Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island

      island lying about 900 miles (1,450 km) southeast of Tasmania, Australia. It forms, with associated islets, a sub-Antarctic part of Tasmania. Macquarie, a volcanic mass with an area of 47 square miles (123 square km) and a general elevation of 800 feet (240 m), measures 21 by 2 miles (34 by 3 km) and has several rocky islets offshore. Rounded hills rise to 1,200–1,400 feet (365–425 m), while the coast falls steeply away. Although the island is treeless, its slopes and coastal flats are covered by heavy vegetation, and there are a few small glacial lakes. The island was sighted in 1810 by Frederick Hasselburg, an Australian sealer, who named it after Lachlan Macquarie (Macquarie, Lachlan), then governor of New South Wales. A meteorologic and geologic research station has been maintained on the island since 1948. Created a nature reserve in 1933, Macquarie is the only known breeding ground of the royal penguin, and it has a colony of fur seals, reestablished in 1956 after their near extermination in the 1830s. The island was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

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Universalium. 2010.

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