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South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
(SGSSI) is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands known as the South Sandwich Islands. South Georgia is 165 kilometres (103 mi) long and 1 to 35 km (1 to 22 miles) wide[3] and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands lie about 700 kilometres (430 mi) southeast of South Georgia.[3] The territory's total land area is 3,903 square kilometres (1,507 sq mi).[4] The Falkland Islands are about 1,300 km (810 mi) north-west from its nearest point. There is no permanent population on the islands.[5] The present inhabitants are the British Government Officer, Deputy Postmaster, scientists, and support staff from the British Antarctic Survey
British Antarctic Survey
who maintain scientific bases at Bird Island and at the capital, King Edward Point, as well as museum staff at nearby Grytviken. The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
claimed sovereignty over South Georgia in 1775 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1908. The territory of "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" was formed in 1985; previously it had been governed as part of the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
Dependencies. Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938. Argentina
Argentina
maintained a naval station, Corbeta Uruguay, on Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands from 1976 until 1982 when it was closed by the Royal Navy. The Argentine claim over South Georgia contributed to the 1982 Falklands War, during which Argentine forces briefly occupied the island. Argentina
Argentina
continues to claim sovereignty over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Toothfish are vital to the sustaining of the islands and as a result on 4 September a national day is dedicated to the toothfish.[6][7]

Contents

1 History

1.1 South Georgia

1.1.1 17th–19th centuries 1.1.2 20th and 21st centuries

1.2 South Sandwich Islands

2 Geography

2.1 South Georgia group

2.1.1 Islands within the South Georgia group

2.2 South Sandwich Islands

3 Climate 4 Government 5 Economy

5.1 Fishing 5.2 Tourism 5.3 Postage stamps 5.4 Currency

6 Flora and fauna

6.1 Plants 6.2 Birds 6.3 Mammals 6.4 Marine ecosystem

7 Military 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia[edit] 17th–19th centuries[edit]

South Georgia Island

Central South Georgia Cumberland Bay – Thatcher Peninsula
Thatcher Peninsula
with King Edward Cove (Grytviken) – Allardyce Range, featuring the summit of Mount Paget. (NASA imagery)

Map by James Cook (1777, south facing upwards)

Geography

Location Antarctic

Highest elevation 2,934 m (9,626 ft)

Highest point Mount Paget

Administration

 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Demographics

Ethnic groups Britons

The Island of South Georgia is said to have been first sighted in 1675 by Anthony de la Roché, a London merchant,[8] and was named Roche Island on a number of early maps.[citation needed] It was sighted by the commercial Spanish ship León operating out of Saint-Malo
Saint-Malo
on 28 June or 29 June 1756.[9] At one time it was confused with Pepys Island, which was "discovered" by Dampier and Cowley in 1683 but later proved to be a phantom island.[citation needed] Captain James Cook
James Cook
circumnavigated the island in 1775 and made the first landing. He claimed the territory for the Kingdom of Great Britain, and named it "the Isle of Georgia" in honour of King George III. British arrangements for the government of South Georgia were established under the 1843 British Letters Patent. In 1882–1883, a German expedition for the First International Polar Year was stationed at Royal Bay
Royal Bay
on the southeast side of the island. The scientists of this group observed the transit of Venus and recorded waves produced by the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. Seal hunting
Seal hunting
at South Georgia began in 1786 and continued throughout the 19th century. The waters proved treacherous and a number of vessels were wrecked there, such as Earl Spencer, in late 1801.[10] 20th and 21st centuries[edit] South Georgia became a base for whaling beginning in the 20th century, until whaling ended in the 1960s. A Norwegian, Carl Anton Larsen, established the first land-based whaling station and first permanent habitation at Grytviken
Grytviken
in 1904. It operated through his Argentine Fishing Company, which settled in Grytviken.[11][9] The station operated until 1965. Whaling
Whaling
stations operated under leases granted by the (British) Governor of the Falkland Islands. The seven stations, all on the north coast with its sheltered harbours, were, from the west to east:

Prince Olav Harbour
Prince Olav Harbour
(from 1911–1916 factory ship and small land-based station 1917–1931) Leith Harbour
Leith Harbour
(1909–1965) Stromness (from 1907 factory ship, land-based station 1913–1931, repair yard to 1960/1961) Husvik
Husvik
(from 1907 factory ship, land-based station 1910–1960, not in operation 1930–1945) Grytviken
Grytviken
(1904–1964) Godthul
Godthul
(1908–1929, only a rudimentary land base, main operations on factory ship) Ocean Harbour
Ocean Harbour
(1909–1920)

The whaling stations' tryworks were unpleasant and dangerous places to work. One was called "a charnel house boiling wholesale in vaseline" by an early 20th-century visitor. Tim Flannery
Tim Flannery
wrote that its "putrid vapors [resembled] the pong of bad fish, manure, and a tanning works mixed together", and noted one bizarre peril: "A rotting whale could fill with gas to bursting, ejecting a fetus the size of a motor vehicle with sufficient force to kill a man."[12] With the end of the whaling industry, the stations were abandoned. Apart from a few preserved buildings such as the museum and church at Grytviken, only their decaying remains survive.

The church at Grytviken

A panoramic view of South Georgia taken by Frank Hurley
Frank Hurley
during the Imperial Trans- Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition.

From 1905, the Argentine Meteorological Office cooperated in maintaining a meteorological observatory at Grytviken
Grytviken
under the British lease requirements of the whaling station until these changed in 1949. In 1908, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
issued further Letters Patent
Letters Patent
that established constitutional arrangements for its possessions in the South Atlantic. The Letters Patent
Letters Patent
covered South Georgia, the South Orkneys, the South Shetlands, the South Sandwich Islands, and Graham Land. (The claim was extended in 1917 to include a sector of Antarctica reaching to the South Pole.) In 1909, an administrative centre and residence were established at King Edward Point
King Edward Point
on South Georgia, near the whaling station of Grytviken. A permanent local British administration and resident Magistrate
Magistrate
exercised effective possession, enforcement of British law, and regulation of all economic, scientific and other activities in the territory, which was then governed as the Falkland Islands Dependencies. In about 1912, what is according to some accounts the largest whale ever caught, a blue whale of 110 ft (34 m), was landed at Grytviken.[13][14] In April 1916, Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans- Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition became stranded on Elephant Island, some 800 miles (1,300 km) southwest of South Georgia. Shackleton and five companions set out in a small boat to summon help, and on 10 May, after an epic voyage, they landed at King Haakon Bay
King Haakon Bay
on South Georgia's south coast. While three stayed at the coast, Shackleton and the two others, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley, went on to cover 22 miles (35 km) over the spine of the mountainous island to reach help at Stromness whaling station. The remaining 22 members of the expedition, who had stayed on Elephant Island, were subsequently rescued. In January 1922, during a later expedition, Shackleton died on board ship while moored in King Edward Cove, South Georgia. He is buried at Grytviken. The ashes of another noted Antarctic
Antarctic
explorer, Frank Wild, who had been Shackleton's second-in-command on the Imperial Trans- Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition, were interred next to Shackleton in 2011. Argentina
Argentina
claimed South Georgia in 1927.[15]

Historical and modern settlements of South Georgia Island

During the Second World War, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
deployed an armed merchant vessel to patrol South Georgian and Antarctic
Antarctic
waters against German raiders, along with two four-inch shore guns (still present) protecting Cumberland Bay
Cumberland Bay
and Stromness Bay, which were manned by volunteers from among the Norwegian whalers. The base at King Edward Point was expanded as a research facility in 1949/1950 by the British Antarctic
Antarctic
Survey, which until 1962 was called the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey.

