Dominica Wildlife & Marine Life
The Caribbean “nature island” of Dominica is as fascinating as the Dominica wildlife – the island’s lush terrain is home to two exceptionally rare birds and two large mammals, the beaches attract masses of protected land crabs as well as nesting turtles, and impressive sperm whales frequent the deep waters.
Birds in Dominica
There are around 200 species of birds that have been recorded on Dominica, approximately one-third of them are residents, and you’ll see lots of hummingbirds – there are four different species on the island. The national bird of Dominica is the sisserou (Amazona imperialis); it’s very rare, as is the red-necked parrot (Amazona arausiaca). Bird species include the broad-winged hawk, northern harrier, American kestrel, merlin, peregrine falcon, mountain whistler, frigate bird, brown boobies, teal, brown pelican, petres, tern, while-tailed tropicbird, cattle egret,duck, kingfisher species, mangrove cuckoo, bananaquit, barn owl, ground dove, white ibis, cormorant. To find out more about birds in the region generally, go to the Caribbean Birdwatching & Birds page in the Caribbean Leisure Activities section.
Dominica snakes, lizards, frogs
Iguanas, snakes (four species, including the boa constrictor, none venomous), anole lizards, Dominican mountain chicken (a frog – and culinary delicacy), tree lizard, gecko, tiny tree frog, whistling frog.
Mammals, bats and butterflies in Dominica
The agouti (land rodent, herbivore) and opossum (manicou) are widespread on the island, and there are large numbers of elusive wild pigs. There are twelve species of bats, most live in the rainforest but the “fisherman bat” lives in caves by the sea. Recorded butterfly species total around 50, beatle species 60. There are also stick insects, centipedes and fireflies.
Dominica turtles and land crabs
There are four turtle species that nest on the beaches of Dominica (giant leatherback, hawksbill, loggerhead, green), and masses of land crabs (a protected species) that travel from the rainforest to the coastline to breed every year. Although they are protected there is a period of time when they can be harvested – generally used for a “Crab backs” recipe, a traditional Creole dish.
Whales and dolphins in Dominica waters
Whale watching tours are popular year-round in Dominica which is blessed with both deep waters that run close to the island (west coast) as well as shallow waters (east coast) so you’re likely to see some fine specimens including sperm whales (best time November-March), false killer whales, short finned pilot whales, Atlantic spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphines, spinner dolphins and Fraser’s dolphins.
Dominica marine Life
Because of dramatic walls, healthy reefs and deep water close to shore, Dominica offers some remarkable dive sites – it’s sea life and underwater scenery is as impressive as its mountainous land. Marine life around Dominica includes: white tip sharks, barracuda, seahorses, horse-eye jacks, grunts, blackbar soldier fish, tuna, batfish, yellowtail snapper, frogfish, sand eels, shrimp, red-banded lobster, eagle ray, electric ray,grouper, amberjack, sea snakes, sea urchins, yellowhead jawfish, king mackerel, Moray eels, scorpion fish, cero, Decorator crab, Caribbean reef squid, flying gunards, Angelfish, “sea pens”…
Dominica book reviews
Read the Active Caribbean review of Dominica – the Bradt Travel Guide, written by Paul Crask >>
Caribbean wildlife books
If Caribbean wildlife in general, as well as Dominica wildlife, is of interest to you, you will probably enjoy our Caribbean Book Reviews section as we have reviewed several Caribbean wildlife books.
Explore Dominica… ♥ the Caribbean
Images on this Dominica Wildlife & Marine Life page are copyright of Discover Dominica Authority