Animals and Plants
Haiti’s nature – a problem case
Haiti used to be covered with tropical rainforest. Then the trees were cut down because they wanted land for fields and also to obtain firewood and charcoal. But due to the lack of plants, the soil was now unprotected. Erosion spread. The fertile topsoil is washed away by the rain, and soon nothing grows there anymore. In the photo on the left you can see the border to the Dominican Republic. On the left is Haiti – nothing grows there anymore. On the right in the picture, in the Dominican Republic, it is still green. The former diversity of species has also decreased as a result.
Zagutis and slot weevils
There are few species of mammals in Haiti. In addition to bats and whales that live in the sea, there are also tree rats and the Haiti sand weevil. There are now only two types of sandweed, one lives in Cuba, the other in Hispaniola and therefore also in Haiti. Weevils rummage through the ground with their pointed snouts to find delicious insects. Tree rats are also called hutias. They are rodents. A subspecies are the zagutis that live on Hispaniola and are endemic here.
A lot of birds
Birds, on the other hand, occur in many species, 220 have been counted so far. However, many of them are also threatened with extinction. The rose trogon has been named the national bird. Other species are the golden-winged warbler, the red heron, the Haiti parakeet, the palm chatterbox or the devil petrel. You can see them on the slide show below!
Rhinoceros iguanas and American crocodiles
Reptiles come in the form of lizards, iguanas, snakes, and turtles. One endemic species is the rhinoceros iguana, named for its horns on its snout. American crocodiles live in Haiti in Lake Etang Saumâtre. The Hispaniola eared turtle is also endemic.
And what is growing in Haiti?
Despite the deforestation, Haiti is rich in flora. Of around 5600 plants, 35 percent are endemic and therefore only occur here. Orchids, ferns, mosses, cacti and acacias come in many species, as are pine forests and palm trees. There are still mangrove forests on the coasts.
Poor country Haiti
According to timedictionary, Haiti is the poorest country in all of America and one of the poorest countries in the world. 25 percent of the population live below the poverty line. These people spend less than $ 1.90 a day. Years of dictatorships, mismanagement, corruption and natural disasters such as earthquakes, droughts and floods have brought Haiti into this position. Unemployment is 40 percent. Many Haitians emigrate because of this. They hope to find work in the neighboring country of the Dominican Republic, for example. But there they have to live illegally and are exploited and badly treated.
More people than in the neighboring countries of the Caribbean work in agriculture, namely 38 percent. They generate 22 percent of the total output.
Most farmers have little land and operate subsistence farming. So they mainly grow for their own needs and sell small surpluses on the market. Further deforestation has led to the deterioration of the soil.
Coffee, mangos, pineapple, avocado, cocoa, sugar cane, rice, corn and sorghum millet are grown. Haiti is the world’s largest producer of vetiver oil. This oil is extracted from the roots of a sweet grass and used, for example, to make perfume.
Textiles for abroad
Only 11 percent of the people work in industry, but it generates 20 percent of the country’s output. The main branch of industry and manufacturer of the most important export goods is the textile industry. T-shirts, sweaters, and suits make up the bulk of the revenue from exports. There are also sugar, flour and cement factories.
Trade and tourism
Services generate 58 percent and are also the largest employer. Half of Haiti’s working population is employed here. This includes above all trade and tourism with restaurants and hotels. The number of tourists is about one million a year. However, crime and natural disasters are obstacles to the expansion of tourism.