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. 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.
Important Bird Area
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).
- Chagos News No. 37 January 201
- "Nelson, Chagos Bank". Important Bird Areas factsheet. BirdLife International. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- Griffiths, J.D. ed. 1978-9 Joint Services Expedition to the Chagos Archipelago. MOD Publication, London 1979
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