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Maldives Geography

Maldives geography constitutes of its location, climate, landforms, vegetation and wildlife of the islands. A part of the Asian continent, the geography of Maldives is unique.
Nowhere else can one find such a huge concentration of coral islands forming the atolls in the Indian Ocean as you can see in Maldives. The Maldives archipelago is on the south-southwestern region off the coast of India. The latitudinal and longitudinal extent of Maldives is 3 o 15'N and 73 o 00'E respectively.

Maldives climate, an important aspect of Maldives geography, is predominantly tropical in nature. The flat topography is dotted with beaches of white sand. The islands forming the Maldives archipelago have a coastline stretching for 644km. The total land area of Maldives is 300sq. km.

Maldives climate affects the growth of flora and the development of fauna on the islands. The islands of Maldives that are inhabited by people are 200 in number while 80 more islands are used exclusively for tourism purposes.

Maldives Flora and Fauna
Maldives Flora and Fauna is one of the chief aspects of Maldives geography. The islands of Maldives in the Indian Ocean has a tropical type of climate. The soil layer also plays an important role in the growth and development of the flora of Maldives. Maldives fauna depends on the topography, the climate and the vegetation cover on the islands.

Maldives flora is dominated by the grasses and shrubs that form a dense cover on many of the islands. The fertility of the soil makes the northern, southern and eastern islands greener than the central and western islands of Maldives. The chief plant featuring as a part of Maldives flora is the palm tree, the national symbol of the island nation.

The chief crops like coconut, sweet potatoes, plantain, breadfruit, yams, millet, watermelon, etc also form an integral part of the flora of Maldives. The different kinds of grasses including bamboo also grow on the islands. The tallest tree found on the islands of Maldives is the banyan tree. The flowering plants add color to the flora of Maldives.

Land animals in Maldives include rats, giant fruit bats, flying foxes and lizards. Maldives fauna also includes insects like scorpions and beetles. Large and colorful crabs are a common sight on the beaches of Maldives islands.

The seas surrounding the islands of Maldives abound in a large number of bright and colorful marine life forms. The fishes found in the waters include angelfish, unicorn fish, butterfly fish, rock cod, parrot fish and many others. The crustaceans and turtles found in the waters also form important parts of Maldives fauna. Sharks, manta rays, porpoises, sting rays, dolphins are the larger sea creatures found in the waters.

Maldives Forests
Maldives Forests cover an area of approximately 30% of the total land area of the island nation. The small coral islands forming the archipelago of Maldives do not have any dense forest cover. Vegetation like shrubs and coconut palms form the only forests of Maldives. The forests of Maldives provide timber, that forms an important natural resource in Maldives.

The forests of Maldives are concentrated in the comparatively larger islands of the archipelago. The fertility of the soil layer, the availability of water and the climate of the islands of Maldives affect the growth of forests. The extremely porous soil of the smaller islands is unable to retain water that necessary for the growth of trees and plants.

Maldives Climate
Maldives climate is affected by its location. Maldives is an archipelago situated in the Indian Ocean. The nearness to the Equator gives a humid climate to Maldives. Monsoonal effect is felt to a great extent in the islands of Maldives. The climate of Maldives is, overall, pleasant and welcoming.

Maldives climate is dominated by two prominent seasons. The winter months comprise of the dry season while the summer months constitute the rainy season. The dry season of Maldives is the time of northeast monsoon whereas the wet season is characterized by the moisture bearing southwest monsoon. The average annual rainfall of the northern region of Maldives is 2,540mm while that of the southern region is 3,810mm.

The rainfall during the wet season is mostly because of the shedding of moisture from the moisture-laden clouds coming from the direction of the Indian Ocean.

The range of temperature in Maldives varies from 24 degree Celsius to 33 degree Celsius. The high temperature as well as high level of humidity form parts of the climate of Maldives. The climate of Maldives is, however saved from being overbearingly hot and humid because of the effect of the sea breezes blowing from the direction of the Indian Ocean towards the land area. The maritime influence makes the climate of Maldives very soothing.

Maldives Biodiversity
Maldives Biodiversity is an important part of the natural environment of the island nation. The varied plants and animal life thriving in the ecosystems of the islands of Maldives make important units of the biodiversity of Maldives. The growth, development and existence of the various plant and animal species depend on certain factors.

The climate of the islands of Maldives supports the growth of shrubs and palm trees. The other kinds of plants include grasses, flowering plants, tropical vines, etc. The temperature and humidity of Maldives is a deciding factor for the growth of tropical plants and trees.

The soil layer of the larger islands are comparatively more fertile than that of the smaller islands. The porous nature of the soil is the chief reason of their inability to hold moisture. The less amount of water retained in the soil makes it less suitable to support the growth of plants.

The indigenous animal life of the islands consists of small rodents, bats and reptiles forming another significant part of Maldives biodiversity. The insects and crabs also feature in the list of organic life forms on the islands. The marine life in the surrounding waters are part of the biodiversity as well.

The biodiversity of Maldives is facing a serious threat because of the increasing population, a root cause of other problems like destruction of the natural habitat, the overuse of natural resources, etc. The government has formulated new policies to save Maldives biodiversity from being destructed.

Where is Maldives
The information regarding where is Maldives concentrates on the exact location of the archipelago on the world map. The islands forming the Maldives archipelago lie in the Indian Ocean. The exact location of the group of islands of Maldives is off the south-southwestern coast of India. Maldives forms a part of the southern portion of the continent of Asia.

The geographical co-ordinates of Maldives is 3 o15' N, 73 o 00' E. Surrounded by the waters of the Indian Ocean, Maldives does not share land boundaries with any other country. The number of islands of the Maldives archipelago is 1,190 and form 26 atolls in all.

The location of Maldives makes for a favorable position in the Indian Ocean. The islands of Maldives are on or along the important channels of passage through the sea. The coastline of Maldives extends up to 644km. Maldives location is one of the chief reasons of the development of the archipelago as a tourist destination.

The location of Maldives has significantly influenced the type of climate of the place. The growth of vegetation which is dependent on the climate is thus also influenced. The climate and vegetation cover determines the animal life of a place. Maldives location is an effective influence over the whole of Maldives geography and is of prime importance.

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