There are a number of fascinating mammals to be found on the Island including the Mouse Opossum or Manicou, a nocturnal animal which uses its prehensile tail for climbing and the Large Opossum, an omnivorous animal which preys upon poultry and is hunted for its meat.
In forested areas, the Nine Banded Armadillo or ‘Tatou’ can sometimes be seen despite widespread hunting. The Mongoose is still widely found after being introduced from Jamaica in the 19th Century to control vermin.
Grenada’s famous and handsome monkey, the African Mona, was introduced from West Africa during the slave period. They are seen often in Grand Etang and St. Catherine Montane Forests.
The Islands are on the Northern Antillean migratory route and as such the majority of the winged insects and birds are of North American origin. Unlike Trinidad and Tobago which was once joined to South America, Grenada is part of the Grenada Bank, a volcanic entity with deep water separating it from all the other islands. Therefore, all animal and plant migration would have occurred by flight, winds, or perhaps as part of a large vegetative mat, formed in the Orinoco River, floating randomly to Grenada.
There are only a small number of indigenous creatures in Grenada and the sister islands today due to their separation and also due to the bigger plantations clearing large tracts of land in the 19th Century.
There are still a good number of reptiles present however, including various types of geckos, Iguanas and Ground Lizards as well as the exotic Blue Garman which is now found almost exclusively in Grenada.
Numerous snakes also live on the Island (none are venomous), including the White-Headed Worm Snake, the Tree Boa and the Moon Snake.
Turtles can be found on the windward side of both Grenada and Carriacou where the females crawl up the beaches and lay their eggs in dry sand. There are various types to be found including Sea, Green, Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Ridley turtles.
The Large Leatherback, weighing up to 500kgs is also present and the Red-Legged Tortoise that had been hunted to extinction and is indigenous to the Islands has now been re-introduced.
There are around 150 species of birds on the Islands. All wild birds and their eggs are given absolute protection, with the exception of 19 species of ducks, waterfowl, pigeon and doves which may be hunted from September to February, although the Grenada Dove is now protected as it is one of three endangered species on the island. There are three known seabirds breeding here, including the Shearwater Puffin, the Laughing Gull and the Roseate Tern.