Flora and Fauna in Maldives For A Wild Holiday

Maldives is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and exotic locations in the world. This tropical paradise is famed for its pristine beaches, white sands, crystal blue waters, waving green trees and eclectic wildlife. The country boasts of a diverse range of flora, fauna and corals that are sure to be any nature enthusiast's fantasy. No trip to the Maldives is complete without a trip to explore the wild side. The tropical island has a variety of options to let your adventurer take over, with wildlife trips, diving expeditions and nature walk that help you admire, learn about and wonder at nature's bounty. If this is your first time to the Maldives and you're not sure what to expect about the wildlife that this tropical island has to offer, don't worry! Go through our list of the most significant and endemic flora and fauna of the Maldives, and explore today!

Flowers

One would expect that a tropical island like the Maldives is home to numerous endemic varieties of plants. But shockingly, that is not true! The atolls of the country were originally rich in only minerals, and the soil was far too lifeless to be accommodating for plants. Colonizers, designers and birds brought in many plant varieties that thrive here today. The atolls are home to more than 300 plant species, most of which are usually found in any tropical country now. The top 5 flora varieties to explore are:

1. Pink Rose (Rosa polyantha

Pink Rose - the national flower in Maldives
Source


The national flower of Maldives, this beautiful flowering plant is a bright pink colored fantasy, which is as attractive as it is delicate. Locally called Finifenmaa, this was named the National Flower way back in 1985 and is revered among the locals. It is used in ceremonies as well. You can spot it growing in exotic gardens, or even in well-tended plots.

Where to find: Throughout the country

2. Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)

Coconut palm in Maldives
Source


This is a common sight in all tropical destinations, but the humble coconut palm assumes significance in the Maldives because it is the national tree! Boasting of many uses, the coconut palm also gives rise to the informal national fruit, the coconut. Next time you sip out of tender coconut, know that you're indulging in something royal!

Where to find: Throughout the country

3. Fan Flower (Scaevola taccada)  

Fan Flower in Maldives
Source


This white, delicate beauty is fascinating to look at because it appears as though it has been cut in half! This may leave you wondering if pesky flower pickers have been at it again, but rest assured. This unique flower's very speciality is that the petals always look half-plucked. An interesting photo-op indeed!

Where to find: Throughout the country, especially in Baa Atoll

4. Frangipani (Pumeria sp.)

Frangipani in Maldives
Source


This flower has a centers role to play in rituals, welcome gestures and decorations alike because of its enchanting fragrance, unique to this plant. Not only is this tree an ornamental delight, but its flowers are long-lasting, fragrant and a brilliant shade of pristine white, pale pink and dusty yellow.

Where to find: Throughout the country

5. Beach Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus

Beach hibiscus in Maldives
Source


This tropical wonder is breathtaking because it turns colors! When it first blooms, it is a bright shade of sun-kissed yellow. After a while, it becomes a shade of blood red. When it eventually falls, these flowers create a floral carpet beneath the trees, making for some amazing site.

Where to find: Throughout the country

Birds

The island has limited terrestrial animals that include two species of lizards, one species of toad, spiders, one toad, non-venomous snakes and one species of boat. There are no pigs on the island at all! There are very few dogs here as well, due to religious reasons. Flying foxes and shrews are also found, but most mammals of the country are located in the ocean.

There are approximately 170 species of birds found on the island, but most are migratory. The most common birds include the common crow, the mynahs and the white-breasted water hen. All these birds are commonly spotted in the atolls, but you are sure to find them all in the Baa Atoll.

1. Large Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)  

Large grey heron in Maldives
Source


This bird is found all over the atolls, especially in Baa Atoll. You can easily identify the bird by its black mane and grey plumage, accentuated by a curved beak. See if you can spot this wise bird standing stoic and still on one leg!

Where to find: Baa Atoll

2. White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)  

White-tailed tropicbird in Maldives
Source


Usually found in uninhabited islands of the Maldives, the locals refer to these birds as 'Dhadifulhudhooni'. That's a mouthful, isn't it? Speaking of mouthfuls, these birds are known to catch fish deftly in their mouths (well, beaks), making them trusty companions of local fishermen.

Where to find: Throughout the country

3. White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus

White-breasted waterhen found in Maldives
Source


The national bird of the Maldives, these waterhens are known for their peculiar call that is part-dove and part-hen, right after the monsoon. You can find these friendly birds wandering around most atolls.

Where to find: Throughout the country

4. White Tern (Gygis alba)  

White tern in Maldives
Source


This adorable bird is famed for its famous flights across islands during the migratory season. Distinctly recognized by its stark black beak and pristine white plumage, this bird is easy to spot along the coasts during the breeding season, as it frequents coral islands.

Where to find: Baa Atoll

5. Mynah (Acridotheres tristis

Mynah found in Maldives
Source

These gorgeous songbirds are friendly, cheeky and absolutely adorable. Their characteristic call is hard to miss, as is their yellow-spotted beak and vibrant plumage, made of black, brown, white and blue feathers. Talk about fall aesthetics! Prepare to be greeted by mynah calls every morning as you wake up in the Maldives.

