Dominica ( or ; French: Dominique; Island Carib: Wai‘tu kubuli), officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is a sovereign island country. The capital, Roseau, is located on the leeward side of the island. It is part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The island lies south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its area is 750 km2 (290 sq mi), and the highest point is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 m (4,747 ft) in elevation. The population was 71,293 at the 2011 census. The island was originally inhabited by the Kalinago and later colonised by Europeans, predominantly by the French from the 1690s. Columbus is said to have passed the island on Sunday, 3 November 1493, and the island's name is derived from the Latin for "Sunday". Great Britain took possession in 1763 after the Seven Years' War and gradually established English as the official language. The island republic gained independence in 1978. Its name is pronounced with stress falling either on second syllable of the word, after the Latin word dŏmĭnĭcă "lordly", or on the third syllable, after the French name Dominique. Dominica has been nicknamed the "Nature Isle of the Caribbean" for its natural environment. It is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world's second-largest hot spring, called Boiling Lake. The island has lush mountainous rainforests, and is the home of many rare plants, animals, and bird species. There are xeric areas in some of the western coastal regions, but heavy rainfall occurs inland. The Sisserou parrot, also known as the imperial amazon and found only on Dominica, is the island's national bird and featured on the national flag. Dominica's economy depends on tourism and agriculture.
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