In addition to the islands, about 20 of which are
inhabited, there are about 2,400 smaller reefs or inserts.
Most of the islands are only a few meters high, and the
largest, Andros, reaches 22 meters above sea level. On
several of them, there are rows of sand hills along the
northeast side, created by wave transport and pass winds,
which brought the sand higher up. Particularly extensive are
such cemented cushions on Long Island and Eleuthera. The
highest point, 63 m above sea level, is found on Cat Island.
COUNTRYAAH, most famous is the Bahamas for its pleasant subtropical
climate. The average temperature during the colder season is
21 °C, during the summer 27 °C. The rainfall averages
1,400 mm per year, but the high evaporation gives a dry
environment in parts of the island world. Persistent winds
have a cooling effect, while tropical hurricanes often cause
Extensive forests of Caribbean pine are spreading on the
larger islands in the northwest. Otherwise, the vegetation
consists mostly of shrubs and low trees. Wildlife is
dominated by frogs, lizards and snakes. In the caves there
are bats, and among larger animals there is a species of
aguties and a species of raccoons. All these animal species
have been greatly reduced in number. In the sea around the
islands there are plenty of fish and other edible animals.
The Bahamas' twelve national parks are designated
primarily to protect nesting sites for the island's national
bird flamingo and to preserve marine environments,
including. coral reef.