flora and fauna

Flora and Fauna in the Dominican Republic

Flora and Fauna in the Dominican Republic

The Caribbean is home to a wide variety of exotic plants and creatures because of its location in the tropics. With high annual rainfall and temperatures all year round, a variety of flora and fauna receive the ideal conditions required for breeding and blossoming. The Dominican Republic does not differ in this regard as wildlife flourishes on it lands and in its waters. However, the kinds of flora and fauna vary by region due to variations in vegetation caused by rock type, soil, drainage, relief etc, salinity and the effects of microclimates.

In the wetter sections of the island, such as Lake Enriquillo and along the coast, flamingos, crocodiles, ducks, doves and aquatic life such as Spanish mackerel, snapper, mullet, etc thrive, along with plants such as the red, white and button mangroves. Manatees, humpback whales, dolphins, sponges, crustaceans, turtles, mollusks, sea urchins and a wide variety of fish are also among the aquatic life of the island.

Lush, dense, green rainforests are located mainly on the eastern half of the country, along the coast, in lowland areas, and are home to many birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles such as iguanas, hutia/agouti, frogs, wild boars, snakes, solenodon, and insects and over 19 species of bats. Over 300 species of birds have been identified in the Dominican Republic making it one of the best countries in the Caribbean to bird watch. These species include the National.

Bird i.e. the Palmchat, the Hispaniolan parrot, the parakeet, the woodpecker, the palm crow and much more. According to the UN, 14.5% of these animals exist only in the Dominican Republic. These subtropical rainforests contain much of the vegetation on the island and tree species such as royal palms, coconut palms, Hispaniolan Mahogany and West Indian cider are common along with epiphytic and parasitic plants.

In the northern region of the island, at elevations of about 800ft, are the  Hispaniolan pine forests which are comprised mainly of pines, ferns, Sabina, ebony, etc while on the plains, savannah vegetation is found which includes a variety of scrub and grass species and trees such as the sandpaper tree or “perajelo” , sea grape  and oak .

In the southwestern region, the landscape is arid, much like a desert, and is comprised mainly of cacti, cashew and other plants and animals such as the rhinoceros iguana which are adapted for these dry conditions. The unspoiled forests of the Dominican Republic support flora and fauna which are found nowhere else in the world adding to the uniqueness of the island and the Caribbean region as a whole.