Weddell Island


Weddell Island

Infobox Falkland island




MapCaption=
latitude= -51.8786
longitude= -61.0067
coordinates= coord|51|52|43|S|61|00|24|W|display=inline,title
island group=
english name=Weddell Island
former name=Swan Island
spanish name=Isla San José
meaning of name=Spanish: St Joseph's Island
area=
area rank=3
highest elevation=
Population=
population rank=
main settlement=Weddell Settlement
references=

Weddell Island (Spanish: "Isla San José") is the third largest of the Falkland Islands, with an area of 98 square miles (254 km²), off West Falkland. Until the late nineteenth century, it was known as Swan Island, a name which is not to be confused with the Swan Islands on the other side of West Falkland.

History and population

Its current designation comes from the name of James Weddell, an English navigator and explorer who visited the Falklands in the early 1800s. He was well known for his voyages to the Antarctic, and both the Weddell Sea and Weddell Seal are named after him also.

The small population of the island lives in Weddell Settlement on the east coast, the remainder of the island being run as a sheep farm.

Wildlife

Like many of the Falkland Islands, Weddell Island is known for its wildlife, including penguins, sealions and dolphins. Exotic wildlife, including skunks, rheas, parrots and guanacos were introduced in the 1930s, along with Patagonian foxes (not to be confused with the extinct warrah), which can still be found.

External links

* [http://www.oceandots.com/atlantic/falklands/weddell.htm Weddell Island from space]
* [http://www.sealionisland.com/index.php/uk/26/weddell-island Weddell Island]

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