Approximately 75% of Palau is covered in native forest and mangroves, with an estimated 163 plants species unique to the area. 23 endemic orchids to Palau are now known. At least 46 species of reptiles and amphibians can be found, at least 12 of which are endemic. Species include 4 sea turtle species, one crocodile and 2 sea snakes. Palau has 153 species of birds recorded, and 9 - 12 of these are endemic, only found in Palau. Of these, the white-breasted Woodswallow and the Palau Ground Dove are probably the rarest and most threatened species. Rare orchids, plants and vines embelish the islands's lush jungle interiors, and they are, in uncannily poetic turn, strewn through out the island with awe-inspiring tropical vistas. Splendid waterfalls such as the Ngardmau waterfall, can be reached after a trek through jungle. Each presides majestically over their respective natural domain, and along the way, captivating endemic birds and plants proliferate.
The friendliness of Palau's people is unabashed and disarming, but it is their immense esteem for the island's natural resources-- a respect anchored in steep tradition-- that has yielded broad conservation of nature's gifts. The effect is profound in that Palau remains an earnestly enchanting land, a tropical paradise of untouched coral reef rife with exotic sea life. There are over 1,400 species of fish, about 300 species of marine sponges and at least 500 diverse coral species. In the world , there are only nine known species of Giant Clams and Palau has seven.