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Anegada

From Academic Kids

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Anegada_Palms.jpg
Unlike the other British Virgin Islands, Anegada is a flat atoll.

Anegada, which lies approximately 15 miles north of Virgin Gorda, is the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands, a group of islands which form part of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands. Anegada is the only one of the British Virgin Islands formed from coral and limestone, rather than being of volcanic origin. While the other islands are mountainous, Anegada is flat and low. Its highest point is only about 28 feet above sea level, earning it a name which translates as “the drowned land.”

At about 15 square miles (38 square kilometers), Anegada is one of the larger British Virgin Islands, but it is also the most sparsely populated of the main islands (population roughly 200). Most of the population lives in The Settlement, the main town on Anegada.

Access to the island is via the small Auguste George Airport (NGD), weekly ferries, and private boat.

Horseshoe Reef

Anegada is known for miles of white sand beaches and the 18-mile-long Horseshoe Reef, one of the largest barrier coral reefs in the Caribbean. The reef makes navigation to Anegada (http://www.nwmangum.com/NavToAnegada.html) difficult. While charter boats freely sail among most of the other Virgin Islands, charter companies often forbid clients to sail to Anegada to avoid running aground on the reef.

The reef has claimed hundreds of shipwrecks (http://www.blytmann.com/anegada.htm), including the HMS Astrea (1808) and the RMS Rhone (1867). As such, it an important scuba diving destination.

Animal life

Anegada is also known for miles of white sand beaches, the large salt ponds which cover much of the west end of the island, and unique fauna. In the 1830s thousands of Caribbean flamingos lived in these ponds, but they were hunted for food and feathers throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries and disappeared by 1950. They are now being re-established into the ponds. The birds are another tourist draw, but officials are trying to keep the number of visitors to the flamingo areas at a level that allows the birds to flourish.

Other rare or endangered animals include the Anegada rock iguana and several species of turtles. Conch, Caribbean Lobster, and many fishes can be found near Anegada, particularly in the deep waters off the North Drop to the north of the island.

You can find a map of Anegada (http://www.caribbean-on-line.com/bv/agmap.shtml) at Caribbean-On-Line.comde:Anegada gl:Anegada

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