Last updated on March 13, 2023 by Wandering our World
Saint Lucia is a gorgeous volcanic island in the East Caribbean surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean, and due to that unique geography, a diverse ecosystem thrives.
Although most of the human population lives close to the coast in St Lucia, there are many forests and high peaks around the island where many different and unique animals live, some of which can be spotted if you know where to look.
And that’s where we can help!
Below we show you the most common, rare, and dangerous animals in Saint Lucia, and where you can find them.
- Common Animals In St Lucia
- Rare & Endangered Animals In St Lucia
- Dangerous Animals In St Lucia
Common Animals In St Lucia That You Could See
1. Humpback Whale
Humpback whales are baleen whales with a simple diet consisting of krill, plankton, and other small fish.
They eat large amounts of food each day and are spotted growing between 48-62.5 feet long, weighing up to 40 tons, and their pectoral fins can grow up to 16 feet long!
Humpbacks have dark backs, light bellies, and a small hump in front of the dorsal fin, partly where their name comes from.
They are incredibly powerful swimmers that migrate to warmer feeding grounds in the winter season, heading closer to the equator.
Like other whale species, they communicate with each other using a range of moans, cries, and howls.
In Saint Lucia, it’s most likely you will spot one of these whales sometime between June and the end of November. If seeing whales interests you during your trip, there are numerous whale-watching opportunities!
The osprey is a large hawk that can be found flying around coastlines, lakes, and rivers. Throughout the day, they are most often seen flying slowly and hovering over bodies of water before plunging feet first into the water to catch their prey.
These large birds have a lifespan of 15-20 years and often live in large, bulky nests that are either built on the ground or cliff ledges.
They have a white head, yellow eyes with a dark brown body, and whitish underparts and also have hooked beaks, allowing them to easily grab their prey. Their wingspan averages around 26 inches helping them to hover over bodies of water for periods of time!
In Saint Lucia, there are plenty of bird tours that can take you around showing you the wide variety of species and animals present. However, if doing your own exploring you’ll likely see these birds spending time in the wetlands on the southern coast.
3. Broad-Winged Hawk
The broad-winged hawk is a small compact raptor also referred to as a chicken hawk because they are the size of a chicken!
They have broad and rectangular wings that are more pointed towards the tip. Their tail is banded with black and white stripes and their heads are a reddish-brown color.
These hawks have large heads, grow 13.4-17.3 inches long, and have a wingspan that ranges between 31.4 and 39.4 inches long. They can weigh up to 19.8 ounces and are often seen spending time under the forest canopy, where they like to sit in branches searching for prey.
In the wild, these birds are often seen in flocks containing thousands of birds. When migrating, they soar along coastlines and mountain ridges.
However, when enjoying your visit to Saint Lucia you will likely come across one of these hawks, especially if you are near the forest!
4. Great Blue Heron
Great blue herons are incredibly stunning, stoic, large-wading birds. They have long legs and a thick dagger-like bill that helps them catch their food.
They are bluish-gray with a wide black stripe over the eye and their head, chest, and wing plumes give them a shaggy-looking appearance.
Throughout Saint Lucia, they can be seen in both freshwater and saltwater habitats, often foraging in grasslands and agricultural fields.
They can grow up to 54 inches long with a wingspan reaching up to 79 inches and their weight ranges from 74.1-88.2 ounces. In the wild, the great blue heron has also been reported to live up to twenty-three years old!
If you would like to see one of these birds during your trip to Saint Lucia, it is best to observe still waters which is where they like searching for food – usually in the mornings or just before dusk.
5. Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Loggerhead sea turtles are named after their massive heads and incredibly powerful jaws. They average around 3.5 feet long and their weight is often between 200-350 pounds. However, some have been reported to weigh close to 1,000 pounds!
Loggerhead turtles are a vulnerable species, easily recognized by their heart-shared shell that is often reddish-brown in color.
They are carnivores who prefer coastal habitats and in Saint Lucia can often be seen visiting the Grande Anse Beach.
Fascinatingly, these turtles will return to the general area where they hatched to lay their eggs once they reach maturity. In some cases, this can mean swimming distances of up to 8,000 miles to go lay their eggs!
6. False Killer Whale
The false killer whale gets its name from their skull shape which closely resembles that of a killer whale.
They are large members of the dolphin family and are very social creatures that can form strong bonds with each other.
Their entire body is black or a dark gray color, they have small conical heads without a beak and they are large and slender in size. They also have a tapered head with 44 teeth total, often 14-21 teeth on the upper jaw and 16-24 on the lower jaw.
False killer whales have been reported to weigh up to 3,000 pounds with males growing up to 20 feet and females reaching 16 feet.
