The Maldives is an island nation nestled in the tropical waters of the central Indian Ocean, some 400 miles southwest of the southern tip of India. This tiny, idyllic country is composed entirely of coral atolls on which nestle a staggering 1,200 sandy islands. Although much praised as a tourist destination, these exquisite islands are less well known for the bounty of whale and dolphin species that swim these warm tropical waters.
The wealth of cetaceans is well complemented by tropical pelagic birds including Black-naped Tern, Bulwer's and Jouanin's Petrel, Flesh-footed Shearwater and White-bellied Storm Petrel to name a few. Only 180 species have been recorded from the islands and, as the area is underbirded, many more species (particularly migrants) undoubtedly await discovery. Cetaceans include Spinner and Risso's Dolphins, Sperm Whale, Longman's Beaked Whale and the gargantuan Blue Whale.
Text kindly provided by Rockjumper leading bird tour operators with worldwide destinations including The Maldives.
Jouanin's Petrel © Dave Andrews