Eagle Islands

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NASA picture of Eagle Islands. The round, smaller island is Ile Vache Marine Eagle Islands ISS006.jpg
NASA picture of Eagle Islands. The round, smaller island is Île Vache Marine

Eagle Islands is a group of two islands in the Chagos Archipelago. They are located on the central-western rim of the Great Chagos Bank, which is the world's largest coral atoll structure.

Contents

Islands

With a land area of 2.45 km², Île Aigle is the largest single island of the Great Chagos Bank, and after Diego Garcia the second largest of the Chagos Archipelago.

History

There was once a coconut plantation in Ile Aigle, as well as a small settlement of Chagossian plantation workers. But at the time of Commander Robert Moresby's survey of the Chagos, in 1838, this island was populated only occasionally. Not long after the settlement of the Chagos group by the French planters at the end of the 18th century, the tendency was to concentrate the workers on only a few islands from which the plantations were run, like Ile Boddam in the Salomon Atoll.

In 1975 during the Joint Services Expedition to Danger Island (JSDI), the expedition members were taken by RFA Resurgent to Eagle Islands and then by ketch and inflatable craft to Danger Island and onward to Three Brothers. The expedition made a topographical survey of the coral reefs, an ecological survey of the corals on it and a study on the metabolism of the reef. [1] A reference collection of samples of the flora and fauna of the area was also undertaken. [2]

Since 1998 the islands are part of the Chagos Archipelago Strict Nature Reserve and it is forbidden to land on the islands or anchor a boat nearby. The islands have large populations of nesting seabirds. [3]

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Danger Island, Great Chagos Bank

Danger Island is the westernmost and the southernmost island of the Great Chagos Bank, which is the world's largest coral atoll structure, located in the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

Egmont Islands

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Nelsons Island or Nelson Island or Isle Legour is a small uninhabited island in the Great Chagos Bank, of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. As a protected nature reserve, access to the island is strictly restricted.

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Blenheim Reef island group

Blenheim Reef is a partly submerged atoll structure in the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean. It includes the coral reef of Baxio Predassa in its southeastern rim, plus another completely submerged part. It is located in the northeastern part of the Chagos Archipelago. It measures almost eleven kilometres (north–south) by more than four kilometres (east–west), with a total area of 36.8 square kilometres, including the lagoon of 8.5 km², the difference being accounted for the mostly by the reef flat. Only on the eastern side, there are a few sand cays above the water. The largest of them is East Island, which is not quite 200 metres long and 70 metres wide. The other islands in the group are North, Middle and South. Only a few grasses grow on the island. The lagoon is up to 18 metres deep and encumbered with rock. The fringing coral reef has a wide passage in the southwest. The closest land is Takamaka Island in the Salomon Islands Atoll, about 20 kilometres to the southwest.

Great Chagos Bank

The Great Chagos Bank, in the Chagos Archipelago, about 500 km (310 mi) south of the Maldives, is the largest atoll structure in the world, with a total area of 12,642 km2 (4,881 sq mi). The atoll is administered by the United Kingdom through the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

Benares Shoals mountain in Seychelles

Benares Shoals, or Benares Shoal, is a submerged coral reef, an isolated patch located at 5°15′S071°40′E, just 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) west-northwest of Île Pierre, the closest island of Peros Banhos atoll in the northern Chagos Archipelago. It measures about 3 kilometres (2 mi) east–west, with a width of about 700 metres (2,300 ft) and an area of 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi). The least depth at the western end is 4.5 metres (15 ft).

Sea Cow Island

Sea Cow Island, also known as Île Vache Marine, is a round 18 ha island on the Great Chagos Bank atoll of the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It was named after the dugongs that were once abundant in the area, although they have since become regionally extinct. It is the smaller of the two islands in the Eagle Islands group on the western side of the atoll and forms part of the Chagos Archipelago strict nature reserve. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its significance as a breeding site for brown noddies, of which 11,500 pairs were recorded in a 2004 survey.

North Brother (Chagos Bank) coral island on the Chagos Archipelago

North Brother, also known as Île du Nord, is a round 6 ha coral island on the Great Chagos Bank atoll of the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It is one of the three islands in the Three Brothers group on the western side of the atoll, and forms part of the Chagos Archipelago strict nature reserve. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its significance as a breeding site for 20,000 seabirds, notably Audubon's shearwaters of which 420 pairs were recorded in a 2004 survey.

Middle Brother (Chagos Bank) island in the British Indian Ocean Territory

Middle Brother, also known as Île du Milieu, is an 8-hectare coral island on the Great Chagos Bank atoll of the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It is one of the three islands in the Three Brothers group on the western side of the atoll, and forms part of the Chagos Archipelago strict nature reserve. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for its significance as a breeding site for seabirds, notably sooty terns, of which 12,500 pair were recorded in a 2004 survey.

South Brother (Chagos Bank) Coral island

South Brother, also known as Île du Sud, is a 23 ha coral island on the Great Chagos Bank atoll of the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It is one of the three islands in the Three Brothers group on the western side of the atoll, and forms part of the Chagos Archipelago strict nature reserve. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its significance as a breeding site for seabirds, including brown noddies and lesser noddies.

References

  1. Baldwin, EA (ed.) (1975), A report on the Joint Services Expedition to Danger Island in the central Indian Ocean, December 1974 to April 1975 Ministry of Defence Publication, London
  2. Chagos Islands coral collections
  3. 6: British Indian Ocean Territory

Coordinates: 06°12′S71°19′E / 6.200°S 71.317°E / -6.200; 71.317 (Eagle Islands)