We do talk about lagoons, corals and marine life of the Maldives but rarely do we take a deep peep inside the wildlife of the vista. Why not? Well, the land rich in natural resources is bestowed with some astounding wild creatures too. Let us take a look.
The Maldives is an island nation which is situated in the continent of Asia. Surrounded by the picturesque Indian Ocean, the country is bound to have some of the most beautiful for any tourist across the globe. The archipelago of Maldives is situated on the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, which is a popular and extremely huge submarine mountain range. It is located in the Indian Ocean, together with the Lakshadweep, which forms the terrestrial ecoregion. The average elevation of ground-level is approximately 1.5 meters or 4 feet & 11 inches above sea level, thereby making it the lowest country in the world. The Maldives' highest natural point too is the lowest in the world, standing not so tall at 7 feet and 10 inches or approximately 2.4 meters.
The island undoubtedly is picturesque and the above-described expanse of land covers a wide range of flora of Maldives! However, the wildlife of Maldives is dominated by the fauna, the composition of which can greatly change between atolls that follow the North-South gradient. Recently, due to increased fishing pressure or even poaching, alarming differences can be seen between neighbouring atolls, thereby making it essential that tourists visiting must be extremely cautious about avoiding further damage to the ecosystem.
Being a country that is at sea level and an island nation, a majority of the wildlife of Maldives is bound to be inside the sea itself, in the form of fish, reptiles and various other types of amphibians. There are a very few mammals that live on the land, among the endemic species and they are the Shrew and the Flying Fox. Cats and Mice are some mammals that exist in human-inhabited areas and dogs are strictly not allowed to be brought into the country. Inside the ocean, it is primarily the Whales and Dolphins that are the mammals, while the rare occurrences of seals from the subantarctic region can also be seen. Birds are not widely present on the island, the moorhen and the grey heron are natives while most of the other birds are migratory birds that are Eurasian while a few are associated with the Indian sub-continent.
The majority of the Maldives wildlife comprises fish. The diversity of marine life in the archipelago of Maldives is astounding with over two thousand species of fish and numerous corals which range from reef sharks to colourful Reef fish Maldives and moray eels. The wildlife also includes a variety of rays such as manta ray, eagle ray and the sting-ray. The waters around the Maldives are home to the whale shark while also being abundant in some of the rarest species having immense commercial and biological value.
The small islands do have a lot of water-based reptiles, while land-based reptiles aren't so common. Some of the land-based reptiles include a species of an agamid lizard, a gecko, as well as a calories versicolor, the wolf snake lycodon aulicus, a blind snake species called Ramphotyphlops braminus, which is harmless in nature. The skink Lygosoma albopunctata is also prevalent here.
The sea is populated with various types of turtles such as the hawksbill turtle, the leatherback turtle and the green turtle, the leatherback turtles are known for laying eggs on the beaches of Maldives. The Pelagic sea snakes that reside in the Indian Ocean are at times thrown onto the shore post violent storms. This leaves them helpless and they are mostly unable to go back into the sea. In the marshy areas of the islands, Saltwater Crocodiles commonly make their way. The Maldives Coral Reefs are some of the best Coral Reefs found in the world and appear to be the perfect ‘Shangri La’ of any wildlife lover.
The various islands of the Maldives each have their own charm and diverse flora and fauna of the Maldives, which make them an ideal destination for serene trips. In addition to this, the wildlife, particularly the marine wildlife of Maldives truly does make an individual feel in sync with nature while snorkelling, diving and exploring a world very different from the one on land.