Shore Fishes of Easter Island
Easter Island (Rapanui) is the most remote inhabited island in the Pacific Ocean and the easternmost in Oceania. Much has been written on the origin of its first inhabitants and the enormous stone statues they carved and erected, but little exists on the island’s biota. Knowing that very few species of fishes had been reported for Easter Island, John Randall went there in 1969, with the support of the National Geographic Society, to study the fish fauna. He was joined during revisits in 1988 and 1989 by the island’s medical doctor, Alfredo Cea. They published the Rapanui names of fishes in 1984.
The total number of Easter Island shore fishes to a depth of 200 meters is only 139 species. However, an astounding 21.7 percent are known only from the island, second only to the Hawaiian Islands in the percentage of endemic fishes. Forty-four new species of fishes have been described, of which 25 are in scientific papers by Randall or by Randall and coauthors. Shore Fishes of Easter Island puts all of these fishes in one beautifully illustrated book with introductory chapters (Historical Review, Zoogeography, Marine Conservation, Materials and Methods).