Loyalty Islands

Loyalty Islands

Infobox Islands
name = Loyalty Islands

image caption = Flag of Loyalty Islands
image size =

native name = Îles Loyauté
native name link = French language
nickname =
location = Pacific Ocean
coordinates = coord|21|04|S|167|21|W|type:isle|display=title
archipelago = Loyalty Islands
total islands =
major islands = Lifou Island, Maré Island, Tiga Island, Ouvéa Island, Mouli Island, Faiava Island
area = 1,981 km²
highest mount =
elevation = 138 m
country = France
country admin divisions title = Overseas territory
country admin divisions = New Caledonia
country capital city =
country largest city =
country largest city population =
country leader title =
country leader name =
population = 22,080
population as of = 2004
density = 11.14
ethnic groups =
additional info =

The Loyalty Islands ( _fr. Îles Loyauté) are an archipelago in the Pacific. They are part of the French territory of New Caledonia, whose mainland is 100 km (60 miles) distant. They form the Loyalty Islands Province ("province des îles Loyauté"), one of the three provinces of New Caledonia. The first Western contact on record is attributed to the British Captain William Raven from the London trading ship 'Britannia', who in 1793 was on his way from Norfolk Island to Batavia. It is very likely however that the discovery and naming of the islands goes back to the London ship 'Loyalty' (also 'Loyalist', Jethro Daggett Master), being on a South Sea trading voyage from 1789 till 1790.

The archipelago consists of six inhabited islands: Lifou Island, Maré Island, Tiga Island, Ouvéa Island, Mouli Island, and Faiava Island, as well as several smaller uninhabited islands and islets. Their combined land area is 1,981 km² (765 sq. miles). The highest elevation is at 138 m (453 ft) above sea-level on Maré Island.

The Loyalty Islands Province is divided into three communes (municipalities):
*Lifou (comprises Lifou Island, Tiga Island, and several islets)
*Maré (comprises Maré Island and Dudun Island)
*Ouvéa (comprises Ouvéa Island, Mouli Island, Faiava Island, and several nearby islands and islets)
*Walpole Island is geographically part of the Loyalty Islands, but administratively part of the commune Île des Pins, South Province.

The people of the Loyalty Islands are of mixed Melanesian and Polynesian heritage, with also a small European minority. They number 22,080 as of 2004 census. Several thousands more natives of the Loyalty Islands live in Nouméa (New Caledonia's capital) and in the mining areas of New Caledonia's mainland.

The chief export of the Loyalty Islands is copra.

The islands are part of the New Caledonia rain forests ecoregion.

Provincial Congress

Of 14 seats in the province's congress, the nationalist Caledonian Union holds 4, the anti-independence Rally for Caledonia in the Republic holds 2, the National Union for Independence-Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front, "Socialist Kanak Liberation", Renewed Caledonian Union, and the Union of Pro-Independence Co-operation Committees each have two.


*Dunbabin, Thomas: William Raven, RN, and his 'Britannia', 1792 - 95; in: The Mariner's mirror, Vol. 46, No. 4 (Nov.); London [u.a.] 1960 (S. 297-303)
*Dunmore, John: Who's who in Pacific navigation; Carlton, Vic. 1992
*Henze, Dietmar: Enzyklopädie der Entdecker und Erforscher der Erde, Bd. 4; Graz 2000
*Jones, A. G. E.: Ships employed in the South Seas trade Vol. 1: 1775 - 1861; Canberra 1986 & Vol. 2: 1775 - 1859; Burwood, Vic. [1992]
*Parsons, Vivienne: 'Raven, William (1756 - 1814)'; in: Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 2, Melbourne Univ. Press, 1967, S. 364-365
*Riesenberg, Saul H.: Six Pacific island discoveries; in: The American neptune, Vol. 34; Salem, Mass. 1974 (S. 249-57)
*Sharp, Andrew: The discovery of the Pacific Islands; Oxford 1960

ee also

*Politics of New Caledonia
*Collectivité territoriale
*Endemic Birds of New Caledonia

External links

* [http://www.loyalty-islands.com Tourist guide of Loyalty Islands : discovery through pictures, general information, travel agencies, forum.]
* [http://www.janeresture.com/newcal/index.htm Jane's New Caledonia Home Page: The Loyalty Islands]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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