About the Flora and Fauna of Niue
On land and beneath the ocean’s surface, Niue provides a haven for wildlife where locals have established sustainable fishing and hunting practices on an island that’s also free from disease. Niue is a tropical island, whose flora and fauna reflects that with an island awash with coconut palms and fruit trees in between tracts of ancient rainforest. Admittedly, the island is not home to many endemic species, with much of what you can find in Niue found elsewhere in the South Pacific. Nevertheless, Niue does have a few iconic species, seen frequently on visits to Niue. We go through some of the typical species you can find in Niue in this traveller’s guide to the wildlife in Niue.
5 Amazing Tours to Experience the Wildlife in Niue
Here are some tours in Niue which include wildlife interactions:
- Taue Uga Tours
- Misa’s Nature Tours
- A5 Tours
- Niue Blue
- Magical Niue Sea Adventures
Find out more in our 10 Ways to Experience the Niue Wildlife.
Marine Life in Niue
Being an island nation in the midst of the vast Pacific Ocean, it’s no surprise that most of Niue’s wildlife can be found in its surrounding waters. There is a recorded 189 species of coral in Niue’s waters which provide important habitat for Niue’s marine life.
Fish Species in Niue
There is said to be around 250 species of fish in Niue’s waters, categorised as either reef fish or bluewater fish. Some of Niue’s coastal reef species include Honeycomb Groupers, Peacock Hind, Tomato Hind, Darkfin Hind, Red Bass, Archilles Tang, Whitespotted Surgeonfish, Yellowedged Lyretail, Manybar Goatfish, Yellowstripe Goatfish, Smalltoothed Jobfish, Stocky Hawkfish, Steephead Parrotfish, Brassy Chub, Sabre Squirrelfish, Blackfin Barracuda, Black Jack and the list goes on and on.
As for bluewater fish or deep-bottom fish, species include Mahimahi, Indo-Pacific Sailfish, Limpidwing Flyingfish, Rainbow Runner, Bigeye Scad, Macherel Skad, Skipjack Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Albacore, Brilliant Pomfret, Striped Marlin, Comet Grouper, White-Edge Lyretail, Almaco Jack, Oblique-Banded Snapper, Goldflag Jobfish, Green Jobfish, Ruby Snapper, Flame Snapper and, again, the list just goes on and on! Learn more about fishing for bluewater fish in The Guide to Fishing in Niue.
Other Marine Species in Niue
Niue’s other marine wildlife consists of marine mammals, such as Spinner Dolphins and Humpback Whales, as well as what are commonly found far off-shore, such as at Beveridge Reef where you can find Blacktip Reef Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles. Learn more about whale and dolphin interactions in The Guide to Swimming with Whales in Niue and The Guide to Swimming with Dolphins in Niue.
Birds in Niue
There’s thought to be between 29 to 31 bird species found in Niue. While there are no endemic species to Niue, there are endemic subspecies such as the Polynesian Triller (Heahea) and the Polynesian Starling (Miti). Many of the birds found in Niue are found across the South Pacific Islands.
Bird Species in Niue
Some of the bird species found in Niue include White-tailed Tropicbird, Pacific Reef Heron, Polynesian Triller, Polynesian Starling, White Tern, Crimson-crowned Fruit Dove, Buff-Banded Rail, Pacific Imperial Pigeon, Blue-crowned Lorikeet, Kelp Gull and more! Learn more about Niue’s most iconic bird species in the 10 Animals and Birds Native to Niue.
Famously, Niue did have one Mallard Duck that mysteriously appeared on the island, which you can read the story about in 10 Fun Facts About Niue.
Finally, a species of bird that is part of many visitors’ experience in Niue is the Red Junglefowl, i.e. the many chickens and roosters that roam the island. The bird is an ancestor of the domestic chicken but is not typically used for eating in Niue – only if prepared in an umu (underground oven).
Reptiles in Niue
Niue has a small number of reptiles, including skinks, geckos and seasnakes. Some of the most iconic reptile species in Niue include the Flat-tailed Seasnake which is commonly seen in Niue’s waters, while the Mourning Gecko, Snake-eyed Skin and Pacific Slender-Toed Gecko are also present and interesting to read up on in our 10 Animals and Birds Native to Niue.
Reptile Species in Niue
Some of the reptile species found in Niue include Mourning Gecko, Flat-tailed Seasnake, Snake-eyed Skink, Pacific Slender-toed Gecko, Moth Skink, Copper-tailed Skink, Azure-tailed Skink, Pacific Dtella, Pelagic Gecko and more.
Land Mammals in Niue
Niue is home to only one native mammal species, the Flying Fox, also known as the Pacific Flying Fox or Peka. These large bats are nocturnal and gather together in colonies high in the rainforest canopy. They mostly eat fruit, nectar and pollen making them important forest pollinators.
Flying Foxes can be interacted with on Misa’s Nature Tour, where the bats that have been kept for rehabilitation can be held.
Other mammals in Niue include marine mammals, such as Spinner Dolphins and Humpback Whales.
Vegetation in Niue
Niue harbours a wealth of tropical vegetation, including bougainvillaea, frangipani, hibiscus and orchids, as well as a variety of ferns growing amongst wild rhododendrons.
Typical flora that is important to the Niuean culture, as well as being distinctively decorative, include Fou (Hibiscus tiliaceus), Pua (Fagraea berteroana), Toi (Alphitonia zizyphoides) and Sī (Cordyline fruticosa).
Common trees found in Niue, include Buttress Trees, Banyan Trees and, of course, Coconut Palms.
Many introduced tropical crops are present in Niue, such as Cassava, Taro, Vanilla, Avocado, Mago, Lime, Kumara, Banana, Pawpaw and much more.
Nature tours are the best place to learn more about the vegetation in Niue. Check out the natures tours in Niue here.