USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry
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This shapefile was polygonised from a raster dataset that represents land-cover and woody vegetation formation designations for the United States and British Virgin Islands centered around the year 2000. The United States and British Virgin Islands are composed of six major islands and over 40 small islands and cays. Located in the Caribbean's Leeward Island chain, the region is situated between the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. The major islands in the U.S. territory include St Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John in the southern region, while the dominant islands in the British territory include Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada to the north. The center of the island region (18 20'N, 64 40'W) is approximately 30 km east of Puerto Rico and has a combined area of approximately 50,000 ha consisting of subdued to rugged topography with elevation ranging from just below sea level in some wetlands and mangrove swamps to over 500 m on Tortola. Woody vegetation formations on the islands are subtropical and include drought deciduous xeric coastal forest and shrub with succulents, evergreen coastal shrubland, deciduous, evergreen and mixed forest and shrubland with succulents, semi-deciduous, and seasonal evergreen forests. Pasture and young leguminous secondary forest and forest shrub formations are present at lower elevations where natural and human caused disturbance including sheep and grazing has occurred.