Tasmania ( English : Tasmania , Australian and English common Tassie , formerly Van Diemen’s Land ) is an island located about 240 km south of mainland Australia is. Tasmania is a separate Australian state , which also includes several small, mostly uninhabited islands in the region. The capital city of Tasmania is Hobart , the second largest city of Launceston .
Tasmania, the largest island of Australia comprises 68 400 square kilometers (excluding offshore islands 64,519 km ², 296 km north to south and 315 km from east to west) 0.89% of the total area of Australia. The Bass Strait , which separates the island from the Australian mainland, in the north west by King Iceland , on the northeast corner of Flinders Iceland flanked. Scenic mountains and plateaus dominate up to about 1,600 meters the island. The highest peak is Mount Ossa (1,617 m).
Tasmania lies between 40 ° and 44 ° south latitude and between 144 ° and 149 ° east longitude. The island lies on the southern tip of the Australian continental shelf and is nearly as large as Ireland. She is by far the largest of over a hundred islands in the Bass Islands.
There are still many relatively pristine landscapes. About a quarter of the island as a UNESCO – World Heritage site designated to 37% of the island consists of national parks . are particularly impressive, the scenery at Cradle Mountain and the pristine and partially inaccessible wilderness of the Southwest. Also, the 1300 kilometers south Macquarie is part of the state of Tasmania.
The Tasmanian flora and fauna is closely linked with the geological history of Australia. Geologically considered taking the Australian continent due to its approximately 50 million years of isolation a special place, that stands on its biological community has had an impact. This separation is responsible for the large number of endemic species, which often have a high phylogenetic age. In Tasmania, this aspect is the extent of the separation from mainland Australia about 12,000 years, especially when außeraustralische influences came into play here even less.
Tasmania’s flora and fauna are in outline on the supercontinent Gondwana back. Gondwana reached at the beginning of the Permian and its greatest expansion began in the Jurassic to the present continents of the southern hemisphere to break. The sequence of this division, the position of the biosphere dominated Australia’s major ecological world order. Successively, the Australian land mass of the later Africa , India , New Zealand , but only in the Eocene of Antarctica separated. Therein lies the fact that the Australian Biosphere closest resemblance to parts of New Zealand and South American exhibits. Because during the Eocene were South America and Australia nor the landmass Antarctica connected. This theory is supported both by recent studies on the flora and fauna as well as fossil- based findings. Since the separation of Antarctica, Australia was isolated more than 50 million years from the other continents. Of course, the Australian has since been adapted to the ecological biosphere conditions and changes over millions of years and yet she still looks much the former Gondwana flora and fauna.