Dominican Republic

Updated: January 27, 2023
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Below you can find a complete list of Dominican animals. We currently track 209 animals in Dominican Republic and are adding more every day!

Types of Animals in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Maintaining a cool, tropical climate over gorgeous mountains and jungles bordered by over 900 miles of coastline, many types of wildlife, both native and introduced, can be found roaming the country. Mammals, such as Hispaniolan Solenodons, Hispaniolan hutias, and common raccoons, coexist along with reptiles like snakes and lizards. Hundreds of bird species, namely the Hispaniolan Emerald hummingbirds, flit through the sky and reside in the trees. Amongst the 20 mammal species found, 2 are native, while 32 bird species are native to the DR.

Native Birds

The Dominican Republic is a resting place for hundreds of transient species migrating in and out, along with the 32 species endemic to the country. Several of the most common birds to see in the DR include:

Terrain in the Dominican Republic is highly diverse, contributing to the diversity of species found there. Because the DR is A few endemic species are particularly rare, including La Selle Thrush (Turdus swalesi) found in the cloud forests along with the Hispaniolan Pewee (Contopus hispaniolensis) and the Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), both residing in the alpine pine forests.

Native Fish

The Dominican Republic is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful Caribbean Ocean. The Dominican Republic is highly attractive to anglers all over the world who come in to fish its marine waters. Some popular fish for anglers to find in the country are:

Seasons change for different species’ availability. Mahi Mahi (Dorado) and Wahoo are present year-round and probably the most commonly-caught, both fun and easy to catch. Large, Yellowfin tuna are available between March-August and are hugely popular as a catch-to-eat fish, as some of these fish Amy reach around 400lb.

Probably the most exciting fish drawing anglers to the DR are Blue and White Marlin, followed closely by Sailfish and Swordfish. White Marlin can be found March to July, while Blue Marlin come around in June until October. Blue Marlin have the capacity to reach up to 1,000lb, making it a goal of experienced anglers everywhere to catch one at least once. Sailfish, one of the fastest fish in the world, are more popular during the winter months of November to the beginning of March and Swordfish tend to crop up at the end of summer.

Alternatively, there are many native species found in freshwater sources, as well. A variety of Limia species, Pupfish species, Molly, and Rivulus fish are endemic to the DR’s freshwaters.

Native Snakes

The Dominican Republic holds diverse landscapes and gorgeous sites for exploration. Wildlife is abundant throughout the country, found in the air, roaming the forest floors, or in the waters. Only a few species of snakes reside in the DR, none that are lethal to humans. Several species of Boas populate the island, along with Hispaniolan Racers, La Hotte Blind Snake, and Blunt-Headed Tree Snakes. While none of these snakes are specifically lethal, they can still bite humans and may cause irritation. Always seek medical attention when bitten by a snake. While it is exciting to see these different animals, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and possible dangers.

In summary, common snakes to see in the DR are:

  • Hispanoila Boa – Called “Culebra Jaba” by locals; largest snake in the country; found throughout the country. Coloration is brown, gray, black or red
  • La Hotte Blind Snake – Small snake living in trees and prefers the rain forest; Green, black, brown or speckled
  • Blunt-headed Tree Snake – Central DR in the tropical rainforests; Green or brown in color

The Official National Animal of the Dominican Republic

There are several national animals of the Dominican Republic, so there is no one official national symbol. One national animal is the Palm Chat, a small songbird that nests in large groups on Royal Palm trees. Another is the Hispaniolan hutia (Plagiodontia aedium), the last living native land mammal which is the official national animal of the West Indies of the Dominican Republic.

Another national animal is the Palm Stork (Dolus dominicus). On the shield of the city of Santo Domingo, there are two yellow lions which are symbols of dominion, sovereignty, and energy after the country won its independence three centuries ago. The coat of arms of the city likewise contains two lions as part of its symbols.

National Bird of Dominican Republic

The national bird of Dominican Republic is the palmchat which are located throughout the island. Palmchats are often found together in large groups as they are social birds. Their main diet consists of berries and you can often hear them chattering quite loudly in city parks and gardens.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in the Dominican Republic

The top wild animals in the Dominican Republic are popular wildlife one can see on tours such as the forests of Sierra de Baoruco, by the sea at Boca de Yuma, Macao Beach at Punta Cana as well as national parks and other protected areas. They include unique animals one can only see in the country or on the island of Hispaniola.

