Wikijunior:South America/Falkland Islands< Wikijunior:South America
Welcome to the Falkland Islands! The Falklands (as they are known locally) are a group of islands 300+ miles (500 km) of the coast of South America. The Falklands are a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; they are claimed as part of Argentina by the Argentine constitution. The Falkland Islands Government control their own affairs, such as schools, hospitals and taxes. In the islands is a passage called the Falkland Sound which the islands are named after, which goes through the middle of the islands.
The Falkland Islands are made up of two main islands and over 750 small islands.The total land area is 4,700 square miles (12,000 km2).Surrounded by cool South Atlantic waters, the Falkland Islands have a climate very much influenced by the ocean. January averages about 9 °C, with average daily high of 13 °C, while July averages about 2 °C with average daily high 4 °C. Rainfall is relatively low at about 24 inches (610 mm). Humidity and winds, however, are constantly high. Snow is rare, but can occur at almost any time of year.
Argentines call them the Islas Malvinas. Their claim is due to them being near Argentina and in the past East Falkland islands was sold to Spain by the French. The Spanish left the Islands in 1811, 5 years before Argentina declared its independence from Spain in 1816.
The main ways in which the islands make money are by fishing in the rich seas around the islands and wool from the sheep which live on the islands. In the past, wool was so important that the flag had a picture of a sheep on it!