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Geography of Fiji

Nature

Terrain shapes and bedrock

The larger islands in the western part of the archipelago are of volcanic origin, while the approximately 300 small islands, like the approximately 540 islands, are coral reefs. All are grouped on an underwater plateau around the relatively shallow Koros Lake with the Lau Islands farthest to the east.

Geography of Fiji

The two dominant islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu in the north-west consist mainly of young volcanic rocks such as andesite and basalt, but also of sedimentary rocks. The relief is marked; the highest peak is Tomaniivi (1,323 m above sea level) on Viti Levu. On this island, the Singatoka River valley, together with the delta plan to some smaller rivers, form the only level areas. Ndreketi is the main river on Vanua Levu, where it flows into a scenic valley.

The coastal landscapes have deep ravines, which cut into the mountain slopes.

Climate

According to COUNTRYAAH, Fiji has a hot and humid tropical climate, which is characterized by the constantly windy southeast passage. It is warmest December – April (daytime maximum above 32 C) and coolest June – September (day temperature rarely below 18–21 C). The rainfall is plentiful and the high mountain sides of the big islands often get more than 7,500 mm per year. Hurricanes develop temporarily from December to April and can cause major damage.

Plant-and animal life

There are about 1,250 species of native vascular plants, of which 70% are endemic. However, among the genera, only 4% are endemic, and the composition of the flora shows great kinship with the Malaysian and in particular with that of New Guinea and New Caledonia. A family, Degeneriaʹceae, with a species, the tree Degeneʹria vitieʹnsis, is endemic. The natural vegetation consists of rainforest-like forests, with distinctive features of figs, palm trees and tree fronds. Especially on Vanua Levu but also on eastern Viti Levu, these forests are still relatively intact. In western Viti Levu sugar cane plantations and pastures now dominate. Along the coasts grow screws, coconut trees and the species of ironwood Casuariʹna equisetifoʹlia. In many places there are also mangrove forests.

The only native land mammals are bats with two species of bats and four species of flying dogs. About 125 bird species have been observed, of which 87 are nesting. More than 20 species of birds are endemic. four species of parrots and four species of pigeons. Fijipetrell (Pteroʹdroma macgillivraʹyi) is known only in the form of a juvenile that was shot in 1855 and an adult bird that was captured and re-released on the island of Gau in 1983. There are two endemic species of amphibians (the genus Platymaʹntis) and several endemic species of reptiles: fijileguan; genus Candoia [-dɔ in ʹ-]) and fijiorm (Oʹgmodon vitiaʹnus). All of the islands are well-developed coral reefs.

Especially near human dwellings, introduced plants and animals today constitute tangible elements. In all villages and towns, mangoes and the red-flowered tree grow flamboyantly. The most common birds, majors, red-headed bulbyl (Pycnonoʹtus caʹfer) and Chinese turtle pigeon (Streptopeliʹa chineʹnsis), are all imported from Asia. Imported and common are also mungo and agapadda.

Nature conservation

Fiji had a national park in 2010 and a number of small nature or forest reserves. However, the reserve has weak protection, and several older reserves have been canceled or destroyed.

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