GEOGRAPHY AND ECOLOGY IN FALKLAND ISLANDS

San Carlos Water, one of many inlets on East Falkland. The islands are heavily indented by sounds and fjords
The Falkland Islands comprise two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland (in Spanish Isla Gran Malvina and Isla Soledad respectively), and about 776 small islands. The islands are located 212 miles (341 km) from the Isla de los Estados in Argentina (and 287 miles (462 km) from the Argentine mainland); 304 miles (489 km) from Chile; 669 miles (1,077 km)west of the Shag Rocks (South Georgia) and 576 miles (927 km) north of the British Antarctic Territory (which overlaps with the Argentine and Chilean claims to Antarctica in that region).

The total land area is 4,700 square miles (12,173 km2), slightly smaller than Connecticut or Northern Ireland, with a coastline estimated at 800 miles (1288 km).

The two main islands on either side of Falkland Sound make up most of the land: East Falkland, which contains the capital, Stanley, and most of the population; and West Falkland. Both islands have mountain ranges, the highest point being Mount Usborne, 2312 feet (705 m) on East Falkland. There are also some boggy plains, most notably in Lafonia, on the southern half of East Falkland. Virtually the entire area of the islands is used as pasture for sheep.

Smaller islands surround the main two. They include Barren Island, Beaver Island, Bleaker Island, Carcass Island, George Island, Keppel Island, Lively Island, New Island, Pebble Island, Saunders Island, Sealion Island, Speedwell Island, Staats Island, Weddell Island, and West Point Island. The Jason Islands lie to the north west of the main archipelago, and Beauchene Island some distance to its south. Speedwell Island and George Island are split from East Falkland by Eagle Passage.

Numerous flora and fauna are found on the Falkland Islands. Notable fauna include colonies of the Magellanic Penguin.

The islands claim a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) and an exclusive fishing zone of 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi), which has been a source of disagreement with Argentina.

Biogeographically, the Falkland Islands are classified as part of the Neotropical realm, together with South America. It is also classified as part of the Antarctic Floristic Kingdom.