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Christmas Island

Christmas Island

There are some places in earth which are though very small but have a very strategic geographical location which makes them special. As it is islands are the places where everyone likes to go. The geographical location of these islands makes them very beautiful. Also these islands

are a hub of many unique species and unique vegetations. So it makes it all the more attractive. Christmas Island is one such island which has all the beauty of this earth.

Geographical location

Christmas Island is an island which is located in the Indian Ocean. It is a small territory which is a non self-governing territory of Australia. It has a unique topography and has been a place of immense interest to scientists and naturalists. This is so because the flora and fauna of that place which has evolved in isolation has remain undisturbed by human habitation. So it has become a strategic place for all scientists and zoologists. This place also consists of a national park. The total area of the island is 135 square kilometers out of which 65 percent of the area is covered by the national park.

Historical value

The island is located in such a strategic place that the rugged coasts of the island have acted as natural barriers to human settlement. So the beauty of the island is still conserved. Earlier in the seventeenth century British and the Dutch included the island on their charts. This island was named as Christmas Island because captain William Mynors arrived on this island on the day of Christmas i.e. 25th December, 1643 and the island was found.

Flora and fauna

The flora and fauna assemblage in Christmas Island has developed largely due to the influences of warm temperatures. However the flora is highly rich due to this warm temperatures, high rainfall, isolation and geological history. However the natural vegetation of the island can be categorized into three types viz primary rainforest, marginal forest and scrub forest. The scrub is also known as or referred to as open forest and vine forest. There are about 411 plant species on Christmas Island and out of those 18 are common. The vegetation that is present in the island is very unique as it doesnt occur anywhere else in all over Australia. There are approximately 126 of such species which are unique. There are also some species which are extinct or are considered rare. They are twenty-eight in number.

Regarding the fauna of this island it is as much diverse as the flora of the island. However the island is predominantly occupied by land crabs and precisely red land crabs. These crabs are the dominant consumer of the forest floor of the island. And red crabs are the crabs which only occur only on Christmas Island. Apart from the crabs there are some terrestrial invertebrates which include all the land birds and also some sea birds. Also there are some terrestrial reptiles which are six in number out of which five are endemic. However the limited availability of permanent, above-ground freshwater sources has restricted the numbers and types of aquatic vertebrates found on Christmas Island.