About the Phoenix Islands

Biodiversity

Due to its great isolation, PIPA occupies a unique position in the biogeography of the Pacific as a critical stepping stone habitat for migratory and pelagic/planktonic species in the region. As a known breeding site for numerous nomadic, migratory and pelagic marine and terrestrial species, PIPA makes a significant contribution to the understanding of on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of global marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals.

PIPA embraces a range of marine environments that display high levels of marine abundance as well as the full spectrum of age and size cohorts, increasingly rare in the tropics, and especially in the case of apex (top of the food chain) predatory fish, sea turtles, sea birds, corals, giant clams, and coconut crabs, most of which have been depleted elsewhere. The overall marine trophic dynamics for these island communities across this archipelago are better functioning (relatively intact) compared with other island systems where human habitation and exploitation has significantly altered the environment.