FALKLAND ISLANDS, two large islands, East Falkland (3,000 square miles) and West Falkland (2,300 square miles), with about 100 islands surrounding them, having a total area of •I square miles, in the South Atlantic Ocean, a t.ut 300 miles east of the Strait of Magellan. The scenery bears a striking resemblance to parts of the Western Highlands of Scotland; the soil is light and but scanty crops are ob tained. The highest elevation is Mount Adam, 2,297 feet in height. The coast is deeply in dented and contains many safe anchorages. There are no roads. Sheep raising is the prin cipal occupation, there being 2,325,000 acres de voted to pasturage. The climate is strictly oceanic, characterized by strong winds, equable temperature and moderate rainfall. The waters round the islands have within re cent years become famous as a whale fish ing ground, the exports of products being valued in 1914 at 11,300,978 (including South Georgia). Dependencies of the islands are South Georgia, the South Shetlands, South Sandwich Group, South Orkneys and Graham Land. Revenue, 1914, f42,923; expenditure, f36,046. Imports, £233,379; exports, f1,505,464. Vessels cleared (1914), 139, of 263,965 tons.
Wireless telegraphy was installed in 1912 and cable communication established in 1915. There is monthly mail communication with Liverpool (28 days' sailing). The government is vested in a governor assisted by an executive council of four and a nominated legislative council. The capital is Port Stanley, on the east coast of East Falkland (pop. 905). Pop. 3,275, mainly Scottish, except for 980 Norse and Swedish. The islands were discovered by Davis in 1592. A settlement was founded by the French in 1764, but their rights were sold to Spain in 1765, who in turn relinquished them in 1771. A British colpny which had been es tablished in 1765 was withdrawn in 1774, but Great Britain maintained her claim from the date of her occupancy, and since 1833 has held uninterrupted occupancy of them. On 8 Dec. 1914 a British squadron, under Sir Frederick Sturdee, attacked and defeated a German squadron under Von Spec, sinkizig the cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Leipzic and Niirnberg. Von Spee went down with his flagship, the Scharnhorst. See WAR, EUROPEAN.