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Cook Islands:
Geography

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Cook Islands Page


Other pages in this profile of the Cook Islands:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
Named after Captain COOK, who sighted them in 1770, the islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, administrative control was transferred to New Zealand; in 1965, residents chose self-government in free association with New Zealand. The emigration of skilled workers to New Zealand and government deficits are continuing problems.
Location
Definition
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand
Geographic coordinates
Definition
21 14 S, 159 46 W
Map references
Definition
Oceania
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 236.7 sq km
land: 236.7 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
1.3 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
120 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
Definition
tropical oceanic; moderated by trade winds; a dry season from April to November and a more humid season from December to March
Terrain
Definition
low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Te Manga 652 m
Natural resources
Definition
NEGL
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 16.67%
permanent crops: 8.33%
other: 75% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
NA
Natural hazards
Definition
typhoons (November to March)
Environment - current issues
Definition
NA
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
the northern Cook Islands are seven low-lying, sparsely populated, coral atolls; the southern Cook Islands, where most of the population lives, consist of eight elevated, fertile, volcanic isles, including the largest, Rarotonga, at 67 sq km


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