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Category: AUSTRALIA
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NEW CALEDONIA

Nouméa (), ()

 

21o0´N/165o0´E 19,060 square kilometres (land 18,575 km), 1628m (Mont Panié) volcanic island, forest all types (39% of area) are montane and lowland tropical moist broadleaf forest, tropical evergreen forest, dry forests, lowland Araucaria Pine forest 

Birding Site Guide

 

New Caledonia is located 1600 km E of Australia and is part of that continent (but belonging to France not Australia) and consists of three islands Grand Terre the largest and Isle of Pines to the S and Loyalty Islands to the E. The latter two islands as well as being much smaller are also not mountainous.

 

The islands are hot and wet however the western slopes of Grand Terre, are in the rain shadow of the central mountain range, and here a distinctive habitat occurs the New Caledonia dry forests. The longest river is the Diahot.

 

The islands are noted for their amazing number of endemic species and all the endemic species lists can be found here.

 

NEW CALEDONIA LIVING NATIONAL TREASURES

 

There are 205 species of birds of which 23 are endemic (see above list and Avibase). The New Zealand Bittern is extinct as might be the New Caledonian Rail. The most remarkable bird is probably the Kagu Rhynochetos jubatus. Another unique endemic bird is the Crow Honeyeater Gymnomyza aubryana. Of the endemics in other Classes there are 6 mammals (all bats) 71 species of reptiles including the world’s largest gecko Rhacodactylus leachianus, 8 freshwater and 31 sea fishes and 2 butterflies.

 

There are a staggering 3,700 plants of which 2,400 are endemic and of which 100 Genera are unique. It is home to more species of Gymnosperm (44) than anywhere else in the world 43 of which are endemic and it also has the world’s largest fern Cyathea intermedia. Of the 35 Araucaria species 13 are endemic to New Caledonia, one of these conifers is the only parasitic conifer in the world, the Parasite Yew Parasitaxus ustus.


Author: BSG

 

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