US National Park of American SamoaPhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta‘ū

The National Park of American Samoa is a protected area in the United States Territory of American Samoa. This rare and exotic space houses some of the most unusual life on earth. Vast in its landscape, the park lies across three islands. These are Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta‘ū.

Notably, this preserve is the only U.S. park south of the equator. Due to it’s tropical location, the park contains coral reefs, tropical rainforests and fruit bats. Meanwhile, it also serves to maintain and protect the Samoan culture.

Because of its remote location, many of the animals who live here are unique. Approximately 30% of the plants and one bird species (the Samoan starling) are endemic to the archipelago.

Three native species of bat grace the island’s caverns and trees. These are: two large fruit bats (Samoa flying fox and white-naped flying fox) and a small insectivore, the Pacific sheath-tailed bat. All three serve an important role in pollinating the island’s plants. Frighteningly, the sheath-tailed bat was nearly eliminated by Cyclone Val in 1991.

Native reptiles include the pelagic, Polynesian, mourning and stump-toed geckos, as well as the Pacific boa. In order to preserve these rare species, the park works to control and remove invasive animals.

For example, feral pigs rampage through the underbrush, threatening the park’s ecosystem. Likewise, several invasive bird species compete with endemic ones.

This park boasts beauty above and below the water. Its reefs and land are favorites for hikers, photographers and snorkelers alike.

Explore with Cornforth Images.