The Hispaniolan Hutia (Plagiodontia aedium) is the only living native rodent on Hispaniola and is found in the southwestern part of the Dominican Republic. The Hispaniolan Solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus) is one of two species in the world besides the one in Cuba (Solenodon cubana) and has a wide range in many forest habitats. It can be seen during nocturnal tour outings along with owls and other nightbirds, distinguishable by its side-to-side waddle. Its primary, native predators are the Barn Owl, the Ashy-Faced Owl, the Stygian Owl, the Hispaniolan Boa, but it’s also killed by feral and domesticated dogs.

Among other nocturnal animals is the Greater Bulldog Bat (Noctilio leporinus), the largest bat on the island with a 3 foot-long wingspan. The second-largest bat is the Big Free-Tailed Bat, with a 17.1 inch-long wingspan. The Minor Red Bat (Lasiurus minor) roosts in trees and lives only in 6 places on the island. Several other bats are endemic to Hispaniola and other countries, but not to the Dominican Republic.

Some examples of other unique animals are:

  • Amphibian species – the Hispaniolan Yellow Treefrog (Osteopilus pulchrilineata)
  • Reptile species – the Antillean Slider (Trachemys stejnegeri)
  • Lizard species – the Santo Domingo Curlytail or Hispaniolan Maskless Curlytail (Leiocephalus lunatus).
  • Land snail species Cerion yumaense.
  • Crab species – the Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria).
  • Butterfly species – the Polydamus Swallowtail or Gold Rim (Battus polydamus polycrates)
  • Moth species – the Celery Leaftier Moth (Udea rubigalis)
  • Dragonfly species of Tropical King Skimmers in the genus Orthemis, such as Orthemis macrostigma.
  • Damselfly species Telebasis dominicana
  • Spider species – the Orchard Orb Weaver (Leucauge venusta) and the Hispaniolan Giant Tarantula (Phormictopus cancerides)

The Most Dangerous Animals In the Dominican Republic Today

Among dangerous snakes, the Hispaniolan Boa (Chilabothrus striatu) is dangerous not because of any toxic venom, but due to its strength in squeezing or strangling people to death.

Venomous animals do not always mean life-threatening. Take the following most dangerous animals in the Dominican Republic:

  • Rattlesnake bites are poisonous but rarely result in fatality unless the bite enters a vein.
  • The Hispaniolan solenodons are far away from snakes and likewise secretes toxic saliva, but it is only fatal to smaller animals; in humans, it causes severe pain and localized swelling which can last for days.
  • The stingray species the Thorn Stripe (American Whip-Stripe) and the centipede species Scolopendra gigantea cause pain for several hours.
  • The Black Widow Spider, the Brown Recluse (Violin Spider), and the rarely-seen Portuguese Man O’War do not have lethal bites unless there are complications or a lack of treatment.
  • The Lionfish causes extreme pain and can cause complications such as fever, respiratory paralysis, and heart failure.
  • Both the Pufferfish and the Mamp Pempén or Cane Toad are only lethal if ingested.
  • The Portuguese Frigate or False Jellyfish causes marks that resemble burns, extreme pain and if it affected a large area, anaphylactic shock, and death.

It is common for people to assume that tropical islands have more dangerous wildlife than other countries. But while there are indeed several dangerous animals in the Dominican Republic, there are actually far more in the United States.

Endangered Animals

Some of the endangered animals in the Dominican Republic are:

  • The Hispaniolan Solenodon, a nocturnal burrowing shrewlike mammal.
  • 2 species of manatees, the West Indian Manatee or North American Manatee (Trichechus manatus) and the subspecies the Antillean Manatee or Marine Cow (Trichechus manatus), a unique species in the Caribbean.
  • The Rhinoceros Iguana (Cyclura cornuta)
  • The Puerto Rican Nightjar or Puerto Rican Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus noctitherus)

One of the 20 species of mammals is critically endangered, another is endangered, and three species are listed as vulnerable. A total of 9,539 species of animals including 483 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians; 527 species of freshwater and marine fish, and 8,529 species of invertebrates (1,696 marine and 6,833 terrestrial) are on the 2011 IUCN Red List of Endangered, Threatened or Protected Species of the Dominican Republic. Amphibians and lizards, including anoles, are some of the most vulnerable animals.

