Working for birds in Africa

Geography

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 13:51 -- abc_admin
White_Tern_Rodrigues

White Tern Gygis alba, Ile aux Cocos, Rodrigues

Image Credit: 
Jacques de Speville
Mauritius_Cuckoo_Shrike

Mauritius Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina typica, Brise Fer, Mauritius

Image Credit: 
Jacques de Speville

Mauritius is a volcanic island, measuring 58 km from north to south and 47 km from east to west with a total land area of 2,048 km2 and is located approximately 800 km east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The island has a population of over 1.2 million and a population density of about 600 people per square kilometre, one of the highest in the world.

The island, which unlike Réunion has no active volcanoes, rises steeply in the south to a central plateau and slopes gently down to the northern coast. The highest point is Piton de la Rivière Noire at 828 m. For snorkellers and divers, Mauritius is surrounded by a coral reef and lined with long stretches of white sandy beaches.

In addition to the island of Mauritius itself, the country includes the Agalega Islands (21 km2) Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon 3 km2), and Rodrigues (109 km2). These islands represent the country of the Republic of Mauritius. Mauritius and Rodrigues are two of the Mascarene Islands, a volcanic archipelago which includes one other island, Réunion, 164 km south-west of Mauritius.

Mauritius enjoys a mild tropical maritime climate throughout the year. The country has two seasons: a warm humid summer extending from November to April and a relatively cool dry winter from June to September. The month of October and May are commonly known as the transition months. Mean summer temperature is 24.7 degrees Celsius and mean winter temperature is 20.4 degrees Celsius. The temperature difference between the seasons is only 4.3 degrees Celsius.

The warmest months are January and February with average day maximum temperature reaching 29.2 degrees Celsius and the coolest months are July and August when average night minimum temperatures drops down to 16.4 degrees Celsius. Long term mean annual rainfall (1971-2000) over the Island is 2010 mm. The wettest months are February and March. The driest month is October.

English and French are official languages and Creole Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri are all spoken.

Please refer to CIA Factbook for further details.

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