Territory of Australia
Capital: Flying Fish Cove
Languages: English (official))
Area: 135 Sq km
Population: Above 2,100
Christmas Island is a territory of Australia and is named Christmas Island because it was discovered on Christmas Day. The island’s geographic isolation and minimal human disturbance led to a high level of endemism among its flora and fauna which interest the scientists and naturalists.
The Island is a non-self-governing territory of Australia, currently administered by the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government. The legal system is under the authority of the Governor-General of Australia and Australian law. An Administrator appointed by the Governor-General represents the monarch and Australia.
Phosphate mining had been the only significant economic activity, but in December 1987 the Australian government closed the mine. In 1991, the mine was reopened by a consortium which included many of the former mine workers as shareholders.
Christmas Island, due to its close proximity to Australia's northern neighbors, falls within many of the more 'interesting' satellite footprints throughout the region. A variety of government owned and operated antenna systems are employed on the island to take advantage of this.