It’s no surprise to find that an island like Puerto Rico is teeming with wildlife. With its tropical rainforests and coral reef laden coastlines, the natural beauty and general isolation of the US territory has meant that for thousands of years, wildlife has flourished here. Whilst human habitation may have, unsurprisingly, hindered the acceleration and growth of the wildlife here, there are still plenty of conservation areas and national parks where the reptiles, birds and ocean inhabitants around the island have been allowed to thrive. From secret coves to ancient jungles, here are just some of the weird and wonderful animals that one might encounter during a stay at the Villa Montana’s luxury retreats and Puerto Rico wedding packages.
Many birds have made their homes in Puerto Rico due to its location being across a migratory route. Below are just some of the birds unique to the island.
Puerto Rican Parrot
A proud symbol of Puerto Rico’s culture, this endangered bird is the only parrot native to Puerto Rico, and offers a vibrant splash of colour in the trees of the island. With its population being under threat, there have been many breeding programmes for the Puerto Rican amazon over the decades, and luckily the bird’s numbers are rising once more.
With over 350 different species of Hummingbird out there, the Puerto Rican emerald is the only one native to the island. With beautiful dark green feathers, these birds are known for their long pointed bills and delicate nests dotted around the island’s forests.
As a Caribbean territory, it’s no surprise to find a variety of exotic reptiles making their home on the island. Iguanas and frogs have made their home on the island through human trave and colonisation, but these two species of reptile are native solely to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rican Boa
The Puerta Rican Boa Constrictor is a Boa snake that can grow up to 1.9 metres long and lives in many of the islands wooded and forested areas. Locally, the boa snake is known as the “culebron” or big snake and hunts small mammals and lizards through its powerful constriction process.
Puerto Rican Worm Lizard
These creepy looking worm lizards are native to Puerto Rico and have made their homes under the rocks and logs of the islands forested areas. Growing up to 10 inches long, the fact that they live underground has meant that the worm has long since lost the use of its eyes, but not of its teeth!
Many mammals made their way to the island through boats and human travel, but these two are especially unique to the island.
Puerto Rican native Bats are most abundant in the caves of the El Yunque National Forest, where there are known to be at least 11 species living. With five distinct species and many more subspecies, the bats of Puerto Rico play a vital role in controlling the islands mosquito population.
Found off the shores of Puerto Rico, the Antillean Manatee is one of the best-known water mammals of the area and even has an area of the country, Manati named after it. If you look close enough, guests at the Puerto Rico beach resorts will be able to see the manatees swimming around the coves and corals around the island.