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Mauritius: Geography

Geography Mauritius
Location:
Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates:
20 17 S, 57 33 E
Map references:
Political Map of the World
Area:
total: 2,040 sq km
note: includes Agalega Islands, Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues
water: 10 sq km
land: 2,030 sq km
Area - comparative:
almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
177 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate:
tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)
Terrain:
small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Piton 828 m
Natural resources:
arable land, fish
Land use:
arable land: 49.26%
permanent crops: 2.96%
other: 47.78% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
200 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards
Environment - current issues:
water pollution, degradation of coral reefs
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
the main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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