Glorioso Islands

Glorioso Islands

Infobox Country
native_name = "Îles Glorieuses"
conventional_long_name = Glorioso Islands
common_name = Archipel des Glorieuses

symbol_type = Coat of arms
national_motto = "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" (English: "Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood")
national_anthem = La Marseillaise

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)


The archipelago consists of two islands, Grande Glorieuse and Île du Lys, as well as eight rock islets ("Roches Vertes"): Wreck Rock, South Rock and Verte Rocks (three) and three others that are unnamed. They form part of a coral reef and lagoon. Grande Glorieuses is roughly circular and measures about 3 km across. It is thickly vegetated, mainly by the remains of a coconut plantation and casuarina trees.

Île du Lys, about five miles northeast of Grande Glorieuses, is about 600 metres long and consists of sand dunes and scrub with some mangroves. It was formerly quarried for phosphate (guano).

The Glorieuses were named and settled in 1880 by a Frenchman, Hippolyte Caltaux, who established a coconut and maize plantation on Grande Glorieuse. The archipelago became a French possession in 1892. From 1914 to 1958 concessions to exploit the islands were given to Seychelles companies.

The islands are today nature reserves with a meteorological station garrisoned by French troops (The French Foreign Legion). They are claimed by Madagascar (because of their strategic importance), the Seychelles (considering the islands part of the Seychelles Archipelago) and the Comoros (considering the islands part of the Comoros Archipelago).

The climate is tropical and the terrain is low and flat, varying from sea level to 12 m. Île de Lys in particular is a nesting ground for migratory seabirds, and turtles lay eggs on the beaches.

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