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Geography

Monuriki is an tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Viti Levu in a group of islands known as the Mamanuca islands. The island is of volcanic origin and is approximately 1 kilometre long and 600 metres wide. The land area is approximately 0.4 square kilometres surrounded on all sides by a coral reef.

Monuriki relief map

Relief map of Monuriki.


The highest point is 178 m. This volcanic islet is part of the Atolls islands and related to a group of three islets in the larger group of Fiji Islands, called "Mamanuca". The islet is surrounded by coral reef; it also includes volcanic rocks, lagoons, and several small beaches, including some white sand beaches.

Flora and Fauna

Wilson's Storm-petrel is strictly pelagic outside the breeding season, and this, together with its remote breeding sites, makes Wilson's Petrel a difficult bird to see from land. Only in severe storms might this species be pushed into headlands.

The vegetation consists mainly of higher screw pines, or pandanus, coconut, (Cocos nucifera) and associated species of coastal forests. The low vegetation has been eroded in the past by herds of goats up on the rocks, making the stable food of iguanas, destroyed. While trying to free the filming of Cast Away, with financial incentives, David Stanley parallel try "The Island Of The Goats", that was a new environmental initiative that included, an artificial rearing for rescued iguanas.

Monuriki is one of the few place on which the endangered Fiji Crested Iguana, Brachylophus vitiensis, live. These iguanas feed on a wide range of plants and insects. They spend most of their time well camouflaged in the branches of trees. However, they are actually threatened by extinction and are only a few thousand copies on the three tiny islands of the western Fiji: Yadua Taba, Macuata and Monuriki. Although not shown in the movie, in Monuriki live this nearly extinct Fiji Crested Iguana. The Brachylophus vitiensis began in movies when Dr. John Gibbons of the University of the South Pacific was invited to the screening of the movie Blue Lagoon. The director filmed part of the movie on a remote island and included shots of the native wildlife to enhance the feel of the movie, including a large colorful iguanid. Gibbons, who had been studying the Fiji banded iguana at the time, travelled to the island and identified it as a distinct species. The species is restricted to dry forest habitats, which is one of the most threatened vegetation types in the Pacific. It was once known from 14 islands in the western part of Fiji; however, recent surveys in 2002–2004 years have only confirmed the species on three islands: Yadua Taba, Monuriki, and Macuata. Yadua Taba holds the highest concentration of the species, containing approximately 98% of all individuals, which is estimated to be 6,000 animals. The Yadua Taba iguanas are the only legally protected population, as Yadua Taba is a National Trust of Fiji reserve and lacks the feral goats which have destroyed the lizard's habitat on other islands. Monuriki is also a breeding ground for some sea Turtles. The rise and fall of the tides do come and go long sandy beaches and rocky sea beds full of fish.

Monuriki aerial view

Aerial view of Monuriki.

Dry forests are Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests in smaller offshore islands with highly sensitive to excessive burning and deforestation; overgrazing and exotic species can also quickly alter natural communities; restoration is possible but challenging, particularly if degradation has been intense and persistent. Degrading dry broadleaf often leaves thorny shrublands, thickets, or dry grasslands in their place. Tropical dry forests include both deciduous and semi-evergreen forests. A recent work by Howard Nelson suggests that areas which were formerly classified as evergreen forest also fit the criteria for dry forests. Much more of the pacific islands originally supported dry forests.

In phytosociology, description of forest associations was physiognomically based. Many of his forest associations overlap modern ideas of dry and moist forests. The climate in Fiji is tropical marine and warm most of the year round with minimal extremes. The warm season is from November till April and the cooler season May to October. Temperature in the cool season still averages 22 °C (72 °F).

Rainfall is variable, the warmer season experiences heavier rainfall, especially inland. Winds are moderate, though cyclones occur about once a year (10–12 times per decade).

The group of Monuriki is a number of tiny rocky islets in rocky basalt and with several rocky islets, all around lie off Contrasting broken cliffs and hills, coasts and corals and a few golden sand coves,

The group of islets has a drier climate and different habitat from the rain forests that cover most of the Fiji islands. Although not as rich as the rainforest the plant life of the coast does consist of many species including a number of endemic species. This coast is traditionally home to a number of endangered animals including terrestrial and marine birds. See List of birds of Fiji. Dry forests are always vulnerable to forest fires and human intervention and the original vegetation of this coast has been cleared for farming, especially cattle ranching. There are remains of a coconut plantation. Dry forests are highly sensitive to excessive burning and deforestation; overgrazing and exotic species can also quickly alter natural communities; restoration is possible but challenging, particularly if degradation has been intense and persistent. Degrading dry broadleaf often leaves thorny shrublands, thickets, or dry grasslands in their place. With only two percent of natural dry forest remaining in isolated patches, none of them in protected areas. Dry forest are elected for urban areas, farms and farming communities all along the coast.

Monuriki with coral reef sombras

Map of coral submerge reef. With coral reef Monuriki have 2,1 km². Without coral reef Monuriki have 0,4 km².

Pandanus is common in the littoral habitat, and is a component of strandline and coastal vegetation, including grassy or swampy woodlands, secondary forests, and scrub thickets developed on makatea (raised fossilized coralline limestone terraces). It occurs on the margins of mangroves and swamps, as an understory tree in the plantation of coconut and forest, either planted or naturalized. Associated species of native habitat include creepers such as Ipomoea pescaprae, Canavalia sericea, and Vigna marina. Other coastal thickets and forest associates include Acacia simplex, Amaroria soulameoides, Tournefortia argentea, Barringtonia asiatica, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Calophyllum inophyllum, Casuarina equisetifolia, Cerbera manghas, Chrysobalanus icaco, Cocos nucifera, Cordia subcordata, Excoecaria agallocha, Guettarda speciosa, Hernandia nymphaeifolia, Hibiscus tiliaceus, Intsia bijuga, Morinda citrifolia, Podocarpus neriifolius, Santalum insulare, Scaevola taccada, Schleinitzia insularum, Terminalia catappa, Terminalia littoralis, Thespesia populnea, and Vitex trifoliata. Peat swamp associates include Sphagnum cuspidatum and various sedges.

While all pandanus is distributed in the tropical Pacific islands, low islands of the Polynesia and Micronesia are his favorite spot: it covers the barren atolls. The tree is grown and propagated from shoots that form spontaneously in the axils of lower leaves. Its fruit can float and spread to other islands without help from man. The fruit is an edible drupe. They grows wild mainly in semi­natural vegetation in littoral habitats throughout the tropical and subtropical Pacific, where it can withstand drought, strong winds, and salt spray. Cocos nucifera was probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild is light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. It has been collected from the sea as far north as Norway.

Division of Monuriki

Monuriki have 3 municipalities

Flag Municipality Established Population Area km²
Flag of Hanks Hanks 1996 1,415 0,16 km²
Flag of Wilson Wilson 1999 15 0,13 km²
Flag of Fedex Fedex 2001 8 0,15 km²

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