A dazzling variety of plants and animals make their home in Tetepare's 120 square kilometers of primary lowland rainforest – some of the last of its kind in the Melanesia.
A total of 73 bird species, 24 reptile, 4 frog and 13 mammal species have been recorded on Tetepare including several rare and endemic bird and bat species.
And scientists are still discovering new species on Tetepare. In recent years, researchers discovered three new species of fish, one new fish genera and one potential new fish family in the freshwater rivers that wend through the forest, beneath the towering canopies of Tetepare’s banyan trees.
Three years ago, scientists discovered 33 new taxa of butterflies on Tetepare. A detailed bat survey by another researcher indicated there are likely to be as many as 18 different bat species on Tetepare.
Other endemic species flitting through Tetepare’s skies include the Tetepare white-eye – found nowhere else in the world - and a population of horseshoe bats.
Megapodes scratch and dig through the leaf little on the forest floor, while cuscus (Phalanger orientalis), and the enormous prehensile tailed skink (Corucia zebrata) forage in the canopies above. Large populations of rare coconut crabs - the world's largest land-dwelling crustacean - make their home in the forest fringing the sea.
Underwater, Tetepare is no less remarkable. Three species of marine turtles, including the critically endangered leatherback and hawksbill and the endangered green, nest on Tetepare’s volcanic black sand beaches.
Sharks, crocodiles and a spectacular diversity of colourful fish species make the island’s reefs their home. And luxuriant seagrass meadows in the island’s sheltered lagoons provide a nursery for juvenile fish and food for resident dugongs.
The coral reefs of the region support one of the highest diversities of fish and coral in the world, second only to Raja Ampat in Indonesia.
Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are found in low numbers in Tetepare’s fresh water lakes and river mouths, and are infrequently seen swimming in coastal waters.
Dugongs (Dugon dugong) and several species of dolphins are frequently seen in the coastal water surrounding Tetepare. Dugong, either singly or in small groups frequently enter the shallow lagoon areas to feed on sea grass, and numerous sightings have been made of mother and calf pairs. Dugongs can live up to 70 years and a threat to their survival is siltation of sea grass beds by logging and mining.
Green snail populations can still be found on Tetepare though they have disappeared from most of the Solomons.