FALKLAND ISLANDS, the only considerable cluster in the South Atlantic, lie about 300 m. to the e.n.e. of the strait of Magellan, stretching in s. lat. from 51° to 52° 30', and in w. long. from 57° 40' to 61° 20'. After having successively belonged to France and Spain, they have, since 1771, formed part of the British empire, and in 1833 they began to be settled, being, as a whole, the most southerly of the organized colonies of England. These islands number about 200, presenting a total area of about 6500 sq. miles. The two largest members of the group, East Falkland and West Falkland, com prise between them more than half the surface; and of the remainder the chief ones are Great Swan, Saunders, Keppel, Pebble, Eagle, and Jason. This possession is valu able mainly from its position with respect to the Southern and Pacific oceans, being in this connection all the more valuable ou account of its many excellent harbors. Both the soil and the climate are much better adapted to pasturage than to cultivation. While the natural grass is extremely luxuriant, scarcely anything but a few vegetables is grown in the settlement. The coasts teem with fish, more especially with cod; and in certain seasons of the year, penguins and seals are killed in great numbers, for the sake of their oil. The temperature is very different from that of the corresponding
parallels in the s. of England—being both lower in summer and higher in winter. The mean of the former season is about 53° F., and the latter about 40°. These averages considerably exceed the vague estimates of early navigators, who, coming suddenly down from the tropical heats, appear to have felt here, by comparison, something of hyperborean cold. Though there is no timber worthy of the name, yet peat abounds to the depth of 10 feet. Pop. '71, 803; '77, 1336, of whom only 384 were females. Rev enue of the colony in 1877, £3,286; expenditures, £6,266. Imports from England in. 1877, £27,809; exports (chiefly wool, with oil, hides, tallow, and seal skins), £65,891. A good many acres have been reclaimed for horticulture in the neighborhood of Stanley, the seat of government; and a little barley and oats is cultivated. There is only one indigenous quadruped found, a kind of fox. Large cattle are now numerous. The sheep are chiefly Cheviots and Southdowns, of which the mutton finds a ready market on the spot. There are deposits of guano on West Falkland. The governor, the execu tive council, and the legislative council of the F. I. are all appointed by the crown.