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New Island ( ) is one of the Falkland Islandsmarker, lying north of Beaver Islandmarker. It is 148 miles (238 km) from Stanleymarker.

History and population



Long used as a base for whaling, as a sheep farm and for occasional attempts to collect guano, New Island is considered by some to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Falklands archipelago, as well as well as having possibly the most diverse range of wildlife in the region. It is now a nature reserve originally initially set up by Ian Strange MBE in 1972. Since 1996 the island has been owned and run by The New Island Conservation Trust which finally acquired the entire freehold of the property in 2005. The Trust is managed by a Board of Trustees under the Chairmanship of Air Vice-Marshal David Crwys-Williams CB http://www.bff.org.uk/about_us_trustees/about_us_trustees-David-Crwys-Williams-CB.cfm a former Commander of the British Forces, Falklands Islands in the 1980s. The major benefactor to the Trust has been the Geoffrey C Hughes Charitable Trust which not only made the purchase possible, but also funded the well-equipped Field Centre used as a base for teams of wildlife researchers from many different countries.

The Trust relies entirely on donations to continue its conservation and research work on this remarkable island and its' website, giving details of the history of the island, wildlife, recent research work and also a selection of photographs is at [www.newislandtrust.com]

New Island was one of the earliest of the islands to be colonised, and American whalers may have arrived as early as the 1770s. A couple of the placenames on or near the island, Coffin's Harbour and Coffin's Island, commemorate the family of "Coffin" who came from Nantucketmarker. Nearby islands called "Quaker" and "Penn" reflect the New Englandmarker provenance of some of the earliest settlers.

In 1813, Captain Charles H. Barnard, from Nantucket, and his crew, were marooned on the island [72963]. They survived on the island for two years, and constructed a crude stone building, which is probably incorporated into the Barnard Building, probably the oldest standing building in the Falklands, now a museum restored in 2006.

In 1823, Antarctic explorer Captain James Weddell anchored here, and commented on its excellent harbours and natural food and water supplies.

In the 1850s and 60s, the island's guano deposits were mined.

A settlement lies in the middle of the east coast of the island, some distance north of an airstrip.

There is a shipwreck on the island, the Protector III, beached 1969. It was a former sealing vessel.

Wildlife

Wildlife on the island includes fur seals, elephant seals, southern sea lions, thin-billed prions, rockhopper, gentoo and Magellanic penguins, dolphin gulls and black-browed albatrosses.

There are no native land animals (other than extinct warrah) or trees, but shrubs have been introduced.

An introduced population of American Cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus sp.) exists on the island [72964].

External links




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