COUNTRYAAH, Palau's island world is largely surrounded by an
elongated coral reef, and many of the islands are also coral
islands. However, the largest island, Babelthuap, has
bedrock formed by volcanism and reaches up to more than 200
m above sea level. Palau's highest peak is on the island of
Babelthuap, reaching 242 meters above sea level.
The climate is tropical with an average temperature
during the year of 27 °C. The rainfall, which largely falls
by the middle of the year, amounts to 3,800 mm per year on
Koror. Despite the natural stability that dense vegetation,
laterite soils and earthy soils have given to the landscape,
it is still severely eroded by the many watercourses.
Plant life is characterized mainly by mangrove forests at
the beaches. Further afield on the islands are forests with,
among other things. ebony tree. Ten of the 45 breeding bird
species do not occur naturally outside Palau. Delta
crocodile is quite common in the mangrove swamp. The coral
reef has an exceptionally rich wildlife with, among other
things, many kinds of coral animals, fish, barbed skin,
jellyfish and octopus.
The Ngerukeuid Islands Nature Reserve (12 km2)
is the country's only major nature protected area.
The central Palau Islands are close together, most of
them within the same coral reef. The archipelago extends
approx. 200 km from north to south and includes the islands
of Babeldaob (409 km 2), Koror (8 km 2),
Peleliu (13 km 2) and Angaur, all of volcanic
origin, as well as the atolls Kayangel and Ngeruangel and
the over 200 small limestone islands of the Rock Islands
south of Koror. To Palau also belong South-West Islands
consisting of six small, isolated islands 600 km southwest
of the main group. The highest point is at Koror (630 meters
above sea level).
The climate is tropical, with small temperature
variations between seasons. Tropical hurricanes are frequent
and can cause major devastation. Annual rainfall approx.
Plant and wildlife in Palau
Palau has Micronesia's richest animal and plant life. The
islands are fertile, with mangrove forests and coconut trees
along the coast and rainforest within. More than 50 bird
species breed on Palau and 10 of these are native (endemic).
Another 90 have been observed on the move or as rare guests.
The magnificent palau pigeon - or biib - is very numerous
and is considered the national bird of the eyes. The Palau
owl is rescued from extinction (four known pairs in 1945)
and occurs in significant numbers. Of the many seabirds,
there may be mentioned small tropical bird, brown owl,
red-footed owl, large frigate bird, soot, bridle and silk
nets and black and brown noddy. Delta crocodile (local stock
of about 150 animals) and the sea cow dugong (only stock in
Micronesia) occurs in the waters around the islands. Coral
reefs, including the famous Blue Corner, has more than 700
species of coral and 1400 species of fish. Here also lives
the world's largest clam (Tridacna gigas), which
can weigh over 100 kg and be more than 1 meter long.