Tonga is a Polynesian country and also an archipelago consisting of 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area of the archipelago is about 750 km2, scattered over 700,000 km2 of the southern Pacific Ocean. As of 2021 Tonga has a population of 104,494. The country stretches approximately 800 km north-south. It is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna to the northwest; Samoa to the northeast; New Caledonia and Vanuatu to the west; Niue to the east; and Kermadec to the southwest. Tonga is about 1,800 km from New Zealand's North Island.
Tonga contains the Tongan tropical moist forests terrestrial ecoregion.
In Tonga, dating back to Tongan legend, flying bats are considered sacred and are the property of the monarchy. Thus, they are protected and cannot be harmed or hunted. As a result, flying fox bats have thrived in many of the islands of Tonga.
The bird life of Tonga includes a total of 73 species, of which two are endemic; the Tongan whistler and the Tongan megapode. Five species have been introduced by humans, and eight are rare or accidental. Seven species are globally threatened.