• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

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    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

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    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

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    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of the Federated States of Micronesia


Micronesian Geography - Landscape

The Federated States of Micronesia consist of four island groups in the Micronesia island region, or more specifically the Caroline Islands chain. The geography of the islands are very diverse as some are coral reefs, but most are volcanic in origin and tend to have greater elevation.

Of the islands that are volcanic in origin, the soils are very fertile, despite the inconsistent rains. Despite this inconsistency, the lands are fertile and most of the volcanic islands are forested. There are no true rivers or lakes on the islands of Micronesia and the highest point in the country is Totolom, which is just over 2,500 feet (790 meters) high.

Despite sitting closely to New Guinea, and the Philippines, the ocean currents swirl, but generally move from the east to the west. These currents have brought people to the islands from Polynesia, although most people are both Polynesian and Micronesian in origin. However, these ocean currents aren't enough to attract regular visitors so over time the people on the Federated States of Micronesia became almost completely isolated and developed a unique culture.


The Federated States of Micronesia's weather is hot, humid, rainy, and fairly predictable. Temperatures remain fairly constant year round and rains never cease, but there are substantial differences in the amounts of rain, the humidity, and the storm season. The vast amounts of rain year round make the islands, at least the volcanic islands, ideal for crop growth and human settlement. These rains allow great vegetation and fresh water, even on islands that don't boast any rivers.

The temperatures on the islands remain quite stable year round as daily lows hover around 74° F (23° C) and day time highs usually peak at about 86° F (30° C). Even the rains are fairly consistent as the islands average over 11 inches (300 mm) of rain every month of the year, including the dry season.

Despite the consistency, there is still a "dry" and rainy season, although dry is only in relative terms to the wet season. The dry season, which runs from about October to March is just as hot as it is year round and every month gets over 11 inches (300 mm) of rain. While this may seem like a lot of rain, compared to the wet season it isn't.

The wet season, which runs from about April to November regularly has over 15 inches (400 mm) of rain each month and the air is much more humid. On some islands, such as Pohnpei, the rains are even heavier as the island often gets over 32 feet (10 meters) of rain annually! Although typhoons (cyclones) are well known throughout the Pacific, the Federated States of Micronesia falls out of the typhoon zone. Despite this, heavy storms and a typhoon off course can still hit the islands any time of year, but most commonly during the wet season.


Micronesian Wildlife - Orchids

As an island nation the number of native plants and animals in the Federated States of Micronesia are severely limited. The land animals were almost completely absent and the plant life was small; only the migrating birds and sea life had any significant presence in historic Micronesia. Most of what is found on the islands today was introduced in pre-historic times by the migrating people, birds, winds, and ocean currents.

Since nearly all mammals are land animals there were no native mammals to the Federated States of Micronesia, although a few bat species arrived thousands of years ago. Other than this, no land mammals existed on the Federated States of Micronesia until the arrival of the earliest people, who likely came from the region of New Guinea and brought with them pigs, dogs, mice, and rats by the 1200s, if not earlier.

The other historic mammals connected with the Federated States of Micronesia are in the sea as dolphins and whales are present in the waters surrounding the islands. These waters are also filled with thousands of fish, shellfish, and other forms of sea life. In these waters you can find surgeonfish, clownfish, sailfish, puffer fish, butterfly fish, grouper, barracuda, tuna, mackerel, marlin, mahi-mahi, shrimp, krill, crab, seahorses, manta rays, sharks, jellyfish, starfish, and sea urchins among many others.

This sea life and the islands have also attracted numerous birds, including many that feed off the animals in the sea. The bird life in the Federated States of Micronesia includes doves, owls, passerines, scrub fowls, and heron among others.

Micronesian Wildlife - Bananas

Like the mammalian life in the Federated States of Micronesia, the reptilian and amphibious life is fairly limited as well. The most common of these animals are those adapted to the water and swimming as sea turtles can be found in the nearby waters. Land species have again made their way to the islands in numerous methods and today lizards are among the most common of these animals.

The insect and other small animal life is fairly diverse as many insects can fly or float and have made their way to the Federated States of Micronesia. These animals include butterflies, bees, ants, flies, snails, spiders, and worms among others.

Like the animal life, which is limited due to the geography of the Federated States of Micronesia, the plant life is also very limited. It is doubtful any plants originated in the Federated States of Micronesia itself other than a very limited number of local grasses, shrubs, and trees. However the winds and water currents have taken seeds to the islands and in other cases birds have transported seeds to the islands. Because of this many of the most common plants on the islands today are native to the nearby islands of New Guinea and those further west. Plants from these nearby islands that now thrive in the country include coconuts, taro, breadfruit, bananas, yams, lemons, and sugarcane among others.

There is also a substantial presence of other trees and plants, including orchids, ferns, mosses, hibiscus, eucalyptus, mangrove trees, and pandanus trees.

This page was last updated: April, 2013