South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
|South Georgia and the
South Sandwich Islands
|South Georgia and the
South Sandwich Islands
Motto : Leo Terram propriam Protegat
( Latin for "May the Lion protect his country")
|Capital||King Edward Point|
|Form of government||British overseas territory|
|Head of state , also head of government||
Queen Elizabeth II
Commissioner : Colin Roberts
South Georgia: 3756 km², Sandwich Islands: 310 km²
|currency||Pound sterling (GBP)|
|Time zone||UTC − 2|
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (abbreviation SGSSI used by the island government ) is a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic , which consists of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands . The islands are 3677 km from the South Pole . Since they are north of the 60th parallel south, they do not fall within the scope of the Antarctic Treaty . The status quo rule of Article 4 of this treaty does not therefore apply to them.
The area is claimed with reference to early Spanish sightings of Argentina , which sees itself as the “heritage” of Spain.
The island area is located in the South Atlantic 1400 km east of the Falkland Islands . It is made up of the main island of South Georgia and the smaller archipelagos belonging to this island as well as the South Sandwich Islands , which are about 600 to 800 km to the southeast . The total land area of the area amounts to 3903 km².
The islands form the southernmost overseas territory in the world, as all islands south of the Cook Island fall under the Antarctic Treaty and therefore do not belong to any state.
At South Georgia include the eponymous main island (arg .: San Pedro ) ( 54 ° 19 ' S , 36 ° 39' W ), the largest surface area of the entire overseas territory, as well as the Pickersgill Islands , the Welcome Islands and the Willis Islands , Annenkov Iceland , Bird Island , Cooper Island, and Grass Island . The clusters of Clerke Rocks , Shag Rocks and Black Rock are also part of South Georgia.
South Sandwich Islands
The Southern Sandwich Islands include (from north to south) the Traversay Islands , the Candlemas Islands (arg .: Candelaria ), Saunders Island , Montagu Island (arg .: Jorge ), Bristol Island (arg .: Blanca ) and the Southern Thul Islands (arg. : Tule del Sur ). The South Sandwich Islands are all uninhabited.
The mountainous, rugged and mostly ice-covered landscape makes most of the islands habitable only to a limited extent. Eleven mountains in South Georgia bring it to an altitude of over 2000 m , the highest point is Mount Paget at 2934 m. The main island of South Georgia is 160 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. It covers an area of 3756 km². There are more than 160 glaciers on the island , many of which stretch as far as the sea. The southwest coast is exposed to westerly winds and therefore has a colder, stormier and generally very inhospitable climate. The northeast coast lies in the lee of the mountains. Thus the climate there is more pleasant and the swell in the bays is calmer.
Some of the South Sandwich Islands are of volcanic origin. Some of the volcanoes there are still active.
South Georgia is one of the most important breeding areas for the king penguin . It is estimated that around 400,000 animals of this species live there. The population of golden crested penguins is estimated at around 5 million specimens. Furthermore, South Georgia is an important habitat for elephant seals and sea lions . During the rutting season, up to 350,000 elephant seals meet on the coast of the island, while the number of sea lions is estimated at around 2 million. The areas of Saint Andrews Bay , Gold Harbor , Salisbury Plain and Fortuna Bay are famous . Mammals introduced by humans are rats and mice. Norwegian whalers introduced reindeer in 1911, 1912 and again in 1925 , which increased rapidly after the whaling stations were closed. The reindeer inhabited two non-glaciated areas, but outlet glaciers prevented them from spreading to other parts of the island. With the retreat of many glaciers in the course of global warming , the danger arose that the reindeer could overcome the natural barriers and cause severe damage to the plant communities and breeding birds of South Georgia. In 2011 the decision was made to completely remove the reindeer from the island. In the southern summers of 2012/2013 and 2013/2014, over 6,000 animals were rounded up by Sami reindeer herders or shot down by Norwegian hunters.
South Georgia does not have a permanent population. On the island two sent government officials and their spouses, as well as in summer live up to four museum employees of the South Georgia Museum in about one kilometer from Grytviken from nearby King Edward Point . The duties of government officials include port captains , overseeing border control and customs , fishing and tourism .
