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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Dominica


Dominican Geography - Emerald Pool
Emerald Pool

Dominica is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea and is a part of the island chain known as the Lesser Antilles, and more specifically the Windward Islands. Dominica borders the Caribbean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east. To Dominica's north is the French territory of Guadeloupe and to the south is another French territory, the island of Martinique.

Dominica is one of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean and in many areas the mountains rise straight out of the sea on this volcanic island. The tallest of these mountains run north and south as the narrow coasts are the only areas that are truly livable, although there are numerous rivers running from the volcanic mountains to the seas.


Dominican Geography - Southern coast
Southern coast

Dominica is a tropical island with a weather pattern to match. Throughout the year temperatures tend to be in the range of 75-90° F (24-32° C) with day and night time temperatures changing little, although at elevation the temperatures can be much lower. There are regularly winds from the west bringing with them rain and humidity; the western half of the island tends to get the bulk of the rain and humidity. Although Dominica is in the hurricane zone, when most hurricanes reach the shores they are still small hurricanes or tropical storms, although in the past large hurricanes have hit the islands. Hurricane season in the Caribbean is from June to November.


Dominica has an odd wildlife system as the island nation has few indigenous mammals due to its volcanic origin; the bat and opossum are about the only native mammals although there are also other mammals that have been introduced. Plus, off the island's shore are more mammals and great sea life. In addition to mammals like dolphins and whales, as an island nation there are thousands of fish surrounding the country and these waters contain larger animals like sharks, but also include eels, angelfish, barracudas, grouper, sponges, lobsters, snapper, crabs, and thousands more including coral.

Like the sea life, there are plenty of birds that live on the island or migrate through. These birds are mostly limited to water fowls like ducks and frigate birds, but there are other non-water fowl species that call the islands home such as the parrot, hummingbird, and hawk. The reptilian and amphibian life is also limited in scope, but there are turtles, snakes, iguanas, and frogs among others. There are numerous other species, including insects, most notably butterflies on the island.

This page was last updated: March, 2013