An island in the Lesser Antilles, Montserrat is home to beautiful landscapes, lovely water scenes, active volcanoes and an amazing array of animals. As with many islands, animals here have evolved at a different pace, often having taken their own unique track though the eons. Here are a few of the more remarkable creatures this West Indian island has to offer.
No discussion of Montserrat fauna can begin without discussing the island's national bird, the Montserrat Oriole
. Icterus oberi grows no more than 20 cm, but their vibrant hues of black and orange make them seem quite larger than their normal frame. They are so plentiful that they may just be the first living creature to greet you upon arrival.
If something more reptilian is on the list, seek out Typhlops monastus, otherwise known as the Montserrat Blind Snake. Long and a slightly pinkish red in color, these native creatures are quiet easy to spot among the island greenery.
Want a bit of a treasure hunt in your search? Hang out at dusk and try to spot sturnia thomasi vulcanensis. The yellow shouldered bat is hard to find and a rare treat if you do. These fruit bats grow 44mm and avoid human settlements, so look smart. Less than 5 have been spotted in the last five years, their declining numbers attributed to human expansion and recent volcanic activity.
When on the hunt for all these guys, have an insect guidebook handy and keep a look out on the ground below. New insect subsets are discovered quiet often. If you find something not listed, carefully note the location, take a picture of it in its natural habitat and collect the creature for scientific identification. If you're lucky, the next Montserrat creature someone looks for, may just be named after you!