Encyclopedia of Islands

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Hispaniola

Hispaniola (76,193 km2) is located on the tectonically active Caribbean plate and is the most geologically complex of the Antilles. Pico Duarte in the Central Mountains of the Dominican Republic (3175 m) is the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi River and the Andes. There are a number of high ranges on the island with cool, well-forested peaks (that is, sky islands), and these high mountain ranges often create rain shadows downwind with dry, and even desert, habitats. Along the fault zone where the old north and south islands join sits Lake Enriquillo, which is 45 m below sea level. Hispaniola lacks the numerous offshore cays that in Cuba have protected endemic species from competition from invasive species, but there are several large offshore islands such as Gonave Island near Port-au-Prince and Turtle Island in the north.

Hispaniola