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SOUTHERN & ANTARCTIC TERRITORIES
 
 
           
 

Official TAAF flag.

Official TAAF flag,
adopted 23 Feb. 2007.
(click on flag to see larger version)

The French Southern and Antarctic Territories — Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises (TAAF) — form an overseas territory of France, established in 1955, that consists of several groups of islands in the southern Indian Ocean and a sector of Antarctica (see maps) that is claimed by France. The Antarctic territory is called Adélie Coast (Terre Adélie). It includes the area between 136° and 143° east longitude south of the Antarctic Circle and is about 389,000 km² (150,200 mi²) in area. A staffed research station is located at Base Dumont d'Urville.

The island components include the Kerguelen Archipelago, a group of one large and some 300 small islands, with a total area of about 7,000 km² (2,700 mi²); the Crozet Archipelago, consisting of 5 large and 15 tiny islands, with a combined area of about 300 km² (116 mi²); St. Paul Island, which is about 7 km² (2.7 mi²); and Amsterdam Island (Nouvelle-Amsterdam), with an area of 60 km² (23 mi²). All are rugged volcanic islands, uninhabited except for the various research stations.

In January 2005, the TAAF office also assumed the administration of several small tropical islands and an atoll in the waters surrounding Madagascar, known collectively as the Scattered Islands (fr. Îles Éparses): Bassas da India, Europa, Juan de Nova, Les Îles Glorieuses (Glorioso Islands), and Tromelin (see map). They were previously administered as dependencies of Madagascar, and then (after Madagascar became independent) as dependencies of Réunion. All of these islands are wildlife sanctuaries, closed to visitors except by special permit.


Source: 2001 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, ©2000 Grolier Interactive Inc. — All Rights Reserved.
Bibliography: N/A
Images: Map of Antarctica © Lonely Planet — All Rights Reserved.

 
 

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