As an island nation the number of native plants and animals in the
Federated States of Micronesia are severely limited. The land animals were
almost completely absent and the plant life was small; only the migrating birds
and sea life had any significant presence in historic Micronesia. Most of what is
found on the islands today was introduced in pre-historic times by the migrating
people, birds, winds, and ocean currents.
Since nearly all mammals are land animals there were no native mammals to the Federated States of Micronesia,
although a few bat species arrived thousands of years ago. Other than this, no land
mammals existed on the Federated States of Micronesia until the arrival of the earliest
people, who likely came from the region of New Guinea and brought with them pigs,
dogs, mice, and rats by the 1200s, if not earlier.
The other historic mammals connected with the
Federated States of Micronesia are in the sea as dolphins and whales are
present in the waters surrounding the islands. These waters are also filled with
thousands of fish, shellfish, and other forms of sea life. In these waters you can
find surgeonfish, clownfish, sailfish, puffer fish, butterfly fish, grouper, barracuda,
tuna, mackerel, marlin, mahi-mahi, shrimp, krill, crab, seahorses, manta rays, sharks,
jellyfish, starfish, and sea urchins among many others.
This sea life and the islands have also attracted numerous birds, including many
that feed off the animals in the sea. The bird life in the
Federated States of Micronesia includes doves, owls, passerines, scrub fowls,
and heron among others.
Like the mammalian life in the Federated
States of Micronesia, the reptilian and amphibious life is fairly limited
as well. The most common of these animals are those adapted to the water and swimming
as sea turtles can be found in the nearby waters. Land species have again made their
way to the islands in numerous methods and today lizards are among the most common
of these animals.
The insect and other small animal life is fairly diverse as many insects can fly
or float and have made their way to the Federated
States of Micronesia. These animals include butterflies, bees, ants, flies,
snails, spiders, and worms among others.
Like the animal life, which is limited due to the geography of the
Federated States of Micronesia, the plant life is also very limited. It
is doubtful any plants originated in the Federated States of Micronesia itself other
than a very limited number of local grasses, shrubs, and trees. However the winds
and water currents have taken seeds to the islands and in other cases birds have
transported seeds to the islands. Because of this many of the most common plants
on the islands today are native to the nearby islands of New Guinea and those further
west. Plants from these nearby islands that now thrive in the country include coconuts,
taro, breadfruit, bananas, yams, lemons, and sugarcane among others.
There is also a substantial presence of other trees and plants, including orchids,
ferns, mosses, hibiscus, eucalyptus, mangrove trees, and pandanus trees.