Facts about Tromelin Island
|Tromelin Island||Territory of France|
|Coordinates||15° 53′ 32″ S, 54° 31′ 29″ E|
|Area||450 kilometres (280 mi)|
|Official language||French (fr)|
|Government||possession of France; administered by a high commissioner of the Republic, resident in Reunion|
|Time zone||UTC +6|
|Internet TLD||.re (Reunion)|
Tromelin Island is a small island located in the Indian Ocean. It lies about 450 kms to the east of Madagascar and is sometimes considered to be a part of the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean. It is an overseas territory belonging to France and covers an area of 1 sq km.
The island was first recorded in 1722 by the French navigator, Jean Marie Briand de la Feuillée. In 1761, a French shipwreck left 60 slaves here. Only eight survived and were rescued 15 years later by Captain Boudin de Tromelin in 1776. In 1810, the French laid claims to the island though it remained a dependency of Mauritius till 1950s. There was some dispute till France and Mauritius entered into a co-dependent treaty in 2010.
Tromelin Island has a low lying flat relief and is sandy in nature. The presence of volcanic rocks has led scientists to conclude that it may be a part of a submerged volcanic seamount. The highest point on the island rises to 7 meters. The entire island is covered by scattered bushy vegetation. The island is surrounded by coral reefs.
The major importance of the Tromelin Island lies in the fact that it serves as a sanctuary and breeding ground for the sea turtles. It is also an important sanctuary for sea birds, especially for the Masked Boobies and the Red-footed Boobies. The island has been declared to be an Important Bird Area (IBA) in view of the ecological importance of the bird population here.
How to reach (transport)
There is no tourist traffic to the Tromelin Island. Only teams of scientists visit the island for observation and research. An unpaved airstrip serves as the landing site for flights which mostly come from the Reunion Island. There is an offshore anchorage for the ships arriving at the Tromelin Island.
Tromelin Island experiences a tropical type of climate.
The greatest importance of the Tromelin Island lies in the fact that it serves as an important meteorological station for forecasting cyclones in the Indian Ocean. The sanctuary and breeding of sea birds and marine turtles have also contributed to the ecological importance of this island.