Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Flag of Cocos (Keeling) Islands

At Cologne Gardens near Cocos Keeling Islands

Country Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Link to map of Cocos Keeling Islands and relative position to Australia)
Continent Located in Indian Ocean (territory of Australia)
Capital West Island
Population 600
Language Malay (Cocos dialect), English
Religion Sunni Muslim 80%, other 20% (2002 est.)
Terrain This territory consists of two atolls and 27 coral islands with two — West Island and Home Island — where the bulk of the population reside.¬† The highest point is about 15 ft. above sea level.
Sports Various sailing clubs
Animals The few resident land birds are few; e.g. buff-banded rail, green jungle-fowl and helmeted guinea-fowl

There are several migratory seabirds that visit North Keeling Island, which is uninhabited and a national park; e.g. red-footed boobies, great and lesser frigate birds, common noddies and white terns.

Facts of Interest First visited by British sea captain William Keeling (East India Company) in 1609; it remained uninhabited until the 19th century

Cocos refers to the abundant number of coconut trees which is the sole cash crop

Due to their location in the Indian Ocean, this set of islands played some significance in the WW I and WW II as a Y-service location for the British government (communication interception and direction finding)

Concerns Fresh water is extremely limited (rainwater mostly!)

Although not specifically mentioned, the rising sea levels will have a significant impact on these islands with the highest elevation only 15 ft.