Priority Species

Palauans have always been linked to the environment and the creatures living in it. Marine and terrestrial species feature prominently in the Palauan language, culture, legends and stories. The act of conservation has long been a traditional practice in Palau.

Palauans have been practicing conservation individually and collectively through what we call in Palau as “Bul”. A “Bul” is when traditional chiefs in a community collectively declare fishing or harvest ban of species (marine and/or terrestrial) in a designated area (marine and/or terrestrial).

In this modern age, Palau has taken proactive steps to protect individual species from the impacts of development and climate change. There are a number of national laws to protect species, including protection for Turtles, Dugongs, Sharks and Birds. There are also regulations on the takings of sea turtles, fish, invertebrates and plant species.

Saving Our Species

PCS has a long history of working to save species and educate the communities on many important species. The following are some priority species that PCS is doing work towards protecting. Such priority species are either listed in the IUCN red list that have endangered status worldwide or are priorities for community resource conservation in Palau.

Critically Endangered


  • English Name: Hawksbill turtle
  • Scientific Name: Eretmochelys imbricata
  • Status: Critically endangered
Photo Credit © Kevin Davidson



  • English Name: Palau Megapode
  • Scientific Name: Megapodius laperouse senex
  • Status: Endangered
Photo Credit © Alan Olsen


  • English Name: Green turtle
  • Scientific Name: Chelonia mydas
  • Status: Endangered
Photo Credit © Kevin Davidson


  • English Name: Napolean wrasse
  • Scientific Name: Chelinus undulatus
  • Status: Endangered
Photo Credit © Kevin Davidson


Black (Chedelkelk) Tiau

  • English Name: Squaretail Coral Grouper
  • Scientific Name: Plectropomus Areolatus
  • Status: Vulnerable

Katuu Tiau

  • English Name: Blacksaddled Coral Grouper
  • Scientific Name: Plectopomus Laevis
  • Status: Vulnerable


  • English Name: Humphead Parrotfish
  • Scientific Name: Bolbometopon muricatum
  • Status: Vulnerable
Photo Credit © Secretariat of the Pacific Community


  • English Name: Southern giant clam
  • Scientific Name: Tridacna derasa
  • Status: Vulnerable


  • English Name: Dugong
  • Scientific Name: Dugong Dugon
  • Status: Vulnerable
Photo Credit © Kevin Davidson


  • English Name: Blacksaddled Coral Grouper
  • Scientific Name: Plectopomus Laevis
  • Status: Vulnerable


  • English Name: True Giant Clam
  • Scientific Name: Tridacna Gigas
  • Status: Vulnerable

Near Threatened


  • English Name: Micronesian Imperial Pigeon
  • Scientific Name: Ducula oceanica
  • Status: Near threatened
Photo Credit © John Vogt

Ksau Temekai

  • English Name: Camouflage Grouper
  • Scientific Name: Epinephelus Polyphekadion
  • Status: Near Threatened


  • English Name: Nicobar Pigeon
  • Scientific Name: Caloenas nicobarica
  • Status: Near threatened
Photo Credit © Ron Leidich

Meteungerel' Temekai

  • English Name: Brown Marbled Grouper
  • Scientific Name: Epinephelus Fuscoguttatus
  • Status: Threatened

Red (Bekerkard) Tiau

  • English Name: Leopard Coral Grouper
  • Scientific Name: Plectropomus Leopardus
  • Status: Near Threatened