| GENERAL INFO (Jump to Diary)|
The Virgin Islands of the United States consists of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, and many other surrounding minor islands. The total land area of the territory is 346.36 km2. Previously known as the Danish West Indies of the Kingdom of Denmark, they were sold to the United States by Denmark in 1916. They are classified by the United Nations as a Non-Self-Governing Territory.
The islands were named by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 for Saint Ursula and her virgin followers. Over the next two hundred years, the islands were held by many European powers, including Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Denmark.
The population is just above 106.000 of which Black or Afro-Caribbean count for 76.0%, White 15.7%, Asian: 1.4% and Mixed: 2.1%. Around 95% are Christians.
The United States Virgin Islands enjoy a tropical climate, with little seasonal change throughout the year. Here are 144 species of birds, 22 species of mammals, 302 species of fish and seven species of amphibians. The only endemic land mammals are six species of native bats: the greater bulldog bat, Antillean fruit-eating bat, red fruit bat, Brazilian free-tailed bat, velvety free-tailed bat and the Jamaican fruit bat. Reptiles manages better: The world’s largest species of reptile, the leatherback turtle, as well as one of the largest land lizards, the green iguana thrives here along with the red-footed tortoise. I would like to see the Virgin Islands worm lizard; Amphisbaena fenestrata.