Canary Islands

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Canary Islands,

Span. Islas Canarias, group of seven islands (1990 pop. 1,589,403), 2,808 sq mi (7,273 sq km), autonomous region of Spain, in the Atlantic Ocean off Western Sahara. They constitute two provinces of Spain. Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1990 pop. 770,627), 1,239 sq mi (3,209 sq km), includes Tenerife, Palma, Gomera, and Hierro. Las Palmas (1990 pop. 818,776), 1,569 sq mi (4,064 sq km), includes Grand Canary, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura. Fuerteventura is 67 mi (108 km) from the African coast. The islands, of volcanic origin, are rugged; Mt. Teide (12,162 ft/3,707 m) is the highest point in Spain.

Wine was the main export of the Canaries until the grape blight of 1853; its place was taken by cochineal until aniline dyes came into general use. Today the leading exports are bananas, sugarcane, tomatoes, potatoes, and tobacco, which are grown where irrigation is possible. There is fishing on the open seas, and the Canaries, with their subtropical climate and fine beaches, have become a major tourist center. An oil refinery and other large-scale industries are located at Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, located on Palma, is the site of the Great Canary Telescope, the world's largest reflecting telescope.

Pliny mentions an expedition to the Canaries c.40 B.C., and they may have been the Fortunate IslesFortunate Isles
or Isles of the Blest,
in classical and Celtic legend, islands in the Western Ocean. There the souls of favored mortals were received by the gods and lived happily in a paradise.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of later classical writers. They were occasionally visited by Arabs and by European travelers in the Middle Ages. Jean de Béthencourt, a Norman, settled at Lanzarote in 1402 and, with the support of the kingdom of Castile, became its king in 1404. The Treaty of Alcácovas (1479) between Portugal and Spain recognized Spanish sovereignty over the Canaries; conquest of the Guanches, the indigenous Berber inhabitants of the islands, was completed in 1496. The islands became an important base for voyages to the Americas. The Canaries were frequently raided by pirates and privateers; Las Palmas beat off Francis Drake in 1595 but was ravaged by the Dutch in 1599. In the French Revolutionary Wars, Horatio Nelson was repulsed (1797) at Santa Cruz. The Canary Islands became an autonomous region in 1982. In the early 21st cent. the islands, as part of Spain and the European Union, became a destination for illegal immigrants traveling by boat from Africa.

Canary Islands


a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean 100–120 km off the northwestern coast of Africa. They are part of the territory of Spain and administratively have been divided by Spain into two provinces: Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The most important islands are Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Fuerteventura. Area of the islands, 7, 300 sq km; total population, 1.2 million (1970 census). The basic population consists of Spaniards, into whom have merged groups of the local population, the Guanches. The language spoken is Spanish, and the religion is Catholicism.

The islands were formed by basalt; there are many extinct and active volcanoes (on Tenerife, Palma, and Lanzarote). The maximum elevation is 3, 718 m (the active volcano Teide on the island of Tenerife). The climate is tropical and characterized by trade winds; it is moderately hot and dry. Annual precipitation amounts to 300–500 mm. Growing on the slopes of the volcanoes are evergreen shrubs and forests. The flora includes many indigenous species (the dragon tree, Canary fig palm, Canary pine).Bananas, grains, potatoes, citrus fruits, tobacco, grapes, and beans are cultivated. Livestock raised includes goats, sheep, and cattle. Fishing is also important, and there are climatic resorts. The Canary Islands constitute an important transit base in the Atlantic Ocean. The principal cities and major ports are Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.[11–938]

References in periodicals archive ?
In November 2011 we received correspondence from Spain (via CWS) indicating that this petrel had originally been banded on 13 October 1995 off the African coast, on Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (28[degrees] 33' N, 16[degrees] 20' W), a straight-line distance of 4,660 km (covering 510 longitude) between banding and recapture locations.
Taking part in the poll were 500 hotel workers from tourist hotspots such as the Canary Islands, Spain, France, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, Mexico, Italy, Egypt and the Balearic Islands.
Oregon welcomes a recruiting class that includes 5-9 point guard Maite Cazorla of Canary Islands, Spain, 6-1 forward Otiona Gildon of Spokane and 6-3 post Lauren Yearwood of Victoria, B.
Orange and the members of the ACE consortium have launch the ACE cable in Cotonou, Benin and Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
The assembly and testing facility to be established under the joint venture will be located in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain with the support of the region's industrial and governmental leaders.
30, a month after the comet's discovery, Alan Fitzsimmons and Martin Cartwright of Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, obtained spectra of Hale-Bopp with the 4-meter William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands, Spain.
In 2008, Sol Melia Vacation Club will open new projects in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the Canary Islands, Spain and the second phase of Sol Melia Vacation Club at Gran Melia Puerto Rico.
In 2008, Sol Melia Vacation Club will also open new projects in the Canary Islands, Spain, Dominican Republic and the second phase of Sol Melia Vacation Club at Gran Melia Puerto Rico.
For those wanting to get away for longer, Florida, South Africa, the Canary Islands, Spain, the Balearic Islands, Cyprus, Florida and the Caribbean were the top sun spots.
Armed with these images, as well a smaller set his team took with the William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands, Spain, and the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea, Shanks' team found that the number of galaxies increases sharply as their brightness decreases.
This summer, SMVC announced the opening of its third location in the Dominican Republic, The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana, and Gran Melia Palacio de Isora, Canary Islands, Spain, its first member resort in Tenerife and fourth in the Canary Islands.
In January 2004, 2 fishermen captured a 26-kg amberjack (local name: Medregal Negro; scientific name: Seriola Rivoliana) while scuba diving along the coast of the Canary Islands, Spain.