Vanuatu consists partly of islands of volcanic origin and partly of coral islands. The islands often have a rugged inland with relatively high coral plateaus. They are located in a geologically unstable zone and are frequently exposed to earthquakes. Several of the islands have active volcanoes. The highest point is Mont Tabwémasana (1879 masl) on the island of Espíritu Santo (3680 km 2), which is the country’s largest island.
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The climate is tropical maritime, moderated by the southeastern pass in the period May-October. The rest of the year the wind directions are variable, and hurricanes are relatively frequent in the period November-April. The annual rainfall varies from 2300 mm in the south to approx. 4000 mm to the north; the average temperature in the capital Vila is 22 ° C in August and 27 ° C in February.
Plant and Wildlife at Vanuatu
All the islands are covered by dense tropical rainforest with tall trees, ferns, vines and orchids. In the southern islands there are open grasslands. Some of the islands have swamp and mangrove vegetation along parts of the coast.
The only naturally occurring mammal is 12 bat species. The fly dog Pteropus fundatus is the native (endemic). The sea cow dugong is found in the coastal waters.
In addition to the seabirds, there are 60 species of terrestrial and freshwater birds. Several of these are native, among others. vanuatu oven chicken, fruit pigeon, emperor pigeon, iceberg and monarch. In addition, there are many parakeets, stares and goggles. In the seabird colonies, vanuatupetrell, red-tailed tropic bird and worm sole.
22 species of reptiles, including native geckos and hams. 70 butterfly species and 75 land snail species, of which the majority are native. More than 200 species of fish are common in coastal waters.
Most of the islands in Tuvalu are atolls with lagoons in the middle and slightly raised coral reefs at the edges. Four of the islands, Nanumanga, Niutao, Vaitupu and Niulakita, are more compact but have coral reefs along the coast. None of the islands reach more than about 5 m above sea level. The prevailing wind is the southeast pass, but during the summer in November – February there are sometimes western storms. However, tropical storms are rare. The average temperature in the capital Fongafale varies between 27 °C in July and 29 °C in January. The annual rainfall in Fongafale is 4,000 mm, but the northern islands usually receive lower precipitation, about 2,500 mm per year. The tree flora consists mainly of coconut trees, screw palms and breadfruit trees. Higher wildlife is poor and includes in addition to polynesia rats (Raʹttus eʹxulans) lizards. However, the coral reef has a rich wildlife.
In March 2015, tropical cyclone Pam pulled over Tuvalu, causing major devastation, mainly on the outer islands.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Tuvalu had no nature protected areas in 2011 and had not signed the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The atolls are low, no one is over 5 meters above sea level. Not everyone has passages through the coral reefs; there are few natural harbors. The soil is rocky.
Tuvalu has a humid, equatorial climate; the capital Fongafale has an average temperature of 28.9 ° C in January, 27.2 ° C in July and 4000 mm of rainfall. The most rainy month is January with 400-500 mm; June – August is the driest.
Tuvalus plant and animal life
The vegetation consists mainly of coconut and screw palm trees.
Polynesia rats are the only naturally occurring land mammals, but both humpback whales and dolphins occur in the ocean around the islands. 40 species of birds have been observed, of these 9 seabirds and 4 land birds. Of the seabirds may be mentioned small tropical birds, red-footed sole, soot, black-necked and silketeers, as well as brown and black-noddy. The most common terrestrial birds are tubercock pigeon and long tail cow (a cuckoo), the bankiv cock has been introduced. Some waders appear on the move and like winterers.
The reptile fauna includes geckos and hams, sea turtles and several species of poisonous sea snakes.