Flora & Fauna of Cayman Islands
The Caymans aren't lush, but they do support a fair swag of plantlife. Mahogany was once abundant but has been mostly logged. Poisonous species include maiden plum - a weed with rash-causing sap, lady's hair or cowitch - a vine with fiberglass-like barbs and the vicious manchineel tree, which produces a skin-blistering sap. Take care not to shelter under a manchineel in the rain! Other indigenous plants are cochineel, used as a shampoo as well as eaten, and pingwing, whose barbed branches were used to fashion natural fences.
The islands' fauna is less aggressive. The islands are crawling with critters, mostly lizards, but also a nonpoisonous grass snake, the agouti and prolific bird life. The most spectacular animal is the Cayman blue iguana, an endangered and magnificent throwback to the dinosaurs. One of the world's largest nesting colonies of red-footed boobies are to be found among the mangroves in the Booby Pond Nature Reserve, which is also home to some gliding frigate birds. Rock iguanas abound and there is also a rare tree-climbing lizard hiding well camouflaged in the green and brown island vegetation.