We spent almost 14 months in Samaná, giving us an unusual opportunity to really get to know the local area. There we were saw a vast range of different plants, corals and animals, so decided to make a record of what we found and take photographs (where possible) in order to aid identification. We later decided to create this online record, which we call ‘Creature Report’ (the kids got this from the Octonauts cartoon!).
The area we explored to create ‘Creature Report’ can be split into 4 ‘zones’, which are shown in the aeriel view photographs.
Creature Beach– the area around the bridge (marked with an orange line on the aeriel view image) that becomes partially or completely exposed at particularly low tides, and the front of the beach up to the dock. This area is mostly sand, rubble, clusters of rocks and sea grass. Much of this area is completely exposed to the sun throughout the day.
Dog Beach– the area (marked with an orange line on the aeriel view image) from the dock to the beach at the far end of the island where a small local bar/fishing/laundry spot is located, with dogs! A lot of this area is more rock and rubble, with some sand and sea grass, and can be exposed by low tides. It is shaded by trees from the island for much of the day.
The wider bay– creatures we have encountered in the bay as a whole, including close to the town and out towards its entrance, towards Cayo Levantado, and towards Los Haitises National Park.
Cayo Levantado– the area Arthur calls ‘Rocky Reef’, an area of rock close to the beach extending out into the anchorage area.
We have arranged the creatures we discovered in their classification groups, using ‘Reef Coral Identification’ (Human and DeLoach, 3rd Edition), ‘Reef Creature Identification’ (Human, DeLoach and Wilk, 3rd Edition) and ‘Reef Fish Identification’ (Human and DeLoach, Enlarged 3rd Edition) as guides, and have made a note of which of the four locations in which the creatures were found.
We have split the information for many creatures into two parts. The first is based on our finds and experience, including some detail about where or how the creature was found (e.g. in sand, under rock). The second part (where present), in italics, is extra information we have found out about the creature, usually from our identification books or from the internet, or a combination. Where we have used the internet, we have provided links to the sources (though given the time this taking to complete, some may be out-of-date).
We hope this resource is useful and interesting for anyone tempted to explore and examine the area of Samaná, for fun, education or scientific purposes.