Topography
Topography
of South Georgia Island

The Falklands War
Falklands War
was precipitated on 19 March 1982 when a group of Argentinians (most of them Argentine Marines
Argentine Marines
in 'mufti'), posing as scrap metal merchants, occupied the abandoned whaling station at Leith Harbour on South Georgia. On 3 April the Argentine troops attacked and occupied Grytviken. Among the commanding officers of the Argentine Garrison was Alfredo Astiz, a captain in the Argentine Navy
Argentine Navy
who, years later, was convicted of crimes against humanity committed during the Dirty War
Dirty War
in Argentina. The island was recaptured by British forces on 25 April in Operation Paraquet. In 1985 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
ceased to be administered as a Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
Dependency and became a separate territory. The King Edward Point
King Edward Point
base, which had become a small military garrison after the Falklands war, returned to civilian use in 2001 and is now operated by the British Antarctic
Antarctic
Survey. South Sandwich Islands[edit] Captain James Cook
James Cook
discovered the southern eight islands of the Sandwich Islands Group in 1775, although he lumped the southernmost three together, and their status as separate islands was not established until 1820 by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen.[16] The northern three islands were discovered by Bellingshausen in 1819. The islands were tentatively named "Sandwich Land" by Cook, although he also commented that they might be a group of islands rather than a single body of land. The name was chosen in honour of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty. The word "South" was later added to distinguish them from the "Sandwich Islands", now known as the Hawaiian Islands. Argentina
Argentina
claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938, and challenged British sovereignty in the Islands on several occasions. From 25 January 1955 to mid-1956, Argentina
Argentina
maintained the summer station Teniente Esquivel at Ferguson Bay
Ferguson Bay
on the southeastern coast of Thule Island. Argentina
Argentina
maintained a naval base (Corbeta Uruguay) from 1976 to 1982, in the lee (southern east coast) of the same island. Although the British discovered the presence of the Argentine base in 1976,[17] protested and tried to resolve the issue by diplomatic means, no effort was made to remove them by force until after the Falklands War. The base was removed on 20 June 1982. On 10 February 2008, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake had its epicentre 205 km (127 mi; 111 nmi) SSE of Bristol Island.[18] On 30 June 2008 at 06:17:53 UTC, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the region. Its epicentre was at 58.160S 21.893W, 283 km (176 mi; 153 nmi) ENE (73 degrees) of Bristol Island.[19] The United States Geological Survey reported that a 7.3 magnitude earthquake had occurred at 10:04 EDT on 15 Jul 2013, 216 km (134 mi; 117 nmi) south-southeast of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands, at a depth of 31.3 km (19.4 mi). The epicentre was located 2,230 km (1,390 mi; 1,200 nmi) southeast of Stanley, Falkland Islands.[20] Geography[edit]

CIA map of the islands

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
are a collection of islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. Most of the islands, rising steeply from the sea, are rugged and mountainous. At higher elevations, the islands are permanently covered with ice and snow. South Georgia group[edit] The South Georgia group lies about 1,390 kilometres (864 mi; 751 nmi) east-southeast of the Falkland Islands, at 54°–55°S, 36°–38°W. It comprises South Georgia Island
South Georgia Island
itself (by far the largest island in the territory), and the islands that immediately surround it and some remote and isolated islets to the west and east-southeast. It has a total land area of 3,756 km2 (1,450 sq mi), including satellite islands (but excluding the South Sandwich Islands which form a separate island group). Islands within the South Georgia group[edit] South Georgia Island
South Georgia Island
lies at 54°15′S 36°45′W / 54.250°S 36.750°W / -54.250; -36.750Coordinates: 54°15′S 36°45′W / 54.250°S 36.750°W / -54.250; -36.750 and has an area of 3,528 km2 (1,362 sq mi). It is mountainous and largely barren. Eleven peaks rise to over 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) high, their slopes furrowed with deep gorges filled with glaciers; the largest is Fortuna Glacier. The highest peak is Mount Paget
Mount Paget
in the Allardyce Range
Allardyce Range
at 2,934 metres (9,626 ft). Geologically, the island consists of gneiss and argillaceous schists with occasional tufts and other sedimentary layers from which fossils have been recovered.[21] The island is a fragment of some greater land-mass now vanished and was probably a former extension of the Andean system. Smaller islands and islets off the coast of South Georgia Island include:

View of Grytviken

Annenkov Island Bird Island Cooper Island Grass Island Jomfruene Pickersgill Islands Welcome Islands Willis Islands Trinity Island

The following remote rocks are also considered part of the South Georgia Group:

Shag Rocks 185 km (115 mi; 100 nmi) west-northwest of South Georgia Island Black Rock 169 km (105 mi; 91 nmi) west-northwest of South Georgia Island
South Georgia Island
and 16 km (9.9 mi; 8.6 nmi) southeast of the Shag Rocks Clerke Rocks
Clerke Rocks
56 km (35 mi; 30 nmi) east-southeast of South Georgia Island

South Sandwich Islands[edit]

NASA satellite photograph of Montagu Island

The South Sandwich Islands (Spanish: Islas Sandwich del Sur) comprise 11 mostly volcanic islands (excluding tiny satellite islands and offshore rocks), with some active volcanoes. They form an island arc running north-south in the region 56°18'–59°27'S, 26°23'–28°08'W, between about 350 miles (300 nmi; 560 km) and 500 miles (430 nmi; 800 km) southeast of South Georgia. The northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands form the Traversay Islands and Candlemas Islands
Candlemas Islands
groups, while the southernmost make up Southern Thule. The three largest islands – Saunders, Montagu and Bristol – lie between the two. The Islands' highest point is Mount Belinda
Mount Belinda
(1,370 m or 4,495 ft) on Montagu Island. The South Sandwich Islands are uninhabited, though a permanently manned Argentine research station was located on Thule Island
Thule Island
from 1976 to 1982 (for details, see § History above). There are automatic weather stations on Thule (Morrell) Island and Zavodovski. To the northwest of Zavodovski Island
Zavodovski Island
is the Protector Shoal, a submarine volcano.

