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Marine Places

Diego Garcia Atoll

This atoll, best known as a US military base, is also home to one of the world’s largest populations of breeding sea birds. The atoll is unusual in that its coral limestone-based rim, raised above sea level, is a single island that runs almost completely round the central lagoon, which is 65–100 ft (20–30 m) deep. The reefs within the lagoon and around the atoll’s edges are home to 220 species of stony coral.

Diego Garcia Atollzoom image
  • Indian Ocean Central
  • Type Atoll
  • Area 17 square miles (44 square km)
  • Condition Generally good; recovering from coral bleaching in 1998
  • Location Chagos Archipelago, south of Sri Lanka, central Indian Ocean
Diego Garcia Atoll habitat mapzoom image