What is flying then?
A special type of bat lives in the country’s dense forests: the fruit bat. As the name suggests, it feeds on fruits, among other things. This bat hangs upside down in everything it does.
It is of great importance for the plant world because it flies from flower to flower, feeds on pollen and pollinates the plants in the process. The bat is under nature protection, but unfortunately ends up in the cooking pot every now and then.
Colorful bird life
The bird life on Palau is very mixed. The different bird species come from Australia, Papua New Guinea and Asia. There are also a number of sea birds. Ten species of birds can only be found on Palau.
This includes, for example, the multi-colored fruit pigeon, which was also chosen as the national bird of Palau. Then there are the big foot fowl and the white tern.
The reed warbler, which is also only native to Palau, and the Micronesian pigeon, a species of pigeon that has its home in the islands of Micronesia, can be discovered in the forests of the archipelago.
An owl and kingfishers
Those who go looking for birds at night might also discover the Palauian owl. She prefers to live on the Rock Islands. Kingfishers like the Zimtkopfliest and the Halsbandliest can be discovered here again and again.
What’s swimming in Palau?
Various species of whales can be observed time and again off the coast of Palau. This not only includes the large sperm whales. Dolphins also like to romp in the waters around Palau’s islands. Caution is advised when encountering a manta ray. These animals can grow to be five to nine meters long.
The napoleon wrasse, which are rarely found in many parts of the world, are less dangerous. But in the reefs of Palau this species of fish has found refuge. Also tilefish are found here again and again.
What is a dugong?
Nowhere else in Micronesia, only in the waters of Paulau, does the manatee dugong live. But these animals are now threatened with extinction in these regions. They also live off the coast of Australia, where they are even more common.
Turtles and crocodiles
Friends of sea turtles also have the opportunity to meet these animals on Palau, a country located in Oceania. The hawksbill sea turtle is threatened with extinction and is therefore under nature protection. The horn plates of these turtles are processed into jewelry or art objects. They live in the coral reefs off Palau. Green turtles and other turtle species also live in the waters.
One should be careful when diving or swimming, as saltwater crocodiles can be found in the estuaries. These animals are dangerous and warned against them again and again, but no attack on a diver has occurred for many years.
Many species of shark are also at home in the waters around Palau. These include the gray reef shark as well as the white tip reef shark, the black tip reef shark, the white tip deep sea shark and the tiger shark. The latter is one of the largest representatives of its kind and can reach a length of over five meters. It weighs more than 900 kilograms.
It is surpassed by the whale shark, the largest fish on earth, which can reach a length of 20 meters. It feeds primarily on plankton and lets sea water flow into its mouth, from which it then presses its food.
Other types of shark are the hammerhead shark, which attracts attention with its hammer-shaped mouth, or zebra sharks with their striking pattern or silver tip sharks. Incidentally, in Palau there is a strong commitment to protecting sharks.
Tropical forests cover most of Palau’s islands, which are very watery. Mangroves protect the coasts of the islands. But one plant always catches the eye on Palau: the coconut palm. Coconuts are also one of the few agricultural products on the island that is of economic importance.
Pandanus trees, known as the “screw tree”, and the banyan trees typical of the South Seas are also numerous. The latter is also known as the “strangler fig”. Because the roots of this tree can literally “cut off the air” of another tree because they often merge with the original roots, but cause them to die off because they “steal” the nutrients themselves.
By the way, you will also find rubber trees on Palau, which are sometimes found in our living rooms. Large rubber trees can be very impressive and differ from the small “siblings” in our living rooms and bathrooms.
The breadfruit tree is one of the non-native plants, the fruits of which can weigh several kilos and which can also be eaten. This tree is originally from India.
To spit out!
A special plant on Palau is the betel palm, which can grow up to 30 meters high. Their fruits are chewed and spat out by the residents. For us this is rather a disgusting affair, but in many countries it is part of everyday life (see Typically Palau).
The numerous types of orchids that bloom in different shapes and colors on the island are also typical of Palau.
In addition to the forests, you will find grass or small steppe landscapes on Palau. The landscape is much more diverse than on other Pacific islands. This is probably due to the islands’ abundance of water.