Jamaica is the third biggest island of the Caribbean after Cuba and Hispaniola. This is the largest island state as a part of British Commonwealth in West-Indies. In north-west it borders with territorial waters of Cuba, in the east – with territorial waters of Haiti and in the south – with territorial waters of Columbia. Its name derives from misspelled Indian word “Xaymaca” which literally means “the island of woods and rivers” or “the land of springs”.
In Jamaica there are about 3600 types of plants, and 900 of them are of endemic forms. Many plants were brought to the island by English people. The national Jamaican plant and at the same time the ingredient of the national dish – achee was brought from Ghana (country in Western Africa), mango – from Mauritius, breadfruit tree – from Tahiti and citrus fruit – from the Mediterranean coast. Originally in Jamaica were growing cassava, pineapples, cocoa, yam and corn, as well as many other exotic fruit such as jackfruit and nisberry.
In Jamaica you can find not many native animals, the only representatives among them are bats. In the Caribbean Sea there is a sea cow “manatee” which is on the verge of extinction.
Indians brought to the island a rodent – hutia, Spanish people brought dogs, pigs, rats, goats and other domestic animals and English people brought mongooses from India.
In Jamaica you can find Caribbean crocodiles, 24 species of lizards, 17 species of frogs and 5 species of snakes where neither of them is poisonous.
In Jamaica there are 255 species of birds and among them more than 20 species are endemics, including the national symbol – streamertails which are called here as “Doctor Bird”