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The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. It covers the eastern 48,671 km2 of the island, and is the home of 10.736.000 citizens, which are quite mixed: 58% Mestizo, 15.8% Black, 13.5% White and 12.4% Mulatto. 95% are Christians.
Christopher Columbus landed on the island on December 5, 1492. After more than three hundred years of Spanish rule the Dominican people declared independence in November 1821, but no longer under Spain's custody the newly independent Dominicans were forcefully annexed by Haiti in February 1822. Independence came 22 years later after victory in the Dominican War of Independence in 1844.
The Dominican Republic has a tropical rainforest climate in the coastal and lowland areas, while the mountains are colder. Besides from the rich marine life, here are quite some interesting land animals. 300 species of birds, 19 reptilians and four frogs. The most interesting might be Ricordi's Ground Iguana; Cyclura ricordi. Not that impressive, but the 6.000 species of plants are. Around 2000 of these are endemic.