|Native name: Islas Desventuradas|
Map of Desventuradas Islands, also known as San Félix Islands
|Adjacent bodies of water||Pacific ocean|
|Major islands||San Ambrosio, San Félix, Gonzalez and Roca Catedral.|
|Area||5.36 km2 (2.07 sq mi)(together)|
|Highest elevation||479 m (1,572 ft)max.|
|Commune||Juan Fernández Islands|
-900077 "San Ambrosio"
-900282 "San Félix"
The Desventuradas Islands, also known as Islas de los Desventurados, (Spanish: Unfortunate Islands) is a group of four small islands located 850 kilometres (530 mi) off the coast of Chile, northwest of Santiago in the Pacific Ocean.
The vegetation is a miniature mosaic of matorral, barren rock, various size trees, and shrubs mixed with ferns and perennial herbs. There are no permanent sources of fresh water on the islands. Vertebrates inhabiting both islands are limited to birds. Ten species of marine birds and one land bird species, some of them endangered, make their nests on or visit the islands.
Because of their isolation and difficulty of access, there are no human settlements on these islands, but a detachment of the Chilean Navy is stationed on Isla San Félix, which also hosts a 2,000-metre (6,600 ft) runway (ICAO code for the airfield: SCFX).
The islands were first sighted by Juan Fernández on 6 November 1574 while voyaging from Callao to Valparaiso, and perhaps earlier by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa wrote in 1579 that "they are now called after St Felix and St Ambor (i.e. Felix and Nabor)". However, by linguistic corruption, the name of the martyr Ambor (Nabor) became confused with that of the more famous bishop Saint Ambrose (San Ambrosio). It is, probably, one of these islands that Captain John Davis struck one night in 1686. He was able to continue his voyage but, erroneously reported the position of the incident.
San Felix played a part in the Falklands War. In May 1982, the Chilean government allowed RAF Nimrod MR2s to fly maritime reconnaissance sorties from the island, gathering information on the movements of the Argentine Navy.
List of islands and location
The Desventuradas Islands, from east to west:
|San Felix group|
|San Félix||2||Cerro Amarillo, 193|
- An Archaeological Exploration of Robinson Crusoe Island
- "San Félix-San Ambrosio Islands temperate forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
- B. Glanvill Corney, "The Isles of San Felix and San Nabor," The Geographical Journal, Vol. 56, No. 3 (September 1920), pp. 196–200
- Brand, Donald D. The Pacific Basin: A History of its Geographical Explorations The American Geographical Society, New York, 1967, p.127.
- Jacques Julien Houtou de Labillardière (1800). Relation du voyage à la recherche de La Pérouse ... 1791, 1792, et pendant la Ière et la 2de année de la République françoise. 2 tom. [and] Atlas.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Islas Desventuradas.|
- GoogleMaps picture of San Felix island
- Islands of Chile @ United Nations Environment Programme
- World island information @ WorldIslandInfo.com
- South America Island High Points above 1000 meters
- United States Hydrographic Office, South America Pilot (1916)