island in the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean

Population 15
Time zone UTC+03:00

Juan de Nova Island is an island in the Indian Ocean off East Africa, about one-third of the way from Madagascar to Mozambique. It is part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. It has no permanent population.


Named after a famous 15th-century Spanish navigator and explorer, the island has been a French possession since 1897. It has been exploited for its guano and phosphate. A small military garrison oversees a meteorological station.




Low and flat. The island is about 6 km (3.7 mi) long and 1.6 km (0.99 mi) at its widest.

Get inEdit

There is no public transportation to the island.

Anchorage is possible off the northeast of the island, and it has a 1,300-m (4,300 ft) unpaved airstrip.


The island is a nature reserve surrounded by reefs which enclose an area (not a true lagoon like in an atoll) of roughly 40 km² (15 sq mi). Forests, mainly of Casuarinaceae, cover about half the island. Sea turtles nest on the beaches around the island.

The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a very large colony of sooty terns, with up to 100,000 breeding pairs. It also has a much smaller colony of greater crested terns (with at least 50 breeding pairs recorded in 1994). Of at least seven species of landbirds present, most are probably introduced.


There is no economic activity on Juan de Nova Island.


There are no public accommodations on Juan de Nova Island.


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