As an island nation the number of native plants and animals on Nauru
are severely limited. The native land life is nearly non-existent and the native
plant life was also very limited; only the migrating birds and sea life had any
significant presence in historic Nauru. Most of what is found on the island today
was introduced in pre-historic times by the migrating people, birds, winds, and
As an island nation that rose from the sea floor there were no native mammals in
Nauru, although a few bat species arrived thousands of years
ago. Other than this, no land mammals existed on Nauru 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 Nauru are in the
sea as dolphins and whales are present in the waters surrounding the island. 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, bonito, mackerel, marlin, mahi-mahi, shrimp,
krill, crab, seahorses, manta rays, sharks, jellyfish, starfish, and sea urchins
among many others.
The water and the land have attracted more than just fish though, they have also
attracted numerous birds, including many that feed off the animals in the sea. The
bird life in Nauru includes doves, scrub fowls, terns, frigate
birds, and heron among others.
Like the mammalian life, the reptilian and amphibious life is fairly limited. 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
The insect and other small animal life is fairly diverse as many insects can fly
or float and have made their way to Nauru. These animals include
butterflies, ants, flies, and spiders among others.
Like the animal life, which is limited due to the geography of Nauru,
the plant life is also very limited. It is doubtful any plants originated in the
country itself other than a very limited number of local varieties. However the
winds and water currents have taken seeds to the island and in other cases birds
have transported seeds to the island. Because of this many of the most common plants
on the island 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, arrowroot, lemons, and sugarcane among others.
There is also a substantial presence of other trees and plants, including orchids,
hibiscus, eucalyptus, frangipani, ferns, mosses, tamanu trees, mangrove trees, and