- Juan de Nova Island
native_name = "Île Juan de Nova"
conventional_long_name = Juan de Nova Island
symbol_type = Coat of arms
national_motto = "
Liberté, égalité, fraternité"
map_caption = Location of the
Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean:
• 1 :
Bassas da India• 2 : Europa Island• 3 : Glorioso Islands• 4 : Juan de Nova Island• 5 : Tromelin Island(KM : Comoros, MG : Madagascar, MU : Mauritius, MZ : Mozambique, RE : Réunion, YT : Mayotte)
Juan de Nova Island (also Saint-Christophe, French: locally "Île Juan de Nova" or officially "Île Juan da Nova") is a 4.4 km² low, flat,
tropical islandin the narrowest part of the Mozambique Channel, about one-third of the way between Madagascarand Mozambiqueat coord|17|03|16|S|42|43|30|E|region:FR-TF_type:isle|display=inline,title. Anchorage is possible off the northeast of the island which also has a 1,300-metre-long airstrip.
Administratively, the island is one of the
Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean, a districtof the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
Juan de Nova, about six kilometres long and 1.6km at its widest, is a
nature reservesurrounded by reefs which enclose an area (not a true lagoonlike in an atoll) of roughly 40 km². Forests, mainly of Casuarinaceae, cover about half the island. Large numbers of terns ("Sterna fuscata") breed there from November to March. Turtlesnest in the beaches around the island.
The island is named after
João da Nova, a Galician admiral in the service of Portugalwho came across the island in 1501. It has been a French possession since 1897. Guano( phosphate) deposits were exploited from the start of the 20th century until 1970. The island was abandoned during World War IIand was visited by German submariners. Installations, including a hangar, rail lines, houses and a jetty are in ruins.
Juan de Nova, with an
Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ) of 61,050 km², is claimed by Madagascar. The island is garrisoned by French troops from Réunionand has a meteorological station("Saint-Christophe" [http://www.ethnia.org/ethnia-fiche.php?ask=FR-DT-DM-RE-XL-JU] ).
Juan de Nova, in the sea route between
South Africaand the northern tip of Madagascar, is affected by strong currents, and has become the site of numerous wrecks. Most visible are the remains of the SS "Tottenham" which ran onto the southern fringing reef in 1911.
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