Extinct Animals

Among the extinct wildlife in the Dominican Republic are 3 species of bats that are now extinct or were extirpated: One in the genus Pteronotus, Mormoops megalophylla, and Lasiurus intermedius. The Puerto Rican Hutia (Isolobodon portoricensis), introduced to Puerto Rico from Hispaniola, is completely extinct. Raccoons, namely common raccoons (Procyon lotor) are mammals non-native and eradicated. Eight species of the 20 mammals are extinct.

Zoos in the Dominican Republic

There are several zoo-equivalents in the Dominican Republic. However, the best known is the National Zoological Park, established in 1975. Currently, this zoo houses 82 species of animals, both endemic and exotic, as well as plants. The National Zoological Park is located in Santo Domingo and houses African lions, alligators, snakes, and an array of mammals, such as monkeys and Bengal tigers. Some other similar places to visit in your free time include:

  • National Aquarium (Santo Domingo) – Established in 1990, this aquarium attracts visitors with a clear tunnel that allows you to get an almost 360 view of the sea turtles, sharks, fish, and sea horses swimming around you.
  • Parque Zoologico (Santo Domingo) – In order to protect unique species and habitats, the Parque Zoologico was officially established in 1975, creating a home to 82 species. Many different birds, mammals, and reptiles are found in this zoo.

Dominican Animals

Amazon Parrot

These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech

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!

Blind Snake

The blind snake is often mistaken for a worm.


Seabirds found across the South Pacific!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

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.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!


First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!


The larvae of a moth or butterfly!


There are nearly 3,000 different species!


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!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

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!


Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.


A group of these birds is called a Murder.


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

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!


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


The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.


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.

Great Blue Heron

Their wingspan is larger than an eagle’s; both males and females help hatch the eggs; rich in symbolism


Also known as the Millionfish!


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!

Harpy Eagle

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

Harris 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.


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Herring Gull

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

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.

House wren

The wren’s epithet, aedon, comes from a Greek queen who accidentally killed her only son. She was actually aiming for her nephew, and Zeus took pity on her and turned her into a nightingale.


The fly has no teeth


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

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!


Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Lone Star Tick

Only females have the ‘lone star’ marking


The largest species of parrot in the world!


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.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Some colonies have millions of bats


Some species have a poisonous bite!


Mockingbirds are incredible mimics that can learn hundreds of songs!


Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

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!

Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!


There are around 260 known species!


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!


Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood


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!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

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

Northern Potoo

You can find them near golf courses in urban areas


Also known as the Painted Leopard!

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!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


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!


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.

Ring-billed Gull

The ring-billed gull feeds on vast quantities of human waste and garbage.

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!

Senepol Cattle

Senepol cattle have a distinctive red color and no horns.

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!


Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.


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!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.


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

Snapping Turtle

Only found in North America!


There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


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.

Whiptail Lizard

Many whiptail species reproduce asexually.

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.)

Dominican Animals List

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.

Dominican Republic FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What kind of animals live in the Dominican Republic?

A variety of terrestrial, marine, and freshwater animals live in the country, whether unique, native, or introduced.

What dangerous animals live in the Dominican Republic?

There are several dangerous animals including the Hispaniolan Boa, the Hispaniolan Solenodon, the Rattlesnake, the Thorn Stripe (American Whip-Stripe) stingray, the centipede species Scolopendra gigantea, the Black Widow Spider, the Brown Recluse (Violin Spider), the Portuguese Man O’War, the Lionfish, the Pufferfish, the Mamp Pempén or Cane Toad, and the Portuguese Frigate or False Jellyfish.

What is the most dangerous animal in the Dominican Republic?

The Hispaniolan Boa, which is so strong it can squeeze or strangle humans to death.

Are there tigers in the Dominican Republic?

No. The Saber-Toothed Tiger used to roam the Americas but it is extinct.