10 Interesting Animals In Haiti You May Not Know

Hati is a Caribbean country that shares an island with the Dominican Republic. It is a warm, tropical country that is home to a wide range of interesting animals.

Haiti has been plagued with earthquakes and flooding which has damaged a lot of the land that these wonderful animals love. 

10 Interesting Animals In Haiti You May Not Know

Much of Haiti’s wildlife is endangered and the more we know, the more we can help restore the balance of this country’s animals. 

In this article, we discuss 10 interesting animals that take residence in the land of Haiti.

From the national animal, Hispanionlan Trogons, to the incredible Yellow Cave Grouper.

You can understand what to expect from the wildlife when you visit this magnificent land. 

Let’s get into it!

1. Pygmy Sperm Whales 

Sperm Whales are large aquatic mammals that can grow up to 59 feet in length and weight over 40 tons.

They are known for thriving in both pod and solitary environments but much prefer the socialization of living in a pod. 

Sperm Whales are known for their rather strange sleeping habits. They often sleep vertically either at the surface or at 10 meters depth.

This is only for around 10 to 15 minutes however, they do not breathe or move during this time. 

They can hold their breath for up to 90 minutes at a time and have been known to be over 3,200 feet in search of food.

This whale is the largest of the toothed whales and is the largest toothed predator. 

2. West Indian Manatees 

The West Indian Manatee or the Sea Cow is an extremely gentle animal.

They have virtually no predators and spend their days floating along the sea eating sea grass, algae, and flowers. 

The Sea Cow can live up to 70 years and weigh an incredible 1,212 pounds at full adulthood. They are an endangered species with only 25,000 of them left in the world. 

You will find manatees in shallow, warm waters. They do not have gills and have to sleep next to the surface in order to breathe and survive. 

Manatees grew molars so they could more effectively eat off of these seagrasses in order to assist them adjust to this shifting habitat.

Unfortunately for them, glaciation resulted in lower sea levels, which accelerated erosion and increased the discharge of silt.

For bottom-feeding manatees that had only recently adapted to their new diet of sea grasses, this silt significantly increased tooth wear.

3. Oceanic Whitetip Shark 

The Oceanic Whitetip was given its name due to the striking white tips on its fins.

They can grow up to 11 feet long and live for up to 25 years in the right environment. 

Oceanic whitetip sharks are sizable pelagic sharks that can be found all over the world in tropical and subtropical oceans.

They reside offshore in deep water, however, they spend most of their time close to the surface in the upper water column.

Long-lived, late-maturing, and of low to moderate productivity are oceanic whitetip sharks.

They are considered a top predator and feed on fish, squid, and anything else they can sink their teeth into. 

This species of shark lives a solitary life unless it is breeding season. Males will seek out females in order to mate and breed before going back to solitary. 

4. Hispaniolan Trogon 

The Hispaniolan Trogon is the national animal of Haiti. With bright feathers and a bright beak, these birds are nothing short of unique. 

Although the species is rather widespread in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti, it is only found on the shared island of Hispaniola.

Additionally, it is one of just two trogons that may be found throughout the entire Caribbean.

The Hispaniolan Trogon was selected as the country’s emblem mostly owing to the species extinction risk.

This bird was given protection from deforestation in Haiti by being designated as a national symbol.

5. Banana Spider 

The Banana Spider, known for its bright yellow body, has an extremely painful bite.

They are known for avoiding human territory so you are unlikely to find one in your home in Haiti. However, they will attack if they feel threatened. 

Not all Banana Spiders are venomous but some are so it is crucial that you remain calm and do not try to hold one.

Especially the Brazilian Wandering Spider. While it’s bite may not kill you, it will cause excruciating pain. 

6. Grey-Crowned Palm-Tanager  

The Grey-crowned Palm-tanager is an endangered species that is native to Haiti. It lives in forests that have been ravaged by forest fires and flooding.

They are only around 7.1 inches long and weights an adorable 27 grams. 

They mainly eat small arthropods and some fruit. They forgat for arthropods in both living and dead foliage depending on where they are. 

The Grey-crowned Palm-tanager is a small bird with olive-colored feathers which help it blend into its natural habitat.

The nominate subspecies has a black “mask” with white patches in front, above, and below the eyes, and a deep gray crown.

7. American Crocodile 

The American Crocodile is often confused with the American Alligator, but if you ever see one in real life you will certainly understand the difference.

The American crocodile is predominantly located in Latin America, yet it can still be found in Florida’s far south.

Hispaniola is home to one of the biggest populations of American crocodiles.

You can find the American Crocodile in river systems or in swamps, lakes, lagoons, and other small bodies of water. 

Males of this species can grow up to 20 feet and was an incredible 2,000 pounds. Females are smaller than males but they still hold a rather deathly bite. 

Although American crocodiles do not form social groups, they do occasionally gather for daytime eating and sunbathing.

They’ll leave their mouths open when basking, exposing the blood vessels there to both cooler and warmer air, which helps control body temperature. 

8. Candy Cane Snail 

The Candy Cane Snail is recognized due to its striking colored shell. It can only be found in the forests of Haiti and only on one type of tree. 

It has a striped, multicolored shell and is an air-breathing land snail as opposed to a water snail.

Sadly, selling these shells could cause the extinction of the species. The sale of these shells is prohibited.

Although they do descend to lay their eggs on moist ground, Liguus snails spend the majority of their life in trees. The juvenile snails climb a tree after hatching.

Adult lichens that grow on bark make up the majority of their diet.

Young that have just emerged will consume lichen that grows leaves first, then twigs and short branches, and ultimately lichen that grows on the bark.

9. Greater Bulldog Bat 

Bats are not often considered cool animals but the Greater Bulldog Bat is worth the interest. This flying bat is the only species that has adapted to eating fish. 

It locates food by using echolocation to find ripples in the water, then scoops it up with a pouch between its legs.

The Greater Bulldog Bat consumes crabs and shrimp in addition to fish.

Male bats are known to have bright orange fur on their backs with females have a dull gray.

Female bats tend to stay in a group of other females with one resident male.

This can go years without changing while bachelor males will group together away from the females. 

10. Yellow Cave Grouper

The Yellow Cave Grouper is a long fish that is also known as the Banded Grouper.

It can be found in shallow seas and rocky reads with plenty of nooks and crannies to hide.

Juvenile groupers can be found in tidal pools while adults dive to around 50 meters. 

It is a predatory species that feed on fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans like shrimp and crabs.

The protogynous hermaphrodite yellow grouper spawns in Zhejiang, China, from May to July, in Taiwan in June and July, and in Hong Kong from February and March through to May.

The interesting thing about the Grouper species as a whole is that they have the ability to change their gender.

From female to male, they can transform in order to establish dominance over other groupers in the area. 

They are extremely valuable fish and provide many fishermen in Haiti with income as they can be sold for food or ornamental value. 

Final Thoughts 

Haiti is an incredible country that has seen great misfortune over the years.

While repairing the damage from various natural disasters, people are working to reestablish their wildlife. 

Above are 10 interesting animals native to Haiti.

From wandering the oceans to bringing life to the forest, the wildlife of Haiti is bright and thriving. You just have to know where to look. 

Some of these animals are friendly and welcome the touch of a human while others should be avoided at all costs, it is important to know which. 

Check out these impressive animals above and become educated on which animals you might see on your next to the land of Haiti. 

Olivia Kepner