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps

Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

The following table lists the South Sandwich Islands from north to south:

Island (Spanish name) Area Highest peak Location

Traversay Islands

Protector Shoal — −27 m (−89 ft) 55°54′S 28°06′W / 55.900°S 28.100°W / -55.900; -28.100 (Protector Shoal)

Zavodovski 25 km2 (9.7 sq mi) Mount Asphyxia 550 m (1,800 ft) 56°18′S 27°34′W / 56.300°S 27.567°W / -56.300; -27.567 (Zavodovski)

Leskov 0.3 km2 (0.12 sq mi) Rudder Point 190 m (620 ft) 56°40′S 28°08′W / 56.667°S 28.133°W / -56.667; -28.133 (Leskov)

Visokoi 35 km2 (14 sq mi) Mount Hodson 915 m (3,002 ft) 56°42′S 27°13′W / 56.700°S 27.217°W / -56.700; -27.217 (Visokoi)

Candlemas IslandsA

Candlemas (Candelaria) 14 km2 (5.4 sq mi) Mount Andromeda 550 m (1,800 ft) 57°05′S 26°39′W / 57.083°S 26.650°W / -57.083; -26.650 (Candlemas)

Vindication (Vindicación) 5 km2 (1.9 sq mi) Quadrant Peak 430 m (1,410 ft) 57°06′S 26°47′W / 57.100°S 26.783°W / -57.100; -26.783 (Vindication)

Central islands

Saunders 40 km2 (15 sq mi) Mount Michael 990 m (3,250 ft) 57°48′S 26°28′W / 57.800°S 26.467°W / -57.800; -26.467 (Saunders)

Montagu (Jorge) 110 km2 (42 sq mi) Mount Belinda 1,370 m (4,490 ft) 58°25′S 26°23′W / 58.417°S 26.383°W / -58.417; -26.383 (Montagu)

Bristol (Blanca) 46 km2 (18 sq mi) Mount Darnley 1,100 m (3,600 ft) 59°03′S 26°30′W / 59.050°S 26.500°W / -59.050; -26.500 (Bristol)

Southern Thule
Southern Thule
(Tule del Sur)

Bellingshausen 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi) Basilisk Peak 255 m (837 ft) 59°25′S 27°05′W / 59.417°S 27.083°W / -59.417; -27.083 (Bellingshausen)

Cook 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi) Mount Harmer 1,115 m (3,658 ft) 59°26′S 27°09′W / 59.433°S 27.150°W / -59.433; -27.150 (Cook)

Thule (or Morrell) Island 14 km2 (5.4 sq mi) Mount Larsen 710 m (2,330 ft) 59°27′S 27°18′W / 59.450°S 27.300°W / -59.450; -27.300 (Thule)

Vysokaya Bank — −89 m (−292 ft) 59°43′S 27°58′W / 59.717°S 27.967°W / -59.717; -27.967 (Vysokaya Bank)

South Sandwich Islands 310 km2 (120 sq mi) Mount Belinda 1,370 m (4,490 ft)

A Sometimes included with the Traversay Islands.

A series of six passages separates each of the islands or island groups in the chain. They are, from north to south: Zavodovski Isl. – Traverse passage – Visokoi Isl. – Brown's passage – Candlemas Isl. – Shackleton's passage – Saunders Isl. – Larsen's passage – Montagu Isl. – Biscoe's passage – Bristol Isl. – Forsters Passage – Southern Thule. Nelson Channel is the passage between Candlemas and Vindication Island. Climate[edit]

NASA satellite image of South Georgia Island
South Georgia Island
covered with snow

The South Sandwich Islands connect with air currents to make wave patterns in clouds.

Royal Bay
Royal Bay
and South Georgia Island

The climate is classified as polar, and the weather is highly variable and harsh; making a tundra (ET) in Köppen Climate Classification. Typical daily maximum temperatures in South Georgia at sea level are around 0 °C (32 °F) in winter (August) and 8 °C (46.4 °F) in summer (January). Winter minimum temperatures are typically about −5 °C (23 °F) and rarely dip below −10 °C (14 °F). Annual precipitation in South Georgia is about 1,500 mm (59.1 in), much of which falls as sleet or snow, which is possible in any month. Inland, the snow line in summer is at an altitude of about 300 m (984 ft). Westerly winds blow throughout the year interspersed with periods of calm—indeed, in 1963, 25% of winds were in the calm category at King Edward point, and the mean wind speed of around 8 knots (9.2 mph; 15 km/h) is around half that of the Falkland Islands. This gives the eastern side of South Georgia (leeward side) a more pleasant climate than the exposed western side. The prevailing weather conditions generally make the islands difficult to approach by ship, though the north coast of South Georgia has several large bays which provide good anchorage. Sunshine, as with many South Atlantic Islands, is low, at a maximum of just 21.5%. This amounts to around 1,000 hours of sunshine annually. The local topography, however, also contributes significantly to the low insolation. A study published during the early 1960s[22] indicated that sunshine recording instruments remained significantly obscured throughout the year and entirely obscured during June. It was estimated that the theoretical sunshine exposure minus obstructions would be around 14% at Bird Island and 35% at King Edward Point – or, in hourly terms, ranging from around 650 hours in the west to 1,500 hours in the east. This illustrates the effect the Allardyce range has in breaking up cloud cover. Mountain winds blow straight up the western side and straight down the eastern side of the mountains and become much warmer and drier due to the Föhn effect; this produces the most pleasant conditions when temperatures can occasionally rise over 20 °C (68 °F) on summer days. The highest recorded temperature was 28.8 °C (83.8 °F) at Grytviken.[23] and 26.3 °C (79.3 °F) at nearby King Edward point, both on the sheltered East side of the Islands. Conversely, the highest recorded temperature at Bird Island on the windward Western side is a mere 14.5 °C (58.1 °F). As one might expect, the sheltered eastern side can also record lower winter temperatures—the absolute minimum for Grytviken
Grytviken
being −19.4 °C (−2.9 °F), King Edward Point
King Edward Point
−18.9 °C (−2.0 °F), but Bird Island just −11.4 °C (11.5 °F). The seas surrounding South Georgia are cold throughout the year due to the proximity of the Antarctic
Antarctic
Current. They usually remain free of pack ice in winter, though thin ice may form in sheltered bays, and icebergs are common.[24] Sea temperatures drop to 0 °C (32 °F) in late August and rise to around 4 °C (39.2 °F) only in early April. The South Sandwich Islands are much colder than South Georgia, being farther south and more exposed to cold outbreaks from the Antarctic continent. They are also surrounded by sea ice from the middle of May to late November (even longer at their southern end).[25] Recorded temperature extremes at South Thule Island
Thule Island
have ranged from −29.8 to 17.7 °C (−21.6 to 63.9 °F).

