Taka is an uninhabited atoll, although is frequently visited by residents from nearby atolls, who harvest marine and terrestrial resources. It is low and dry. Five islets form the atoll. The atoll is home to congregations of breeding seabirds.
Fosberg (1955, 1990) observed thousands of Sooty Terns, and many Noddies and White Terns. Amerson (1969) reported 8000-10000 Sooty Tern nests, and 500 each (maximum population) of Brown Noddies, Black Noddies, and White Terns. Nicholson (1969) noted a large sooty tern colony on the island of Etuk. King (1973) wrote that the Marshallese have traditionally considered Taka a seabird sanctuary, where takings are restricted but not prohibited.
The entire atoll of Taka, in the Ratik chain, is proposed as an IBA under A4 criteria (Figure 8). Taka has records showing that at times it has met the A4i criteria for >1% of the regional biogeographic population for Sooty Terns (20,000 individuals). 74,000 breeding pairs were recorded by Amerson (1969), exceeding this threshold. The atoll is uninhabited and the entire atoll has been recommended as a National Park (NBT, 2000).
Thomas (1989) observed that Eluk islet was the center of roosting and nesting activity, with 75+ Red-footed Boobies, 30+ Brown Boobies, and large numbers of White Terns and Brown Noddies. He observed a large Sooty Tern colony with an estimated 10000+ birds on Lojrong islet and 300+ on Waterok islet. The atoll is frequented by human visits but was uninhabited in 1988.
Habitat and land use
Taka is described as having a more diverse range of habitats than most other atolls (Thomas, 1989).