Below you can find a complete list of Dominican animals. We currently track 137 animals in Dominican Republic and are adding more every day!
The Dominican Republic is a country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. With a stable, cool tropical climate and gorgeous mountains and jungles alongside over 900 miles of coastline, there is plenty of unique, exotic wildlife, both native and introduced. Mammals such as Hispaniolan Solenodons, Hispaniolan hutias, and common raccoons, snakes such as rattlesnakes, and other animals such as Hispaniolan emeraldis hummingbirds live there. Out of the 20 land mammal species, 2 are native.
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.
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 can be seen 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, distinguished by its side-to-side waddle. Its 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 can only be found 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 In the Dominican Republic
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 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 in the Dominican Republic
Among the extinct wildlife in the Dominican Republic are 3 species of bats that went extinct or were extirpated: One in the genus Pteronotus, Mormoops megalophylla, and Lasiurus intermedius. The Puerto Rican Hutia (Isolobodon portoricensis) which was introduced to Puerto Rico from Hispaniola is completely extinct. Raccoons, namely common raccoons (Procyon lotor) are mammals that were introduced and extirpated. Eight species of the 20 mammals are extinct.
Dominican Animals List
- Barn Owl
- Barn Swallow
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Carpenter Ant
- Collared Peccary
- Common House Spider
- Crab Spider
- Dung Beetle
- False Widow Spider
- Fiddler Crab
- Flying Squirrel
- Glow Worm
- Great Blue Heron
- Harpy Eagle
- Hercules Beetle
- Honey Bee
- House wren
- Huntsman Spider
- Marine Toad
- Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
- Mole Cricket
- Monarch Butterfly
- Mountain Lion
- No See Ums
- Orb Weaver
- Peregrine Falcon
- Poison Dart Frog
- River Turtle
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
- Saber-Toothed Tiger
- Skink Lizard
- Snapping Turtle
- Spider Wasp
- Stick Insect
- Tarantula Hawk
- Tiger Beetle
- Tree Frog
- Vampire Bat
- White-Faced Capuchin
- Wolf Spider
Animals in 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.