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Native Cuban animals include migrating land crabs, feisty Cuban crocodiles, exotic orchids, and the world’s smallest bird.

Cuban wildlife has remained relatively untouched and unexplored. As a result, it has been naturally preserved so well that Cuba has the greatest biodiversity of any island in the West Indies.

The sheer size of the country and the variety of habitats that exist — from mountainous regions and dense jungles to deserts and beaches — have a definite impact on the diversity. The tightly-controlled nature of the island has also played a role in preventing the commercial exploitation of the natural habitat.

Around 22% of the island is made up of protected areas, which has certainly helped to conserve Cuba’s protected species. Much of the diverse wildlife in Cuba is unique to the Caribbean island, with more than 80% of its reptiles and amphibians found nowhere else on the globe, making it a truly worthwhile place to explore.