Some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems exist within the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the islands of the Dutch Caribbean. From pristine coral reefs to rare and beautiful forested areas, the spectacular natural world of these six islands includes plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet.

Flora means all the plant life that is present on this island and fauna means all the animals that live here. Below you’ll find a list of plants, trees, birds, butterflies, fish, sharks and snails that live on this island or in the immediate surrounding waters.


Lantana Camara

Lantana camara, also known as big-sage (Malaysia), wild-sage, red-sage, white-sage (Caribbean) and tickberry (South Africa), is a species of flowering plant within the verbena family, Verbenaceae, that is native to the American tropics. Lantana Camara is a small perennial shrub that grows approximately 2m tall, and forms dense thickets in a variety of environments.  Due…

American Kestrel

The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is a beautiful small bird of prey that lives on all six Dutch Caribbean Islands. One of the smallest birds of prey this species is known locally as Killy Killy – the name refers to the rapid sound the bird makes when excited or upset. Size/Description As one of the…

Brown Pelican

If you look out over St. Maarten’s coastline, you will probably see St. Maarten’s national bird, the Brown Pelican, resting on boats or gliding low above the ocean, peering for fish below. The smallest of all pelican species, the Brown Pelican has a brown-gray body and a yellowish-white head. The neck is white except during…

Loggerhead Turtle

Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) have a very large and thick head which resembles a log (where the turtle gets its name). This species is very important to the ecosystem for several reasons. For example they as these turtles feed on invertebrates the shells pass through their systems and fall back to the ocean floor…

Leatherback Turtle

The Leatherback Turtle looks quite different from other species of sea turtles because it does not have a hard carapace (shell) like Green, Hawksbill or Loggerhead Turtles; it is instead covered by a grey/black layer of flexible and leathery skin (from which it gets it’s name). Its paddle-shaped front flippers do not have claws and…

Bottlenose Dolphin

The Common Bottlenose Dolphin is one of the most frequent marine mammals that can be spotted in the waters of St. Maarten/Martin. A large species of dolphins the bottlenose can reach up to 4 meters/ 13 feet long. While sightings can happen year round, they are rare and primarily happen in the late spring and…

green sea turtle

Green Sea Turtle

This large sea turtle is named after the green color of its body fat, a coloring that results from the Green Turtle’s unique herbivorous diet.

Hawksbill Turtle

The Hawksbill is a small sea turtle known for its love of sponges and with the hawk-like beak, from which it gets its common name, enables it to reach into holes and crevices to find sponges and small invertebrates.

Antillean Crested Hummingbird

The Antillean crested hummingbird (Orthorhyncus cristatus) is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. You will most likely see these tiny birds fluttering around a variety of native flowers, eating nectar, although they also eat insects. They use absurd amounts of energy by moving their wings so fast, that is the reason they need to eat all day. Otherwise,…

Anguilla Bank Bush Anole

These anoles are of small to moderate size for the genus, with a maximum known head-body length of 50 mm in males and 42 mm in females. They are slender and have relatively long snouts, superficially resembling Greater Antillean “grass-bush” anoles. Variation in colour is very pronounced in these lizards. The colour and pattern of…

Green Iguana

The green iguana (Iguana iguana) is a large, arboreal, mostly herbivorous species of lizard of the genus Iguana.  Otherwise known as the American iguana or the common green iguana. Distribution and Origin The green iguana ranges over a large geographic area, from southern Brazil and Paraguay as far north as Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. It is native to Central, South America, and the Caribbean. In South and Central…

Flamboyant Tree

Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers.

Guavaberry Tree

The fruit from the Guavaberry Tree (Myrciaria floribunda) tree is used to make a special liqueur that is not only St. Maarten’s national drink but is also the island’s traditional Christmas drink.

A Shark with the head looking just like a Hammer

Hammerhead Shark

The hammerhead shark is probably one the most bewildering animals in the sea because of the distinctive but well-recognized shape of their head. In total, there are seven species of hammerhead sharks, but you won’t find them all in the Dutch Caribbean.

brown booby

Brown Booby

The brown booby (Sula leucogaster) is a large seabird. It is found throughout the Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico islands  Breeding This species breeds on islands and coasts in the pantropical areas of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They frequent the breeding grounds of the islands in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.…

Elkhorn Coral

Elkhorn Coral (Acropora palmata) was once one of the most common corals in the Caribbean. This stony coral is easy to identify as its unique shape resembles the horns of an elk. This coral is one of the most important reef building species and it is currently listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red…

Sea Turtles on St. Maarten

St. Maarten is home to four documented species of sea turtle (family Cheloniidae): the green, hawksbill, leatherback, and loggerhead. Both resident and migratory populations of sea turtles are found in St. Maarten. While some individuals live and forage off the island’s shore permanently, others travel only to St. Maarten to nest and lay their eggs.…

Parrotfish

Parrotfish are one of the more common species of fish to be found in the waters surrounding St. Maarten, which is lucky for us because they play a very important role in the health of the coral reef system and sand beaches! Parrotfish their name from their bright colors and sharp beak-like teeth used for…

Angelfish

There are close to 100 different species of angelfish (pomacanthidae) but the three most come to spot in St. Maarten are the French Angelfish, the Gray Angelfish and the Queen Angelfish. French Angelfish The most common is the French angelfish which are easy to identify due to there distinctive coloring and disc shaped body. These…

Vervet Monkey

The Vervet Monkey is an invasive species on St. Maarten. The Nature Foundation has conducted a Monkey Management research project to determine the abundance of Vervet Monkey’s on St. Maarten. Distribution and Origin Native to Africa, the vervet monkey was introduced to various countries throughout the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. The vervet monkey…