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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Wildlife of Maldives – Explore the Islands, Reefs and Sea
Joanna James Joanna James
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Wildlife of Maldives – Explore the Islands, Reefs and Sea

The wildlife of Maldives is few but it covers an exotic range of flora and fauna indigenous to the region. Differing between atolls the wildlife and flora are quite unique and fascinating to observe.


Fish that Thrive Around the Archipelago

Over 2,000 species of fish have been identified across the archipelago. The variety is simply stunning; with types ranging from the tiniest coral fish to predatory sharks and huge whale sharks. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean are highly conducive to commercial value fish as well, making fishing a staple income across the islands. A dive in the clear blue waters of the ocean will yield sights of giant manta rays, lazy sea turtles, a variety of sharks and lots of tropical fish that are a delight to observe.


The Reptiles and Amphibians

Land based reptiles are quite sparse in the Maldives due to the constricted size of the islands. There you will come across a type of gecko and an agamid lizard scientifically identified as Calotes Versicolor. Then there is the Skink and Wolf Snake Lycodun aulicus as well as very harmless and utterly blind snake Ramphotyphiops bramius. Heading into the water you will come across sea turtles, of these, the predominant species are the leatherback, hawksbill and green turtle. On your walks along the beach, you may encounter a beached sea snake while the marshes are known to harbour a few saltwater crocodile species. Summing up the few amphibians that call the Maldives home, there is the Short-Headed Frog sphaerotheca rolandea found on a few of the islands and the much wider spread, toad Bufo melanostictus.


Birds of the Maldives

The avifauna of the archipelago consists mainly of pelagic birds bearing close resemblance to migratory Eurasian birds. There are only a few indigenous to the Indian sub-continent while others are spotted seasonally like the frigatebirds. Head into the marshes and bushlands on the islands and encounter grey herons and moorhens while the White Terns seem to prefer a few of the southern islands which are richer in habitat.


Maldivian Mammals

There are not many mammals to be seen in the Maldives; in fact, the only endemic mammals are the shrew and flying fox. Of course, the likes of rats, mice and cats are there by the hands of humans; these creatures which have penetrated many of the islands are now considered pests. Being a Muslim nation the Maldives strictly prohibits the entrance of dogs to the islands. Heading into the ocean the mammals to encounter are dolphins and whales while the occasional seal is known to grace waters.


Arthropods of Maldives

There are about 4 types of lobster in the Maldives and a huge variety of crabs, which is why restaurants like 'Salt' and 'Raw' at the PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi thrive on fresh seafood dishes. In fact, the restaurants at Maldives luxury resorts prosper on the bountiful harvest acquired from the ocean, especially when creating signature lobster and crab dishes that are out of this world. Getting away from the subject of dining on crabs, it is worth mentioning that the islands are also home to a type of land crab that seems to love to dwell in holes created inside local homes; as such on a lighter note, it is a fine sight to see a tiny crab scurrying away from the broom of an irate housewife!

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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