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Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) Geography Profile 2016

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LocationSouthern South America, islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 500 km east of southern Argentina
Geographic coordinates51 45 S, 59 00 W
Map referencesSouth America
Areatotal: 12,173 sq km
land: 12,173 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes the two main islands of East and West Falkland and about 200 small islands
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline1,288 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climatecold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; average annual rainfall is 60 cm in Stanley; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but typically does not accumulate
Terrainrocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains
Elevation extremesmean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Usborne 705 m
Natural resourcesfish, squid, wildlife, calcified seaweed, sphagnum moss
Land useagricultural land: 92.4%
arable land 0%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 92.4%
forest: 0%
other: 7.6% (2011 est.)
Irrigated landNA
Population distributiona very small population, with most residents living in and around Stanley
Natural hazardsstrong winds persist throughout the year
Environment - current issuesoverfishing by unlicensed vessels is a problem; reindeer - introduced to the islands in 2001 from South Georgia - are part of a farming effort to produce specialty meat and diversify the islands' economy; this is the only commercial reindeer herd in the world unaffected by the 1986 Chornobyl disaster
Geography - notedeeply indented coast provides good natural harbors; short growing season

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on October 8, 2016