|Area||3,190 km2 (1,230 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||4,101 ft (1250 m)|
|Highest point||Unnamed Point|
The island of Makira (also known as San Cristobal) is the largest island of Makira-Ulawa Province in the Solomon Islands. It is third most populous island after Malaita and Guadalcanal, with a population of 55,126 as of 2020. The island is located east of Guadalcanal and south of Malaita. The largest and capital city is Kirakira.
The first recorded sighting by Europeans of Makira was by the Spanish expedition of Álvaro de Mendaña in June 1568. More precisely the sighting and also landing in San Cristobal was due to a local voyage that set out from Guadalcanal in a small boat, in the accounts the brigantine Santiago, commanded by Alférez Hernando Enriquez and having Hernán Gallego as pilot. They charted it as San Cristóbal.
A 182,550 ha tract of largely forested land encompassing the eastern part of the island has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because it supports populations of several threatened or endemic bird species. The site extends from the rocky cliffs of the coast to the island’s central Bauro Highlands, including the catchments of the Warihito and Raro Rivers, reaching an altitude of 1,200 m, and consisting largely of tropical rainforest. The landscape is rugged, with steep-sided valleys, many streams and waterfalls, and small perched floodplains. Potential threats to the environment are logging, invasive species and human population growth.
Significant birds include Melanesian scrubfowl, yellow-legged pigeons, crested cuckoo-doves, red-knobbed and chestnut-bellied imperial pigeons, white-headed fruit doves, Makira boobooks, pied goshawks, Sanford's sea eagles, San Cristobal dwarf kingfishers, Meek's and duchess lorikeets, yellow-bibbed lories, green pygmy-parrots, Makira honeyeaters, sooty myzomelas, long-tailed trillers, dusky fantails, Makira flycatchers, white-collared and Makira monarchs, island leaf-warblers, shade bush warblers, grey-throated white-eyes, Makira starlings, Makira thrushes and mottled flowerpeckers. The Makira woodhen, or moorhen, has not been seen since 1953; the thick-billed ground dove has not been recorded since 1927 and is presumed extinct.
Some of the local houses next to the beach at Kirakira
- Sharp, Andrew The discovery of the Pacific Islands Oxford, 1960, pp.46,47.
- Brand, Donald D. The Pacific Basin: A History of its Geographical Explorations The American Geographical Society, New York, 1967, p.133.
- SOLOMON ISLANDS. Study to Support the Development of a National Skills Training Plan (Report). Washington: East Asia and Pacific Region. Human Development Sector Unit. The World Bank. March 2007. Report No. 39317-SB.
- "East Makira". BirdLife Data Zone. BirdLife International. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
- Media related to Makira at Wikimedia Commons