Samoa Nature and Wildlife
Samoa has many natural wonders including rainforests, waterfalls, beautiful beaches and caves. The Samoan people are very proud of their incredible nature and have therefore taken steps to conserve and protect it. As of 2010, over 5% of the land mass was listed as having protected status with the government aiming to increase this to 15% in the next few years.
Central Savai’i Rainforest located on the island of Savai’i is the largest continuous patch of rainforest in all of Polynesia. This rainforest is home to most of Samoa’s endemic species, many of which are threatened or near extinction. Conservation efforts are constantly at work here including the rainforest preserve found in the Falealupo village. In 1990, villagers sold their logging rights of the rainforest in order to increase revenue to build a better school. This would have had a severe impact on the rainforest, however, fortunately, Seacology (a non-profit organization focused on the preservation of island ecosystems) stepped in and agreed to help raise the funds in exchange for the promise that the rainforest would be protected. Now, along with Seacology, ecotourism has become paramount for Falealupo by ensuring there is a constant source of income as well as education projects that will continue to preserve the land.
Fagaloa Bay, located in eastern Upolu Island is the largest tropical rainforest found on any Pacific Island. It is home to the Uafato Tiavea Conservation Zone which strives to protect a large amount of unique flora and fauna found there. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2006.
There are also national parks on the islands including O Le Pupu-Pue National Park and Lake Lanoto’o National Park as well as many reserves such as Apia Central Reserve, Magiagi Reserve and Vaigaga Reserve. Some of the smaller, uninhabited islands serve as conservation sites for endemic species. All of these areas are working hard to educate the population about risks to Samoan national treasures and to protect and conserve the environment.
30% of Samoa’s biodiversity is endemic to the islands, however, this refers mostly to the flora and not the fauna. Due to the remoteness of the islands, there was never much cultivation of animals and as a result, there are few that are unique to Samoa.
Like many of the Pacific Islands, the majority of endemic species are birds. There are a wide variety of bird species found in Samoa, with eleven being unique including Amoan Flycatcher, Samoan Fantail, Samoan Whistler, Samoan Triller, Samoan White-eye and the Mao. Perhaps the most famous of birds found on this island nation is the Tooth-billed Pigeon. This bird is the national bird of Samoa and has no close living relatives, but it is genetically similar to the extinct Dodo. Due to habitat loss, the Tooth-billed Pigeon is now listed as endangered. The only endemic mammal found in Samoa is the Samoan Flying Fox which is a species of megabat, but they too are endangered.
The marine life that Samoa has to offer is quite impressive. Dolphins, whales and porpoises often migrate through Samoa’s coast courtesy of the warm waters offered there. Turtles are also frequently spotted. The fringing reefs that surround the islands are home to over 900 fish species plus an additional 200 coral species. An opportunity to dive or snorkel in Samoan waters should not be missed.
Samoa Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Samoa.
Learn about the history and culture of Samoa, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Samoa's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, and 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Samoa for yourself. Start exploring...book one of our Samoa vacations today!
Extend Your Stay
Consider an additional stopover after or before one of your Samoa tours at one of Goway's other South Pacific destinations. You can choose from our selection of Australian vacations, New Zealand vacation packages, Tahiti vacation packages, one of our Fiji resorts or perhaps take a Cook Island vacation.
Book your Samoa Vacation with Goway!
Goway’s Downunder wizards can offer you many ways to explore and enjoy Samoa. Choose from a simple island stopover and much more. We want to be your first choice when next you go globetrotting to Samoa.
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