Barbuda is a wildlife paradise
Barbuda’s small population, with large areas of undeveloped land and a once 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 lost or endangered elsewhere in the Caribbean. After a shower of rain you might see a land turtle looking for a drink, and after a big seasonal rain there will be land crabs marching by the hundreds. Any large development disturbs this incredible natural environment and Barbudans have always sought to keep it this way.
The island has long been home to nesting sea turtles whose tracks 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 – often in harsh drought conditions – in their own space, mostly undisturbed. There are guinea birds, too many donkeys and large cattle that are brought in occasionally to be slaughtered for meat. Barbudans own horses (which are now being rounded up and fenced in by developers to keep them off the golf course) and there lots of pigs, sheep and goats. All these free-range, semi-feral animals belong to Barbudan farmers and small-holders 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 live on Barbuda but are rarely seen except by local hunters and deer can sometimes be seen running across the road at dawn and dusk although increased fencing of large areas of land by developers has had a negative impact on their habitat. There are some opportunities to hunt with locals, 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.
The pictures at the bottom of this page show some of the wildlife of Barbuda as you might see them here.