Climate data for Bird Island, South Georgia, 1961–1990

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 5.5 (41.9) 5.6 (42.1) 4.4 (39.9) 1.9 (35.4) −0.5 (31.1) −1.8 (28.8) −2.4 (27.7) −1.9 (28.6) −0.2 (31.6) 1.6 (34.9) 3.4 (38.1) 4.5 (40.1) 1.67 (35.02)

Average low °C (°F) 0.7 (33.3) 1.4 (34.5) 0.6 (33.1) −1 (30) −3.8 (25.2) −4.6 (23.7) −5.4 (22.3) −4.8 (23.4) −3.4 (25.9) −1.9 (28.6) −1.5 (29.3) −0.6 (30.9) −2.02 (28.35)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 84 (3.31) 80 (3.15) 95 (3.74) 123 (4.84) 108 (4.25) 108 (4.25) 120 (4.72) 114 (4.49) 107 (4.21) 98 (3.86) 88 (3.46) 77 (3.03) 1,204 (47.4)

Source: Climatic Research Unit, UEA[26]

Climate data for Grytviken/King Edward Point, South Georgia, 1901–1950 (Sunshine 1931–1960)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 24.5 (76.1) 26.5 (79.7) 28.8 (83.8) 19.1 (66.4) 17.5 (63.5) 14.0 (57.2) 13.6 (56.5) 13.2 (55.8) 17.0 (62.6) 20.0 (68) 22.5 (72.5) 21.5 (70.7) 28.8 (83.8)

Average high °C (°F) 8.4 (47.1) 9.1 (48.4) 8.4 (47.1) 5.6 (42.1) 2.9 (37.2) 0.9 (33.6) 1.2 (34.2) 1.5 (34.7) 3.5 (38.3) 5.4 (41.7) 6.5 (43.7) 7.5 (45.5) 5.08 (41.13)

Average low °C (°F) 1.4 (34.5) 1.7 (35.1) 1.0 (33.8) −0.8 (30.6) −3.1 (26.4) −4.6 (23.7) −4.7 (23.5) −4.9 (23.2) −3.3 (26.1) −1.8 (28.8) −0.5 (31.1) 0.4 (32.7) −1.6 (29.13)

Record low °C (°F) −4.1 (24.6) −3.7 (25.3) −6.3 (20.7) −9.8 (14.4) −11.4 (11.5) −14.6 (5.7) −15.2 (4.6) −19.2 (−2.6) −18.4 (−1.1) −11 (12) −6.4 (20.5) −5.4 (22.3) −19.2 (−2.6)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 92.0 (3.622) 114.0 (4.488) 136.0 (5.354) 139.0 (5.472) 137.0 (5.394) 135.0 (5.315) 149.0 (5.866) 149.0 (5.866) 92.0 (3.622) 80.0 (3.15) 93.0 (3.661) 88.0 (3.465) 1,394 (54.882)

Mean monthly sunshine hours 152 160 127 66 34 12 22 74 123 171 174 167 1,282

Source #1: Globalbioclimatics/S.Rivas-Martínez[27]

Source #2: DMI/Danish Meteorology Institute[28]

Government[edit] Executive power is vested in the Monarch of the United Kingdom
Monarch of the United Kingdom
and is exercised by the Commissioner, a post held by the Governor of the Falkland Islands. The current Commissioner is Nigel Phillips, who became Commissioner on 12 September 2017. A Chief Executive Officer (Martin Collins) deals with policy matters and is Director of SGSSI Fisheries, responsible for the allocation of fishing licences. An Executive Officer (Richard McKee) deals with administrative matters relating to the territory. There is also an Environmental Officer (Jennifer Lee) and a Marine & Fisheries Officer (Katherine Ross). The Financial Secretary and Attorney General of the territory are appointed ex officio similar appointments in the Falkland Islands' Government. As there are no permanent inhabitants on the islands, there is no legislative council and no elections are held. The UK Foreign Office manages the foreign relations of the territory. Since 1982 the territory celebrates Liberation Day
Liberation Day
on 14 June. The constitution of the territory (adopted 3 October 1985), the manner in which its government is directed and the availability of judicial review were discussed in a series of litigations between 2001 and 2005 (see, in particular, Regina v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Appellant) ex parte Quark Fishing Limited [2005] UKHL 57[29]). Although its government is entirely directed by the UK Foreign Office, it was held that, since it was acting as an agent of the Crown in right of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands rather than in right of the UK, its decisions under that direction could not be challenged as if they were in law decisions of a UK government department;[clarification needed] thus the European Convention on Human Rights did not apply. Economy[edit] As there are no native inhabitants, economic activity in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is limited. The territory has revenues of £4.5 million, 80% of which is derived from fishing licences (2011 figures).[30] Other sources of revenue are the sale of postage stamps and coins, tourism and customs and harbour dues.[31] Fishing[edit] Fishing takes place around South Georgia and in adjacent waters in some months of the year, with fishing licences sold by the territory for Patagonian toothfish, cod icefish and krill. Fishing licences bring in millions of pounds a year, most of which is spent on fishery protection and research. All fisheries are regulated and managed in accordance with the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) system. In 2001 the South Georgia government was cited by the Marine Stewardship Council for its sustainable Patagonian toothfish
Patagonian toothfish
fishery, certifying that South Georgia met the MSC's environmental standards. The certificate places limits on the timing and quantity of Patagonian toothfish that may be caught.[32] Tourism[edit]

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Tourism
Tourism
has become a larger source of income in recent years, with many cruise ships and sailing yachts visiting the area (the only way to visit South Georgia is by sea; there are no airstrips on the Islands). The territory gains income from landing charges and the sale of souvenirs. Cruise ships often combine a Grytviken
Grytviken
visit with a trip to the Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula. Charter yacht visits usually begin in the Falkland Islands, last between four and six weeks, and enable guests to visit remote harbours of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Sailing vessels are now required to anchor out and can no longer tie up to the old whaling piers on shore. One exception to this is the recently upgraded/repaired yacht berth at Grytviken. All other jetties at former whaling stations lie inside a 200 m (656 ft) exclusion zone; and berthing, or putting ropes ashore, at these is forbidden. Yachts visiting South Georgia are normally expected to report to the Government Officer at King Edward Point
King Edward Point
before moving round the island. The island has featured in the Warren Miller video Storm. Postage stamps[edit] Main article: Postage stamps and postal history of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

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This postage stamp depicting a fin whale was issued in 1963.

