Wildlife In The Maldives

While most people would expect a tropical paradise to contain large variety of land animals, this just isn’t true of the Maldives. There are a number of different bats, most memorable of which are the large fruit bats that roost in the trees at night. There are also many species of lizard and gecko that are pretty ubiquitous and can be seen crawling on most walls and even ceilings.
There is one important point to make about the land animals in the Maldives, and that is that they are relatively safe. There are very few animals that will do you harm, and even mosquitoes are rare. There are ants centipedes and even scorpions but these are generally not a problem unless you go about intentionally annoying them.

There are as can be expected a large number of seabirds, most of which are migratory or introduced, as the land mass in the Maldives is just not big enough to support large populations of many different species. However, there are about 12 or 13 different species of Heron that can be seen feeding in the shallows at low tide.

The real exciting wildlife in the Maldives can only be seen when you put on your swimsuit and get into the water, preferably with either a snorkel or dive gear. The underwater fauna is absolutely amazing. There are several species of turtle, many of which are endangered that can be found in the waters around the Maldives, at least four of which nest on the islands. However, widespread collection of eggs and reduction in the number of nesting sites means these turtles are in serious trouble.

Coral is probably the single most important organism in the Maldives, as it is responsible for all of the reefs surrounding each island. The coral reefs are particularly beautiful, creating habitats for hundreds if not thousands of tropical fish. It is these reefs that pull the thousands of tourists that visit the Maldives every year. If you are interested in tropical fish it might be worthwhile taking a field guide with you as they are very easy to find and most are easy to identify with the right guide.

Sharks! There are of course many different species of shark in the Maldives, from the white tipped reef shark, through to hammer heads and even the occasional maldives country whale shark. However, this should not put you off diving in the Maldives as there is such an abundance of food in the waters that the chances of being attacked are slim to none. And this is probably one of the few places in the world where you can feel safe swimming with 2m sharks.

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