The Smallest Country Of Hotspots Biology Essay


Despite New Caledonia is the smallest country of hotspots, but it is very diverse. It has high levels of endemism. Because of long-isolated evolution, the difference of precipitation levels and very particular ultra basic soils, which cover more than one third of the island, it has rich biodiversity and high endemism. Endemic species include plants and animals like plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and Invertebrates (unique and threatened biodiversity, 2007).


Vascular plants are particularly high in Endemism of New Caledonia. There are about 3,270 plant species recorded in New Caledonia, 74% of which are endemic. Even, there are 108 endemic genera with a significant 5 endemic plant families, which are Amborellaceae, Oncothecaceae, Paracryphiaceae, Strasburgeriaceae, and Phellinaceae. In the evergreen rainforest, they found around 2,012 plant species, of which 82.2% are endemic. So, it makes the richest of New Caledonia's plants types. Some 456-plant species come from the seclerophyllous forest type, which it is 57.5% endemic. About 200 plant species arise in high-altitude maquis, of which 91% are endemic, and 1,144 plant species take place in the low- to mid-altitude maquis, which it is 89% endemic. Amborella trichopoda is the main plant in New Caledonia. This hotspot is the perfect place for the endemic and monotypic family Amborellaceae. It includes a single species. Recently, it exposed to stand for the basal-most branch in the evolutionary tree of the flowering plants (Dawson, 2008).



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In New Caledonia, they found more than 100 birds, and more than 20 are endemic. They found three main endemics genera. Two of these species are monotypic, with the kagu. Other unique bird species comprise the endemic New Caledonia imperial-pigeon, which is Ducula goliath. It is the largest arboreal pigeon in the world.


All of New Caledonia's nine possess land mammal species. The main mammal animals are bats. There are four flying foxes and five Microchiropters. There are six bat species are endemic, with a recently described species of long-eared bat. Bats have been poorly studied and the possible for discovering new species. Unhappily, Megachiropters are highly threatened because of hunting. These species play a main role in removing and dispersing the harm seeds of many species in rain forest tree.


In New Caledonia, they found avery high level of reptile endemism. They found terrestrial reptiles are endemic more than about 60 of 70. There are 11 of 23 genera. There are two families of lizards, which are geckos and skinks.


There are no native amphibians on New Caledonia.

Freshwater Fishes

On New Caledonia, there is high of Aquatic diversity, about 85% of freshwater fish. It is less than 10 are endemic. Galaxiid Galaxias neocaledonicus isthe most prominent endemic species.


New Caledonia supports endemic diversity of land snails. Placostylus fibratus is the largest of these snails. Placostylus fibratus grows with weigh up to 100 grams and 15 centimeters long. New Caledonia has an appraised 37 species of macro-crustaceans, which 40% are endemic. About 4,000 insect species have been counted. It presents high endemism at genus levels and the species. In addition, the total number of insect fauna is between 8,000 and 20,000 species. Also, it has more than 70 native insects of butterfly. About 200 spiders have been documented in New Caledonia.

On New Caledonia, there is only one vegetation type is seriously threatened today. This is sclerophyllous forest. The reason of being threaded is some logging and land clearing effect small areas of moist evergreen forests, and nickel mining. It was much more extensive during the boom of the 1960s and 70s. It is highly destructive, but mostly localized.

There are 59 specific species are known only from a few plants at a single locality and are seriously endangered. In 1988, Pittosporum tanianum sp. nov. became extinct shortly. It becomes the first documented plant extinction in New Caledonia. Also, there are 15 species of New Caledonian plants, not recorded for several decades, and it is concluded that between 4 and 9 of them may be extinct. There are three of plants extinct, which are Koé Stenocarpus - Stenocarpus dumbeensis in 1905, Sapinda - Cupaniopsis crassivalvis in1869, and Prony Bay Xanthostemon - Xanthostemon sebertii in1869 (List of extinct plants , 2009).

There are three extinct birds in New Caledonia. In 1860, Lorikeet Charmosyna Diadema became extinct. After two decades, Owlet Frogmouth Aegotheles Savesi became extinct in 1880. Then, Wood Rail Tricholimnas Lafresnayanus became extinct in 1904. However, there is a bird, which is called Pile-builder Megapode. It has survived to the late 18th century and it was found by Jean Christophe Balouet (Bird life).

Giant Gecko

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Scientific Name:  Rhacodactylus leachianus

Family:  Gekkonidae

Adult Size:  8 to 14 inches total length

Range:  New Caledonia

Habitat:  Undisturbed forests with abundant rainfall

Right now, the New Caledonian giant gecko is the largest and the biggest living gecko in the world. His Life Span is over 15 years if properly cared for. Giant Geckos prefer to live their vertical space like branches, bamboo poles, and place with vertical cork flats. It will make geckos very glad. They are also particularly fond of plants like Mother- in Law Plants. Giant Geckos likes to live the place with more hiding places that will give gecko the less stressed and healthier. Aslo, excellent hide for Giant Geckos is Cork curls and siliconed area on the sides of the enclosure. His habitat maintenance is Changing water in the bowl daily and removing feces daily. Carefully we have to fresh and clean up the tank at least once a week. Normal Behavior and Interaction of Giant Geckos is a nocturnal species. It will spend all day sleeping. Giant Gecko gets up in the evening and wanders around his cage. If someone intends to handle or to take Giant Gecko start while it is young. Giant Geckos will leave a nasty bite mark during cage cleaning, if someone has never can be handled can be frightening sight as it attacks its owner. The most important thing is it depends on the personality of the gecko and that even with normal handling some may not at all learn to like being held (New Caledonian Giant Gecko, 2009). The value of this species that it has to be protected because it is unique. People can take care this specie in home.


Scientific name: Amborella trichopoda

Family: Amborellaceae

Range: New Caledonia

Altitude: Between 200 and 1 000 metres.

Habitat: In the undergrowth of the dense tropical forest.

In New Caledonia, the most common plant is Amborella. Most of the time, it grows in a forest environment and specifically on a schistose soil. Alternate leaves on stems and it's rounded or pointed at the top. It is rounded at the base, wavy dentate fringe. This plant is odourless flowers, male and female that colour in cream on diverse individuals. This plant carried on bunches of 2 - 30 flowers in the axis of the leaves. They flower from March to May followed by fruit bearing until the end of the year (Amborella Trichopoda ). About this plant's behaviour, "higher ratios of paternal to maternal genomes in endosperm are predicted to result in more "selfish" behavior in individual endosperms with respect to the acquisition of nutrients for their compatriot embryos; the result being that paternal genetic interests may lead to the abortion of other embryos with greater overall fitness" (Ryerson, 2008). This plant is under pressure in the wild form overgrazing and habitat destruction . Amborella has woody axes, which it is development in intrinsically plagiotropic and determinate. From this plant, people can benefit from its branches. In tree topology or in bootstrap can support values for branches. In addition, it is a native tree and it has been in New Caledonia more than 130 years(Amborella Trichopoda ).

Amborella Trichopoda . (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2010, from nouvellecaledonie:

Bird life. (n.d.). Retrieved 14 2010, May, from Extinct species:

Dawson, J. W. (2008). The Species Rich, Highly Endemic Serpentine Flora of New Caledonia. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from

List of extinct plants . (2009, August 22). Retrieved May 14, 2010, from factual Beta:

New Caledonian Giant Gecko. (2009, September 2). Retrieved May 14, 2010, from grizzlyrun:

Ryerson, W. E. (2008, December 28). Insights from Amborella. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from amjbot:

unique and threatened biodiversity. (2007). Retrieved May 13, 2010, from biodiversityhotspots: