What Animals Live in Jamaica?

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Jamaica is home to only a few indigenous mammals, but a wide variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects can be found there. Some of the more common species of mammal, such as the wild boar and the Asian mongoose, are not native to the island.

As is typical with oceanic islands, Jamaica’s most common and varied group of land mammals are bats. The only native, non-bat mammal still extant on Jamaica is the hutia, a rabbit-sized rodent known locally as the coney. Coneys were plentiful in pre-Columbian times, but hunting and habitat loss have reduced their numbers significantly.

There are about 50 species of reptiles on Jamaica, including anoles, iguanas and snakes. The island’s largest snake, the Jamaican boa, grows to more than 6 feet in length. American crocodiles are sometimes seen as well, though the habitat for both animals has been greatly reduced. Tree frogs are abundant in many varieties, as are numerous species of butterflies. The Homerus swallowtail, the Western Hemisphere’s largest butterfly, is sometimes seen, as is the foot-long Amazonian giant centipede.

By far the largest and most diverse group of animals in Jamaica are birds. More than 200 species of birds have been recorded on the island, many of which are migratory. Jamaica is home to indigenous species like the red-billed streamertail hummingbird and the Jamaican tody.