Parrots and grouper and conch, oh my! These are just a few of the animals that make the Abaco Islands such a unique place to visit. After your flight to the Bahamas, you might be so focused on the resorts and restaurants, that you may miss some amazing wildlife that could be right in front of you.
Some wildlife is hard to miss, like the spotted dolphins that like to swim in shallow water off the shore. Others, like the Nassau grouper could be overlooked if they’re still juveniles. If you’re snorkeling in the Abacos, you’ll see hundreds of colorful fish of all shapes and sizes. The Nassau grouper is not the most beautiful fish, but it is endangered and protected. These brown and tan fish frequent the waters around the Abacos, where juveniles are only about a foot long. Adults, however, can grow up to 55 pounds and more than 3 feet long. These gentle giants like to swim in both shallow and deep water, which makes it even easier for greedy fisherman to overfish the species. There is a strict closed fishing season for the groupers from December to February, due to their decline.
The Abaco Parrot is one animal that you will hear before you see. You can spot them in trees, but you’ll have a better chance of seeing these bright green birds on the ground, which is where they nest. They find limestone holes in forest floors to lay their eggs away from predators. Their wings are speckled with blue, their faces are white, and they have deep pink feather plumes on their necks. Their coloring makes them easy to recognize, but locating them is the hard part. These birds are concentrated in South Abaco, so if you want to see these beauties, you’ll have to head to Marsh Harbour or Abaco National Park.
You’ve probably seen a conch shell, or at least a fake conch shell, at your local home décor store, but have you seen the animal that lives inside of those beautiful shells? Conchs are sea snails with stalk-based eyeballs that protrude from under the shells that they call home. The sea snail is often overfished for tropical delicacies like conch fritters and conch salad. Many tourists may be tempted to take a conch shell home with them, but beware, that may be an animal’s home!
These are just a handful of the incredible animals that make up the diverse ecosystem in the Abacos. Book your flight to the Bahamas with Air Unlimited, and discover what other amazing animals the Abaco Islands are home to.