Official name: The Australian Communion
Extent: 7 686 850 square kilometres
Population number: 20 000 150
Population density: 2,69 persons per one square kilometer
Official language: English
State organization: Federation
Main religion: Roman Catholics (27%), Church of England (23,4%), the Methodists (9,6%), the Presbyterians (9%)
The highest peak: Mt. Kosciuszko (2228 metres)
Time: Central European Time + 9 hours
Thanks to its great extent, you can find in Australia various nature eco-systems, such as: tropical virgin forests as well as wetted areas are typical for south regions of Australia, whereas eucalyptus forests are dominating for south-east part of the country. The deserts present central region of the country. The Australian coasts are washed up with three oceans: Indian, Pacific and South Ocean. Australia is consisted of six Federal States (South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, West Australia), three Federal Territories (North Territory, Capital Territory, Jervis Bay Territory), seven Overseas Regions ( Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Cocoa Islands, Heard and MacDonald Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Norfolk. Christmas Island and Tasmania).
The Australian Earth Mass belongs to the oldest continents. The surrounding sea maintained the earth cut of from remaining continents for more than 50 millions of years. So, local animals lived in isolation for rather long time period. Since the time, when the Europeans colonized Australia., seventeen sorts of mammals were exterminated and next thirty sorts were menaced. However, many imported animals, such as: fox, cats, pigs, goats, donkeys, horses, blackbirds, rabbits, etc. became a disaster for local fauna and flora. The Australia is offering really wide scale of aborigine fauna, from primitive one up to highly developped one. So, they are, first of all: kangaroos, duck-bills, coala-bear, dingo-dogs, whales, emu-ostrichs, magpies, eagles, parrots, crocodiles, lizards, etc. As far as flora is concerned, despite desert areas, (which cover great part from total area), the Australia is rather afforested territory. The forests take approx. 5% (410 000 square kilometres) from total surface.
However, owing to „intervention“ of Europeans (they cut down the trees in virgin rain forests and brought there agricultural animals (they destructed soil quality), local fauna was very seriously menaced, but, nevertheless, most of them „survived“ and remained there till now. So, you can find there more than 700 sorts of grass, big number of plants, bush and trees.
Moderate climate could be mentioned in south-east part of the continent only, first of all, along the coasts. On the other hand, in north part of the country, tropical climate is prevailing. The vegetace is consisting of virgin rain forests, standard forests as well as mangrove swamps. As a complex, the climate is influenced by ocean, including El Nino appearance, which causes regular dry periods as well as saison systems of pressure lowers, where the cyclones are established. Hot weather dominates in December, whereas in July, the winter is prevailing. So, the summer starts in December, the autumn continues in March, the winter in June and the spring in September.
New South Wales (more than six millions of inhabitants) is most populated state of Australia, followed by Victoria (approx. 4,5 millions of persons), where the biggest towns, such as Sydney (3 millions of inhabitants) and Melbolurne (2,5 millions of persons) are to be found. Till the beginning of the 2nd World War, most of population was of British or Irish origin. Later, this situation dramatically changed, as a consequence of strong migration from Europe. The Greeks, Italians, Germans, Dutchmen, Turks, etc. arrived to the country. At present, Australia has only approx. 350 000 inhabitants with really Australian origin. And, to tell the truth, this country could be named as multi-cultural continent, in the right sense of the word.
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