The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) enters Apra Harbor for a scheduled port visit.jpg|right|thumb|The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) enters Apra HarborApra HarborThe U.S. military maintains jurisdiction over its bases, which cover approximately {{convert|39000|acre|ha}}, or 29% of the island's total land area: 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 United States. 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 building a new aircraft carrier berth on Guam and moving 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.NEWS, McAvoy, Audrey, EPA sharply criticizes military's Guam plan, Boston Globe, December 28, 2010, February 25, 2010,weblink live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110512013841weblink">weblink May 12, 2011, By 2012, these plans had been cut to have only a maximum of 4,800 Marines stationed on the island, two thirds of whom would be there on a rotational basis without their dependents.Parrish, Karen (July 20, 2012). "Carter: Guam Central to Asia-Pacific Strategy." {{webarchive|url=https:
web.archive.org/web/20120915113730weblink|date=September 15, 2012}} American Forces Press Service.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 amount 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 interconnected 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.

Transportation and communications

(File:Guam route marker 8.svg|thumb|upright=0.6|Guam Highway 8 route marker)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),WEB,weblink PL-NANP-004, J. N. Deak, August 5, 1996, North American Numbering Plan Administration, October 12, 2010, live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101126175014weblink">weblink November 26, 2010, removing the barrier of high-cost international long-distance calls to the U.S. mainland.Guam is also a major hub for submarine cables between the Western U.S., Hawaii, Australia and Asia. Guam currently serves twelve submarine cables, with most continuing to China.(File:US to Guam First Flight Cover 1935.jpg|thumb|right|Cover carried both directions on the first commercial flights between Guam and the United States, October 5–24, 1935)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 do so, 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. It receives the weekly calls of the Hawaii-based shipping line Matson, Inc. whose container ships connect Guam with Honolulu, Hawaii, Los Angeles, California, Oakland, California and Seattle, Washington. 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 U.S. 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. The island is outside the United States customs zone,19 U.S.C. § 1401(h), available atweblink {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180731062243weblink|date=July 31, 2018}} . so Guam is responsible for establishing and operating its own customs and quarantine agency and jurisdiction.19 C.F.R. § 7.2(b) (2018), available atweblink {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180731062149weblink|date=July 31, 2018}} .{{hs}}See generally Guam v. Sugiyama, 846 F. 2d 570, 572-73 (9th Cir.) (Skopil, J., concurring), available atweblink reh'g denied 859 F.2d 1428 (9th Cir. 1988), available atweblink .{{hs}}5 Guam Code Ann. § 73126 (2005), available atweblink {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20190412031010weblink|date=April 12, 2019}} . Therefore, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection only carries out 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.

Ecology

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, which previously had no native species of snake. It nearly eliminated the native bird population. The problem was exacerbated because the snake has no natural predators on the island. The brown tree snake, known locally as the kulebla, is native to northern and eastern coasts of Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. It is slightly venomous, but relatively harmless to human beings; it is nocturnal. Although some studies have suggested a high density of these serpents on Guam, residents rarely see them. The United States Department of Agriculture has trained detector dogs to keep the snakes out of the island's cargo flow. The United States Geological Survey also has dogs that can detect snakes in forested environments around the region's islands.WEB,weblink USGS: The Brown Tree Snake on Guam, July 28, 2007, Fritts, T.H., D. Leasman-Tanner, 2001, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070717172351weblink">weblink July 17, 2007, WEB,weblink Brown Tree Snake Discoveries During Detector Dog Inspections Following Supertyphoon Paka, June 7, 2009, Vice, Daniel S., Engeman, Richard M., 2000, live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110809071843weblink">weblink August 9, 2011, Before the introduction of the brown tree snake, Guam was home to several endemic bird species. Among them were the Guam rail (or ko'ko' bird in Chamorro) and the Guam flycatcher, both common throughout the island. Today the flycatcher is entirely extinct and the Guam rail is extinct in the wild but bred in captivity by the Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources. The devastation caused by the snake has been significant over the past several decades. As many as twelve bird species are believed to have been driven to extinction.BOOK, John M. Marzluff, Tony Angell, In the Company of Crows and Ravens,weblink 2007, Yale University Press, 978-0-300-12255-8, live,weblink December 30, 2015, According to many elders, ko'ko' birds were common in Guam before World War II.JOURNAL, 10.2307/1564858, The Impact of the Introduction of the Colubrid Snake Boiga irregularis on Guam's Lizards, Gordon H., Rodda, Fritts, Thomas H., Journal of Herpetology, 26, 2, 1992, 166–174, 1564858, Other bird species threatened by the brown tree snake include the Mariana crow, the Mariana swiftlet, and the Micronesian starling, though populations are present on other islands, including Rota.Guam is said to have many more insects and 40 times more spiders than neighboring islands, because their natural predators birds are severely diminished, and the forests are almost completely silent due to lack of birdsong.JOURNAL, Rogers, H., Hille Ris Lambers, J., Miller, R., Tewksbury, J. J., Siepielski, Adam, 'Natural experiment' Demonstrates Top-Down Control of Spiders by Birds on a Landscape Level, 10.1371/journal.pone.0043446, PLoS ONE, 7, 9, e43446, 2012, 22970126, 3436874, 2012PLoSO...743446R, WEB,weblink Spiders infest Guam after native birds disappear, 2016-05-02, live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160603195222weblink">weblink June 3, 2016,

