Tasmania, an island-state of the Commonwealth of Australia (1901), is bounded N. by Bass Strait, its other coasts being swept by the great Southern Ocean. Area, 26,215 sq. m. Although it possesses wide stretches of plains and tableland, it has fifty mountains exceeding 2500 feet, the loftiest being Cradle Mountain (5069 feet); the higher tiers are snow-capped through the winter. The lakes of Tasmania (on a plateau more than 3000 feet above sea-level and 60 miles long) should become summer-resorts and sanatoriums for all Australasia. The Great Lake is about 90 miles in circumference. The Derwent, Tamar, Gordon, Pieman, and Huon are navigable rivers. Hobart (the capital) is a magnificent harbour; the Launceston port has been improved by dredging. The west coast has Macquarie Harbour. The soil varies very considerably. In the NW., NE., midland, and SE. divisions, where settlement has mostly taken place, the plains and valleys have been enriched by extensive outbursts of basalt with accompanying tuffs, which have produced a very rich chocolate soil; towards the extreme W. and S. granites, meta-morphic mica, and quartzose schists, with overlying slates, grits, and limestone of Cambro-Silurian age, re-appear again and again. The western vegetation as compared with that of the east presents as marked a contrast. The most remarkable trees are the eucalypts, often over 280 feet high, the magnificent tree-ferns, and the fragrant wattle. But the most valuable trees are the blackwood, Huon pine, King William pine, and musk. All Tasmanian trees and shrubs are evergreens. The fauna, like the flora, of Tasmania is almost identical with that of Australia. Of the forty-six species of mammals the platypus is the most remarkable. The twenty-seven marsupials, nine of them peculiar to Tasmania, include the Tasmanian devil or dasyure, and the hyAena-like native tiger, or thylacine. Of the 187 species of birds few are peculiar to the colony. Snakes are few and, though poisonous, not deadly; but there are many lizards. Sea and fresh-water fishes (including the seven species of salmon, salmon-trout, and trout successfully acclimatised) number 213 species, about one-third good edible fish.