Reference > World Factbook, 2008
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  The World Factbook.  2008.
 
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
 
Flag of Heard Island and McDonald Islands                                Map of Heard Island and McDonald Islands
 
Background:These uninhabited, barren, sub-Antarctic islands were transferred from the UK to Australia in 1947. Populated by large numbers of seal and bird species, the islands have been designated a nature preserve.
  
Geography
  
Location:islands in the Indian Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica
Geographic coordinates:53 06 S, 72 31 E
Map references:Antarctic Region
Area:total: 412 sq km
land: 412 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area—comparative:slightly more than two times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:0 km
Coastline:101.9 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate:antarctic
Terrain:Heard Island - 80% ice-covered, bleak and mountainous, dominated by a large massif (Big Ben) and an active volcano (Mawson Peak); McDonald Islands - small and rocky
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mawson Peak, on Big Ben 2,745 m
Natural resources:fish
Land use:arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land:0 sq km
Natural hazards:Mawson Peak, an active volcano, is on Heard Island
Environment—current issues:NA
  
People
  
Population:uninhabited
  
Government
  
Country name:conventional long form: Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands
conventional short form: Heard Island and McDonald Islands
abbreviation: HIMI
Dependency status:territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Australian Antarctic Division of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
Legal system:the laws of Australia, where applicable, apply
Diplomatic representation in the US:none (territory of Australia)
Diplomatic representation from the US:none (territory of Australia)
Flag description:the flag of Australia is used
  
Economy
  
Economy—overview:The islands have no indigenous economic activity, but the Australian Government allows limited fishing in the surrounding waters.
  
Communications
  
Internet country code:.hm
  
Transportation
  
Ports and terminals:none; offshore anchorage only
  
Military
  
Military—note:defense is the responsibility of Australia; Australia conducts fisheries patrols
  
Transnational Issues
  
Disputes—international:none

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