Meet the wildlife of Necker Island

An image of flamingos in Necker Island
Tomas Jenkins
by Limara Salt
3 November 2023

With 74 stunning acres set amidst turquoise waters, Necker Island is pure paradise. This picturesque playground has loads to do on land and in water, and when you are ready to indulge after a day of water sports and hiking, there are incredible dining experiences tailored to your tastes. And with Virgin Red and Virgin Limited Edition, you can experience a luxurious stay on the island while earning 55,000 Virgin Points*.   

An image of Necker Island

Earn Virgin Points with a stay in Necker Island

One of the highlights of the island is the incredibly vast array of wildlife that has been conserved by the Necker Island Wildlife and Conservation team, and guests never know when they could encounter a lemur or a giant Tortoise. Check out some of the incredible creatures who call Necker Island home.     

Fabulous flamingos  

The perfectly pink flamingos of Necker Island are one of the most striking species to see. Once native to the British Virgin Islands, a colony of four was established on Necker in 2006 and now there are over 600 birds on the island. Over the years some have flown the nest and travelled as far as Puerto Rico, and while some fled during Hurricane Irma in 2017, over 150 chicks have hatched since. 

An image of flamingos on Necker Island
Tomas Jenkins

Loveable lemurs  

While flamingos are an amazing sight, chances are you’ll notice the lemur population when you hear them. There are seven types of lemurs on the island, and they certainly aren’t shy. From cheering you on during a game of tennis, to squabbling among themselves, lemurs are definitely the most cheeky and curious animals on the island. But you’re probably wondering how they ended up there in the first place! 

An image of a family of lemurs in Necker Island
Kami White

The story began when Richard Branson invited biologist and filmmaker Rob Stewart to visit the island after watching his documentary, Sharkwater. Stewart noted how the climate was similar to their native Madagascar, he suggested Necker Island as a home for the primates. Now perfectly settled, the wildlife team allows lemurs out in groups to roam freely and if you’re lucky, you may see a few of the adorable baby lemurs born on Necker Island every year.   

Titanic tortoises  

With the largest recorded weighing over 48 stone, the giant tortoises on Necker are a sight to behold. Native to a coral atoll called Aldabra in the Seychelles, they’ve been on the island since the early 2000s with the oldest tortoise named Umpire being born around 1950.   

With 12 hatchlings born in 2021 and the first Aldabra giant tortoises bred naturally outside of the Seychelles, guests may be able to see the baby tortoises during their stay, but to see them fully grown, take a visit to Turtle Beach. As a natural fitting home with individual baths on the beach for the tortoises to enjoy, it’s one of the most magical spots on the island. 

An image of a tortoise on Necker Island
Tomas Jenkins

Wonderful whales 

Whales are often spotted off the western coast of the island between November and April, and when they do appear it causes a ripple of excitement. Humpbacks and orcas with their distinctive black-and-white markings have all been seen, while pilot whales are much rarer.   

Usually travelling south, seeing these majestic animals up close is a bucket list moment that you’ll remember for a lifetime. 

An image of an orca whale in the ocean

Sensational scarlet ibis 

Pink flamingos aren’t the only colourful characters on Necker, and with their bright pink feathers, slender necks and curved bill, the scarlet ibis are hard to miss.   

The national symbol of Trinidad and Tobago, the birds are quiet but sociable creatures who were worshipped as gods in ancient Egypt. They're at their most striking when in flight or relaxing near a salt pond, so have your cameras at the ready to capture them at their prettiest.     

An image of scarlet ibis birds inflight

Indelible iguanas 

With over 2,000 on the island, approximately 95% of the global population, the Aanegada rock iguanas are not hard to find on Necker Island. Known to only hunker down in their burrows when it’s raining, the reptiles roam the island freely and are sometimes found sunbathing on the guestroom decks. 

The iguanas are very chilled and not bothered by humans, so if you want to check them out, head to the pathways around Temple Hi and Temple Lo – just don’t offer food as it can disrupt their diet. 

An image of an iguana on the beach.

Discover more amazing wildlife with a stay on Necker Island and earn 55,000 Virgin Points with a seven-night stay. Need to join Virgin Red? Sign up now.  

*55,000 points earned are per room per seven-night stay. Subject to availability. Blackout dates apply.