Over the years, millions of animals have faced extinction in different parts of the world.
Endangered species are threatened with extinction for several reasons, depending on their diet, location, or social behavior.
However, there is always a unique situation surrounding the extinction of these animals, and because they no longer exist in one region does not always mean they do not exist anywhere else.
Saint Lucia is a beautiful island nation in the Caribbean, known for its stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity.
The country is home to various plant and animal species, many of which are endemic and found nowhere else in the world.
Unfortunately, several of these species face endangerment, and their populations are at risk of declining further without urgent conservation measures.
This article focuses on some of the endangered species of Saint Lucia. Let’s take a look at them.
3. Saint Lucia Amazon
Also called the St. Lucia amazon and St. Lucia parrot, the Saint Lucia amazon (Amazona versicolor) is one of the most critically endangered bird species.
With only an estimated 150 individuals remaining in the wild, this parrot species is endemic to the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean.
Sometimes, the locals call this bird Jacquot, which is a Creole word for a parrot.
The Saint Lucia amazon is a small parrot, measuring around 17 to 18 inches and weighing approximately 18-35 ounces.
It has predominantly green plumage, yellow cheeks, and red feathers on its wings.
While most of these birds have distinct shades of green feathers, their forehead is a royal blue, light on the crown and the rest of the face.
They also have a distinguishable call, a loud screeching noise that is easy to hear across the island.
The natural habitat of the Saint Lucia amazon is the island’s tropical rainforests, which are in the mountainous regions.
These forests are characterized by dense vegetation and steep terrain, providing an ideal habitat for the bird.
The primary threat facing this species is habitat loss due to deforestation and habitat fragmentation caused by agriculture, urbanization, and infrastructure development.
Another significant threat to the species is predation by introduced predators such as rats, cats, and mongoose.
These parrots are also affected by illegal poaching for the pet trade.
2. Saint Lucia Whiptail
Typically known as the Maria Islands whiptail, the Saint Lucian whiptail, and Vanzo’s whiptail, the Saint Lucia whiptail is a species of lizard endemic to the island of Saint Lucia.
This lizard is a member of the teiid family, which includes many species of small to medium-sized lizards found throughout the Americas.
The Saint Lucia whiptail lives throughout the island of Saint Lucia, including in both forested areas and more open habitats.
This species is typically little, measuring just a little over seven inches, and has a slender tail about twice the length of its body.
The lizard is generally brown or gray, with a lighter underbelly. It has a long, pointed head, large eyes, and small, sharp teeth.
One of the most notable features of the Saint Lucia whiptail is its speed. This lizard is fast and can run up to 30 km/hour.
It is also highly agile and can effortlessly dart in and out of tight spaces.
Despite its widespread distribution, the Saint Lucia whiptail faces threats because of several factors.
One of the biggest threats is habitat loss due to human activities such as agriculture, logging, and development.
The lizard also faces threats from invasive species, such as rats and cats, which prey on the lizard and compete with it for resources.
3. Saint Lucia Forest Thrush
The Saint Lucia forest thrush, also known as the St. Lucia thrush or simply the forest thrush, is a bird species found in Dominica, Montserrat, and Saint Lucia.
With its scientific name, Turdus lherminieri, this bird belongs to the family Turdidae.
The Saint Lucia forest thrush has become a symbol of the island’s rich biodiversity, highly treasured by the local community and conservationists.
This thrush is a medium-sized bird with dark brown plumage and a distinctive orange-yellow bill. It has a pale belly and a rufous-brown tail often held upright.
However, the bird’s most striking feature is its beautiful song, a series of clear, melodious whistles that echo through the forest.
Like the rest of its family, this species is small, weighing 100-110 grams and reaching just over 10 inches.
The Saint Lucia forest thrush is found only in the mountainous rainforests of Saint Lucia, particularly in the Central Rainforest Reserve and the Edmund Forest Reserve.
Unfortunately, this bird faces threats due to habitat loss and fragmentation caused by deforestation and human activities such as agriculture and urbanization.
The bird’s restricted range and habitat specialization make it particularly vulnerable to these threats, with fewer than 400 individuals left.