The animal life of the National Park of American Samoa is unique among the U.S. National Parks. Key animal forms (from the flying foxes, or fruit bats, in the mountains to the massive coral reefs along the shorelines) shape all natural ecosystems here. Flying foxes are important terrestrial pollinators and thus, not surprisingly, this rain forest is dominated by fruit-bearing species--in contrast to Hawaii where the native forests are pollinated largely by nectar seeking birds and insects. The coral fringing reefs of the park shelter the greatest marine biodiversity in the U.S. and its possessions. The more than 800 native fish and 200 coral species of the park are bewildering and awesome.
Did You Know?
Throughout the Pacific the main reason for the rarity of the two fruit bat species, or flying foxes, is that it is widely sought as a food and considered a delicacy. Sale or trade in fruit bats is now illegal in the U.S. and its territories.