Animals in the Bahamas

Updated: March 5, 2023
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Below you can find a complete list of Bahamian animals. We currently track 199 animals in the Bahamas and are adding more every day!

If you are an animal lover, you may want to go to the Bahamas on your next vacation. This stunningly beautiful nation of islands is home to animals found nowhere else on earth. This these include at least 10 bird species, two snake species, several bats, and other animals.

Animals in the Bahamas face unique challenges because of human development causing loss of habitat, farmers killing them to protect their crops, and illegal poaching for tourists. When you go, take precautions to protect the environment so that you do not become part of the problem.

Bahamas idyllic beach

The Bahamas has white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and wildlife that can’t be seen anywhere else.


The Official National Animal of the Bahamas

The official national animal of the Bahamas is the flamingo. If you want to see flamingos, then head to Inagua Island as about 50,000 flamingos live on this 287-square-mile island. The government has even set up a special guard unit to protect the flamingos and fauna.

The Roseate or West Indian flamingos were once very endangered because they were captured and sold to passing tourists. The tourists did not understand how to care for the birds on their long boat trips. Therefore, they died. The government took actions, including making this the national bird, to protect the animal.

Two flamingos, one center frame, one right Fram, Facing right. They are pink There are other out-of-focus flamingos in the background.

The flamingo is the national animal of the Bahamas.


Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in the Bahamas

Since the Bahamas consists of more than 700 islands, it is vital to develop a plan to see the top wild animals, birds, and snakes in the Bahamas. There are many types of Bahamian wildlife, including birds, to explore. Many tourist attractions have been set up so that you can easily view the most popular wildlife, including bird tours, while other wildlife in the Bahamas, you will have to work harder to see.

An Atlantic spotted mother dolphin with her baby in the waters of the Bahamas.

Atlantic-spotted dolphins can be seen near Bimini in the Bahamas.

©Joost van Uffelen/

  • Exumas Pigs – While no one is exactly sure how the Exumas pigs got to the Bahamas, swimming with them on Big Major Cay is a favorite pastime of residents and tourists alike.
  • Sandy Cay Rock Iguana – Head to the white sandy beaches of Sandy Cay to see the Sandy Cay rock iguanas.
  • FlamingosPlan a stop at the Lake Rosa salt pans to see flamingos.
  • Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins Try going on a sailing adventure near Bimini, the Bahamas, and you may find yourself surrounded by Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins.
  • Eleuthera turtles – Go on a kayaking adventure in Winding Bay near Half Moon to see Eleuthera turtles swimming near your vessel.
  • Nurse sharks Nurse sharks can often be seen at Compass Cay.
  • Spider crabs – See spider crabs by visiting the Crab Replenishment Reserve, near Andros, the Bahamas.
  • Abaco Parrots – See the white-head Abaco parrots by visiting Abaco and Great Inagua islands.

The Most Dangerous Animals in the Bahamas Today

Lionfish fin rays are venomous – so don’t get close!


While most wild animals in the Bahamas are perfectly safe, there are some animals that you will want to be cautious around including:

  • Ticks – There are scattered reports of ticks carrying Lyme disease around Nassau.
  • Lionfish – These stunning fish can be seen on snorkeling excursions around the islands – but don’t get too close! Their beautiful plumage of fins contains venomous spines that can cause extreme pain.
  • Sharks – Shark attacks are extremely rare in the Bahamas – but you can certainly encounter one on a scuba dive.
  • Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes can carry diseases because they can pass along the Zika virus.

Largest Animal in the Bahamas

An Exuma pig swimming in coastal waters, carrying a passenger.

©Lisa Belle Larsen/

The largest land mammal in the Bahamas isn’t native – but the ever-popular Exumas pigs have certainly made themselves at home! Nobody knows exactly how they arrived on the islands, but they sure have taken to the water. Big Major Cay is their favorite sunny spot where you can join them for a swim and watch them catch rays on the beach.

The swimming pigs are a variety of breeds including Tamworth, Large Black, Berkshire, Landrace, and Large Whites. These breeds thrive in warm climates and are probably escapees meant for jerk pulled pork. Way to be free, pigs!

Rarest Animals in the Bahamas

Sea Turtle (Hawksbill Turtle) with clean background.

The Hawksbill turtle is one of two critically endangered turtles in the Bahamas.

©John Back/

Considered by many to be the most beautiful sea turtle, the hawksbill has been hunted to the point of endangerment but thrives in small numbers in Bahamian waters. These turtles have shells of dark brown, black, and yellow with yellow undersides. They grow to about 3 feet and weigh around 100 pounds by eating their favorite foods: sponges, sea urchins, small fish, and plants.

