Barbuda is a wildlife paradise
Barbuda’s small population, with large areas of undeveloped land and a pristine coastline interspersed with natural salt-ponds make it the perfect habitat for hundreds of species of sea birds and animals, many of them now endangered elsewhere in the Caribbean. Any large development disturbs this natural environment and so Barbudans have always sought to keep it this way. The island has long been home to nesting sea turtles whose tracks – pictured above – can be seen in the sand on nearly every beach of our coastline, and a short drive into the bush in Barbuda is a wonderful opportunity to see many different animals living sustainably in their own habitat, mostly undisturbed.
After a shower of rain you might see a land turtle looking for a drink, and after a big rain there will be land crabs marching by the hundreds. There are guinea birds, deer and wild boar, many wild donkeys and horses, large cattle that are brought in occasionally to be slaughtered for meat and lots of pigs, sheep and goats. All these free-range animals belong to Barbudan farmers and hunters who have been able to maintain their way of life in perfect balance with nature, using their common land this way for hundreds of years, throughout the most difficult times.
Wild boar are rarely seen except by local hunters but deer can often be seen running across the road at dawn and dusk. The pictures below show deer in captivity and there are usually one or two in the village. There are some opportunities to hunt with a local guide employed to take you, but as in most countries guns and hunting licences are very strictly controlled here, and hunting on Barbuda is done only for food – not for sport.