Flora & Fauna

Turks and Caicos flora and fauna is characterized by the geology and the climate of the country. The sedimentary islands have never been attached to any continents, making it difficult for land animals to arrive. The largest of these, the Rock Iguana, measures only two feet from tip to tip and can be seen on Little Water Cay. Other native reptiles include the world’s smallest boa constrictor, and Green and Hawksbill Turtles.

The plant life is designed to maximize the available water, in an arid climate and a thin layer of rich soil. Root systems remain close to the surface, leaves coat themselves in wax to retain water, and the height of the foliage reflects an environment that is not designed for high-energy photosynthesis. This also keeps fruit production to a minimum, which limits the inland bird population to smaller species of hawks, tanagers, warblers, and the Cuban Crow, creator of the unique bird call often heard in the villages of North and Middle Caicos.

The shorebirds are much larger, living off the incredible bounty of the ocean. The Turks and Caicos Islands are surrounded by pristine coral reef, which supports countless species of tropical fish and invertebrates. The rich underwater fauna supports a shorebird population that includes Osprey, American Oystercatcher, Reddish Egret, multiple species of Heron, and the national bird, the Brown Pelican. Of special note, the Greater Flamingo can be seen fishing for shrimp when guests travel North Caicos and Middle Caicos.

This relationship between the aquatic life and the shorebirds plays out against a backdrop of the mangrove habitat. The only trees that can live in salt water, the mangroves provide a home for the young fish, and a perch for predatory birds. These rich wildlife habitats can be explored as part of all our kayak adventures.