Many people who have made the move to St Lucia were unaware, before they arrived, of the abundance of wildlife supported by the island. Obviously, the stunning island scenery and magnificent beaches with their soft white sands and azure blue waters are what everyone expects when they arrive, but few people realise the magnitude of colourful and interesting Caribbean wildlife that also adds to the charm and the beauty of the island.
Here is what you can expect to spot when you are out and about on St Lucia.
With around 170 different bird varieties making St Lucia their home, you are bound to see several every day, as long as you are looking for them. There are five species that are endemic to the island and these are the St Lucia Warbler, Oriole, Black Finch, Pewee and the St Lucia Parrot that is known by the islanders as the Jacquot. This bird is the national bird of St Lucia.
The parrots, a typical example of Caribbean wildlife, are perhaps the easiest to spot as they dart about from tree to tree and flit through the air with their characteristic flashes of greens and blues catching the eye of anyone in the vicinity.
Geckos, Lizards & Iguanas
Reptiles are regularly sighted and many people report seeing the small geckos in their homes or offices. This is never a problem though, as they are harmless and only interested in dining out on insects. There are two species of iguana that are particularly common and these can be quite a sight. Growing up to 6 feet in length, these creatures can be spotted ambling along the ground or climbing trees. Tree lizards are the other reptiles often seen in St Lucia, and are another Caribbean wildlife delight.
Snakes have a reputation that makes some people shudder, but you really do not need to worry. Apart from the fact that you will rarely see them in the flesh, the four species common to the island that include the Worm Snake and the St Lucia Boa Constrictor are all completely harmless. The latter can reach up to 14 foot in length, but you have nothing to fear should you ever cross its path.
Under The Sea
Along the stunning coastline there is an amazing hidden underwater world. The explosion of colour and incredible array of creatures that await under the surface of the ocean will astonish scuba divers and snorkelers alike. Sea horses dance in the currents along with angelfish, lobsters, snapper, parrotfish, turtles and even stingrays.
And There’s More
When out on day trips around the island, you are bound to see a whole host of other Caribbean wildlife. The endemic agouti is a fascinating creature, as are the playful mongooses, the charming feral pigs and all of the other mammals that may grace you with their presence.
I have only touched on the wildlife of St Lucia here; remember that there is much more. I invite you to be respectful towards all of our Caribbean wildlife and the habitation it relies on. We all want to still be enjoying it in many years to come.
Adam Gobat is a renowned expert on the Caribbean, with a passion for its history, people and places. If you're looking to relocate or just come on a holiday to experience the culture and Caribbean wildlife, he is happy to share his wealth of experience. Adam's indepth local knowledge is key to the marketing and sales of the luxury villas and penthouses in The Landings, one of the most desirable freehold beachfront developments in the Caribbean.