Death of coral reefs and overhunting has led to this turtle’s critically low numbers.


Loggerhead turtles are another endangered turtle that can be seen in the Bahamas.

©Matteo photos/

Loggerhead turtles can weigh up to 250 pounds and grow to be more than 3.5 feet long. The tops of their shells are brownish red and are shaped like hearts. These turtles feed on mostly meat – especially small fish, mollusks, jellyfish, and crabs.

The meat of the loggerhead turtle is prized along with their eggs – making them prime targets for poaching.

More Endangered Animals in the Bahamas


Three species and several subspecies of Cyclura, or Bahamian rock iguana, live on the islands.


The Bahamas are home to many types of endangered animals. Some are endangered because people are infringing on their habitat and dividing it into small parcels, which prevents animals from having a large enough gene pool to survive. Others are endangered because farmers take steps to kill them so that they do not ruin their livelihood. Others are endangered because poachers try to catch them and sell them to tourists. Endangered animals include:

  • Jamaican Petrel
  • Conception bank silver boa
  • Roundnose Grenadier
  • Bahama nuthatch
  • Bahama oriole
  • Turks and Caicos rock iguana
  • Exuma rock iguana
  • Allen Cays rock iguana
  • White Cay rock iguana
  • San Salvador rock iguana
Flag of The Bahamas

The flag of the Bahamas features the aqua color of the Caribbean.

©Creative Photo Corner/

The Flag of the Bahamas

The flag of the Bahamas was chosen through a competition for a new flag after the nation’s independence from the United Kingdom was official in 1973. The powers that be decided to combine several entries to create the new flag.

The two aquamarine stripes represent the water surrounding the islands. The sand and other land resources are represented by the yellow stripe – with the black triangle representing the people and their strength.

Bahamian Animals

Acadian Flycatcher

Their nests are sloppily held together and have an abandoned appearance

Admiral Butterfly

Stunningly beautiful wings

American Eel

Don't eat raw eel! Their blood is poisonous to humans when consumed raw.

Anole Lizard

There are just under 400 species, several of which change color.


First evolved 100 million years ago!


Can curl into a hard, protective ball!


They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are 8 different species!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.


Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years


There are more than 350,000 different species


Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Blacknose Shark

When threatened, Blacknose sharks raise their head, arch their back, and lower their pectoral fins.

Blue Tang

One of the most colorful members of the genus Acanthurus


Seabirds found across the South Pacific!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Brown Headed Cowbird

Males are generally monogamous during mating season and will protect the female from other males. However, females tend to venture from their partners and mate with other males.

Burrowing Owl

The burrowing owl lives in underground burrows


There are thought to be up 17,500 species!


Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.


May have been domesticated up to 10,000 years ago.


The larvae of a moth or butterfly!


There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Cedar Waxwing

Their feathers have red, waxy tips that can be hard to identify unless you’re up close.


There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

They inhabit regrowing forests


First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!


Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common Grackle

Common grackles are a pest species that damage crops and spread disease.

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

Common Yellowthroat

The Common Yellowthroat stays close to the ground and uses stealth to survive!


They can fly 35 mph and dive 150 feet below water.


There are nearly 1.5 billion worldwide!


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings


Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together


Have changed little in 200 million years!


First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals


First domesticated 5,000 years ago!


It's larvae are carnivorous!

Dubia Cockroach

The most popular species of feeder roach


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Dusky Shark

The Dusky Shark sometimes eats trash discarded by humans.

Dwarf Boa

Some species can change color from dark to light, and back again.


They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs


There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eastern Meadowlark

They can live up to 9 years.


Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!


The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world


Sleeps on just one leg!


Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!


There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

Fulvous Whistling Duck

They build a ramp from their nest, which leads to a nearby water source


Can grow to more than 3m long!


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach


Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Males form large mating swarms at dusk


There are 11,000 known species!

Gray Catbird

Their songs have cat-like qualities and can mimic other birds and animals, like tree frogs.


Also known as the Millionfish!


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Harpy Eagle

Talon's the size of a grizzly bear's claws!

Harris’s Hawk

Their vision is eight times better than a human's

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.

Hercules Beetle

This dynastine scarab beetle makes a weird huffing sound when it’s disturbed.

Herring Gull

They are loud, spirited birds with raucous cries that sound like bursts of laughter.


Hogfish can change their sex from female to male

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!


Has evolved over 50 million years!


Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.


The fly has no teeth

Howler Monkey

Spends 80% of it's time resting!


Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!


Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.


Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!


Uses visual signals to communicate!


There are an estimated 30 million species!


The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jack Crevalle

One of the biggest species in the Caranx genus

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kentucky Warbler

The Kentucky Warbler appears to wear bright yellow cat-eye glasses!


