As an island nation the number of native plants and animals in the
Solomon Islands are severely limited, but the nearby island of New Guinea
gives the Solomon Islands easy access to numerous plants and animals that have arrived
over time in various methods. Despite the close proximity to other land masses,
native land animals are almost completely absent and the native plant life is small;
only the migrating birds and sea life had any significant presence on these islands
in the past. However, thousands of plants and animals have arrived to the Solomon
Islands from numerous places, including New Guinea, as people, winds, birds, and
oceanic currents brought with them new seeds, plants, and animals.
Since most mammals are land animals there were no native mammals to the
Solomon Islands, although a few bat species that could fly from island to
island arrived early in the island's history. Other than this, no land mammals
existed on the islands until the arrival of the earliest people, who came from the
region of New Guinea and brought with them pigs, dogs, and rats by the 1200s if
The other historic mammals present in the Solomon Islands
came in the way of the sea life as dolphins and whales are present in the water
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,
puffer fish, butterfly fish, grouper, barracuda, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, krill,
crab, seahorses, rays, sharks, jellyfish, starfish, and sea urchins among many others.
Due to the overwhelming amount of water, it is not a surprise that most of the birds
in the Solomon Islands are migratory birds or water fowls. The bird life includes
rails, white-eyes, fantails, thrushes, honeyeaters, and parrots among others.
Like the mammalian life in the Solomon Islands,
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 and the saltwater crocodile
can be found in the nearby waters. The islands are limited to a couple lizard species,
frogs, and some snakes.
The insect and other small animal life is fairly diverse as many insects can fly
or float and have made their way to the Solomon Islands.
These animals include butterflies, bees, ants, flies, snails, and worms among others.
Like the native animal life, the native plant life is very limited. It is doubtful
any plants originated in the Solomon Islands other
than some local flowers and grasses. However the winds and water currents have taken
seeds to the islands and in other cases birds and people have transported seeds
to the islands. Because of this many of the most common plants native to the nearby
islands of New Guinea and those further west have arrived to the Solomon Islands.
These plants include coconuts, taro, breadfruit, bananas, yams, lemons, sugar, and
perhaps even rice arrived in the islands during early human history.
There is also a substantial presence of other, non-edible, trees and plants, including
orchids, ferns, mosses, mangrove trees, palm trees, and pandanus trees.