Where to find: Throughout the country

Marine Life

The Baa Atoll wasn't named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for nothing! The area is host to a wide array of marine mammals, fish, corals and reptiles. Many resorts offer in-house services to watch these animals. You can also contact the many snorkelling and diving centres in the capital Mahé or at the Baa Atoll itself, to go on adventurous expeditions. Here are some marine animals that you absolutely cannot miss!  

1. Rays 

Manta ray in Maldives
Source


Manta rays, stingrays, and eagle rays densely populate the area around Baa Atoll, especially at Hanifaru Bay. These rays can grow to an enormous size, making them a marvel to look at! You can feed them and swim with them, as many resorts offer swimming trips at Baa.  

Where to find: Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll

2. Dolphins

Dolphins in the Maldives
Source


No tropical vacation is complete without swimming with dolphins. These friendly, intelligent mammals are often thought to be even more intelligent than humans. You can spot bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, Risso's dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins, Fraser's dolphins, and spotted dolphins at Hanifaru Bay. The shallow waters make for perfect sites for dolphins, which makes it a tourist hotspot as well. 

Where to find: Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll

3. Whales  

Pilot whale in maldives
Source


Behold the largest of the mammals, the whale! You can spot killer whales, pilot whales, sperm whales, blue whales, Bryde's whales, Longman's Beaked whales, Blainville's Beaked whales and Cuvier's Beaked whales in the Maldives. The most commonly spotted blue whales and sperm whales, which are large and gentle creatures. Next time you're on a cruise there, watch out for them!  

Where to find: Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll

4. Eels 

Zebra moray eel found in Maldives
Source


Eels make for an interesting company while scuba diving and snorkeling in Maldives, with their cheeky and slithery movements. The different varieties of eels found in here include the zebra moray eel, honeycomb moray eel, and the giant moray eel. They are common in the ocean surrounding the entire island.

Where to find: Throughout the country

5. Turtles 

Green turtle in Maldives
Source


The Maldives was an important nesting ground for turtles, but the number steadily lessened through the years due to poaching activities. Today, special regulations are in place to conserve turtles and redeem their numbers. You can spot green turtles, Olive Ridley turtles, hawksbill turtles, and leatherback turtles in Baa Atoll!

Where to find: Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Raa Atoll

6. Fishes 

Picasso triggerfish in Maldives
Source


Maldives is host to more than a hundred species of fish, making it an ecological hotspot where a unique blend of water temperature, salinity and habitat allow many fishes to flourish. This makes ita paradise for divers, as you are sure to witness some magnificent fish during your underwater adventures. Some of them include the yellowfin tuna, which is the National Fish of the Maldives, the blue blanquillo, clown squirrelfish, immaculate soldierfish, Chinese trumpet fish, coral rabbitfish, humpback red snapper, yellow butterfly fish, longfin bannerfish, raccoon butterflyfish, black-wedge butterflyfish, threadfin butterflyfish, coral hawkfish, Indian damselfish, the Maldivian clownfish, ember parrotfish, powder blue tang, elongate surgeonfish, yellow-tailed surgeonfish, clown triggerfish, Picasso triggerfish, honeycomb toby, leaf fish, reef stonefish, spotfin lionfish, and the white-lined lionfish. Make sure you take a camera underwater to capture these breathtaking sights! The main hotspots for these fish are the Baa and the Raa Atolls.

Where to find: Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Raa Atoll

Corals

Coral reefs in the Maldives
Source


The tropical island is most popular for its exotic varieties of corals, in all colors of the rainbow! From varieties like Acropora, Pachyseris, Turbinaria, Diploastrea, Echinopora, brain coral, Pocillopora, soft coral, blue corals, red algae corals, blue-green corals and mushroom corals, the entire archipelago is dotted with brilliant and large coral reefs, which make for some splendid diving sights. You can also explore underwater caves and maybe even find some rare, undiscovered fish. Coral varieties found in the Maldives include the Acropora austera, A. clathrata, A. cytherea, A. digitifera, A. echinata, A. gemmifera, A. globiceps, A. hemprichii, Turbinaria mesenterina, D. helipora, D. pallida, P. elegans, and P. verrucosa.

Where to find: Most resorts have in-house reefs that boast of vast coral reefs, but the best ones are found at Baa Atoll

Where to Spot Wildlife in the Maldives?

Diving at Baa Atoll in Maldives
Source


Most atolls have their own house reefs, where you can spot most marine life, corals and birds. You can find insects and lizards fairly commonly. The Baa Atoll is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which means that you can find almost all the wildlife mentioned, there. Many tour packages offer exclusive coverage of the entire atoll, covering all important sites and making sure to sight all the animals in their natural habitat. In Hanifaru Bay at Baa Atoll, you are sure to site rays, dolphins and whales, making it a crowd favourite. The coral reefs at Baa are also breathtaking!

