Dominica is a small island nation in the Caribbean Sea that lies to the southeast of Martinique. Famous for its unspoiled natural beauty, Dominica is covered mostly by rainforest but also has many waterfalls, rivers and the world's second largest hot spring, Boiling Lake. By discouraging the high impact tourism that has affected other Caribbean islands, the people of Dominica have preserved the natural habitat of the island. Because of this, many diverse species of animals call the island home, including some that can be found only in Dominica.
Dominica's climate makes it ideal for several types of tropical birds. The Sisserou Parrot, also known as the Imperial Amazon
, is the national bird of Dominica. The Sisserou's plumage is a distinctive green and purple with red accents. As the largest member of the Amazona genus, adult Sisserous can reach 19 inches in length and weigh up to 2 pounds. The parrot is featured on Dominica's flag and, along with the Red-necked Amazon, is indigenous solely to the island nation.
The warm coastal waters of Dominica are home to many marine mammals. A variety of dolphins and whales live in the area. A group of sperm whales live here year round. Sperm whales have the largest brain of any animal and can grow to 67 feet long. Beginning in the 18th century, whale hunting placed pressure on the sperm whale population that has caused them to be listed as a vulnerable species.
Of the 55 species of butterflies found in Dominica, the Dominican Snout and Dominican Hairstreak are native to and can be found only on the island. Although first documented in 1904, the Dominican Snout is rare and little is known about the species. Unlike other butterflies, it likely does not migrate. Dominican Snouts live in Iguana Hackberry trees and feed on sap.