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Islands and Coral Reefs in Torres Strait, between Australia and Papua New Guinea

9.1S 143.4E

May 15th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Torres Strait Islands - May 12th, 2009

Torres Strait Islands - May 12th, 2009

The Torres Strait Islands are a group of at least 274 small islands which lie in Torres Strait, the waterway separating far northern continental Australia’s Cape York Peninsula and the island of New Guinea.

They are mostly part of Queensland, a constituent State of the Commonwealth of Australia, although a few islands very close to the coast of mainland New Guinea belong to the Western Province of Papua New Guinea.

The islands are distributed across an area of some 48 000 kmĀ². The distance across the Strait from Cape York to New Guinea is approximately 150 km at the narrowest point; the islands lie scattered in between, extending some 200-300 km from furthest east to furthest west.

The islands and their surrounding waters and reefs provide a highly diverse set of land and marine ecosystems, with niches for many rare or unique species.

Marine animals of the islands include dugongs (an endangered species of sea mammal mostly found in New Guinean waters), as well as green, hawksbill and flatback sea turtles.

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