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ENDANGERED (AND DANGEROUS) BAHAMIAN WILDLIFE

Being a chain of small islands, the Bahamas does not support any large animals. However, the country has plenty of marine life, reptiles, birds, frogs and insects. Unfortunately, some native species are listed as vulnerable or endangered.

Here are some interesting creatures to look out for on the Bahamas, so have your camera ready!

BAHAMIAN WILDLIFE AND FAUNA

The islands of the Bahamas have 10 different species of snake, including the Abaco Island Boa and the Bahamian Threadsnake. None of these creatures are poisonous, which is good news for visitors. You will also find plenty of turtles. Freshwater, Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill Turtles may be spotted, especially on a moonlit night when they come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand. The Leatherback Turtle is now an endangered species.

Lizards are also common all over the islands. The North Bahamian Rock Iguana and the San Salvador Iguana are rare species to look out for. Exuma Island iguanas are only found on seven cays in the Bahamas, including Allen’s Cay, Leaf Cay and U Cay.

All types of iguanas have spiny scales running down their back in a crest. Their bodies and legs are covered in scales and they have a lizard-like head.

These strange looking, dinosaur-like creatures are brightly colored and fascinating to watch in the sunshine. Although their natural diet consists of insects, flowers, leaves and fruit, some have happily adapted to eating table scraps left by tourists.

INVERTEBRATES FOUND AROUND THE BAHAMAS

Invertebrates such as ants, spiders, bees and butterflies are an abundant part of Bahamian wildlife. The 90 species of butterflies and the giant bat moth are all part of the diversity of wildlife found on some of the more remote island chains.

ENDANGERED AND THREATENED BAHAMIAN WILDLIFE SPECIES

Endemic mammals that are only found in the Bahamas are the Bahamian Lesser Funnel-eared Bat, now listed as “vulnerable”, and the Bahaman Raccoon, which is officially an endangered species. Another vulnerable creature is the Bahaman Hutia, a brown rabbit-sized rodent.

POISONOUS BAHAMIAN WILDLIFE TO AVOID

The Bahamas has very few poisonous creatures, but it’s good to know what not to touch, just in case. The black widow spider is easily identified as it has a red hourglass marking on the underside of its otherwise black body. Its bite can cause weakness, pain and even death in humans.

The Bahama Centipede grows up to eight inches long and looks like a giant brown caterpillar with many orange legs. It runs extremely fast, but if cornered it will inject a nasty venom into its victim.

The Cuban tree frog is one of very few amphibious Bahamian wildlife species. It is definitely a creature that should not be handled as it covers itself in toxic mucus, which is a powerful irritant to humans.

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