Biodiversity of New Caledonia
The biodiversity of New Caledonia is of exceptional biological and paleoecological interest. It is frequently referred to as a biodiversity hotspot. The country is a large South Pacific archipelago with a total land area of more than 18,000 square kilometres (6,900 sq mi). The terrain includes a variety of reefs, atolls, small islands, and a variety of topographical and edaphic regions on the largest island, all of which promote the development of unusually concentrated biodiversity. The region's climate is oceanic and tropical.New Caledonia is separated from the nearest mainland by more than 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) of open sea. Its isolation dates from at least the mid-Miocene, and possibly from the Oligocene, and that isolation has preserved its relict biota, fostering the evolution of wide ranges of endemic species.