Working for birds in Africa

Geography

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 13:30 -- abc_admin

The Comoros are in the Mozambique Channel, between Mozambique and Madagascar.

Grande Comore, with a surface of 1,148 km2, the highest point at 2,361 m and a population estimate of 293,160, is the youngest, largest and highest island in the archipelago. It has the greatest area remaining under pristine forest, mostly on the steep slopes of Mount Karthala in the southern part of the island. Around the crater rim of this volcano, there is a vegetation zone of giant heather.

Mohéli, with a surface of 211 km2 rising to an altitude of 790 m and a population of c34,650 has a forested ridge. The slopes are less steep than on the two other UDC islands.

Anjouan, with a surface of 424 km2, culminating at an altitude of 1,595 m with some very steep mountain slopes has the smallest remaining area of primary forest and and a population estimate of 253,950.

Mayotte has a surface of 374 km2 rising to an altitude of 660 m; this island is now developing rapidly. The human population reached c131,320 in 1999. In the countryside, the effects of shifting agricultural practices are very much apparent, resulting in a checkerboard pattern of vegetation types with secondary humid forest covering its peaks and some dry forest in the coastlands. It is the only island with a storage dam.

Remarkable features in the Comoro landscape are volcanic peaks, cliffs, a long coastline, dry islets and relatively unspoilt peninsulas, mangrove stands and lakes (both hypersaline sulphurous crater lakes and natural freshwater lakes). The archipelago has a variety of microclimates from very humid to rather arid.

The islands have a coastline of over 500 km. The official languages are French and Shicomore, with some Arabic.

More details can be found at CIA Factbook.

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