A large source of income from abroad also comes from the issue of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
postage stamps which are produced in the UK. A reasonable issue policy (few sets of stamps are issued each year) along with attractive subject matter (especially whales) makes them popular with topical stamp collectors. There are only four genuine first day cover sets from 16 March 1982 in existence. They were stamped at the South Georgia Post Office; all those in circulation were stamped elsewhere and sent out, but the only genuine ones were kept at the Post Office on South Georgia. These four sets were removed during the Falklands War
Falklands War
by a member of staff of the British Antarctic Survey
British Antarctic Survey
in the few moments the Argentinians allowed them to gather their belongings. Everything else was burnt, but these four sets were saved and brought to the UK by Robert Headland, BAS. Currency[edit] The pound sterling is the official currency of the islands, and the same notes and coins are used as in the United Kingdom. For more information on British currency in the wider region, see Pound sterling in the South Atlantic and the Antarctic. Flora and fauna[edit]

Southern giant petrel
Southern giant petrel
on South Georgia Island

A colony of 200,000 king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) on Salisbury Plain

King penguins
King penguins
at St Andrews Bay, South Georgia
St Andrews Bay, South Georgia
Island, 1996

Plants[edit] The parts of the islands that are not permanently covered in snow or ice are part of the Scotia Sea
Scotia Sea
Islands tundra ecoregion. In total there are 26 species of vascular plant native to South Georgia; six species of grass, four rushes, a single sedge, six ferns, one clubmoss and nine small forbs. There are also about 125 species of moss, 85 of liverworts and 150 lichens, as well as about 50 species of macrofungi.[33] A number of introduced species have become naturalised; many of these were introduced by whalers in cattle fodder, and some are considered invasive.[34] There are no trees or shrubs on the islands.[35] The largest plant is the tussock grass Poa flabellata. This grows mostly on raised beaches and steep slopes near the shore and may reach 2 m (7 ft). Other grasses include the tufted fescue (Festuca contracta), the Alpine cat's-tail (Phleum alpinum) and Antarctic hair-grass (Deschampsia antarctica), and one of the commonest flowering plants is the greater burnet (Acaena magellanica).[33] Birds[edit] South Georgia supports many sea birds, including albatross, a large colony of king penguins, Macaroni penguins[36] and penguins of various other species, along with petrels, prions, shags, skuas, gulls and terns. Birds unique to the archipelago are the South Georgia shag, South Georgia pipit, and the South Georgia pintail. Both South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands have been identified as Important Bird Areas (IBA) by BirdLife International.[37] Mammals[edit]

Wikispecies
Wikispecies
has information related to South Georgia Island
South Georgia Island
nonmarine fauna

Seals frequent the islands, and whales may be seen in the surrounding waters. There are no native land mammals, though reindeer, brown rats and mice were introduced to South Georgia through human activities. Rats, brought to the island as stowaways on sealing and whaling ships in the late 18th century,[38] have caused much damage to native wildlife, destroying tens of millions of ground-nesting birds’ eggs and chicks. While previously the island's glaciers formed a natural barrier to the spread of rats, these glaciers are now slowly melting as the climate warms.[39] In 2011, scientists instituted a four-year programme to entirely eradicate the rats and mice, in what would be by far the largest rodent eradication attempt in the world to date.[40][41][42] The project was led by zoologist Anthony Martin of The University of Dundee
University of Dundee
who stated, "This is a man-induced problem and it's about time that man put right earlier errors."[43] In July 2013, the success of the main phase of the extermination of the rats, which took place in May that year, was announced. 180 tonnes of rat poison, brodifacoum, were dropped over 70% of the island, in what was the world's largest ever operation of this kind.[44] Another 95t of rat poison was planned to be dropped by three helicopters in January 2015.[45] In June 2015 the eradication programme concluded, apparently successfully, with the island believed "very likely" to be rat free. Monitoring will continue for a further two or three years.[46] Reindeer
Reindeer
were introduced to South Georgia in 1911 by Norwegian whalers for meat and for sport hunting. In February 2011, the authorities announced that due to the reindeer's detrimental effect on native species and the threat of their spreading to presently pristine areas, a complete cull would take place, leading to the eradication of reindeer from the island.[47] The eradication began in 2013 with 3,500 reindeer killed. Nearly all the rest were killed in early 2014, with the last (about 50) cleared in the 2014/15 southern summer.[48] Marine ecosystem[edit] The seas around South Georgia have a high level of biodiversity. In a recent study (2009–2011), South Georgia has been discovered to contain one of the highest levels of biodiversity among all the ecosystems on Earth.[49] In respect to species, marine inhabitants endemic to this ecosystem outnumber and (in respect to biodiversity) surpass well-known regions such as the Galápagos
Galápagos
or Ecuador.[50] The marine ecosystem is thought to be vulnerable because its low temperatures mean that it can repair itself only very slowly.[51] On 23 February 2012, to protect marine biodiversity, the territory's government created the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area – comprising 1.07 million km2 (410,000 sq mi).[52][53][54]

Wandering albatross
Wandering albatross
at South Georgia Island

Antarctic
Antarctic
Pearlwort at St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

South Georgia glacier and penguin colony

Military[edit]

HMS Protector

Main article: Military of the Falkland Islands After the Falklands War
Falklands War
in 1982, a full-time British military presence was maintained at King Edward Point
King Edward Point
on South Georgia. This was scaled down during the 1990s until the last detachment left South Georgia in March 2001, after a new station had been built and occupied by the British Antarctic
Antarctic
Survey.[55] The main British military facility in the region is at RAF Mount Pleasant and the adjacent Mare Harbour
Mare Harbour
naval base on East Falkland. A handful of British naval vessels patrol the region, visiting South Georgia a few times each year and sometimes deploying small infantry patrols. Flights by RAF C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
and Vickers VC10
Vickers VC10
(replaced by Voyager) aircraft also occasionally patrol the territory. A Royal Navy
Royal Navy
destroyer or frigate and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
vessel carry out the Atlantic Patrol Task (South) mission in the surrounding area. HMS Endurance, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
ice-patrol ship, operated in the South Georgia area during part of most southern summer seasons until her near loss due to flooding in 2008. She carried out hydrological and mapping work as well as assisting with scientific fieldwork for the British Antarctic
Antarctic
Survey, film and photographic units, and youth expedition group BSES Expeditions. While the final decision on the fate of Endurance was pending, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
chartered a Norwegian icebreaker, renamed HMS Protector, to act as replacement for three years.[56] In September 2013 the British Ministry of Defence purchased the ship outright.[57] It was announced on 7 October 2013 that Endurance will be sold for scrap.[58]

See also[edit]

Geography portal South America portal United Kingdom
United Kingdom
portal

Bibliography of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands British Overseas Territories Index of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands-related articles List of Antarctic
Antarctic
and subantarctic islands Lists of islands South Orkney Islands South Shetland Islands

