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Martinique is an island in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 square kilometres and a population of 386,486 inhabitants. Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, northwest of Barbados, and south of Dominica.
The northern end of the island catches most of the rainfall and is heavily forested, featuring species such as bamboo, mahogany, rosewood and locust. The south is drier and dominated by savanna-like brush, including cacti, Copaiba balsam, logwood and acacia. Anolis lizards and fer-de-lance snakes are native to the island. Mongooses, introduced in the 1800s, prey upon bird eggs and have exterminated or endangered a number of native birds, including the Martinique trembler, white-breasted trembler and white-breasted thrasher.
The official language is French, although many of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole.
Together with Guadeloupe and French Guiana, Martinique is one of the Overseas Departments of France. It is also an outermost region of the European Union. The inhabitants of Martinique are French citizens with full political and legal rights. Martinique sends four deputies to the French National Assembly and two senators to the French Senate.