Hello, my peeples! I apologize for not doing National Park Tuesday last week. It was beyond insanity at work and with other stuffs. But all that is behind us, for today is National Park Tuesday.
The National Park of American Samoa is situated - you guessed it - on the U.S.-held territory of American Samoa. It was established on Halloween Day of 1988, but the National Park Service was not able to enter into a lease on the land until September 9, 1993. The park covers sections of three islands: Tutuila, Ofu-Olosega and Ta'u.
The park contains coral reefs and rain forests, and is the only American National Park that is south of the equator. It is a popular destination for hikers, scuba divers and snorklers. The only native mammals to the park are three species of bat - two fruit bats (Samoa Flying-Fox and Insular Flying-Fox) and an insectivore (Pacific Sheath-Tailed Bat). There are many interesting native reptiles as well, including four kinds of gecko, seven kinds of skink, and a boa. The island of Ta'u is home to some of the largest living coral colonies, called Porites, in the world. These coral reefs are under significant threat due to changes in CO2 concentration and rising ocean temperatures.
The Samoan Islands have not shown signs of volcanic activity in many years, although that's how they got there. The "hot spot" beneath the chain of islands continues to show signs of activity - and there was an eruption east of the islands back in 1973.