Socotra is the name of a group of islands in the northwestern Indian Ocean .The Republic of Yemen belonging archipelago lies at the east entrance of the Gulf of Aden 100-350 km from the Horn of Africa , and removed about 350 km south of the Arabian Peninsula . Within the Republic of Yemen, the archipelago consists of two districts of the provinces of Hadramaut (until 2004 Adan ). tectonic context, it is located between the Arabian and African plates .
For the island group includes the main island of Socotra , the 3579 km ² in size and has 42 442 inhabitants ( census 2004), and only slightly further west adjacent small islands Abd al-Kuri (133 km ², 300 inhabitants), Samha (40 km ² , 100 inhabitants) and Darsa (10 km ² uninhabited), and the uninhabited and more than 80 to 85 meters high cliffs Ka’l Fir’awn (9 hectares, north of Abd al-Kuri) and Sābūnīyah (3 acres, west of Socotra ). The western tip of the island of Abd al-Kuri is located about 100 km east of Cape Guardafui (the northeastern tip of the Horn of Africa ) away. The main town Hadibu (also Tamrida or Hudaybu called), which lies on the main island, has 8545 inhabitants. 2003, the UNESCO for the first Socotra Biosphere Reserve in the Arab region and since 2008 the islands as a World Heritage Site award.
The islands have probably more than 20 million years ago separated from the mainland. They were part of the subcontinent as India and Madagascar, once one of the supercontinent Gondwanaland. You will not be of volcanic origin. The entire island group sits on a shelf base , the extension of the northern Somali mountains on the Somali peninsula moved to east-northeast and a maximum of 914 m, but mostly less than 200 m water depth. From the Arabian Peninsula is the archipelago by up to 5029 m deep Gulf of Aden separately.
Socotra is also called the “Galapagos of the Indian Ocean”. The geographical isolation of Socotra developed numerous endemic species, including six endemic bird species. Among the endemic species is socotranus Dendrosicyos , one of the few tree-shaped pumpkin plants and the relatively well-known Sokotragimpel ( Rhynchostruthus socotranus ). Research has shown that happen more than a third of the 800 plant species of the islands only on Socotra. Endemic species are the giant succulent tree Dorstenia gigas , the tree Dendrosicyos and the rare Socotra Pomegranate ( Punica protopunica ).
The islands are home to a rich avifauna . Endemic species are the Socotra-Star ( Onychognathus frater ), the Sokotranektarvogel ( Nectarinia balfouri ) Sokotrasperling ( Passer insularis ) and the Sokotragimpel ( Rhynchostruthus socotranus ). The native birds of prey are frequently introduced cats. Some parts of the coast are dunes fringed, which are among the largest coastal dunes in the world. Socotra is home to the dragon tree Dracaena cinnabari , a relic of the Cretaceous period , the tree sap , the dragon’s blood for the production of natural medicines and incense is used.