Animals and Plants
Of monkey faces and mongooses that don’t eat rats
Due to the isolated location of the Fiji Islands, there are few species of mammals. The animals that live here were mostly brought in by humans. The Fijian monkey- faced fruit bat is one of the native mammal species, although it is almost never seen because it is considered almost extinct.
There are also some bat and flying fox species. Mongoose have spread widely because they were originally supposed to drive the rats away. However, the mongoose ate pretty much everything that got in its way, only the rats continued to spread diligently. Such problems often arise when humans bring animals into regions where they are not actually native. The little mongoose is one of the non-endangered species.
A poisonous water snake
Seven species of snakes are believed to live in Fiji and only one of the land snakes is poisonous. It is a relative of the cobra. However, this snake has not been seen for a long time.
A very poisonous species of snake lives in the water, whose poison is more effective than any poison from land snakes. It bears the name Laticauda colubrina and is also known as the adder flattail or yellow-lipped sea snake. However, it not only lives in the sea, but also penetrates into rivers. She is usually active at night and she is also not aggressive at all.
An iguana with a zebra crossing
Geckos ensure that the insects do not get out of hand. Two species of iguana are also worth mentioning, of which the Fiji iguana, also known as the hooded iguana, is only found in Fiji and Tonga. You can recognize it by its deep green color and white stripes. He also has a small hump on the neck. It is very rare and threatened with extinction. He only lives on a few islands in Fiji, such as the small, uninhabited island of Yadua Taba. There is a nature reserve here that protects this species.
Little frogs hop!
Also native to Fiji and nowhere else are two species of frog: the Fijian tree frog and the Fijian ground frog. Both occur only in the dense rainforest.
Fijian tree frog and Fijian ground frog
The species are endemic, so they only occur in the Fiji Islands. Their color can be very different, completely regardless of the places in which they live. We do not yet know why this is so. What is interesting about frogs is that being a frog is not preceded by a tadpole, as is usual with frogs. The offspring of these frog species are born as little frogs and do not have to develop first.
Colorful bird life in Fiji
The greatest biodiversity in Fiji is birds. Fiji lives as a dove whose striking orange belly color it the name Orange Dove awarded. But it is very difficult to see this pigeon species.
It is much more likely to run into the Taveuni parrot, because it also likes to make a lot of noise. Various parakeets such as the masked parakeet with its emerald green color and orange underside can also be discovered in Fiji. Then there are the Fiji hawk, the honeyeater and many other bird species. About 150 different species of birds have been counted in Fiji.
Colorful underwater world
The fish world is diverse off the islands of Fiji, as with most other South Sea islands. There are sharks and stingrays here, but also a mixture of diverse, colorful fish that prefer the coral regions as a place to stay. Again and again, many divers are drawn to the fishing grounds of the Fiji Islands to marvel at the unique underwater world.
And the plants?
The flora in Fiji is reminiscent of the flora in Malaysia and New Guinea. Some species come from Australia or New Caledonia. A lot of rain falls on the southeastern sides of the islands and this is where the dense tropical rainforest spreads. Palm trees, bamboo, ferns and beautiful orchids grow here. The north-west of the islands is mostly dry. The flora there is more reminiscent of the savannah. You will find mangroves on the coasts. Six nature parks have been created on the island to protect the islands’ animals and plants.
Sugar cane is important to the Fijian economy
Agriculture and tourism are critical to the Fiji Islands economy. The most important raw material is sugar cane, which was grown in Fiji during the colonial era. The sugar cane cultivation is primarily determined by Indian families. During the colonial days, many people immigrated from India to work on the sugar cane plantations. The locals didn’t appreciate this work that much. The Indians still have a lot of influence in this area, which can lead to conflicts with the Fijians.
Ginger, rice, cocoa, coffee, taro and tobacco are grown in addition to sugar cane. The industry processes the products after the harvest. This also applies to fishing, which also plays a role in Fiji. There is also a textile industry in Fiji. However, these mostly small companies find it difficult to keep up with the large companies in China or India.
The Fiji Islands have gold deposits, so gold is mined and sold. Silver and some ores are also mined.
Tourism depends on the political situation
A special feature of Fiji is a spring that is considered to be particularly pure and whose water is exported as Fij Water. In addition to agriculture, tourism is growing steadily. The repeatedly uncertain political conditions have changed little in this regard. With every coup, the number of visitors declined, but after a certain time they recovered again and again. Many people work in the services sector and thus contribute more than half of GDP.
When there was a coup in Fiji in 2000, economic power declined (see also politics). Unfortunately, many well-trained workers left the island, so that the economy went even worse as a result. And the investors stayed away, that is, the people who put money into expanding the economy. When the political situation is too unstable, many no longer take the risk of investing.
Although Fiji has more money per capita than other countries in the region, the country has to import more than it exports. This is known as a negative trade balance. The high hopes of the residents rest on the increasing number of tourists.