Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda lies at the juncture of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the Lesser Antilles. It consists of two major islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and several smaller ones.
Located north of Antigua, in the middle of the Leeward Islands, Barbuda is a flat island comprised mostly of coral limestone. In September 2017 Hurricane Irma destroyed virtually all of the island’s buildings and forced the evacuation of the entire population to nearby Antigua.
The Barbuda giant rice rat (Megalomys audreyae) became extinct soon after the European occupation.
The Barbuda warbler (Dendroica subita) is confined to the island, where it is threatened by land development and vulnerable to stochastic events.
Antigua is located in the northern Leeward Islands.
The Antiguan racer (Alsophis antiguae) was once, arguably, the world’s rarest snake. Formerly it occurred on Antigua, Barbuda, and smaller islets. Only subfossil remains have been found on Barbuda, and it became extinct on Antigua at the end of the nineteenth century after the introduction of the mongoose, surviving only on Great Bird Island. Since 1995 efforts have been made to reintroduce it to three other smaller islands, where the total population is now in excess of 1000.
The small, uninhabited island of Redonda is located in the Leeward Islands off the western coast of Antigua. It is the remnant of an extinct volcano and essentially a giant rock jutting from the sea. Historically forested, today it is almost completely unvegetated except for a small area of sloping grassland
The Redonda skink (Copeoglossum redondae) was described from a single specimen collected between 1863 and 1873. It has not been recorded since.
The Redonda ameiva (Ameiva atrata) is a type of lizard confined to the island, where it is threatened by invasive rats and goats.