Geography of New Caledonia


The British explorer James Cook sighted Grande Terre in 1774 and named it New Caledonia, Caledonia being Latin for Scotland.


In 1853, under Napoleon III, the area was made a French colony.


In 1991, of the land was irrigated.


It has a catchment area of 620 square kilometres and opens north-westward into the Baie d'Harcourt, flowing towards the northern point of the island along the western escarpment of the Mount Panie. In 1993, 12% of New Caledonian land was used for permanent pasture, with 39% occupied by forests and woodland.


The crested gecko (Correlophus ciliatus), thought to have gone extinct, was rediscovered in 1994.


In the same census, 37.1% reported that they could speak (but not necessarily read or write) one of the 28 indigenous Austronesian languages. At the 1996 census, the indigenous Melanesian Kanak community represented 44.6% of the whole population.


At the 2004 census, 97.0% reported they could speak French, whereas only 0.97% reported that they had no knowledge of French.

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Page generated on 2021-08-05