St Lucia Animals
St lucia animals are mostly friendly and not poisonous…
St Lucia animals include several unique species; the St Lucia parrot (Amazonas Versicolor also known as “Jaquot”), the St Lucia Forest thrush, the rare St Lucia Whiptail lizard (Zandoli Terre), and a tiny snake, the racer snake or worm snake.
These two extremely rare species can be found on the The Maria Islands nature reserve two tiny offshore islands managed by the St. Lucia National Trust.
The St Lucia parrot was threatened with extinction in the 1970’s, having declined from to just 150 pairs. Through a successful breeding program, the national bird now has a healthy estimated population of about
Other st lucia wildlife, such as the St Lucia iguana and the leather back turtle, are also a protected but threatened species. Some sea turtles such as the green turtle are legally hunted by fishermen.
The island originally had only few mammals; whales and bats are the only non-introduced species; as well as the West Indian Manatee, and the giant rice rat, now extinct.
The first Amerindian inhabitants, brought domesticated agoutis (large rodents kept for meat) from South America. Later introduced species by the European settlers include rats and mice (of course!), mongoose, the cane toad, and snakes (boas and the poisonous fer de lance, found only in remote parts of the island). Domesticated animals such as cows, horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, cats and dogs are of course also widespread. Donkeys were used for hauling sugar cane and for general transportation.
The possum (“manicou” in the local patois language) and the green iguana presumably made their own way from the continent. Other St Lucia animals that have inhabited the island for a very long time are lizards and geckos, frogs, and of course many fish and insects. At night, you can hear an orchestra of night animals including tiny coqui frogs, toads, crickets, grasshoppers and large noisy crickets called “Krak Krak’s”
St Lucia Birds
There are about 186 bird species found on the island. Some of the most common st lucia birds include the West Indian grackle, Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, and the Bananaquit. There are three popular species of hummingbird; the purple-throated carib, green-throated carib and Antillean crested hummingbird.
Six species are found only on St Lucia – the St. Lucia Parrot, St. Lucia Peewee (fly catcher), St. Lucia Oriole, St. Lucia Black Finch, St. Lucia Warbler, and Semper’s Warbler (critically endangered or possibly extinct). The White Breasted Thrasher is considered critically endangered.
St Lucia birds of prey include the American kestrel, black hawk, red tailed hawk, broad winged hawk, peregrine falcon, merlins and barn owls.
St Lucia bird watching on st lucia hiking trails and in the st lucia rainforest is a popular activity.
St Lucia Whale Watching
Whale and Dolphin Watching in st lucia is offered for example by Mystic Man Tours in Soufriere or Captain Mike in the North of the island. If you’re lucky, you could see bottle nose and spotted dolphins, and spinners, frasers, striped, short finned pilot whales, orcas and possibly tucuxi dolphins. Other large whales who could be found in the waters around St Lucia are sperm whales, humpback whales, brydes, sei? and kogia (both B and S?), Gervais, Blaineville’s, Cuviers.
Turtle watching at Grande Anse beach is offered certain times of the year, when the protected and endangered leatherback turtles come up onto the beach to nest. Inquire through St. Lucia Heritage Tours.
St Lucia Flora and Fauna links
There is a Mini-zoo at the Union Forestry office near Castries, where you can see the St Lucia parrot, a Boa, and Agouti, and some tortoises.
Rare and Endangered species on St Lucia (Living National Treasures lntreasures.com)
Where to see St Lucia’s Incredible Wildlife (The Culture Trip)
Plants of St Lucia (The most comprehensive list of all plants, with scientific, local and international names)
St Lucia Animal Welfare
There are many abandoned and stray cats and dogs in St Lucia. Some of the dogs are in really bad shape. These volunteer organizations provide spay and neuter clinics, vet care, foster homes, and adoption services. It is actually quite easy to adopt a dog or cat from St Lucia – some airlines offer special deals and you can volunteer to bring home a pet for someone else. Contact the St Lucia Animal Protection Society (SLAPS) or Helpaws for more details!
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