Fiji Flora & Fauna
Naturally beautiful, Fiji’s flora and fauna is in many respects similar to that of Indonesia and Malaysia. While a few native plant and animal species can be found on Fiji’s various islands, most of the birds, animals, reptiles, trees and flowers you are likely to encounter here have been introduced to the islands over 3,500 years ago by early settlers.
Lush and gorgeous, much of the vegetation found on Fiji is mainly due the amount of rainfall that occurs in a certain area. Taveuni, for example, gets plenty of rain and as a result is known for its profusion of incredible and exotic flora and fauna. Known as ‘The Garden Island,’ Taveuni is home to rich dense rainforests and many native plant species including Fiji’s national flower, the Tagimaucia or Medinilla waterhousei, which only grows in high altitudes. Taveuni is also a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 100 species of birds found living here.
The main island of Viti Levu also has plenty of lush vegetation along its eastern coast. With ample rainfall on this side of the island, the landscape here is verdant and green.
Today, forty percent of Fiji’s total land area is covered by natural forests, while along the coast, coconut groves are found in abundance. Currently, Fiji is home to over 3,000 flora species of which roughly one-third are endemic. Hundreds of fern species are found on Fiji as well as many varieties of orchids. Bamboo, mangroves and a number of aquatic plants can also be found on Fiji’s various islands.
Like most other South Pacific countries, Fiji has relatively few native mammal species. Bats, rats, dogs, pigs, goats, mongooses, horses and sheep are the most common animals here. Aside from the native beka or fruit bat, Fiji’s other endemic animal is the crested iguana. You can spot seven different types of geckos on Fiji as well as six different kinds of snakes of which four are aquatic. Four turtle species can also be found living in the water off Fiji; they include the hawksbill turtle, the loggerhead turtle, the green turtle and the leatherback turtle.
Over 100 species of birds are found on Fiji, of which 25 are found nowhere else on the planet. Some of the birds on Fiji are also indigenous to a single island such as the Taveuni dove. The Barking pigeon, the silktail, the Fiji warbler, the Kadavu shining parrot, the Fiji petrel, the kingfisher and the booby are just a few of the many birds you can spot on Fiji.