Notes[edit]

^ Tony Wheeler (2004). The Falklands & South Georgia Island. Lonely Planet. pp. 172–. ISBN 978-1-74059-643-5.  ^ "Foreign travel advice South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands". UK Government. Retrieved 1 November 2016.  ^ a b "Google Maps".  ^ South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, CIA World Factbook, 2002. ^ "There are no permanent residents in the Territory but the British Antarctic
Antarctic
Survey (BAS) operates two bases on South Georgia. The base at King Edward Point
King Edward Point
(KEP) is operated under contract to GSGSSI and the FCO and is staffed by eight BAS personnel, plus two GSGSSI Officers and their spouses. Bird Island has a year round complement of four BAS personnel who undertake long-term monitoring of seabirds and marine mammals. The South Sandwich Islands are uninhabited, though an originally undetected, and subsequently allowed, manned Argentinean research station was on Thule from 1976 to 1982." "Current Status". Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
(GSGSSI). Retrieved 31 May 2016.  ^ http://en.mercopress.com/2015/09/04/toothfish-day-celebration-in-south-georgia-and-south-sandwich-islands ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlnegoEzeL0 ^ Carroll, Paul. "The Living Edens -- South Georgia Island
South Georgia Island
-- Ice and Isolation". www.pbs.org. Retrieved 23 August 2017.  ^ a b "Iberoamerica – Bienvenido --".  ^ Wheeler (2004), pp.26–27. ^ La Infanteria de Marina en el conflicto del Atlántico Sur, Jorge Alberto Erecaborde. The original quote in Spanish is: "La Compañia Argentina
Argentina
de Pesca SA, al amparo de las leyes argentinas y bajo su bandera, se instala en Grytviken". ^ "On the Minds of the Whales" by Tim Flannery, NYRB, 9 February 2012 ^ The Island of South Georgia, The Whaling
Whaling
Museum, Sandefjord, Norway Archived 16 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Whaling, South Georgia Heritage Trust Archived 12 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Headland, R. K. The Island of South Georgia, Cambridge University Press, 1984. p. 238. ^ Mills, William James. Exploring polar frontiers: a historical encyclopedia, Volume 2, p. 157, 2003. ^ Lawrence Freedman (2005). The Official History of the Falklands Campaign: The origins of the Falklands war. Psychology Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7146-5206-1.  ^ 2008 February 10: Magnitude 6.5 – South Sandwich Islands region: USGS Archived 1 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Earthquake
Earthquake
Hazards Program Archived 16 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine. at U.S. Geological Survey ^ Summary of earthquake 2013-07-15 14:03:43 UTC at U.S. Geological Survey ^ Trendall, A. 1953 The Geology of South Georgia. Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey: Scientific Reports: Number 7. pdf ^ "British Antarctic
Antarctic
Survey" (PDF). British Antarctic
Antarctic
Survey. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2011.  ^ "Extreme Temperatures Around the World- world highest lowest recorded temperatures".  ^ "South Georgia official website – environment – ocean".  ^ General Survey of Climatology V12, 2001, Edited by Landsberg, Elsevier publishing ^ "Climate Normals". Climatic Research Unit, UEA. July 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.  ^ "Temp/Rain 1901–1950". Globalbioclimatics. Apr 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.  ^ "Sunshine 1931–1960 [page 242]" (PDF). DMI.DK. Apr 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2012.  ^ "Quark Fishing Ltd, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2005] UKHL 57 (13 October 2005)".  ^ Commonwealth Secretariat website ^ "Healthy Surplus in South Georgia Finances, Spurred by Fishing, Tourism
Tourism
and Stamps". MercoPress. May 12, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2017.  ^ Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market
(2006), Welcome Back Chilean Sea Bass!, Whole Foods Market  ^ a b Headland, Robert (1992). The Island of South Georgia. CUP Archive. pp. 195–197. ISBN 978-0-521-42474-5.  ^ "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands". Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.  ^ "Native flora – South Georgia Heritage Trust".  ^ Attenborough, D. 1998. The Life of Birds. BBC Books. ISBN 0563-38792-0 ^ "South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands". BirdLife International. 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2014.  ^ "Eradication of Rodents". South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. Archived from the original on 3 August 2015. Retrieved 2012.  Check date values in: access-date= (help) ^ "Climate Change – Overview". British Antarctic
Antarctic
Survey. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 2012.  Check date values in: access-date= (help) ^ Hastings, Chris (7 March 2010). "South Georgia to poison millions of rats". Times Online. London.  ^ Connor, Steve (8 March 2010). "Ecologists turn exterminators in the great rat hunt". The Independent. London.  ^ Amos, Jonathan (4 May 2011). "'Success' in South Georgia rat eradication". BBC.  ^ Hogenboom, Melissa (4 July 2013). "South Georgia rat removal hits milestone". BBC News. Retrieved 3 July 2013.  ^ Cookson, Clive (July 3, 2013). "Rats removed from South Georgia in biggest mass poisoning". Financial Times.  ^ Sarsfield, Kate (3 December 2014), "Habitat Restoration Project gears up for final phase of airborne rodent eradication programme", Flightglobal, Reed Business Information, retrieved 4 December 2014  ^ "Rare birds return to remote South Georgia island after successful rat eradication programme", The Independent, 25 June 2015 ^ Management of introduced reindeer on South Georgia Archived 16 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Office of the Commissioner, 19 February 2011. ^ Doyle, Alister (March 18, 2013). "Hunters slay 3,500 reindeer on island near Antarctica". Reuters.  ^ "Which has more biodiversity, the Galápagos
Galápagos
or the sub-Antarctic island South Georgia? Surprise, surprise". George Wright Society. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2014.  ^ Merco Press (27 May 2011). "South Georgia marine biodiversity richer than the Galápagos
Galápagos
Islands".  ^ "The Antarctic
Antarctic
island that's richer in biodiversity than the Galapagos". 27 May 2011.  ^ Marine Protected Areas Order 2012 Archived 6 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine., South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Gazette, 29 February 2012. ^ "SGSSI Marine Protection Area (Management Plan)" (PDF).  ^ Good Planet: Denmark. Archived 3 August 2012 at Archive.is
Archive.is
Largest protected area in the world. ^ " King Edward Point
King Edward Point
Research Station, King Edward Point, Cumberland East Bay, South Georgia".  ^ Powell, Michael. HMS Protector will be Endurance replacement, The News. Portsmouth, 11 January 2011. ^ "UK purchases Arctic patrol vessel HMS Protector". IHS Jane's 360. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2014.  ^ "HMS Endurance: Former ice patrol ship to be scrapped". BBC News. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 

References[edit]

Forster, George (1777). A Voyage Round the World in His Britannic Majesty's Sloop Resolution Commanded by Capt. James Cook, during the Years 1772, 3, 4 and 5 (2 vols.). London. Headland, R. K. (1984). The Island of South Georgia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-25274-1. Wheeler, Tony (2004). The Falklands & South Georgia Island. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1740596435.

