New Caledonia is an island archipelago in the Pacific Ocean which enjoys one of the more moderate climates in the world. The high temperatures are not so high and the low temperatures are not so low which makes the climate overall very pleasant indeed. The cyclone season is from November to about the end of March and generally two or three cyclones will strike the islands, though usually not with devastating force.
The only indigenous mammals on New Caledonia are the chiropters, or flying foxes and bats. The roussette, a large flying fox
, is a fruit eater and when it isn't flying about seeking food it hangs upside down from tree limbs. This animal is actually a fruit bat though its head does resemble that of a fox and with its luxurious fur this is quite an attractive animal. Unfortunately, this animal is sought out for its firm and delicious flesh and has been hunted to dangerously low population levels. It is on the threatened species list of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Other mammals have been introduced to the ecosystem over the several hundred years of European influence such as cattle, deer, horses, pigs, and domestic cats and dogs. All of these species are doing well.
The mountains and beaches of this island country are beautiful and often spectacular. The scenery with its attendant flora and fauna is well worth the trip to New Caledonia, especially for those who love birding with twenty endemic species and over a hundred forty overall species recorded. The cagou, which is the emblem of New Caledonia, is a flightless bird somewhat like the kiwi. This bird was without any predators prior to the introduction of dogs and since that introduction has had a marked decline in population. There have been efforts made to preserve the species which have been somewhat successful, but the birds are still listed as in danger of extinction.
Other birds which are in the skies of the archipelago include the green pigeon living in the rain forests, the notou which is the largest tree dwelling pigeon on the planet, parakeets which are listed as critically endangered, and peregrine falcons
. Reptiles include a small boa constrictor and sea kraits which come on shore to lay their eggs.
The biodiversity of New Caledonia makes it a wonderful place to spend time looking at the wildlife.