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The group includes:
- Administratively, Apataki and Kaukura atolls belong to the commune of Arutua, with a total population of 1510 inhabitants.
- Toau, Niau, and Fakarava, belong to the commune of Fakarava. The total population is of 1800 inhabitants.
- The commune of Rangiroa consists of 3 atolls: Rangiroa itself, Tikehau and Mataiva, and a separate island (Makatea). The total population is of 3467 inhabitants.
The Palliser Islands were named "Palliser's Isles" by Captain James Cook, who was the first European to sight them, on 19 April and 20 April 1774; naming them as such in honour of Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser.
- Samuel Augustus Mitchell, An accompaniment to Mitchell's map of the world on Mercator's projection
- A New Voyage Round the World in the Years 1823 - 24, For the Palliser Islands discovered by Captain Cook
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