External links[edit]

Find more aboutSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich Islandsat Wikipedia's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Travel guide from Wikivoyage

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps

Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

Government

South Georgia government website♠ "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.  South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Wikimedia Atlas of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Map of the Argentine claim over Islas Georgias del Sur y Sandwich del Sur

Others

South Georgia Association website South Georgia Heritage Trust Live picture from the South Georgia webcam Operation Paraquat Argentine invasion of South Georgia South Georgia Wiki Constitution of South Georgia

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 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Capital: King Edward Point
King Edward Point
(Grytviken)

General

Coat of arms Commissioner Flag Foreign relations History Languages List of South Georgians Operation "Paraquet" South Georgia Museum .gs Sovereignty Invasion of South Georgia

Settlements / Whaling
Whaling
stations

Grytviken Godthul Husvik Leith Harbour Ocean Harbour Prince Olav Harbour Rosita Harbour Stromness Corbeta Uruguay
Corbeta Uruguay
base

South Georgia islands

Annenkov Island Bird Island Black Rock Black Rocks Clerke Rocks Cooper Island Grass Island Grassholm Kupriyanov Islands Pickersgill Islands Prion Island Saddle Island Shag Rocks South Georgia Island Trinity Island Welcome Islands Willis Islands

South Sandwich islands

Bellingshausen Bristol Candlemas Cook Leskov Montagu Saunders Thule Vindication Visokoi Zavodovski Traversay Islands

Landmarks

Admiralty Peak Allardyce Range Fortuna Glacier Gold Harbour Larsen Harbour Mount Baume Mount Belinda Mount Cunningham Mount Paget Mount Roots Peggotty Bluff Salisbury Plain Salvesen Range Southern Thule Thatcher Peninsula Grace Glacier Lucas Glacier Bay of Isles Point Abrahamsen Sheep Point Stromness Bay Cumberland Bay Possession Bay Sheer Point Busen Point

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Countries, territories and dependencies of the United Kingdom

Constituent countries

England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

Overseas territories

Akrotiri and Dhekelia1 Anguilla Bermuda British Antarctic
Antarctic
Territory2 British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Falkland Islands Gibraltar Montserrat Pitcairn Islands Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Turks and Caicos Islands

Crown dependencies

Bailiwick of Guernsey

Guernsey Alderney Sark

Isle of Man Jersey

Former colonies

List of countries that have gained independence from the United Kingdom

1 Sovereign Base Areas.   2 Partial suspension of sovereignty due to the Antarctic
Antarctic
Treaty.

v t e

British Empire

Legend Current territory Former territory * Now a Commonwealth realm Now a member of the Commonwealth of Nations Historical flags of the British Empire

Europe

1542–1800 Ireland (integrated into UK) 1708–1757, 1763–1782 and 1798–1802 Minorca Since 1713 Gibraltar 1800–1813 Malta (Protectorate) 1813–1964 Malta (Colony) 1807–1890 Heligoland 1809–1864 Ionian Islands 1878–1960 Cyprus 1921–1937 Irish Free State

North America

17th century and before 18th century 19th and 20th century

1579 New Albion 1583–1907 Newfoundland 1605–1979 *Saint Lucia 1607–1776 Virginia Since 1619 Bermuda 1620–1691 Plymouth 1623–1883 Saint Kitts 1624–1966 *Barbados 1625–1650 Saint Croix 1627–1979 *Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1628–1883 Nevis 1629–1691 Massachusetts Bay 1632–1776 Maryland since 1632 Montserrat 1632–1860 Antigua 1635–1644 Saybrook 1636–1776 Connecticut 1636–1776 Rhode Island 1637–1662 New Haven

1643–1860 Bay Islands Since 1650 Anguilla 1655–1850 Mosquito Coast 1655–1962 *Jamaica 1663–1712 Carolina 1664–1776 New York 1665–1674 and 1702–1776 New Jersey Since 1666 Virgin Islands Since 1670 Cayman Islands 1670–1973 *Bahamas 1670–1870 Rupert's Land 1671–1816 Leeward Islands 1674–1702 East Jersey 1674–1702 West Jersey 1680–1776 New Hampshire 1681–1776 Pennsylvania 1686–1689 New England 1691–1776 Massachusetts Bay

1701–1776 Delaware 1712–1776 North Carolina 1712–1776 South Carolina 1713–1867 Nova Scotia 1733–1776 Georgia 1754–1820 Cape Breton Island 1762–1974 *Grenada 1763–1978 Dominica 1763–1873 Prince Edward Island 1763–1791 Quebec 1763–1783 East Florida 1763–1783 West Florida 1784–1867 New Brunswick 1791–1841 Lower Canada 1791–1841 Upper Canada Since 1799 Turks and Caicos Islands

1818–1846 Columbia District/Oregon Country1 1833–1960 Windward Islands 1833–1960 Leeward Islands 1841–1867 Canada 1849–1866 Vancouver Island 1853–1863 Queen Charlotte Islands 1858–1866 British Columbia 1859–1870 North-Western Territory 1860–1981 *British Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda 1862–1863 Stickeen 1866–1871 British Columbia 1867–1931 * Dominion
Dominion
of Canada2 1871–1964 Honduras 1882–1983 * Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts
and Nevis 1889–1962 Trinidad and Tobago 1907–1949 Newfoundland3 1958–1962 West Indies Federation

1. Occupied jointly with the United States. 2. In 1931, Canada and other British dominions obtained self-government through the Statute of Westminster. See Name of Canada. 3. Gave up self-rule in 1934, but remained a de jure Dominion until it joined Canada in 1949.

South America

1631–1641 Providence Island 1651–1667 Willoughbyland 1670–1688 Saint Andrew and Providence Islands4 1831–1966 Guiana Since 1833 Falkland Islands5 Since 1908 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands5

4. Now a department of Colombia. 5. Occupied by Argentina
Argentina
during the Falklands War
Falklands War
of April–June 1982.

