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Cayman is world-renowned for its marine life, but there is much to see on land as well. Over 650 different species of plants have been recorded and the forests are far more diverse than those found in more temperate northerly latitudes.
Two of the best places to see the flora and fauna of Grand Cayman are the Botanic Park and the Mastic Trail.
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are also particularly popular with bird watchers. Little Cayman has a major breeding ground for a species of cormorant called the red-footed booby. The colourful native parrot can be heard chattering in almond trees on all three islands, especially at sunset. Frogs, lizards and green iguanas are common around houses, especially those backing onto the bush. Bats can be seen at night (and are completely harmless). Large, edible land crabs crawl across roads after heavy rains. Agouti (known locally as rabbit) are shy and rarely seen. Fresh water ponds attract migrating birds and are filled with hicatee (a species of aquatic tortoise) and tiny minnows.
About half of Cayman is swamp, so there are large areas of mangrove wilderness. The mangroves are an important breeding ground for fish and birds and their protection is a major project of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands.
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