Nelsons Island

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Nelson Island is located in Indian Ocean
Nelson Island
Nelson Island
Location of Nelson Island in the Indian Ocean

Nelson Island or Nelsons Island or Legour Island is the northernmost and the easternmost island of the Great Chagos Bank, which is the world's largest coral atoll structure, located in the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The nearest neighbour is Île Boddam in the Salomon Islands.

Nelson Island occupies the only emerging reef structure in the northern fringe of the Great Chagos Bank. This lonely island was discovered by a French explorer, Alexis Legour, in 1820.[1] It seems to have been always uninhabited, even between the 17th and the 20th century when there were coconut plantations in other islands of the Chagos. The low bushy sandy island stretches in an East-West direction. Its length is 1.5 km (1 mi) and it is only 0.2 km (0 mi) wide in its broadest area. Owing to its remoteness there has always been a numerous population of sea turtles in this island.[2]

Important Bird Area[edit]

Nelson Island has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. Birds for which the island is of conservation significance include Lesser Noddies (13,700 breeding pairs) and Brown Noddies (8300 pairs).[3]


  • Griffiths, J.D. ed. 1978-9 Joint Services Expedition to the Chagos Archipelago. MOD Publication, London 1979

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 05°40′53″S 72°18′39″E / 5.68139°S 72.31083°E / -5.68139; 72.31083 (Nelson Island)