Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean

About

Cuba’s political and economic isolation has provided the outside world little opportunity to see its wildlife … until now. It may be renowned for its politics and its cigars, but Cuba is home to some of the most unusual creatures on earth, including the feisty Cuban crocodile, the world’s smallest bird and frog, and migrating land crabs.

Cuba’s diverse wildlife stems from its unique natural history. Cuba was not originally in the Caribbean Sea but in the Pacific Ocean, where the island was situated 100 million years ago, before the forces of continental drift slowly brought it into the Caribbean. As the island migrated over the ages, an astonishing variety of life arrived by air, sea, and possibly by land bridges that may have once existed. Over time, these animals adapted to their new environment. Today, more than half of Cuba’s plants and animals, including more than 80 percent of its reptiles and amphibians, are found nowhere else on the planet.

Protected by its isolation, the wildlife of Cuba has remained naturally preserved, untouched, and unexplored. Through a special arrangement with the Cuban government, unprecedented access was granted to film the island’s natural riches.

Join NATURE in exploring Cuba’s coral reefs, swamps, forests, and caves to uncover the astonishing diversity of life on the island.

Online content for Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean was posted January 2005.

Production Credits Print

Television Credits

Narrated by
EDUARDO TRUCCO

Written and Produced by
PAUL REDDISH

Photography
MIKE POTTS

Underwater Photography
ERICH PRÖLL
THOMAS HACKL

Editor
SONJA LESOWSKY

Dubbing Edidtor
PAUL COWGILL

Dubbing Mixer
JONATHAN JENKINS

Music
NICHOLAS HOOPER

Graphics
RED 3

Production Manager
FIONA GRANT

Location Manager
JUAN CARLOS OCAÑA MARTÍNEZ

Driver
JOSÉ BLANCO

Research
MARTIN DAVIES
LORAIZA DAVIES

The Producer Wishes to Thank:
EDUARDO RODRÍGUEZ DE LA VEGA
GONZALO RÍOS ANDRÉS
TELMO LEDO
MAX D'OU
MINISTERIO DE TURISMO
JOSÉ ENRIQUE OCAÑA MARTÍNEZ
CELIA GARCÍA CANTILLO
CUBATUR
ROBERTO SOBERON
GILBERTO SILVA TABOADA
ARTURO KIRKCONNELL
LUÍS DÍAZ
JORGE LUÍS FONTELA RIZO
MUSEO NACIONAL DE HISTORIA NATURAL
JORGE LUÍS CLINCHE CREGO
EL CHINO
CITMA
ADRIÁN DE LA PAZ
CIRO TORRES
SECCIÓN NACIONAL DE ESPELEOBUCEO
SOCIEDAD ESPELEOLÓGICA DE CUBA
DIANA WILLIAMS
SCUBA EN CUBA
CENTRO DE INVESTIGACIONES MARINAS
UNIVERSIDAD DE HABANA
JUAN GALLARDO

Unit Manager
ELEONORA FREY

Co-Producers
GREG DIEFENBACH, DDE
JÖRN RÖVER, NDR

Executive Producer
WALTER KÖHLER

© ORF 2004 all rights reserved

For NATURE:

Series Editor
JANET HESS

Supervising Producer
JANICE YOUNG

Producers
JILL CLARKE
PATTY JACOBSON

Associate Producers
IRENE TEJARATCHI
GIANNA SAVOIE

Production Secretary
RACHAEL TEEL

Manager
EILEEN FRAHER

Production Manager
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

Online Editor
BARRY GLINER
JAY SLOT

Sound Mixer
ED CAMPBELL

Series Producer
BILL MURPHY

Executive In Charge
WILLIAM GRANT

Executive Producer
FRED KAUFMAN

An ORF Universum, Thirteen/WNET New York and Devillier Donegan Enterprises Co-production. This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2005 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Web Credits

Director of Production
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

Producer
TANNER VEA

Production Assistant
DANIEL ROSS

Designer
MICHAEL DIMAURO

Pagebuilding
BRIAN SANTALONE

Technical Director
BRIAN LEE

About the Writer

David Malakoff is a journalist covering research discoveries and the politics of science for SCIENCE MAGAZINE in Washington, D.C. His writing has appeared in a wide range of venues, including THE ECONOMIST, THE WASHINGTON POST, and ABCNews.com.

Photos for "Overview," "Explore Cuba," "Wildlife Guide," "Cuban Crab Invasion," and "Resources" © 2002 Michael Potts. Other photos from "Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean."

Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York's Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Dan Goldman, Executive Director, thirteen.org. Bob Adleman, Business Manager.