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.
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.
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.
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