9 August 2021

New Caledonia hotspot for biodiversity

Caledonian marine biodiversity: an incomparable wealth

On land and at sea, New Caledonia is a sanctuary for global biodiversity, with a species endemism rate of around 80%. The archipelago is one of the 35 biodiversity hotspots identified on the planet.

In terms of marine biodiversity, New Caledonia has the second longest reef in the world. It is home to 20% of the world’s biodiversity and more than 9,000 marine species, including 400 species of coral, 2,000 species of molluscs, 4,000 species of crustaceans, 2,300 species of fish, 26 species of sharks, 12 species of marine snakes, 27 marine mammals and 5 species of turtles. Some species are particularly closely monitored and are the subject of dedicated action plans, such as marine turtles and dugongs, commonly known as “sea cows”.

New Caledonian underwater biodiversity in pictures

Sea snake or striped knit, Laticauda saintgironsi, Amédée island © Nadia Faure.

Ocellated eagle ray, Aetobatus ocellatus © Laeticia Mathon

A green turtle, Chelonia mydas, is about to lay eggs on a beach in New Caledonia © Laurent Vigliola

Gray reef shark, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, in open water, accompanied by young jacks © Laeticia Mathon

Half air, half water ... © Nadia Faure

Staghorn coral, Acropora sp. © Nadia Faure

Coral patchwork from New Caledonia © Nadia Faure

Dugong, Dugong dugon grazing on a herbarium.
This marine mammal of the order Sirenia is herbivorous, hence its other name of sea cow © Mark Goodchild. Wikimedia commons

School of humpback parrotfish, Bolbometopon muricatum © David Mouillot.

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