Juan de Nova Island

Juan de Nova Island (French: Île Juan de Nova, pronounced [il ʒɥɑ̃ də nɔva]) is a French tropical island in the narrowest part of the Mozambique Channel, about one-third of the way between Madagascar and Mozambique. It is a low, flat island, 4.8 square kilometres (1.9 sq mi) in size.

Juan de Nova
Native name:
Île Juan de Nova  (French)
EtymologyJoão da Nova
Geography
LocationMozambique Channel
Coordinates17°03′16″S 42°43′30″E
Area4.8 km2 (1.9 sq mi)
Length6 km (3.7 mi)
Width1.6 km (1 mi)
Coastline12.3 km (7.64 mi)
Administration
 France
TerritorySouthern and Antarctic Lands
DistrictScattered Islands
Demographics
Population0 (2019)
Additional information
Time zone

Anchorage is possible off the northeast of the island which also has a 1,300-metre (4,300 ft) airstrip. Administratively, the island is one of the Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean, a district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. The island is garrisoned by French troops from Réunion and has a weather station.[1]

Description

Juan de Nova, about six kilometres (3.7 mi) long and 1.6 kilometres (1 mi) at its widest, is a nature reserve surrounded by reefs which enclose an area—not a true lagoon like in an atoll—of roughly 40 square kilometres (15 sq mi). Forests, mainly of Casuarinaceae, cover about half the island. Sea turtles nest on the beaches around the island.

History

The island is named after the Spanish version of a Galician admiral in the service of Portugal, João da Nova, who came across the island in 1501. The island had never been inhabited when it became a possession of France in 1897.[2]

In 1921, France decided to transfer the administration of Juan de Nova from Paris to Tananarive in its colony of Madagascar and Dependencies. Before the independence of Madagascar, France transferred the administration to Saint-Pierre on Réunion. Madagascar became independent in 1960, and claims sovereignty over the island since 1972. Guano deposits were exploited from the start of the 20th century until 1970.

The island was abandoned during World War II and was visited by German submariners. Installations, including a hangar, rail lines, houses and a jetty are in ruins.

Wrecks

The island lies on the sea route between South Africa and the northern tip of Madagascar. It is affected by strong currents and has become the site of numerous wrecks. Most visible are the remains of the SS Tottenham which ran onto the southern fringing reef in 1911.

Geology

Important Bird Area

The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because it supports a very large colony of sooty terns, with up to 100,000 breeding pairs. It also has a much smaller colony of greater crested terns – with at least 50 breeding pairs recorded in 1994. Of at least seven species of land birds present, most are probably introduced.[3]

Climate

Climate data for Juan de Nova Island
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34
(93)
33
(91)
33
(91)
33
(91)
33
(91)
33
(91)
32
(90)
33
(91)
33
(91)
32
(90)
34
(93)
35
(95)
35
(95)
Average high °C (°F) 30.1
(86.2)
30.0
(86.0)
30.4
(86.7)
30.2
(86.4)
28.9
(84.0)
27.4
(81.3)
26.8
(80.2)
26.9
(80.4)
27.7
(81.9)
28.8
(83.8)
29.9
(85.8)
30.4
(86.7)
28.9
(84.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 28.3
(82.9)
28.2
(82.8)
28.6
(83.5)
28.3
(82.9)
27.2
(81.0)
25.7
(78.3)
24.9
(76.8)
25.0
(77.0)
25.6
(78.1)
26.7
(80.1)
27.8
(82.0)
28.4
(83.1)
27.1
(80.8)
Average low °C (°F) 26.6
(79.9)
26.5
(79.7)
26.8
(80.2)
26.8
(80.2)
25.8
(78.4)
24.3
(75.7)
23.4
(74.1)
23.3
(73.9)
23.7
(74.7)
24.7
(76.5)
25.8
(78.4)
26.4
(79.5)
25.3
(77.5)
Record low °C (°F) 20
(68)
16
(61)
20
(68)
21
(70)
20
(68)
19
(66)
18
(64)
17
(63)
19
(66)
19
(66)
19
(66)
22
(72)
16
(61)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 324
(12.8)
289
(11.4)
140
(5.5)
21
(0.8)
18
(0.7)
9
(0.4)
11
(0.4)
4
(0.2)
1
(0.0)
8
(0.3)
22
(0.9)
139
(5.5)
986
(38.8)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 13 13 9 5 3 3 2 1 1 2 3 10 65
Average relative humidity (%) 80 81 78 74 71 70 71 72 74 75 75 77 75
Mean monthly sunshine hours 229.4 203.4 257.3 276.0 282.1 273.0 275.9 285.2 282.0 313.1 300.0 251.1 3,228.5
Mean daily sunshine hours 7.4 7.2 8.3 9.2 9.1 9.1 8.9 9.2 9.4 10.1 10.0 8.1 8.8
Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst[4]

References

  1. "data". ethnia.org. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Juan de Nova. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 2012-01-07.
  4. "Klimatafel von Juan de Nova (Insel), Iles Desirades / Indischer Ozean / Frankreich" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
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