One of the most unique and important jobs on Necker Island is taking care of the beautiful array of animals that call the island home. Richard Branson’s keen interest in wildlife conservation means we have a team of four who work across both Necker Island and Moskito Island to keep a close eye on all these beautiful creatures. The team is headed up by Vaman Ramlall who is the Wildlife and Conservation Manager supported by Senior Wildlife Keeper Fabio Araya and Ulance James and Chetan Kotak who are both keepers.
The main focus for this fantastic four is naturally to keep an eye on anything that has a direct relation to any of the wildlife. The team are happy to organise animal tours providing a brief highlight of all the species living on the island and discuss how they have ended up living here. These tours are popular with both guests and local school children who love interacting with all the animals. The animals that live on Necker arrived here from a variety of different ways. The most common source is they are given as donations from owners who have found they are no longer able to care for them.
So, just how many animals are there currently on Necker Island? Here is a quick round-up:
- The flamingos are often considered the most iconic species living on Necker and were once native to the British Virgin Islands. At the last count there were 430 individuals, 75 of which are currently sitting on eggs so more are likely to be on their way! There are also a further 26 individuals on Moskito Island where the team are helping to establish a new flock. The most famous flamingo of them all is Miss Lucky who is a blind. She is a proper rock star and is definitely the most photographed of all the animals on the island.
- There are also 81 lemurs across Necker and Moskito. On Necker, the team look after seven different species of lemur, most of which are endangered species close to extinction in their native Madagascar. Species include Mongoose lemurs, Red Fronted Brown lemurs, White Fronted Brown lemurs, Red Collared Brown lemurs and Black and White Ruffed lemurs. Here is a picture of one of our latest arrivals – one of our Red Ruffled lemur triplets born on the 11th April this year
- 17 baby Red Foot Tortoises, all of which are growing up very quickly
- More positive news on the baby front is that the team is expecting some eggs in the near future from the Aldabra Giant Tortoise. More news to follow!
- Scarlet and White Ibis. Make sure to look out for the chicks flying around the Island
- Finally, there is a large population of Anegada iguanas which are sadly already extinct in the wild
Congratulations to Vaman, Fabio, Ulance and Chetan for all their hard work in not only caring for but enhancing the wildlife on Necker Island. Keeping each animal happy and healthy is a massive undertaking. If you are staying with us make sure to put some time aside to spend some time with our wildlife team. You will definitely come away learning something new.