Located in the Leeward Islands the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is actually two large islands and several smaller ones. The large islands of Antigua and Barbuda are about thirty miles apart on the curving archipelago that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea and enjoy a wonderfully stable climate with light rains and temperatures ranging from mid eighties in the summer to mid seventies in the winter. The wildlife of the islands is typical of the Caribbean area, with donkeys and lizards along with several different bird species and reptiles, particularly lizards.
The Antiguan Racer
is a snake found only in Antigua and Barbuda, and for a long time it was thought to be extinct. It was rediscovered on Bird Island where it was very nearly extinct due to the depredations of the black rat. Once the rats were gotten rid of the smallish snake has tagged a comeback. This snake is interesting because it is one of the few species in which the female is larger than the male and the markings are different for the genders. The female is a cream color while the male tends more to the brown.
Several species of anoles are found in Antigua and Barbuda as well. These lizards play an important role in keeping down the insect population on the islands. The various species of anoles take up residence in the lovely palm trees and homes of the islands and hunt down all manner of bug that can become a serious problem in climates that are so favorable to insect life. Anoles have lovely colors and no teeth, which makes them quite ornamental as well as useful.
The tropical fish that inhabit the waters off the islands are as beautiful as they are varied, with the outstanding colors of the reef living alongside the more sedate colors of the larger species of salt water fish. Freshwater fish are also in residence in the streams and small lakes of the islands and add to the glitter and excellence of the island fauna.
Tropical birds flashing in the sky, anoles scurrying in the palm trees, and one of the rarest non poisonous snakes in the world make Antigua and Barbuda a fascinating place to go to observe wildlife.