An independent Commonwealth country, the Solomon Islands consists of about 100 islands scattered over about 40,000 square kilometers. They are true oceanic islands with high vertebrate endemism, including single-island endemics, restricted-range mammals, and an astounding sixty-nine bird species found nowhere else in the world. Large areas of naturally restricted lowlands below 400m either have been or are under threat of logging or clearance for subsistence agriculture. Introduced cats have eliminated most native mammals on the island of Guadalcanal.
There is a clear difference between the mammalian faunas of the Solomon Islands and those of the Bismarck Archipelago and New Guinea to the west. Except for pteropodid bats, the Solomons and Bismarcks have many fewer mammals than New Guinea, and the Solomons, unlike New Britain, contain no marsupials. East beyond the Solomons there are even fewer mammal species. Almost all the mammal species in the Solomons have their origins in or via New Guinea.