Wildlife and Habitat

Booby Chick
  • Birds

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    Rose Atoll is the most important seabird colony in the region, providing protected habitat for a large portion of the seabird populations of American Samoa. 

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  • Reptiles

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    The two islands at Rose Atoll are important nesting sites for the threatened green turtle in American Samoa. 

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  • Fish

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    To date, about 270 species of fish have been recorded and surveys have indicated little change in the reef fish community in the past 15 years. 

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  • Invertebrates

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    Hermit crabs (Coenobita perlatus and C. brevimanus) traverse the sand at night toget to the water’s edge for hydration. They are important scavengers of the terrestrial community.

  • Marine Habitat

    Rose Atoll and surrounding water

    One of the smallest atolls in the world, Rose Atoll consists of a perimeter reef encircling a central lagoon. The atoll is a nearly square geographical feature, with sides that are approximately 1.5 miles in length. There are two low, sandy islands—Rose and Sand—located on the coralline algal reef. A single ava (channel) links the lagoon to the sea surrounding the atoll. The lagoon is roughly 1.2 miles wide and 98 feet deep. The Refuge provides habitat for migratory seabirds and shorebirds, sea turtles, and unique marine fish, coral reefs, and other invertebrates.

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  • Island Habitat

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    The two islands provide important nesting and roosting habitat for 12 species of federally protected migratory seabirds including terns, noddies, boobies, frigatebirds, and tropicbirds.