Although the females are smaller in size, their lifespan averages to be a bit longer than males, females often live to 63 years old, whereas the males average around 58 years old.
These dolphins can be spotted in the waters around Saint Lucia during the whale watching high season!
7. Great Egret
Great egrets are long-legged wading birds with a long “S” shaped neck and sharp bill. They can grow to be 37-40.9 inches long with their wingspan reaching up to 57.1 inches and are often spotted wading through calm shallow waters, waiting for prey and quickly striking when prey passes by.
The great egret is observed in freshwater and saltwater habitats and they build their nests high up in trees to avoid potential ground predators.
In appearance, these birds have yellowish-orange bills, with white feathers and black legs.
In Saint Lucia, they can be observed from September through April, and in their breeding season, you might find them with long plumes growing from their back.
Keep an eye out for these beautiful and unique birds!
8. Cuvier’s Beaked Whale
The Cuvier’s beaked whale, sometimes referred to as a goose-beaked whale, is the most frequently spotted species of beaked whale. They get their nickname from the side profile of their face which looks like a goose!
They can weigh 4,000 – 6,800 pounds, grow 15-23 feet long, and live up to 60 years old.
These whales constantly look as though they are smiling due to their upturned jaw and they have a sloping, concave-shaped heads.
If you see one of these whales, you might also find that instead of a round blowhole atop its head, it is a slit-like blowhole instead.
Cuvier’s beaked whales are often found in small groups or living on their own. They are harmless to humans, but males have two cone-shaped teeth prominently on their bottom jaw which they use for fighting.
If you would like to see one of these whales on your trip, although not guaranteed, whale watching between October and February is the best time to see them!
Rare & Endangered Animals In St Lucia You’ll Be Lucky To See
1. Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbills are beautiful large pink wading birds with pink spoon-shaped bills. They have bright pink-colored feathers on their shoulders, a yellowish-green head, and have noticeably long legs, and an unusually flat bill!
The roseate spoonbill can grow to be 27.9 – 33.9 inches long with their wingspan reaching up to 51.2 inches and weighing up to 63.5 ounces.
When flying, their necks are often outstretched and when resting their necks fall into an “S” shape. Interestingly, these birds have been seen nesting with other birds like ibises and great blue herons.
Roseate spoonbills are pretty unique in their appearance. They are rare to see on the island, but if you’re able to find one and catch a glimpse try not to frighten it with sudden movements. Stand still, observe, and leave it be.
2. Killer Whale
Killer whales, also known as Orcas, are highly intelligent and social creatures that communicate using a wide variety of sounds. Despite their name, they are considered to be a dolphin and not a whale.
They can grow 23-32 feet long and weigh up to 6 tons, and males are reported as being larger than females. In appearance, they have a black and white pattern covering their body making them quite easy to spot. Their underside is mostly white and their top is a dark gray or black color. This helps them camouflage themselves to predators above or below them.
They are the largest dolphins and one of the strongest ocean predators. In the wild, they are reported to live anywhere between 50 and 80 years old and are often seen living in pods that contain up to 40 whales.
Orcas are considered to be at the top of the food chain and they eat a variety of sea animals, but despite their wide palette, they are completely harmless to humans.
In Saint Lucia, they can most often be spotted from October through April and there are plenty of boat tours that can take you out to see these whales.
3. Green Sea Turtle
The green sea turtle is the largest hard shell sea turtle and the only herbivorous sea turtle species! Their heavy diet of seagrass and algae results in a slightly green coloring of their shells, which are typically a gray or olive color with a white or yellow underside.
They also have a serrated beak on their lower jaw to help them rip up plant matter.
Green sea turtles are almost similar in size to Loggerhead sea turtles, with a weight ranging from 250-400 pounds and growing 3-4 feet long.
Sea turtles are known to have long lifespans and green sea turtles are no different, they often live up to 70 years old but in some cases have surpassed that number!
Sea turtles return to the surface to breathe, and they lay their eggs on land during their hatching season between April and September.
There are some beaches on Saint Lucia where you can witness the hatching of these incredible animals, and they are most commonly spotted throughout the year on Anse Chastanet Beach on Saint Lucia’s western shore.
4. St. Lucia Parrot
The Saint Lucia parrot is a vulnerable species endemic to the island. They are the national bird of the country and have beautiful, brightly colored feathers which make them hard to miss.
Their bodies are covered in vibrant green feathers, they have a bluish head and their chest and neck are bright red. However only around 300-400 currently exist in the wild.
These parrots inhabit wet montane forests and sometimes venture to orchards often staying between the elevations of 500-900 meters. They can grow 42-46 centimeters long with their weight varying, ranging from 500-1,000 grams.
During their breeding season, from February to March, you might notice some more commotion among the birds if you see them.
