In 1768 Louis de Bougainville visited Tahiti, claimed it as French, and named it La Nouvelle Cythere.
Wallis and Carteret were followed very closely by the French expedition of Bougainville, which sailed from Nantes in November 1766.
Bougainville had first, to perform the unpleasant task of delivering up the Falkland Islands, where he had encouraged the formation of a French settlement, to the Spaniards.
A small wolf, the loup-renard of de Bougainville, is extinct, the last having been seen about 1875 on the West Falkland.
In 1764 the French explorer De Bougainville took possession of the islands on behalf of his country, and established a colony at Port Louis on Berkeley Sound.
But in 1767 France ceded the islands to Spain, De Bougainville being employed as intermediary.
De Bougainville, Voyage autour du monde (1771); T.
Louis de Bougainville obtained a fuller acquaintance with the archipelago in 1768, and called them the Navigators' Islands (Iles des Navigateurs) .
De Bougainville and James Cook, little additional knowledge was gained.
New Pomerania, New Mecklenburg, with New Hanover and the Admiralty Islands and the Solomon Islands (Bougainville and Buka).
The French were now taking a share in the work of discovery, and in 1768 Louis Antoine de Bougainville sailed by way of the central Paumotus, the Society Islands, Samoa, the northern New Hebrides, the south coast of New Guinea and the Louisiade and Bismarck archipelagoes.
The principal island at the north-west end of the chain is Bougainville (390o sq.
Bougainville, the largest of the group, contains Mt Balbi (10,170 ft.), and two active volcanoes.
The islands (by convention of 1899) are divided unequally between Great Britain and German y, the boundary running through Bougainville Strait, so that that island and Buka belong to Germany (being officially administered from Kaiser Wilhelm's Land), but the rest (South Solomons) are British.
There is some level land in Bougainville, but little elsewhere.
The islanders of the Bougainville Straits have lank, almost straight, black hair and very dark skins.
In 1768 Louis de Bougainville found his way thither.
He discovered the three northern islands (Buka, Bougainville and Choiseul), and sailed through the channel which divides the two last and bears his name.