Rodrigues (island)
Rodrigues sometimes spelled Rodriguez
Rodríguez is a Spanish Patronymic and a common family name in Spain, Latin America, and The Philippines. The "ez" signifies "son of". The name Rodrigo is the Spanish form of Roderick, meaning "famous power", from the Germanic elements "hrod" and "ric"...

but named after the Portuguese explorer Diogo Rodrigues
Diogo Rodrigues
Diogo Rodrigues was a Portuguese explorer of the Indian Ocean, after whom the island of Rodrigues is named. In 1528 he explored the islands of Réunion, Mauritius, and Rodrigues, naming it the Mascarene or Mascarenhas Islands, after his countryman Pedro Mascarenhas, who had been there...

, is the smallest of the Mascarene Islands
Mascarene Islands
The Mascarene Islands is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar comprising Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues, Cargados Carajos shoals, plus the former islands of the Saya de Malha, Nazareth and Soudan banks...

 and a dependency of Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

. With a peak elevation of approximately 355 meters (1165 ft), it is located 560 km (348 mi) east of Mauritius island, in the middle of the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

. It is 109 km² (43 sq mi) in size, and surrounded by a coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

. The capital of the island is Port Mathurin
Port Mathurin
The village of Port Mathurin serves as the capital of the island of Rodrigues, a dependency of Mauritius. It lies on the north coast of the Indian-Ocean island and functions as the administrative, judicial and economic centre of Rodrigues. As the name suggests, it also operates the main harbour of...


As of 2006, the island's population was about 40,000.