NASA picture of Niau Atoll
|Area||33 km2 (13 sq mi) (lagoon)
20 km2 (8 sq mi) (above water)
|Length||8 km (5 mi)|
|Overseas collectivity||French Polynesia|
Niau's lagoon is swampy, hypersaline and entirely enclosed. The narrow strip of land surrounding the lagoon is covered by marsh vegetation. The lagoon area is 33 km² and it has an unusual green colour.
The first recorded European to visit Niau was a German explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen in 1820 on ships the Vostok and Mirni. He named this island Greig.
Niau is one of the few locations where the original Tuamotu tropical moist forest ecosystem (known locally as feo) has been preserved. This mixed broadleaf forest ecosystem has disappeared on almost all other atolls. The forest has been preserved in the central parts of the island. It contains several endemic species of plants and animals.
- Atoll list (in French)
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