Louisiade Archipelago

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Louisiade Archipelago
Moving westward from eastern end of the chain are the islands of Rossel and Vanatinai (Tagula). Misima Island, which harbors the largest village in the region, is obscured by a patch of clouds northeast of image center

The Louisiade Archipelago is a string of ten larger volcanic islands frequently fringed by coral reefs, and 90 smaller coral islands located 200 km southeast of New Guinea, stretching over more than 160 kilometres (99 mi) and spread over an ocean area of 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq mi) between the Solomon Sea to the north and the Coral Sea to the south. The aggregate land area of the islands is about 1,790 square kilometres (690 sq mi), with Vanatinai (Tagula) being the largest.

Sideia Island and Basilaki Island lie closest to New Guinea, while Misima, Vanatinai, and Rossel islands lie further east.

The archipelago is divided into the Local Level Government (LLG) areas Louisiade Rural (western part, with Misima), and Yaleyamba (eastern part, with Rossell and Vanatinai islands). The LLG areas are part of Samarai-Murua District district of Milne Bay. The seat of the Louisiade Rural LLG is Bwagaoia on Misima Island, the population center of the archipelago.[1]


The Louisiade Archipelago consists of the following island groups and islands:[2]


The islands were most likely observed by Luis Váez de Torres in 1606, but Malay and Chinese sailors may have visited the islands earlier. Louis Antoine de Bougainville named them in 1768 for Louis XV, the king of France. Visits were also paid by Admiral Bruni d'Entrecasteaux in 1793 and Captain Owen Stanley in 1849.

The 1942 Battle of Coral Sea was fought nearby, after Japanese occupation in the same year. The Deboyne Islands were the site of the 1942 Raids on Deboyne.

Rain forests[edit]

The islands have a moist tropical climate, and are largely covered with tropical moist broadleaf forests. The Louisiade Archipelago rain forests form a distinct ecoregion, and are home to a number of endemic species, including several endemic trees (in genera Pandanus, Diospyros, and Hopea), as well as five endemic frog species, two endemic lizard species, and five endemic bird species.


  1. ^ http://www.pngec.gov.pg/ElectionInfo2007/PollSched-MilneBay.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.g3kma.dsl.pipex.com/067-076%20oceania%20list.doc

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 11°12′S 153°00′E / 11.200°S 153.000°E / -11.200; 153.000