The French Southern and Antarctic Lands are a French overseas territory (Territoire d'outre-mer or TOM). It comprises:
1. Adélie Land (Terre Adélie), the French claim on the continent of Antarctica.
2. Crozet Islands (Îles Crozet), a group in the southern Indian Ocean, south of Madagascar.
3. Kerguelen Islands (Archipel des Kerguelen), a group of volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean, southeast of Africa, approximately equidistant between Africa, Antarctica and Australia.
4. Saint Paul and Amsterdam Islands (Îles Saint-Paul et Amsterdam), a group to the north of the Kerguelen Islands.
5. The Scattered Islands (Îles Éparses), a dispersed group of islands around the coast of Madagascar.
The region is also known as the French Southern Lands (French: Terres australes françaises) or the French Southern Territories, which emphasizes France's refusal to recognize French sovereignty over Adélie Land as part of the Antarctic Treaty System.
There are no permanent residents in the whole area. Around 150 people (in the winter) to 310 people (in the summer) are normally present in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands at any one time, however, they are mostly military personnel, authorities, scientific researchers, and support staff.
Because of their pristine nature, biodiversity, and massive bird populations, the Crozet, Kerguelen, Saint Paul, and Amsterdam Islands were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the "French Austral Lands and Seas" on July 5, 2019.