Anguilla's Flora & Fauna
With its dry climate, Anguilla doesn't enjoy
the lush tropical vegetation of some Caribbean islands. Most natural flora
and fauna is low-growing and tolerant of the salty air, strong sun, and
drought periods. Withyour child, look for plants such as:
beach maho or sea cotton
organ pipe cactus
buttonwood, a tree that grows in saltwater and brackish water
beach morning glory
cordia, a shade tree with orange blooms
beach or spider lily
tabe boua, the national plant of Anguilla. With pink blooms, the
plant is wind and salt tolerant.
domestic scavola, a dune stabilizer that grows in salt water
giant milkweed, used by locals in past years in the treatment of
Natel plum, with star-shaped flowers that smell like gardenias
The national bird of Anguilla is the Turtle Dove (Zenaida Aurita). Protected
by law, the brownish dove can often be seen walking on the ground in search
Anguilla is home, both permanently and temporarily, to many other species.
Over 120 species are seen on the island; the National Trust reports that
30% of these are globally or regionally threatened or endangered. Birds
often spotted on Anguilla include the green Antillean Crested Hummingbird,
the sugar-loving Bananaquit, the Frigatebird and the Brown Pelican. The
mangroves and salt ponds found throughout the island are some of the best
habitat for bird watching. Great Blue Heron are seen during its winter
migration while permanent residents include the Snowy Egret, Yellow-Crowned
Night Heron, Lesser Yellowlegs or Pond Dipper, White-Cheeked Pintail,
and Black-Necked Stilt.
Iguanas are not native to Anguilla, but following Hurricanes Luis and
Marilyn in September 1995, these lizards began to be sighted on the island.
They've been identified as a species found only in Guadeloupe and Montserrat;
speculation has been made that the iguanas floated over on debris during
the storm. To protect and identify the iguana, the National Trust has
established a project to learn more about the Iguana iguana.
Several species of sea turtles are found in the waters off Anguilla. All
are globally threatened or endangered. Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Leatherback
and Green sea turtles are found in these waters but their numbers are
not great. Currently the National Trust is conducting a monitoring program
to try to save these turtles from extinction on the island.
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