According to COUNTRYAAH, Nauru is an oval atoll with a central plateau, composed mainly of coral limestone with layers of guano. The plateau, which reaches up to about 65 m above sea level, is very rich in phosphate and is surrounded by a band of fertile soil. It is relieved to the sea side by sandy beaches and coral reefs.
Nauru has a hot and humid climate. The average daily temperature during the year is 28 °C. The annual rainfall is around 2,000 mm, concentrated to the months of November to February, when western winds dominate.
The vegetation consists largely of coconut and screw palm trees and shrubs of various kinds; it occurs mainly in the coastal area and in old phosphate quarries where replanting has been done.
Nauru has no protected areas.
Nauru is a coral island, surrounded by reefs that are visible at low tide. In the middle of the island there is an approx. 60 m high plateau with high phosphate deposits. The plateau is surrounded by a 150–300 m wide relatively fertile lowland. The soil is otherwise very porous and poor. Mining has caused great damage to nature.
Tropical climate, with abundant annual rainfall that falls very irregularly. Periods of drought may occur.
Read more about Wildlife at Nauru.
Wildlife at Nauru
At Nauru 25 bird species have been observed. The nine species that breed are small tropical birds, five terns, a heron, a dove and the native (endemic) Naurus singer.
Geography and environment
Nauru is an oval to almost circular coral island on an ancient volcanic crater. The island is surrounded by a reef which can be seen at low tide. The highest point is Janor (Command Ridge), 65 meters above sea level. The middle part of Nauru is a plateau of phosphates formed by guano (bird eczema). Mining has left about 85 percent of Naurus land area deserted and uninhabitable, while 40 percent of marine life has been killed by sludge and phosphate runoff. Characteristic are 4-10 meter high branches and pyramids in a near desert landscape formed by phosphate extraction. The central plateau is surrounded by a fertile 150-300 meter wide fertile lowland, a sandy beach and a coral reef off the coast. Fresh water is limited.
Since Nauru is located only 42 kilometers south of the equator, the average temperature is around 27 degrees all year. It ranges from 26 to 35 degrees during the day and from 22 to 34 degrees at night. Nauru can “sink” with rising sea levels, and is one of the countries in the world most affected by global warming.
The rainfall is relatively plentiful and irregular with about 2000 millimeters per year. Most precipitation falls in January. Drought periods occur.
Due to phosphate farming and low vegetation, the flora and fauna are not very varied and poor in species. Adjacent to the other of two plateaus is forest with, among other things, coconut trees and fig trees, in the north there are also mangrove trees. The groundwater is deep so that the soil surface is dry. 60 species of vascular plants have been registered.
There are no large animals except introduced pets such as dog, cat and pig. Polynesian rat is also introduced. The frigate bird is the Naurus national bird and the endemic (native) Naurus singer is the island’s only songbird. Many bird species have disappeared or are severely decimated due to habitat destruction.
In the sea there are many species of fish, corals and molluscs.