Juan de Nova Island

Flag of Clipperton Island

Map of Juan de Nova Island


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. Presently a small military garrison oversees a meteorological station.


Southern Africa, island in the Mozambique Channel, about one-third of the way between Madagascar and Mozambique

Geographic coordinates:

17 03 S, 42 45 E


total: 4.4 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 4.4 sq km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation




low and flat

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 10 m

Natural resources:

guano deposits and other fertilizers

Natural hazards:

periodic cyclones

Geography - note:

wildlife sanctuary


no indigenous inhabitants
note: there is a small French military garrison along with a few meteorologists; occasionally visited by scientists (July 2004 est.)

Dependency status:

possession of France; administered by a high commissioner of the Republic, resident in Reunion

Economy - overview:

Up to 12,000 tons of guano are mined per year.

Communications - note:

1 meteorological station

Ports and harbors:

none; offshore anchorage only


1 (2003 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2003 est.)

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of France

Disputes - international:

claimed by Madagascar