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Flora and Fauna

With a tropical, almost equatorial climate and heavy rains for nearly four months each year, the Islands are home to canopied rain forests and mangroves that are a spectacle to behold. These lush forests provide safe haven to over 3,000 species of plants including mangroves, epiphytes (including hundreds of varieties of ferns and orchids), palm trees, timbers (teak, mahogany, Paduk) and a wide variety of tropical fruits.

Marine fauna is diverse and includes a wide variety of tropical fish and coral as well as a great number of rare and endangered species of marine life such as the leatherback turtle and the dugong. Considering the diversity and uniqueness of fauna and flora and the fragile nature of the eco-system here, 96 sanctuaries spread over 466.218 sq km and nine National Parks spread over 1153.938 sq km have been notified on these islands. Also found are giant monitor lizards and salt water crocodiles which inhabit the extensive mangrove swamps.