There are also around 25 employees of the British Antarctic Survey in the station at King Edward Point and in the station on Bird Island on the north-western tip of the island. The Government of the Overseas Territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands themselves reside in Stanley in the Falkland Islands .
South Georgia was probably first sighted in April 1675 by the British merchant Anthony de la Roché . This got into bad weather at Cape Horn and was drifted far off course. He discovered a mountainous country with deep bays. This description can only apply to South Georgia in this area.
It was another hundred years before the first human set foot in South Georgia. James Cook landed on January 17, 1775 on board the HMS Resolution in a bay that he called Possession Bay . Cook mapped part of the coastline. He sailed on to the southern tip of the island, which he called Cape Disappointment , because it was now apparent that South Georgia could not be the Antarctic continent Cook was actually looking for. On his voyage around South Georgia, Cook also discovered the South Sandwich Islands. He named her after Lord Sandwich , First Lord of the Admiralty, but better known as the inventor of the sandwich .
Cook mentioned in his reports that South Georgia and its waters are rich in seals. This soon led to the start of the seal hunt in 1786 , which lasted until 1909 and almost led to the extinction of these animals. In addition, a total of 175,250 whales were hunted in South Georgia from 1904 to 1965 . Remnants of the whaling industry can still be seen in some places on the island and are partially listed.
The first (involuntary) exploration of the interior was made by Sir Ernest Shackleton , Frank Worsley and Tom Crean in 1916 as part of the endurance expedition . The expedition had lost their ship in the pack ice, whereupon the crew drove over the ice and with the lifeboats to Elephant Island . A group around Shackleton sailed to South Georgia in one of the lifeboats for help, but ended up in King Haakon Bay without a map because a storm had forced them to the west coast. From there Shackleton, Worsley and Crean crossed the island and successfully reached Stromness. The first scientific expedition to explore the island took place in 1928 when the German Ludwig Kohl-Larsen visited the island with his wife and cameraman Albert Benitz .
From 1925 Argentina raised claims to South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which it tried to enforce during the Falklands War of 1982. At that time, South Georgia came under Argentine occupation for a short time , on the South Sandwich Islands the Argentines set up a military station with Corbeta Uruguay , but the main conflict took place on the Falkland Islands . A troop base that was then built at King Edward Point existed until 2001 to make room for a research team.
The overseas territory is administered by the Governor of the Falkland Islands as Commissioner, who acts as the representative of the British Queen and Government. The UK is responsible for defense. The legal system is based on English Common Law , a valid constitution has existed since October 3, 1985.
The Governor of the Falkland Islands also sends officials to the island as representatives to take on local tasks.
The SIQQ 1ZZ postcode is for the entire territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
June 14th has been an official holiday since 1982 as so-called "Liberation Day".
- Aeronautical map of the territory 1: 1,000,000 (JPG, 9.1 MiB)
- Official website of South Georgia
- K5TR visits Southern Thule, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands - Photos of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Island of Southern Thule
- Official web publication of the Commonwealth of Nations (English)
- ↑ Government website (English)
- ↑ James Edgar: Thousands of reindeer culled in UK territory . In: The Telegraph of February 19, 2014 (English)
- ^ Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Wiki ( October 24, 2014 memento in the Internet Archive ), accessed October 24, 2014
- ↑ Archived copy ( memento of the original from September 12, 2012 in the web archive archive.today ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands GSGSSI, accessed November 4, 2014
- ↑ Who lives on SG? Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands GSGSSI ( Memento of the original from September 12, 2012 in the web archive archive.today ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Official website of South Georgia: FAQ: "There is no permanent human population on SG. There are 2 Government Officers and spouses, up to 25 British Antarctic Survey personnel at 2 research stations and up to 4 Museum staff in the summer months." - 2013, accessed October 21, 2014
- ↑ South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands - Government - Information - Overview ( Memento of the original from September 12, 2012 in the web archive archive.today ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed October 24, 2014
Coordinates: 57 ° S , 32 ° W