Animals and Plants
Animals and Plants in St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis are islands of volcanic origin. Tropical rainforest grows on the slopes of the volcanoes. It is rich in tree species, orchids and bromeliads. Palm trees also grow here in abundance, especially the tall royal palms. The flame tree blooms bright red. Bougainvillea, hibiscus and tamarind can also be found.
The animal inhabitants include many iguanas, especially anoles, as well as bats and butterflies. Birds include brown pelicans, frigate birds, and hummingbirds.
She came here as a pet: the vervet monkey
In the 17th century, the French brought the southern green monkey to St. Kitts, a country located in Caribbean and Central America listed on franciscogardening. They wanted to keep the little black-faced monkeys as pets. But the vervet monkeys trudged and multiplied and now there are more of them on St. Kitts and Nevis than there are humans! By the way, their original homeland is southeastern Africa.
Also introduced: the mongoose
The mongoose was also brought here by the European settlers in several species. This predator was supposed to fight the rats on the island that were running around in the sugar cane plantations. However, that didn’t work, because the rats roam around at night, but the mongooses are active during the day… The mongooses ate lizards, ground-nesting birds or green iguanas, which died out as a result.
Rich underwater world
In the tropical warm waters around the islands you will find a rich underwater world. The animal inhabitants include sea snails, such as the beautifully drawn flamingo’s tongue, as well as lobsters, seahorses or countless species of fish such as rays, the great barracuda or the king fairy bass. Several species of sea turtles burrow their eggs in the islands’ beaches between June and October.
Formerly sugar, now tourism
About 580,000 tourists come to St. Kitts and Nevis annually. That is almost ten times the population of the small state. The numbers have increased from year to year. Most of the visitors come from the USA. Many cruise ships also dock here.
Agriculture is no longer important for the economy. It used to be different. Sugar in particular was grown and was the most important crop until around 1970. After that, sugar brought the country more debt than money, and in 2005 sugar production finally ceased. Today rice, bananas, yams and various types of vegetables are still grown. Fish is also caught.
After all, industry accounts for around a quarter of the country’s economic output. In addition to the processing of food, clothing, shoes and electronic devices are produced.
Life in paradise?
For many people, the islands of the Caribbean seem like a paradise: white sandy beaches with palm trees, turquoise blue sea, always good weather, people in a good mood who dance happily… This is how you imagine life here, for example on St. Kitts or Nevis.
And of course that is not entirely wrong. The beach is really white, it is warm all year round, mangoes can be picked from the trees and the people are happy and relaxed. Then there are the pretty pastel-colored wooden houses and former mansions in colonial style. Incidentally, new buildings in Basseterre have to be in the colonial style, so that there are no concrete blocks to cloud the view.
But not everything is heavenly here. In fact, many people are poor. Food is expensive, because almost everything has to be imported, i.e. bought from other countries. Corruption is the order of the day. The government and civil servants operate in their own pockets. And by the way, the weather is not always heavenly here, because cyclones can occur between June and October, which are not very funny. Finally, mosquitoes transmit dengue and chikungunya, two dangerous diseases.
Eating in St. Kitts and Nevis
What’s on the table?
In St. Kitts and Nevis, people eat similarly to other Caribbean islands. Fish and seafood are readily available, as are tropical fruits such as mangoes, papayas, guavas, and bananas. Vegetables are beans, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potatoes, okra pods or onions. Goat meat is particularly popular with meat.
Goat stew, pelau and conkies
Two popular dishes on St. Kitts and Nevis are goat stew and pelau. Goat meat, breadfruit, papaya and tomatoes belong in the stew, as well as small dumplings. The stew here is called Goat Water Stew.
Pelau is also called cook-up and is similar to Spanish paella. Ingredients are chicken, dried fish, rice, pigeon peas and other vegetables.
Conkies are similar to the tamales of other countries (corn dough in corn leaves). However, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and coconut are added to the Conkies. The whole thing is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked.
Are also popular plantains. How to prepare, you will learn in hands-Tip !
Do you know…?
There are some ingredients that you probably don’t know, like the breadfruit. The breadfruit can be prepared in a similar way to potatoes, for example by boiling or frying. They can also be eaten raw when ripe. Flour can also be made from breadfruit.