However, the Saint Lucia parrot can be spotted year-round on the island. If you see them allow them their space and observe their incredible presence! These birds are protected under the law with hope that their population will start rising again.
5. Blue Whale
The blue whale is an incredible creature. They are one of the largest mammals known to have lived on Earth, which is absolutely fascinating since most of their diet is simple, small creatures like krill or fish.
When underwater, they look blue, however when spotted from above the surface their coloring appears to be grayer. Blue whales have, broad heads and long tapered bodies and they grow between 82-105 feet long and weigh up to two hundred tons.
Blue whales have been seen swimming in small groups, but most often they are seen alone. When they do communicate with others, they produce a wide variety of sounds that can be heard up to 1,000 miles away. Because of this, they are considered to be one of the loudest animals on the planet.
Unfortunately, due to commercial whaling in the past, blue whales like many others, have been overfished.
This leaves the blue whale as an endangered species, and though there are many protections in place, it’s still important to keep that in mind if you get to see one of these gentle giants.
Dangerous Animals In St Lucia You Should Be Aware Of
1. Boa Constrictors
Boa constrictors are large snakes that can grow up to 13 feet long and weigh around 60 pounds. They only bite to defend themselves and are non-venomous snakes, however, large boa constrictors have sharp teeth that can result in severe lacerations.
Their bodies are tan, green, red, or yellow and have patterns of ovals, diamonds, circles, or even jagged lines.
They are excellent swimmers, although they like to stay on land near dry hollow logs or in abandoned burrows. They are carnivores and will eat any animals they can catch, even larger animals like deer or cattle!
In Saint Lucia, you’ll likely only see these snakes on drier parts of the island, however, they often like to stay hidden!
So when exploring forests, keep an eye on your surroundings so you don’t end up surprising one of these snakes.
2. Fer-de-Lance Snake
Fer-de-lance snakes are venomous pit vipers with bites that can be fatal to humans. They are large snakes, growing 1.2-2 meters long, although some females have been recorded reaching 2.5 meters long, but it is very uncommon.
They have broad, triangular heads and are often a grayish brown with a pale yellow underside with a series of black edge diamonds that border lighter colors.
These snakes are solitary creatures, often spotted alone in wet environments at low to mid-altitude ranges.
When they are disturbed, it has been documented they are quite unpredictable with their attacks, they can move quickly from perceived threats, but then they stop to attack without warning.
In Saint Lucia, they are reported to be seen in Mon Repos, as well as other areas.
When humans are bitten, swelling, oozing, bruising, blisters, headache, nausea, vomiting, and more have been reported and death is possible if a fer-de-lance snake bite is left untreated. This snake is definitely one of the most dangerous animals in St Lucia.
3. Sea Urchins
Sea urchins have long protruding spines meant to deter potential predators and their spines contain a poison that creates an uncomfortable rash at the site of contact. Although the sea urchin itself is only 1-4 inches in size, their largest spines can sometimes reach lengths of 14 inches!
Sea urchins don’t attack potential threats. Most human interactions with sea urchins are due to accidentally stepping on one when walking in the ocean.
When they are stepped on, sometimes the pressure and weight lead to the spine breaking off in the person’s foot which needs to be removed as soon as possible.
When exploring the beaches of Saint Lucia, keep an eye on the ocean floor and step cautiously. Seek professional help if you do end up stepping on one of these animals when in St Lucia.
In Saint Lucia, there are many different jellyfish populations that are often spotted in the surrounding ocean, especially during the spring and summer months.
In general, Jellyfish have large bell-shaped bodies with stingers and are often seen just drifting or floating through the ocean.
There are also periods where large wind gusts or strong currents can bring jellyfish closer to shore, sometimes even washing them up on the beaches. If you spot a washed-up jellyfish, don’t touch it! They still might be able to sting you.
Luckily, the most common jellyfish aren’t fatal, they just produce an unpleasant sting. However box jellyfish have also been spotted in the area and they produce much more painful stings.
It’s best to be cautious. If you see something floating in the water that resembles a plastic bag, stay away.
Tarantulas can get a bad reputation sometimes with their unique, yet intimidating appearance. And though they can be dangerous, when left alone, they do not prove to be a threat.
Tarantulas on Saint Lucia often grow 4-4.5 inches and are typically only seen outside as they don’t enjoy the indoors.
They are very quick, yet seem sporadic in their movements, and when they feel threatened they will attack predators with a strong and painful bite.
Tarantulas do possess venom, but for humans it’s incredibly mild and is reported to hurt less than a bee sting. However an allergic reaction could make things much worse.
No one wants to have to deal with tarantula bites when on vacation, so it’s best to observe caution when exploring forests or areas that attract these large creatures, so you don’t have a surprise encounter!