New Caledonia is one of the rare islands in the world that can boast such a varied list of fauna and flora. A veritable hot spot of land biodiversity which, thanks to 80 million years of protective isolation, has managed to preserve landscapes similar to those known by the dinosaurs. At Mont Panié, the highest peak in New Caledonia, the endemic species and biodiversity rates reach their maximum.
Here nature lovers are legion and the desire to preserve this incomparable natural wealth and make it last is shared by everyone. Wet maquis, savannah, mangrove swamp, dry forest, rainforest… New Caledonia is a gem to cherish. True, it has a lot of nickel in its soil, but its flora, much of which is endemic, is among the most incredible on the planet, with over 2,000 species identified, 80% of them native.
With its 5 000 hectares, Mont Panié is thus a botanical reserve exceptionally rich in endemic plants (mountain araucarias, giant kaoris, palm trees of very great size) and which is also home to nearly 100 species of butterfly.
For their part, geologists admire the coloured rocks that can be found in our mountains, garnet crystals, mica strips and blue glaucophane.
As for land animal species, they are numerous but discreet and not at all dangerous. The deer and wild pigs are kings of the bush, whereas in the Far North wild horses are legion. Along with them are found bird species, at least two of which are rare and protected throughout the year: the kagu and the parrot. Puffins and roussettes (fruit bats) are also monitored for much of the year.
As for the sea, New Caledonia has the largest lagoon in the world, which was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008. And its fauna is very diverse, with more than 1,000 varieties of fish and no less than 6,500 species of marine invertebrates.