Coconut rhinoceros beetle

File:Oryctes nasicornis Thailand.jpg|thumb|left|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 {{convert|900|acre|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 {{convert|2500|acre|km2}} on October 25; approximately {{convert|0.5|mi|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.

Other invasive animal species

File:2011 Feb, Puerto Princesa to Nasiduan, 10.jpg|thumb|Adult female carabaocarabaoFrom 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.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050428185829weblink">weblink April 28, 2005, AnimalRights.net, More Than 100 Protest Guam Carabao Cull, October 15, 2003, June 15, 2007, Other introduced species include cane toads introduced 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.WEB,weblink Two Male Coqui Frogs Found in Guam, February 28, 2004, July 19, 2007, Worth, Katie, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070929204945weblink">weblink September 29, 2007, Guam has no native amphibian species, but now a total of eight amphibian species has been established in Guam. Litoria fallax (native to the eastern coast of Australia) has been present in Guam since 1968, and Rhinella marina (the cane toad) was brought to the island in 1937. The other 6 amphibian species, namely Hylarana guentheri (native to mainland Asia), Microhyla pulchra (native to mainland Asia), Polypedates braueri (endemic to Taiwan), Eleutherodactylus planirostris (native to the Caribbean), Fejervarya cancrivora (the Guam variety being most closely related to F. cancrivora found in Taiwan), and Fejervarya limnocharis (native to Southeast Asia), have been in Guam since 2003.JOURNAL, 10.2984/70.2.9, Origin and Identity of Fejervarya (Anura: Dicroglossidae) on Guam, Pacific Science, 70, 2, 233–241, 2016, Wostl, Elijah, Smith, Eric N., Reed, Robert N., Many species were likely inadvertently introduced via shipping cargo, especially from Taiwan, mainland China, and Southeast Asia.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.JOURNAL, Hodgson, R. A. J., Wall, G. C., Randles, J. W., Specific Identification of Coconut Tinangaja Viroid for Differential Field Diagnosis of Viroids in Coconut Palm, Phytopathology, 88, 8, 774–781, 1998, June 16, 2007,weblink 10.1094/PHYTO.1998.88.8.774, 18944882,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070614151423weblink">weblink June 14, 2007, 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.Stafford, William Edwin (1905) Useful Plants of GuamIn 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.The Coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) infestation has become an epidemic event of palm tree damage on Guam. The CRB infects palm trees by burrowing into the tips of the palms, effectively killing the plant by destroying the shoot apical meristem during the process. While the grubs and larvae of CRB do no actual harm to palms, they populate and grow within the damaged crowns of the palm trees, which is a specific mating habit of Guam CRBs.A possible solution to the crisis, which has been ecologically analyzed in Western Samoa, would be the introduction of CRB predators. Centipedes, Scolopendra Morsitans, have been found to seek out and eat the larvae of the beetle in logs and other breeding grounds.JOURNAL, Hinckley, Alden, 1967, Associates of The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle In Western Samoa,weblink Pacific Insects, 9, 505–511, June 9, 2019,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170830102806weblink">weblink August 30, 2017, live, Manual insertion of the centipedes, or introduction of volatile attractors within the plant, may cause a significant dent in Guam's CRB mortality. The introduction of terpene, fatty acids, or other nitrogenous compound metabolites may allow palm trees to attract CRB-predators such as the centipede through an indirect defense response,WEB,weblink Plant Resistance against Herbivory,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20180914210302weblink">weblink September 14, 2018, live, which is triggered by mechanoreceptors activating secondary metabolite transcribers via an action potential pathway.A secondary solution could be introducing metal hyperaccumulation into the palm population on Guam's beaches. Plants that accumulate extra inorganic minerals, such as iron, nickel, or zinc, indirectly deter herbivory by depositing excess materials in certain sections of the plants.JOURNAL, Poschenrieder, 2006, Can metals defend plants against biotic stress?, Trends in Plant Science, 11, 6, 288–295, 10.1016/j.tplants.2006.04.007, 16697693, While the excess inorganic materials may not directly affect adult CRBs (as minerals would not be deposited in the meristem sections of the plant), it may create an inhospitable and toxic environment for the immature CRBs that are growing in the trees.

