Flora & Fauna of Dominica

Dominica is an island rich in natural beauty - lush rainforest, towering peaks, rivers, waterfalls, flowers, birds and much more.

In 1997, UNESCO recognised the unique beauty and value of our Morne Trois Pitons National Park, and designated it a World Heritage Site.


"Luxuriant natural tropical forest blends with volcanic features of high scenic appeal and scientific interest... With its precipitous slopes and deeply-incised valleys, fifty fumaroles and hot springs, freshwater lakes, a "boiling lake" and five volcanoes...together with the richest biodiversity in the Lesser Antilles, Morne Trois Pitons National Park presents a rare combination of natural features of World Heritage value. "

More on our World Heritage Site: Morne Trois Pitons National Park

Dominica is home to two parrots found nowhere else. The Imperial (Amazona imperialis) - known locally as the Sisserou - is Dominica's national bird.

Related Links

Yoga in Dominica

Dominica's Flora & Fauna

Birds of Dominica

Sea Birds of Dominica

Morne Trois Pitons: Dominica's World Heritage Site

Natural Living in Dominica

Dominica's Centenarians

Tropical Fruit

The Aloe Vera Plant

Dominica Maps

Red-necked Parrot The Red-necked or Jaco/Jacquot parrot (Amazona arausiaca) is smaller than the Imperial and can be found at lower elevations than the Imperial. The area of Syndicate in the Dominica's Northern Forest Reserve is perhaps the best known spot to see these two spectacular birds.

The adult Sisserou is 18 - 20 inches long and weighs 2 pounds. Their wingspan is around 30 inches. The upper parts and back are mostly green with greenish blue head. There is a red streak on the wing-tips. Parrots pair themselves off for life. They have been known to live to be 70 years old.

More about our birds

Other species of note are the Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), frequently seen soaring in wooded areas.

Extremely common are various species of hummingbird, of which the Purple-throated Carib (Eulampis jugularis) can often be seen darting among flowers.

Frequently seen soaring high above the sea near shore is the Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens).

Two species of bird are heard more often than seen. Locally known as the Siffleur Montagne (Mountain Whistler), the Rufous-throated Solitaire (Myadestes genibarbis) is a bird of the higher-elevation forest. You'll usually hear one on the way to the Boiling Lake. The Barn Owl, as the most widely distributed bird in the world, can of course be heard if not seen, in Dominica.

Links to Birds in Dominica

More Birds of Dominica
Dominica's Parrots
Dominica's Bird Species

Flowers and Orchids

Bwa Carib

Dominica's national flower is the Bwa Carib (Sabinea carinalis). There are many species of Orchids on the island, and fern species number in the hundreds.

The following specialise in bird-watching:

Papillote Wilderness Retreat: 27 species of birds, including hawks, herons and hummingbirds, and 19 different kinds of butterflies, can be spotted on its 14 acres of rainforest gardens. Garden tours will introduce you to our extensive collection of orchids, begonias, gingers, heliconias and fruit trees. Many of the birds and flowers can be admired as you sip a cooling drink on the terrace of our Rainforest Restaurant.

Other Animals in Dominica

Manicou Apart from marine mammals, there are two large mammals of note in Dominica: the agouti  and the manicou (pictured) which is a kind of opossum.

In the reptile department, we have iguana, a large and noisy frog known locally as crapaud or Mountain Chicken (because of its taste), and several species of snake (none poisonous) the largest of which is the boa constrictor.

Our crapaud are currently endangered. You can read more about them on our crapaud page.

Sea turtles are also commonly found in Dominica. In fact, our island is an ideal destination to see nesting turtles come ashore! Visit our sea turtle watching page for more information.

In the air bats abound, and there are over 55 species of butterfly.

Crapaud or Mountain Chicken

KouwesA local snake... the Kouwes.

Tete-cien The Boa Constrictor or 'Tete-chien'


The land crabs are also a very popular species here in Dominica. When in season, they are the main ingredient for 'Crab Backs' a traditional creole dish.

Out of season they are protected, especially during their annual pilgrimage to and from the sea which is necessary for their offspring to be born.

Save the Crabs!
July 2005

Reading Material

Macmillan Caribbean (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 2XS, England) produce a number of guides, including The Flowers of the Caribbean and The Fishes of the Caribbean

Birds of the West Indies by James Bond (Collins 1993 ISBN 0-00-219191-1)

Caribbean Wild Plants and their Uses by P Honychurch, Macmillan Caribbean

See our Books page for more titles


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