Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Republic of Palau

Palau is part of the Caroline Islands group. It is the westernmost archipelago in Oceania, located 741 km east of Mindanao in the southern Philippines and about 1,300 km southwest of Guam. Palau is composed of 12 inhabited islands and more than 700 islets. The archipelago consists of a clustered island group and six isolated islands which lie approximately 339 to 559 km to the southwest. Palau has numerous island and reef types, including volcanic islands, atolls, raised limestone islands, and low coral islands. A barrier reef surrounds much of the main island cluster, merging into a fringing reef in the south. Palau has the most diverse coral fauna of Micronesia and the highest density of tropical marine habitats of comparable geographic areas around the world. In addition to coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds, Palau has deep algal beds, mud basins, current swept lagoon bottoms, rich tidal channels, and anoxic basins within the rock islands. Many of these environments contain corals.

IKONOS satellite image of Palau
IKONOS satellite image of Palau

Palau’s rich marine biota include approximately 400 species of hard corals, 300 species of soft corals, 1400 species of reef fishes, 7 out of 9 of the world’s species of giant clams, thousands of other invertebrates (many still to be identified), the world’s most isolated colony of dugongs (a relative of the sea cow) and Micronesia’s only saltwater crocodiles. Terrestrial species include 1260 species of plants (including almost 200 endemics), 141 resident and migratory bird species (including 11 endemics), 5000 species of insects, and 40 species of freshwater fishes, including at least 4 endemics. Palau has the largest undisturbed forest and largest freshwater lake in Micronesia,, and 70 unique marine lakes

Publications

Determining thermal capacitance for protected area network design in Palau; NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 12

Ebiil Conservation Area Monitoring Report

Community Consultations on Marine and Terrestrial Resource Uses

Subsistence Fishing Activities in the Rock Islands

Palau Conservation Society - 2011 Annual Report

Executive orders, Secretarial Orders, and Congressional Acts

State of The Reefs Report (SOTR)

The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2008.

The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2005.

The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2002.

Management Plans

Ngerderar Watershed Conservation Area Management Plan 2011-2016

Kerradel Conservation Network Management Plan 2011-2016

Ongedechuul System of Conservation Areas Ecosystem-Based Management Plan 2011-2016

Ngchesar State Protected Area System Management Plan 2011 - 2015

Kayangel Protected Areas Network - Five Year Management Plan (2013 to 2018)

Ngarchelong Marine Managed Area Management Plan 2012 – 2017

Conservation Action Plans

Aimeliik State Conservation Action Plan

Ngaraard Conservation Action Plan

Ngardmau State Conservation Action Plan

Ngatpang Conservation Action Plan

Ngchesar State Conservation Action Plan

Ngeremlengui State Natural Resources Management Strategy

Ngiwal State Conservation Action Plan

Ngarchelong’s Northern Reefs Conservation Action Plan

Airai Master Land Use Plan

Metadata, Data and Publications Search in CoRIS

Search the CoRIS Geoportal for Palau metadata, data and publications

ReefBase Coral Bleaching Reports

Select "Micronesia" in the Region window and "Palau" in the Country window

Near-Real Time Monitoring Data

Coral Reef Watch Satellite Monitoring

Coral Reef Watch - Coral Triangle Virtual Stations

The Global Temperature-Salinity Profile Program

NOAA/National Weather Service - Palau

Palau Continuous GPS station

Other Data

Shallow-water Benthic Habitats of the Republic of Palau

GIS Map of Mosaiced LandSat 7 ETM+ Satellite Imagery of the Republic of Palau

Ocean Exploration on the Reefs of Palau, February 19 - March 4, 2011

Maps of Palau, supplied by the University of Texas

Education and Outreach

Island overview marine life

Palau International Coral Reef Center

Palau International Coral Reef Center Facebook Page

Palau - World Fact Book

Palau Paradise of the Pacific - PBS website

Marine Protected Areas/Marine Managed Areas

Marine Protected Areas of the United States Home Page

The Marine Protected Areas Inventory

Federal MPA Legislation

Marine Federal Areas Fact Sheet

Executive order 13158: Marine Protected Areas

Micronesian Sea Tradition - PowerPoint Presentation

Palau's Conservation Areas website

(top)