Flora and fauna form an important part of the ecosystem, and they must be conserved at all costs. A trip to the Maldives offers a unique opportunity to understand the beauty and significance of its unique ecosystems, as many marine research centres and adventure centres in the country offer comprehensive trips and expeditions to explore the many wonders of the Atolls. What are you waiting for? It's time to go to the wild side!

This post was published by Nivedha Narayanaswamy

Share this post on social media
Google +

Related Articles

Beaches & Islands

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Choose Between the Two Paradisiacal Lands !

Travel Tips

Currency Exchange in Maldives: All You Need to Know

Nightlife

Maldives Nightlife - Where to Go When the Sun Goes Down in Maldives

Art & Culture

Languages of Maldives: A Complete Guide

Experiences

10 Best Overwater Bungalows in Maldives: Experience Luxury and Serenity at One Place

Adventure

Maldives Cruises - Discover the Country Wave by Wave

Experiences

Wedding in Maldives - Top 10 Resorts for an Exquisite Ceremony

Top Places

Mauritius Vs Maldives - Which One Is Your Next Holiday Destination?

Travel Tips

Maldives Visa for Indians - Decoded & Simplified!

Romantic & Honeymoon

Honeymoon in Maldives - the Romantic Paradise of Indian Ocean

Beaches & Islands

10 Unrivalled Beaches in Maldives for a Heavenly Island Vacation

Art & Culture

Maldives Culture - a Kaleidoscope of Customs and Traditions

Art & Culture

History of Maldives - The Realm of Rich Legacy and Vibrant History

Travel Tips

12 Airports in Maldives Listed to Make Your Travel Easier

Travel Tips

Maldives Weather in December- All Whats and Wheres You Need to Know

Beaches & Islands

Maldives With Kids - Embark on a Tropical Family Holiday in Maldives

Adventure

Snorkelling in Maldives - the Snorkelling Paradise for Every Wanderer

Shopping

Shopping in Maldives - Souvenirs and Markets You Can't Afford to Miss!

Beaches & Islands

6 Bikini Beaches in Maldives to Flaunt That Beach Bod!

Luxury Trip

Top 10 Romantic Honeymoon Resorts in Maldives That Will Make You Swoon!

Travel Tips

Is Maldives Safe? Travel Advice and Things to Know

Food & Drink

Food of Maldives - 20 Tempting Dishes and Drinks to Try in Maldives

Food & Drink

Vegetarian Food in Maldives - 10 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants

Travel Tips

Hawaii Vs Maldives: Which One to Choose for Your next Vacay?

Travel Tips

Decrypting the Weather of Maldives in April

Transport

Transportation in Maldives - Pick Your Ride for a Hassle Free Vacation

Adventure

15 Exhilarating Water Sports in Maldives to Get Your Adrenaline Pumping

Travel Tips

Maldives Weather in January - Experience the Best of this Country!

Experiences

10 Best Spas in Maldives - Serenity and Well Being at its Best

Travel Tips

Weather of Maldives in May - Cheap Prices, Fun Activities & Sightseeing!

Romantic & Honeymoon

Bali vs Maldives - Which Tropical Destination Should You Go to Next?

Beaches & Islands

Maldives vs Seychelles: Pick Your Next Holiday Destination!

Top Places

Best Countries To Visit In August

Top Places

10 Most Beautiful Islands In The World

Stay

Top 10 Best Overwater Bungalows In The World

Beaches & Islands

Beaches in Maldives

Beaches & Islands

Islands of Maldives

Adventure

10 Of the Most Luxurious Experiences around the World to Make Your Bucket List Longer!

Take The Mumbai to Maldives Cruise Starting This November!

13 Beautiful Places in Maldives That Will Take Your Breath Away

Island Hopping in Maldives - Traverse the Miniature Paradise

Art & Culture

Traditional Dress of Maldives - 5 Local Traditional Maldives Dresses

Travel Tips

Maldives in June - Weather, Activities & Sightseeing

Adventure

Whale Sharks in Maldives - Dive with the Majestic Underwater Species

Religious

Religion in Maldives - Understanding the Religious Beliefs in Maldives

Adventure

Surfing In the Maldives - All About Riding the Wave in Maldives

Experiences

8 Amazing Spots to Experience the Sunrise in Maldives

Travel Tips

Maldives Weather in July - What Makes it the Perfect Time to Visit

Art & Culture

16 Facts about Maldives That Will Make You Want to Visit It Asap

Sightseeing

Cities in Maldives

Travel Tips

Safety in Maldives - 7 Tips For a Safe, Hassle-Free Maldives Holiday

Family Holidays

Pre Plan Your Work Leaves For The Long Weekends in 2019

Top Places

The Stars Align - Here's Where You Should Travel This Year Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Comments on this post