Ngardmau Waterfall, on Palau’s main island of Babeldaob, is Palau’s tallest waterfall. It’s also one of the country’s most visited tourist sites, receiving busloads of tourists every day. The waterfall was designated the “Taki” Conservation Area in 2005 and expanded in area in 2010. The conservation area includes a variety of terrestrial habitats, with upland old-growth forest, savanna, river, swamp forest, and secondary forest. The conservation area is part of the Middle Ridge Important Bird Area. The endangered Micronesian megapode has been observed there, in addition to other endemic birds.
There is increasing local concern about the safety and stability of the trail to the waterfall. Visitors must walk down a series of steep stairs cut into the hillside, follow a low-lying, muddy path through the forest, and ford a stream before they reach the waterfall. The constant foot traffic on the dirt trail has substantially increased erosion and sedimentation into the river. This threatens the community water source, river fauna, and marine flora and fauna at the river mouth.
In collaboration with the Palau Conservation Society, Seacology will fund one of the most urgent restoration tasks: the design and construction of a 280-foot boardwalk through low-lying forest.