Close to 75% of the reptiles found in Grand Cayman are native, including the endemic blue Cayman Island Ground Iguana (Cyclura lewisi), the Blind Snake (Typhlops sp.) and the Cayman Islands Dwarf Boa (Tropidophis caymanensis). There are also 415 plant taxa (species and varieties) thought to be native to the Cayman Islands, including 29 endemics.
The dominant vegetation consists of dry sub-tropical forests and mangrove swamps. The humid Central Mangrove Wetland (CMW), which stretches over an area of 3,400 hectares, is the only well-preserved mangrove patch on Grand Cayman Island. Little Cayman Island still has 40% wetland coverage on publicly-owned land.
There are 226 species of birds on the Cayman Islands, among them 50 species of nesting birds and 170 migratory birds. The swamplands of Little Cayman are an important stop-over for many migratory species. Grand Cayman houses 7 sanctuaries for protected birds, while Cayman Brac is home to a parrot reserve of 70 ha.
The local government has also established a well-structured network of marine protected areas and is establishing a series of national terrestrial parks. Read more