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St Lucia animals

July 16, 2016 -

St lucia animals are mostly friendly and not poisonous…

Endemic Species

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 is endangered and was once also almost extinct. Conservation efforts have allowed a small population to survive on the island. 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.

Introduced Species

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.

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

St Lucia is home to many bird species, some common ones include the West Indian grackle, Humming birds, bull finch, fly catcher, wood pecker, cattle egret, pelican, fregate bird, dove and pigeons.

Birds of prey include the American kestrel, black hawk, red tailed hawk, broad winged hawk, peregrine falcon, merlins and barn owls.

Bird watching can be done through the Forestry Department or with individual tour companies like Rainforest Adventures. There are also special birding vacations offered through various companies.

St Lucia Whale and Dolphin Watching

The best Whale and Dolphin Watching is offered 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 Fauna and Flora 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

St Lucia Animal Protection Society (SLAPS)

Helpaws

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 quite easy to adopt a dog or cat from St Lucia – some airlines offer special deals and you can even volunteer to bring home a pet for someone else. Contact them for more details!