Jersey (jûrˈzē) [key], island (2005 est. pop. 90,800), 45 sq mi (117 sq km), in the English Channel, largest of the Channel Islands, which are dependencies of the British crown. It is 15 mi (24 km) from the Normandy coast of France and SE of Guernsey. Saint Helier, the capital, is on St. Aubin's Bay. The mild climate (plants requiring subtropical conditions grow without protection), the moderate rainfall (30–35 in./76–89 cm), and the scenery have contributed to make Jersey, like other Channel Islands, a vacation resort. The soil is generally fertile, and large quantities of vegetables (especially potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli) and fruits are raised. Cattle raising and dairying (Jersey cattle) are also important, as is light industry. The inhabitants are mostly of Norman descent; English, French, and a Norman dialect are spoken. The Jersey Zoological Park was founded in 1959 to protect endangered animals.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography

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