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Fiji Islands

Fiji comprises an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited and the rest comprises uninhabited islands with over 500 islets. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, is home to 87% of the population of almost 850,000 Fijians. Fiji covers a total area of some 194,000 square kilometres of which around 10% is land.

The islands are mountainous, with peaks up to 1,300 meters, and covered with thick tropical forests. Fiji's flora and fauna are relatively few in number but higher proportions are endemic (found nowhere else in the world). Ten per cent of the 476 indigenous Fijian plant species identified are endemic. Fiji also has a few rare reptiles and birds. Archaeological research has found bones of extinct crocodiles, giant tortoises and giant Fiji pigeons.

The diversity of freshwater and marine flora and fauna across the Fiji Islands is exceptional. Fiji’s marine habitat consists of estuaries, mangrove communities, sea grass beds, macroalgal assemblages, and sand and mudflats. An abundance of coral life has resulted in many reef forms: fringing, platform, patch, barrier, oceanic ribbon, and atolls (accounting for almost 4% of the world’s total reef area). Recent research has revealed presence of over 340 species of reef-building corals, more than 1200 species of reef fish (including 15 known endemics to the Fiji-Tonga region), over 475 species of mollusks, 17 species of cetaceans, and 5 species of marine turtles.

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