The brown pelican is found throughout the Caribbean and is often seen in the Virgin Islands at beaches and along coastlines. They feed on schools of small baitfish. They are said to nest in very distinct areas of the Virgin Islands, including Mary’s Point St. John, Congo and Whistling cays off of St. John and Buck Island off of St. Croix. The effects of poaching for eggs, young and adult pelicans, disturbance of nestling colonies by humans and reduction of food resources have caused the pelicans numbers to lessen.
The fisherman bat is a threatened species in the Virgin Islands. The bat roosts in caves near the sea, woodlands and in roofs of old houses. It is not uncommon for several dozen bats to roosts together in a cave. Through the use of echolocation or sonar, the bat detects ripples caused by fish swimming close to the water’s surface and uses it’s long, curved claws to catch them, thus the name fishermen bat. They are good swimmers, and they use their wings as oars. The species’ numbers have greatly declined because of coastal development.
The jewfish can reach nearly eight feet in length and weigh close to 1000 pounds! It was once fairly common to offshore reefs, underwater caves and old wrecks around the Virgin Islands. It is a crab eater and is said to be very shy. Jewfish numbers have declined due to over fishing; they are not abundant to begin with and they are easily caught.