- At 247,105 sq miles (640,000 sq kilometers), the Chagos Islands and surrounding waters cover an area larger than France and more than 60 times the size of Yellowstone National Park in the United States.
- Chagos accounts for 32 percent of the world’s fully protected marine reserves.
- The waters of Chagos host 220 known species of coral and more than 700 species of fish.
- The Chagos Islands provide a safe haven for more than 175,000 pairs of breeding seabirds.
The Chagos Archipelago and its surrounding waters are one of the most remote and unspoiled marine areas remaining on Earth.
Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean (PDF), Chagos is comprised of 55 islands and vast coral reefs. The waters surrounding these islands are some of the world’s healthiest. They serve as a refuge and breeding ground for large, critically important marine species such as sharks, dolphins, and green and hawksbill turtles.
The waters of the Chagos contain up to half of the healthy reefs in the Indian Ocean, making them one of the most ecologically sound reef systems on the planet. Teeming with life and functioning as an important nursery for fish and corals, they enrich and replenish the whole ocean with the ecological goods and services on which millions of people rely.
Through the Chagos Environment Network’s Protect Chagos campaign, Global Ocean Legacy is collaborating with eight leading conservation and scientific organizations to protect the rich biodiversity of the Chagos Islands and its surrounding waters.
Watch a short video about the Chagos unique marine life. More videos can be found here.
View an interactive map of all our Global Ocean Legacy sites