Although seven countries had already staked a claim to various parts of the Antarctic (and others stood poised to do the same), a treaty was finally drafted and signed in 1959 which declared the region to be a "neutral zone" one in which all nations shared a commonality of interest in scientific research and a goal to preserve the fragile ecology of the continent.
Association Amicale des Expéditions Polaires Françaises
The AAEPF, with headquarters in Paris, celebrates a half-century of French polar expeditions. The site offers photos, news clips, books, souvenirs, and postcards with stamps from the Terres Australes et Antarctiques. (in French only)
Association Amicale des Missions Australes et Polaires Françaises
Based in Orléans, France, the AMAPOF publishes a semi-annual 60-page newsletter dedicated to the scientific research and exploration of the austral-polar regions. The web site also provides an overview of the four areas in the TAAF, complete with topographic maps and photos. In French only.
CIA World Factbook: Antarctica
Extensive statistics on the region's background, geography, people, legal system, economy, communications infrastructure, transportation, military (prohibited), and transnational issues.
Dumont d'Urville / Terre Adélie
Pascal Blondé has assembled a collection of photos highlighting the scenic beauty and fauna of this stark region, plus audio clips of its very vocal natives.
Exposition l'Aventure Polaire
The Museum of Natural History has hosted this exhibition about French polar exploration in both 1997 and 2002, and maintains its documentation on the web site. (in French only)
The University of Canterbury in New Zealand provides a wonderful resource for teachers and students, covering wildlife, news & events, aerial photos and maps of Antarctica. The site also offers an overview of tourism and tourist attractions in the area.
Ministère de l'Outre-Mer
France's Ministry of Overseas Territories offers news and information on the culture, societies, economies, and institutions of all its overseas departments and territories (DOM-TOM). In French only.
Open Directory Project: Antarctic
The non-profit, human-compiled database provides useful links about the Antarctic, including specific references for the French Southern Territories in both English and French.
The Ozone Hole
The hole in our earth's ozone layer is most pronounced over Antarctica. The University of Canterbury in New Zealand offers an overview of this manifestation and its causes.
Penguins, Seals & Whales
An overview of the many species, breeding habits, survival skills, and habitats of these sub-antarctic creatures.
Récits de Voyages les Mers Australes
Edouard Fromentel recounts his 5 weeks of adventure aboard the Marion Dufresne through the heart of the southern seas, stopping at Crozet, Kerguelen, Amsterdam and St-Paul. Well-documented with photos. (bi-lingual site French & English)
Photographer Jacques Mouriès and writer Pierre Gradoz have assembled this site offering wonderful photos of Crozet, Kerguelen, St-Paul and Amsterdam Islands, the Marion Dufresne oceanographic vessel, plus a selection of TAAF postage stamps. (bi-lingual site French & English)
Editor's note: This web site is not available at present. We regret to report that according to a news article from the island of Réunion, Jacques Mouriès died recently of hypothermia during a canyoning expedition at Rond des Chevrons. We will post any updates on his photographic works as they become available.
Terres Australes et Antarctiques
The official TAAF site provides an in-depth look at the history of this territory's diverse regions, plus a schedule for its primary supply ship the Marion du Fresne, and information about tourism in the area. In French only.
TerraQuest offers visitors the ability to experience a virtual expedition to Anarctica. This easy-to-navigate site provides images uploaded by satellite, historical and scientific facts, and an expedition log.