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The islands lie on the boundary of the subantarctic oceanic and tundra climate zones, and both major islands have mountain ranges reaching 2,300 feet (700 m).They are home to large bird populations, although many no longer breed on the main islands because of competition from introduced species.The first recorded landing on the islands is attributed to English captain John Strong, who, en route to Peru's and Chile's littoral in 1690, discovered the Falkland Sound and noted the islands' water and game.The Falklands remained uninhabited until the 1764 establishment of Port Louis on East Falkland by French captain Louis Antoine de Bougainville, and the 1766 foundation of Port Egmont on Saunders Island by British captain John Mac Bride.Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 30,000 visitors in 2001.Another large source of income is interest paid on money the government has in the bank.Its sovereignty status is part of an ongoing dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
Strong named the strait in honour of Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount of Falkland, the Treasurer of the Navy who sponsored his journey.
Britain reasserted its rule in 1833, although Argentina maintains its claim to the islands.
In April 1982, Argentine forces occupied the islands.
British administration was restored two months later at the end of the Falklands War.
Almost all Falklanders favour the archipelago remaining a UK overseas territory.