Africa

17th and 18th centuries 19th century 20th century

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 1792–1961 Sierra Leone 1795–1803 Cape Colony

Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 1806–1910 Cape of Good Hope 1807–1808 Madeira 1810–1968 Mauritius 1816–1965 The Gambia 1856–1910 Natal 1862–1906 Lagos 1868–1966 Basutoland 1874–1957 Gold Coast 1882–1922 Egypt

1884–1900 Niger Coast 1884–1966 Bechuanaland 1884–1960 Somaliland 1887–1897 Zululand 1890–1962 Uganda 1890–1963 Zanzibar 1891–1964 Nyasaland 1891–1907 Central Africa 1893–1968 Swaziland 1895–1920 East Africa 1899–1956 Sudan

1900–1914 Northern Nigeria 1900–1914 Southern Nigeria 1900–1910 Orange River 1900–1910 Transvaal 1903–1976 Seychelles 1910–1931 South Africa 1914–1960 Nigeria 1915–1931 South-West Africa 1919–1961 Cameroons6 1920–1963 Kenya 1922–1961 Tanganyika6 1923–1965 and 1979–1980 Southern Rhodesia7 1924–1964 Northern Rhodesia

6. League of Nations mandate. 7. Self-governing Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
unilaterally declared independence in 1965 (as Rhodesia) and continued as an unrecognised state until the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement. After recognised independence in 1980, Zimbabwe was a member of the Commonwealth until it withdrew in 2003.

Asia

17th and 18th century 19th century 20th century

1685–1824 Bencoolen 1702–1705 Pulo Condore 1757–1947 Bengal 1762–1764 Manila and Cavite 1781–1784 and 1795–1819 Padang 1786–1946 Penang 1795–1948 Ceylon 1796–1965 Maldives

1811–1816 Java 1812–1824 Banka and Billiton 1819–1826 Malaya 1824–1948 Burma 1826–1946 Straits Settlements 1839–1967 Aden 1839–1842 Afghanistan 1841–1997 Hong Kong 1841–1946 Sarawak 1848–1946 Labuan 1858–1947 India 1874–1963 Borneo

1879–1919 Afghanistan (protectorate) 1882–1963 North Borneo 1885–1946 Unfederated Malay States 1888–1984 Brunei 1891–1971 Muscat and Oman 1892–1971 Trucial States 1895–1946 Federated Malay States 1898–1930 Weihai 1878–1960 Cyprus

1907–1949 Bhutan (protectorate) 1918–1961 Kuwait 1920–1932 Mesopotamia8 1921–1946 Transjordan8 1923–1948 Palestine8 1945–1946 South Vietnam 1946–1963 North Borneo 1946–1963 Sarawak 1946–1963 Singapore 1946–1948 Malayan Union 1948–1957 Federation of Malaya Since 1960 Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
(before as part of Cyprus) Since 1965 British Indian Ocean Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
(before as part of Mauritius and the Seychelles)

8 League of Nations mandate. Iraq's mandate was not enacted and replaced by the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty

Oceania

18th and 19th centuries 20th century

1788–1901 New South Wales 1803–1901 Van Diemen's Land/Tasmania 1807–1863 Auckland Islands9 1824–1980 New Hebrides 1824–1901 Queensland 1829–1901 Swan River/Western Australia 1836–1901 South Australia since 1838 Pitcairn Islands

1841–1907 New Zealand 1851–1901 Victoria 1874–1970 Fiji10 1877–1976 Western Pacific Territories 1884–1949 Papua 1888–1901 Rarotonga/Cook Islands9 1889–1948 Union Islands9 1892–1979 Gilbert and Ellice Islands11 1893–1978 Solomon Islands12

1900–1970 Tonga 1900–1974 Niue9 1901–1942 *Australia 1907–1947 *New Zealand 1919–1942 and 1945–1968 Nauru 1919–1949 New Guinea 1949–1975 Papua and New Guinea13

9. Now part of the *Realm of New Zealand. 10. Suspended member. 11. Now Kiribati
Kiribati
and *Tuvalu. 12. Now the *Solomon Islands. 13. Now *Papua New Guinea.

Antarctica and South Atlantic

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 Since 1908 British Antarctic
Antarctic
Territory15 1841–1933 Australian Antarctic
Antarctic
Territory (transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia) 1841–1947 Ross Dependency
Ross Dependency
(transferred to the Realm of New Zealand)

14. Since 2009 part of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Ascension Island
Ascension Island
(1922–) and Tristan da Cunha
Tristan da Cunha
(1938–) were previously dependencies of Saint Helena. 15. Both claimed in 1908; territories formed in 1962 (British Antarctic
Antarctic
Territory) and 1985 (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands).

v t e

Outlying territories of European countries

Territories under European sovereignty but closer to or on continents other than Europe
Europe
(see inclusion criteria for further information).

Denmark

Greenland

France

Clipperton Island French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern and Antarctic
Antarctic
Lands

Adélie Land Crozet Islands Île Amsterdam Île Saint-Paul Kerguelen Islands Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean

Guadeloupe Martinique Mayotte New Caledonia Réunion Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Wallis and Futuna

Italy

Pantelleria Pelagie Islands

Lampedusa Lampione Linosa

Netherlands

Aruba Caribbean Netherlands

Bonaire Saba Sint Eustatius

Curaçao Sint Maarten

Norway

Bouvet Island Peter I Island Queen Maud Land

Portugal

Azores Madeira

Spain

Canary Islands Ceuta Melilla Plazas de soberanía

Chafarinas Islands Alhucemas Islands Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera

United Kingdom

Anguilla Bermuda British Antarctic
Antarctic
Territory British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Falkland Islands Gibraltar Montserrat Pitcairn Islands Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Turks and Caicos Islands

v t e

Peri- Antarctic
Antarctic
countries and overseas territories

Argentina Australia

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Macquarie Island

Bouvet Island Chile Falkland Islands French Southern and Antarctic
Antarctic
Lands

Kerguelen Islands

New Zealand

New Zealand
New Zealand
Subantarctic Islands

South Africa

Prince Edward Islands

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

"Peri-Antarctic" (meaning "close to the Antarctic") does not include territorial claims in Antarctica itself.

v t e

Territorial disputes involving Argentina

Argentine Antarctica Falkland Islands South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Southern Patagonian Ice Field

List of violent incidents at the Argentine border

v t e

Geography of the Americas

North America South America

Sovereign states

Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda Argentina Bahamas Barbados Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Chile Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts
and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago United States Uruguay Venezuela

Dependencies and other territories

Anguilla Aruba Bermuda Bonaire British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Curaçao Falkland Islands French Guiana Greenland Guadeloupe Martinique Montserrat Puerto Rico Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saba Sint Eustatius Sint Maarten South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Turks and Caicos Islands US Virgin Islands

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Climate of the Americas

North America South America

Sovereign states

Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda Argentina Bahamas Barbados Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Chile Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts
and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago United States Uruguay Venezuela

Dependencies and other territories

Anguilla Aruba Bermuda Bonaire British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Curaçao Falkland Islands French Guiana Greenland Guadeloupe Martinique Montserrat Puerto Rico Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saba Sint Eustatius Sint Maarten South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Turks and Caicos Islands US Virgin Islands

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 239448

.