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Republic of Palau

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva ©Andy Walker Website

Birding Palau

Palau, officially the Republic of Palau, is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, some 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines and 2,000 miles (3,200 km) south of Tokyo. Having emerged from United Nations trusteeship (administered by the United States) in 1994, it is one of the world's youngest and smallest nations.

Palau's most populous islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror, and Peleliu. The latter three lie together within the same barrier reef, while Angaur is an oceanic island several miles to the south. About two-thirds of the population live on Koror. The coral atoll of Kayangel is situated north of these islands, while the uninhabited Rock Islands (about 200) are situated to the west of the main island group. A remote group of six islands, known as the Southwest Islands, some 375 miles (600 km) from the main islands, are also part of the country and make up the states of Hatohobei and Sonsorol.

Palau enjoys a tropical climate all year round with an annual mean temperature of 82 °F (27 °C). Rainfall can occur throughout the year, averaging a total of 150 inches (3,800 mm). The average humidity over the course of the year is 82%, and although rain falls more frequently between July and October, there is still much sunshine. Typhoons are rare, as Palau is outside the main typhoon zone.

While much of Palau's natural environment remains free of environmental degradation, there are several areas of concern, including illegal fishing with the use of dynamite, inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste in Koror, and extensive sand and coral dredging in the Palau lagoon. Like the other Pacific island nations, a potential major environmental threat is global warming and the related rising of sea level. Water coverage of low-lying areas is a threat to coastal vegetation, agriculture, and the purity of the nation's water supply. Palau also has a problem with inadequate water supply and limited agricultural areas to support the size of the population. The nation is also vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic activity, and tropical storms. Sewage treatment is a problem, along with the handling of toxic waste from fertilizers and biocides.

On November 5, 2005, President of Palau, Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. took the lead on a regional environmental initiative called the Micronesia challenge, which would conserve 30 percent of near shore coastal waters and 20 percent of forest land by 2020. In addition to Palau, the initiative was joined by the Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands, and the U.S. territories of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands. Together, this combined region represents nearly 5 percent of the marine area of the Pacific Ocean and 7 percent of its coastlines.



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Number of Species

Number of bird species: 149

National Bird: Palau Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus pelewensis


Number of endemics: 13

Palau Ground-Dove Gallicolumba canifrons
Palau Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus pelewensis
Palau Owl Pyrroglaux podarginus
Palau Swiftlet Aerodramus pelewensis
Palau Bush-Warbler Cettia annae
Palau Fantail Rhipidura lepida
Palau Flycatcher Myiagra erythrops
Palau Kingfisher Todiramphus pelewensis
Palau Cicadabird Coracina monacha
Micronesian Megapode Megapodius senex
Morningbird Colluricincla tenebrosa
Dusky White-eye Zosterops finschii
Giant White-eye Megazosterops palauensis


iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

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Useful Reading

Birds and Bats of Palau

By H Douglas Pratt & Mandy T Etpison | Mutual Publishing | 2008 | Paperback | 290 pages, 700 colour photos |

ISBN: 9781566478717

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Marine Environments of Palau

By Patrick L Colin | Mutual Publishing | 2009 | Paperback | 400 pages, 1200 colour photos |

ISBN: 9780615274843

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Trip Reports

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Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2010 [01 January] - Jon Hornbuckle


…Ashore after 40 mins, walked right, along the bottom edge of the cliff and had good views of Micronesian Scrubfowl, Palau Ground-dove and Morningbird, plus several rats. Left at 09.30 for Margie’s Beach on Urukthapel island, a 30 min ride…

2010 [06 June] - Petri Hottola

PDF Report

Palau has no less than thirteen endemic species: Palau Owl, Micronesian Megapode, Palau Fruit Dove, Palau Ground Dove, Palau Swiftlet, Palau Kingfisher, Palau Cicadabird, Morningbird, Mangrove Flycatcher, Palau Fantail, Palau Bush Warbler, Dusky White-eye and Giant White-eye…

2016 [04 April] - Pete Morris - Micronesia

PDF Report

A call from the canopy soon alerted us to a pair of the attractive Rusty-capped Kingfsher, one rusty-capped and one buff-capped, and we spent some time enjoying them. Nearby, the gorgeous Palau Flycatcher called away, dour Morningbirds hopped around us, strange-looking Palau Bush Warblers alerted us by their song, and delightful Palau Fantails fitted past. Above us, Micronesian Myzomelas and Dusky and Citrine White-eyes foraged on fowers, the ubiquitous Micronesian Starlings few around, noisy Collared Kingfshers perched up, and Palau Fruit Doves, whilst common by voice, were a little elusive, though most got their frst decent views.....

Other Links

List of birds of Palau


This is a list of the bird species recorded in Palau. The avifauna of Palau includes a total of 149 species, of which 10 are endemic, 3 have been introduced by humans, and 17 are rare or accidental. 3 species are globally threatened…