Below you can find a complete list of Jamaican animals. We currently track 106 animals in Jamaica and are adding more every day!
Many areas of Jamaica are a wonderland of rich flora and fauna. Most visitors that travel to the island are looking for beaches and culture. Many leave impressed by the native wildlife. There are minuscule insects and large reptiles, huge bears, and land crabs. Jamaica is a world of diverse animals and a natural paradise.
The Official National Animal of Jamaica
The red-billed streamertail is the national bird of Jamaica. A member of the hummingbird family, the streamertail is also known as the scissor-tail or doctor bird.
This is a beautiful, multi-colored creature found among flowering plants in closed forests. It’s noted for a long, curved, slender beak. The mature males have two tails that stream as they fly.
People on the island use the bird’s feathers as decorations during traditional events. Besides being Jamaica’s national bird, the red-billed streamertail is also found in Africa, America, Europe, and Canada.
Where To Find The Top Wildlife in Jamaica
Jamaica is the land of wood and water, a natural wonder of rolling green hills and stunning views. Animal lovers look to see the most wonderful native creatures, many unique to the island.
The manatee likes coastal waters that are shallow and brackish. The gentle creatures are also called sea cows. You can spot them in their habitats along Jamaica’s southwest coast. The manatee is infrequently spied in the north too. The native animals surface often because they breathe air. Posing no risk to humans and being vegetarians, you can actually swim with the manatee.
The patoo is an elegant bird. The species here include the Jamaican owl and the barn owl. Sadly, the populace has a fear of owls and tends to harm them on sight.
The barn owl is an amazing sight. Under a bright moon, it’s seen perched on posts or trees in Kingston. The light gives the white-colored owl a Halloween-ish glow.
Also known as the potoo, this owl is endemic to Jamaica. You’ll find it commonly on the east side of the island in the mountains.
This native butterfly is exclusive to Jamaica. It’s a sight to see. The swallowtail has a wingspan of six inches. It has a vivid gold and black color with the lower wings decorated with blue circles. You’ll find the giant swallowtail in the John Crow and the Blue Mountains and in Cockpit Country.
The endangered sea turtle has found protection at the fish sanctuary in Oracabessa Bay. The turtle crawls ashore at Ocho Rios, digs a hole, and lays its eggs. Hotels like the Jamacia Inn on the north coast provide safe venues for spying on these native animals.
A small population of American crocodiles inhabits the south coast, concentrated near the Black River with other crocs near Hellshire. Conservationists strive to protect the species. Some tours take visitors out to Treasure Beach and Black River to see the animals.
The mongoose was deliberately brought to Jamaica to battle the rat population hurting the sugar plantations.
An obsessive hunter, the native animal didn’t just decimate the rodent populace. It also tore into ground birds as well indigenous lizards and snakes. Today, the mongoose is as much a pest as the rat. You’ll spot one almost anywhere on the island, especially along urban roads. The native animal’s identifiable by its black-tipped feet, tail, and gray fur.
The Most Dangerous Animals In Jamaica Today
For all the beauty and serenity you find among Jamaica’s native wildlife, there are quite a few creatures you want to stay away from. Here are a few.
It can fit in the palm of your hand. It’s a lovely creature, but the scorpion fish uses its spiky fins to emit a tremendously venomous poison. These same fins are capable of slashing deep lacerations.
If you go into the verdant and lush Jamaican jungles — especially after a rainfall — you might come across a forty leg. The forty leg is an amazing thing to see slinking with its dozens of legs. But its bite, not always fatal, leads to searing pain, spasms, and a visit to the emergency room.
Many of the thousands of species of spiders in Jamaica are harmless. The brown recluse is not on that list. Their pincers inject hemotoxin venom into the bloodstream. It can take weeks for its sting to lead to pimples, swelling, lesions, and even sepsis.
The pit bull may be a domesticated pet, but it has a rep for being a dangerous animal. Owners have to keep the animal secured. Passersby know to take precautions whenever approaching areas where these dogs live.
Endangered Animals In Jamaica
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to go anywhere and not find some native species at risk of extinction. There can be a myriad of reasons but more often than not it boils down to humankind and urban advancement. Here are a few Jamaican species on endangered lists.
- Jamaican Iguana
- American Crocodile
- Yellow Snake
- Jamaican Boa
Jamaican Animals List
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Caiman Lizard
- Collared Peccary
- Flying Squirrel
- Glow Worm
- Harpy Eagle
- Hercules Beetle
- Honey Bee
- Marine Toad
- Monarch Butterfly
- Mountain Lion
- No See Ums
- Poison Dart Frog
- River Turtle
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Saber-Toothed Tiger
- Snapping Turtle
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Vampire Bat
- White-Faced Capuchin
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Jamaica FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How many native animals are there in Jamaica?
On record, you’ll find 21 amphibians, 28 species of birds, 27 reptiles, and 500 land snails native to Jamaica. There are also bats, butterflies, insects, and more.
What other dangerous animals are native to Jamacia?
If you’re in the water, stay away from sea urchins. Though not lethal, the sting will puncture the skin. The wound can become infected and painful.
Will I find poisonous snakes in Jamaica?
Surprisingly, of the half dozen common snakes calling Jamaica home, none are venomous.
Where are monkeys in Jamaica?
Considering Jamaica is flush with forests and wildlife, it’s interesting to note there are no wild monkeys. You can find some in the zoo, but none roam free. It’s likely the breed died out as there are bone fragments and fossils that imply simian life on the island.
How dangerous are the sharks?