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!


Has 10 pairs of eyes!


There are around 5,000 different species!

Lone Star Tick

Only females have the ‘lone star’ marking


The largest species of parrot in the world!

MacGillivray’s Warbler

The complicated story of how MacGillivray’s Warblers got their name involves three ornithologists, a physician and a compromise.


Will only live in wet areas

Magnolia Warbler

They line their nests with fungi strands

Marine Toad

Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!


There are 2,500 known species worldwide!


They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.


Some species have a poisonous bite!


Mockingbirds are incredible mimics that can learn hundreds of songs!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.


Known for their calm and peaceful nature!


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!


There are around 260 known species!


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!


There are 250,000 different species!

Mountain Lion

Has no real natural predators!

Mourning Warbler

The Mourning Warbler was named for its gray head, which resembles a mourning veil!


Found on every continent on Earth!


The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Northern Harrier

They can reach speeds of 25 Mph but prefer to soar low and slow.

Northern Parula

They live in coffee and citrus plantations during the winter


Also known as the Painted Leopard!

Orange-Crowned Warbler

Often mistaken for the Tennessee Warblers, which are equally dull.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!


There are 13 different species worldwide


The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees


Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!


Can live for up to 100 years!


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Pit Viper

Pit vipers's fangs fold up into their mouths when they don't need them.

Poison Dart Frog

Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.


Has longer back legs than front legs!


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


The tail feathers of the male can be 1m long!


Omnivores that eat anything!


Rattlesnakes may have evolved their rattle to warn bison away from them.

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.


Will mate with the entire flock!

Roseate Spoonbill

The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated hummingbirds can beat their wings more than 50 times per second.

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.


There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail


There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

In captivity, sharp-shinned hawks can live up to 13 years. However, in the wild, this number is significantly reduced to 3 years!


The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.


There are 2,000 different species worldwide!


It's body temperature is between 30 - 34 degrees!


They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 4,000 known species worldwide


There are 140 different species!


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Summer Tanager

They remove bee stingers by rubbing them against a tree


Paracanthurus hepatus, the palette surgeonfish or bluetang, is the only member of its genus


Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!


The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.


They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!


There are more than 40 different species!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!


Closely related to pheasants and chickens!


Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.


Migrates up and down the mountains!

Upland Sandpiper

They make jerky movements as they walk through the grass, searching for food.

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!


Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted


There are 30 different species worldwide!


There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Western Tanager

They migrate farther north than any other tanager.

White-Crowned Sparrow

Males learn distinct songs from the community they grew up in and continue to sing in the same dialect as adults.

White-Eyed Vireo

During courtship, males put on exciting displays by fluffing their plumage, spreading their tails, and letting out a whining call.

White-Faced Capuchin

One of the world's most intelligent monkeys!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


This animal can roll up into a ball


There are 200 different species!


Doesn’t have eyes.

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

The males are responsible for choosing the nesting tree most of the time. Luckily, cavity nests are often reused for multiple breeding seasons (up to 7 years.)

Bahamian Animals List

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About the Author

After a career of working to provide opportunities for local communities to experience and create art, I am enjoying having time to write about two of my favorite things - nature and animals. Half of my life is spent outdoors, usually with my husband and sweet little fourteen year old dog. We love to take walks by the lake and take photos of the animals we meet including: otters, ospreys, Canadian geese, ducks and nesting bald eagles. I also enjoy reading, discovering books to add to my library, collecting and playing vinyl, and listening to my son's music.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What kind of animals live in the Bahamas?

Many different types of unique animals live in the Bahamas. Some of them are unique marine species that live around the 700 islands. People often come to this location to swim with dolphins and to see the iguanas. Since there are no venomous snakes, it is easier to see wildlife in the Bahamas.

What dangerous animals live in the Bahamas?

Very few dangerous animals live in the Bahamas. The most dangerous may be the mosquitoes as some carry diseases. Even if you do not get sick from their bite, they can leave your skin itchy. There may have been extinct wildlife that was dangerous, but those are no longer a threat.

Are there monkeys in the Bahamas?

There are no endemic Bahamian monkeys. Yet, you may see monkeys when you visit these islands. There are only four islands in the Caribbean where you can see monkeys. If you want to see them, then go to St. Kitts, Nevis, Saint Martain, or Barbados.

Are there alligators in the Bahamas?

No, Bahamians do not have any alligators that live on their islands. If you read historical fauna reports, then there may have been alligators who lived on Acklins, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, Mayaguana, New Providence, and San Salvador at one time, but they are extinct now. Unfortunately, these species have since disappeared, and scientists know very little about them since they went extinct by the early 1800s.