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Glorioso Islands: Map

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Island overview
Satellite image of the islands
Glorieuses or Glorioso Islands ( or officially also Archipel des Glorieuses) are a group of Frenchmarker islands and rocks totalling , at , in the northern Mozambique channel, about northwest of Madagascarmarker. The Glorieuses have an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of . There are anchorages offshore, and Grande Glorieuse has a long airstrip.

The archipelago consists of two islands, Grande Glorieuse ( ) and Île du Lys, as well as eight rock islets (Roches Vertes): Wreck Rock ( ), South Rock ( ) and Verte Rocks ( ) and three others that are unnamed. They form part of a coral reef and lagoon. Grande Glorieuses is roughly circular and measures about across. It is thickly vegetated, mainly by the remains of a coconut plantation and casuarina trees.

Île du Lys, located at about five miles (about 8 km) northeast of Grande Glorieuses, is about long and consists of sand dunes and scrub with some mangroves. It was formerly quarried for phosphate (guano).

The Glorieuses were named and settled in 1880 by a Frenchman, Hippolyte Caltaux, who established a coconut and maize plantation on Grande Glorieuse. The archipelago became a French possession in 1892. From 1914 to 1958 concessions to exploit the islands were given to Seychellesmarker companies.

The islands are today nature reserves with a meteorological station garrisoned by French troops (The French Foreign Legion). They are claimed by Madagascarmarker (because of their strategic importance), the Seychellesmarker (considering the islands part of the Seychelles Archipelagomarker) and the Comorosmarker (considering the islands part of the Comoros Archipelago).

The climate is tropical and the terrain is low and flat, varying from sea level to . Île de Lys in particular is a nesting ground for migratory seabirds, and turtles lay eggs on the beaches.


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