Natural forest formations
Forest cover map
The Republic of Palau (Belau) is a hot, humid Micronesian archipelago of four high volcanic islands (Babeldaob, by far the largest island at 376 km2; Ngemelachel (Malakal); Ngerekebesang (Arakabesan); Oreor (Koror) and about 200 smaller raised limestone islands and atolls, located at the extreme western end of the Caroline Islands, 800 km east of the Philippines. Maximum elevation is about 215 m. As a result of its proximity to the Asian continent, the flora of Palau is much more diverse than that of the rest of the Carolines. In addition, the respective flora of the volcanic islands and limestone islands are quite different. Chelbacheb (the Rock Islands) are a group of very steep limestone islands south of Babeldaob with unique forest cover. Peleliu and Angaur, at the southern end of the chain, are largely flat. In south-western Palau, the Palau Outliers comprise six tiny coral sand islands (Fana, Helen, Merir, Pulo Anna, Sonsorol and Tobi). Natural woody vegetation in Palau includes littoral, swamp, mangrove, upland, and limestone forests. The following description of vegetation types is derived from Cole et al. (1987) and Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg (1998).
The above map is an extract from the Global Forest Cover map produced as part of FRA 2000. Please refer to FRA Working Paper 19 for a background to the production of the map.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
Map source: Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000, base map: ESRI