Barbados, Land and Resources
Mount Hillaby, central ridge, marine reserve, tree frogs, sedimentary rock
Barbados is generally flat along the coast and hilly in the interior. Mount Hillaby, the highest point, rises to 340 m (1,115 ft). Coral deposits form the surface of the island and are underlain by sedimentary rock. Barbados has no natural deepwater harbors and is largely surrounded by coral reefs. The climate is tropical, tempered by sea breezes; the mean annual temperature is about 26°C (about 79°F). A rainy season prevails from June to December, with average annual rainfall varying from 1,000 mm (about 40 in) on the coast to 2,300 mm (about 90 in) on the central ridge. Hurricanes occasionally strike the island. Wildlife is limited and includes hares, monkeys, mongooses, tree frogs, and various species of birds. Barbados lacks mineral resources, and nearly all the natural vegetation has been cleared for cultivation.
The natural beauty and biodiversity of Barbados attract large numbers of tourists, but the growth in popularity has brought about several problems. Although local revenue has increased, water pollution from waste disposal by ships and damage to surrounding reefs have become major environmental concerns. A 240-hectare (590-acre) marine reserve was established in 1980 to protect the coastline and reefs of Barbados.
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