Wildfires

(File:Guam Grassland.jpg|thumb|left|Guam's grassland)Wildfires plague the forested areas of Guam every dry season despite the island's humid climate. Most fires are caused by humans with 80% resulting from arson.WEB,weblink Territory of Guam Fire Assessment January 2004, March 24, 2009, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090324224423weblink">weblink March 24, 2009, , pp. 6–7, guamforestry.org 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.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071213232039weblink">weblink December 13, 2007, United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Fire and Guam, June 16, 2007, National Park Service,

Aquatic preserves

File:Tumon Beach.JPG|thumb|Having previously experienced extensive dredgingdredgingFile:Whitespotted boxfish Ostracion meleagris photo Randall J E.jpg|thumb|Whitespotted boxfish (Ostracion meleagrisOstracion meleagrisEfforts have been made to protect Guam's coral reef habitats from pollution, eroded silt and overfishing, problems that have led to decreased fish populations. This has both ecological and economic value, as Guam is a significant vacation spot for scuba divers. 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.WEB,weblink Pacific Daily News, Guam's Marine Preserves, Brown, Valerie, June 16, 2007, 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.WEB,weblink EPA Guam Report, Management of Contaminated Harbor Sediments in Guam, live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070808031615weblink">weblink August 8, 2007, WEB,weblink Directions Magazine; June/July 1996, Tumon Bay – Engineering a Better Environment, Packbier, Paul E.R., October 19, 2011, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110726141402weblink">weblink July 26, 2011, 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.JOURNAL, Holmes III, Rolston, 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, 2001,weblink June 16, 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070609092403weblink">weblink June 9, 2007, live, 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.

Education

Colleges and universities

File:University of Guam Campus.JPG|right|thumb|The central campus at the University of GuamUniversity of GuamThe University of Guam (UOG) and Guam Community College, both fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, offer courses in higher education.WEB,weblink June 15, 2006, Pacific Islands Report, Politics Trumps Performance in Guam School System, June 16, 2007, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071006101300weblink">weblink October 6, 2007, UOG is a member of the exclusive group of only 76 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

{{See also|List of schools in Guam}}The Guam Department of Education 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.WEB,weblink Merrow Report: First to Worst, November 8, 2007,weblink August 10, 2007, WEB,weblink 1996, State Comparisons, November 8, 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070713093749weblink">weblink July 13, 2007, live, Guam's educational system has always faced unique challenges as a small community located {{convert|6000|mi|km}} from the U.S. mainland with a very diverse student body including many students who come from backgrounds without traditional American education.JOURNAL, Grace, Ted, Teresita Salos, Guam's Education Marches On, Peabody Journal of Education, 44, 1, 37–39, 1966, 10.1080/01619566609537383, An economic downturn in Guam since the mid-1990s has compounded the problems in schools.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071214003451weblink">weblink dead, December 14, 2007, 1999, An act to establish a guam parental school choice program, November 8, 2007, Before September 1997, the U.S. Department of Defense partnered with Guam Board of Education."Rats, other problems face Guam schools {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120119144600weblink|date=January 19, 2012}}." Pacific Stars and Stripes. October 3, 1993. In September 1997, the DoDEA opened its own schools for children of military personnel.Guam School to Be Renamed in Honor of NASA Astronaut William McCool|SpaceRef – Your Space Reference. SpaceRef (August 21, 2003). Retrieved June 13, 2012. 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.WEB,weblink District and School Contact Information, pac.dodea.edu, May 10, 2006, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060509143001weblink">weblink May 9, 2006,

Public libraries

File:Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library.JPG|thumb|Guam Public Library SystemGuam Public Library SystemGuam Public Library System operates the Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library in Hagåtña and five branch libraries.WEB,weblink Guam Public Library System - A Report To Our Citizens, 2008-09-25, live,weblink 2017-09-18,

Health care

The Government of Guam maintains the island's main health care facility, Guam Memorial Hospital, in Tamuning.Welcome to the official Guam Memorial Hospital Authority Website! – Tonyt {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20091124011002weblink|date=November 24, 2009}}. Gmha.org. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 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.U.S Naval Hospital Guam {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120617152539weblink|date=June 17, 2012}}. United States Navy There is one subscriber-based air ambulance located on the island, CareJet, which provides emergency patient transportation across Guam and surrounding islands.WEB,weblink Guam's CareJet Program Resumes Service, Air Medical Net, September 10, 2012, April 21, 2016, live,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160405092209weblink">weblink April 5, 2016, A private hospital, the Guam Regional Medical City, opened its doors in early 2016.WEB, Sablan, Jerick,weblink No. 5: Guam Regional Medical City opens, January 4, 2016, Pacific Daily News, April 21, 2016,

Film-making

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). Although set on Guam, No Man Is an Island (1962) was not shot there, but instead shot in the Philippines. Likewise, in the 2015 film Pixels, the scene of the first alien attack takes place at Andersen AFB.WEB,weblink guam under pacman attack, YouTube, November 16, 2018,

See also

References

{{reflist}}

External links

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