The Comoros is an archipelagic country in the Indian Ocean, at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa. It shares maritime borders with Madagascar and Mayotte to the southeast, Tanzania to the northwest, Mozambique to the west, and the Seychelles to the northeast.
The Comoros constitute an ecoregion in their own right, Comoros forests.
There are more birds, mammals, and reptiles than one would expect to find on an Indian Ocean island, including lemurs, as in nearby Madagascar. Endemic species include 21 species of birds and 9 species of reptiles. There are two endemic species of fruit bat – Livingstone's fruit bat (Pteropus livingstonii) and Comoro rousette (Rousettus obliviosus). Pteropus seychellensis comorensis is an endemic subspecies of the Seychelles fruit bat. Other mammals include the mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz), which was introduced to the islands from Madagascar by humans.
There are 21 endemic species of birds on the islands. Twelve endemic species are confined to just one island, while the others live on two or more islands. The Comoro olive pigeon (Columba pollenii) and Comoro blue pigeon (Alectroenas sganzini) are found on all the islands. The Anjouan scops owl (Otus capnodes), Anjouan sunbird (Nectarinia comorensis), and Anjouan brush-warbler (Nesillas longicaudata) are confined to Anjouan. The Mayotte drongo (Dicrurus waldenii) is endemic to Mayotte. The Mayotte white-eye (Zosterops mayottensis) was once native to the Seychelles as well as Mayotte, but is now extinct in the Seychelles and lives only on Mayotte. Mount Karthala on Grande Comore has four endemic birds – the Karthala scops owl (Otus pauliani), Grand Comoro flycatcher (Humblotia flavirostris), Grand Comoro drongo (Dicrurus fuscipennis), and Mount Karthala white-eye (Zosterops mouroniensis), found only in high-elevation heaths above 1700 meters. The ecoregion constitutes the Comoro Islands endemic bird area.
There are also a number of endemic butterflies including the swallowtail Papilio aristophontes.
In December 1952 a specimen of the coelacanth fish was re-discovered off the Comoros coast. The 66 million-year-old species was thought to have been long extinct until its first recorded appearance in 1938 off the South African coast. Between 1938 and 1975, 84 specimens were caught and recorded.