Nauru is an island country and microstate in Oceania, in the Central Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, 300 km to the east. It further lies northwest of Tuvalu, 1,300 km northeast of Solomon Islands, east-northeast of Papua New Guinea, southeast of the Federated States of Micronesia and south of the Marshall Islands. With only a 21 km2 area, Nauru is the third-smallest country in the world behind Vatican City and Monaco, making it the smallest republic as well as the smallest island nation. Its population of about 10,000 is the world's second-smallest, after Vatican City.
Fauna is sparse on the island because of a lack of vegetation and the consequences of phosphates mining. Many indigenous birds have disappeared or become rare owing to the destruction of their habitat. There are about 60 recorded vascular plant species native to the island, none of which are endemic. Coconut farming, mining, and introduced species have seriously disturbed the native vegetation.
There are no native land mammals, but there are native insects, land crabs, and birds, including the endemic Nauru reed warbler. The Polynesian rat, cats, dogs, pigs, and chickens have been introduced to Nauru from ships. The diversity of the reef marine life makes fishing a popular activity for tourists on the island; also popular are scuba diving and snorkelling.