Animal lovers seeking a creature-oriented vacation can’t go wrong in the Caribbean. From rare birds and colorful reef fish to majestic whales, cats and dogs, animals are aplenty from Grenada to the Virgin Islands. So pack up the fish identification cards, bird binoculars and sharky snacks, it’s time to go on a critter quest.
Charter guests from Denver, Colorado in BVI with wild-life. The tree boa was found on the path at the Baths; the hawk on Peter Island, and the fish while snorkeling at the Caves. Photo courtesy of the 45’ Catamaran COOL RUNNINGS
King of the World… goats at Haul Over Bay, Cooper Island, BVI – Photo courtesy of the 47’ CatamaranCaribbean Dream
There’s nothing better than taking a nap and from your bunk seeing through the hatch a large frigate bird soar high above the mast. Minutes later you hear it splash into the water near you in pursuit of its fish. – Photo courtesy of the 48′ Sloop STORM PETREL
The mongoose was brought to the Caribbean from India to control the rat population. Unfortunately, rats are nocturnal and live in trees during the day, while the mongoose sleeps at night and roams alll day. So the rats continued to eat the sugar cane that the Europeans were trying to protect. The mongoose did have an impact on other species, though. Mongooses sought out chickens, ground nesting birds and their eggs as well as turtle, lizard and iguana eggs….
Cats – this beauty would have been feral had I not adopted her as a kitten and brought her to the States to live with me….
The common, Caribbean house gecko is a small lizard that got its name, because it adapts easily to living with people and is often found in houses. They are noted for their ability to colonize, traveling on cargo ships and ocean flotsam to different areas and to camouflage their colors, so humans don’t see them. They have toes and feet made for climbing and are able to walk vertically up walls. House geckos can detach their tails to escape from prey, and the tails will continue to move unpredictably as a distraction.
Whales – mating season is January through March when they cruise through the Caribbean on their annual migrations
Dolphins, seen here swimming alongside the 62′ catamaran AVALON
The St. Lucia parrot has green wings, a blue face, a red breast, and maroon and mottled coloring near the belly. The only type of parrot on the island, it can also be distinguished by its noisy, raucous screeching, cackling and honking noises. Endemic to Saint Lucia, this bird occurs across the central-southern mountains where it has a range of 54 square miles.
Donkeys originated in Africa where they were domesticated thousands of years ago. The Romans did much to spread the use of donkeys as beasts of burden, where they pull carts, carry loaded packs and other farm work. Christopher Columbus brought the first donkeys to the New World. Donkeys turned loose by their owners create a large feral population. Donkeys are still used extensively in the Caribbean, where they are even used for food by some people. Donkeys adapt well to warm conditions. Thus, it seems that the humble donkey still has a role to play in the lives of millions of people.
Cows, raised for meat
Iguanas – A species found exclusively on Anegada, BVI, in the 1980s, eight iguanas were moved from Anegada to Guana Island, British Virgin Islands, to start a second population in part of the species’ former range.
Meet the Mona Monkeys of Grenada. “Deposited next to Grand Etang lake near the trailhead, we paused for a bit of fresh air before I spotted a couple Mona monkeys up in the trees. They were just hanging out but approached when one of the guides produced a banana. Of course we were all cooing and snapping away at the rare animal. I imagine these monkeys could count on an easy meal from the guides on a regular basis as the Monas were rather trusting. Given that we’re genetically related, they are driven by the same burning curiosity and hunger.” DailyVenture.com