chelonia mydas

Europa Island

Europa Island (Île Europa) is a 28 km² low-lying tropical island in the Mozambique Channel, about a third of the way from southern Madagascar to southern Mozambique, at . It has 22.2 kilometres of coastline, but no ports or harbours. Anchorage is possible offshore. The airstrip is 1,500 metres long.

The island is surrounded by coral beaches and a fringing reef and encloses a mangrove lagoon of around 9 km². Its vegetation also consists of dry forest, scrub, euphorbia and the remains of a sisal plantation.

Europa Island is a nature reserve and host to migratory seabirds. It is one of the world's largest nesting sites for green turtles (Chelonia mydas). It is also home to goats introduced by settlers in the late 18th century.

The island takes its name from the British ship Europa, which visited it in 1774. It has been a possession of France since 1897, but is also claimed by Madagascar. Ruins and graves on Europa island attest to several attempts at settlement from the 1860s to the 1920s.

Its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is contiguous with that of Bassas da India, is 127,300 km². The island, garrisoned by a detachment from Réunion, has a meteorological station and is visited by scientists. Europa though uninhabited is formally part of the "Îles Eparses" district ("Scattered Islands") of the TAAF ("Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises") administrative region, which comprises islands such as Kerguelen and the French Antarctic possessions.

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