Île aux Cochons

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Île aux Cochons
NASA image of the Île aux Cochons
NASA image of the Île aux Cochons
Waters Indian Ocean
Archipelago Crozet Islands
Geographical location 46 ° 6 ′ 0 ″  S , 50 ° 14 ′ 0 ″  E Coordinates: 46 ° 6 ′ 0 ″  S , 50 ° 14 ′ 0 ″  E
Location of Île aux Cochons
length 9 km
surface 67 km²
Highest elevation Mont Richard-Foy
853  m
Residents uninhabited
Map of the island
Map of the island

The Île aux Cochons (German: Pig Island ) is the third largest and most westerly island of the Crozet Islands in the southern Indian Ocean . Politically, it belongs to the French overseas territory "Terres australes et antarctiques françaises" .


The approximately round volcanic island has a diameter of about 9 km and an area of ​​about 67 km². She reached in Mont Richard-Foy , a stratovolcano , a height of 853 m above sea level and thus represents the third highest island of the archipelago. About 15 km north-east of Ile aux Cochons are the Îlots of Apôtres , about 30 kilometers south-east lies the Ile des pingouins . It is about 110 kilometers away from the largest island in the archipelago, the Île de la Possession .


The island was discovered by Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne in January 1772 . American seal hunters released pigs as live supplies on the island around 1820 and called them Hog Island from then on . The pigs caused severe damage to the native flora and fauna, but have since become extinct. On the night of March 8th to 9th, 1887, the crew of the French freighter Tamaris was shipwrecked not far from the Île des Pingouins. The 13-man crew escaped to the Île aux Cochons and built makeshift accommodation. On August 4, she managed to provide a giant petrel with a message, which was actually found on September 18 in the western Australian city of Fremantle , 5700 kilometers away . The French warship La Meurthe , which started late in Madagascar because of the long communication routes , reached the island on December 1st. There, instead of the shipwrecked people, you could only find a diary of the captain, from which it emerged that they had set out on a raft on September 30th to reach the Île de la Possession, on which they never arrived.


The Île aux Cochons had large colonies of king penguins . 500,000 couples were sighted there in the 1980s. In August 2018, researchers announced that when they were counted again, only about 60,000 breeding pairs were found.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Le naufrage du Tamaris (1887). In: Les Îles Crozet: voyage au pays des manchots et des Albatros. Retrieved May 14, 2017 (French).
  2. tagesschau.de: "Where did all the penguins go?"  Https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/pinguine-113.html, accessed on August 1, 2018
  3. ^ Henri Weimerskirch et al .: Massive decline of the world's largest king penguin colony at Ile aux Cochons, Crozet . In: Antarctic Science . tape 30 , no. 4 , August 2018, p. 236–242 , doi : 10.1017 / S0954102018000226 (English).