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Geography of Antigua
A brief history of Antigua
Antigua's plants and animals
The offshore islands
Great Bird Island
 

Great Bird Island is a tiny islet lying almost three kilometres north-east of Antigua. Measuring just 20 acres, smaller than most city parks, it is the only place on Earth where you can see an Antiguan racer in the wild. The entire world population of this snake lives on the island. Named by sailors who were amazed at the number of birds that they found living and nesting there, Great Bird Island is a miniature paradise. As well as being the last refuge of the Antiguan racer, it is also home to a variety of other endangered creatures including a rare lizard, brown pelicans, West Indian whistling ducks and red-billed tropicbirds (See Going, Going, Gone). Luckily for the snake, there are no mongooses on the island, but, until recently, hundreds of black rats lived there.

 

A view of the western forest
from the ridge

 

This grassy sandbar sometimes floods after a heavy storm

High up on the east ridge
   
A taste of paradise - the plants and animals of Great Bird Island
 
 

A long, narrow coral ridge with 30 metre-high cliffs runs along the east side of the island. The ridge drops down to a flat sandy area, covered with grass and a few scattered plants and trees. This low-lying central sandbar sometimes floods during the hurricane season. The white sand beaches at either end of the sandbar are the main attraction for visitors. Further west, where the land rises again, the island is covered with forest that is almost too thick to walk through.

Over 20,000 tourists visit Great Bird Island every year. Unfortunately, not everyone treats this wonderful island with the respect it deserves. Some visitors drop litter, start fires, disturb nesting birds and even kill the harmless Antiguan racer. (See Villains)

 

Invasion of the sun worshippers
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