Unique Biodiversity Found Nowhere Else on Earth
Palau is one of the jewels of the Pacific because of its high rate of biodiversity. Palau is located in a globally important coral diversity hotspot. Palau’s biodiversity extends out of the sea onto the land as well. Because Palau’s geologic history extends for millions of years, and because as an island it is so isolated, Palau has many endemic species. Palau’s biodiversity, or assemblage of species, interact with Palau’s diverse geological landforms as part of healthy, functioning ecosystems.
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Levels of endemism are much higher than expected, based on the size and location of the islands. Extremely rare in the world, Palau has an endemic marine creature, the Palau Nautilus. On land, nearly one fifth of our plants are endemic, and twelve species of birds are found here and nowhere else. Each island is a hotspot unto itself, with endemism from the tiniest creatures such as a miniscule land snail to those that soar above our heads, like the Flying Fox. Our Marine Lakes, pristine in quality and worthy of World Heritage status, shelter multiple millions of pulsating endemic golden jellyfish that have lost their sting.
Our fauna include some of the most enigmatic species on earth. Endangered sea turtles return year after year to lay their precious eggs on Palau’s pristine beaches. Marine mammals of all sizes and sorts frolic in Palau’s waters, including the most isolated population of the gentle dugong. Threatened saltwater crocodiles sun themselves on the exposed rocks of our Rock Islands. The endangered Micronesian Megapode, under threat all over Micronesia, finds refuge in our northernmost atoll of Kayangel. Colorful birds of all sorts sing their melodic tunes as they flit through our healthy forests and grasslands. Palau was the world’s first shark sanctuary, protecting all species across our vast sea.
PCS Advocates for the Protection of Our Biodiversity
PCS is Palau’s premier environmental organization. Since our inception in 1994, the same year Palau became independent, we have worked tirelessly to protect our fragile and unique biodiversity.
Learn how you can support PCS’s efforts to protect some of the world’s most unique biodiversity.