The littoral forest on Caye Caulker has three kinds of mangrove, red, white and black, as well as a number of other trees.
Mangroves grow in shallow water and accumulate decaying leaves and fish nurseries under their roots, as well as sponges, gorgonians, anemones, and other colourful sea creatures. Eventually some areas accumulate enough to rise above sea level, at least in the dry season. Between these areas are lagoons.
Other trees include buttonwood, gumbo limbo, poisonwood, madre de cacao, ficus, and ziracote. Coconuts and causarina (Australian pines) abound even though they are not native to this area.
This is excellent habitat for crocodiles, turtles, fish, and waterbirds. The reserve is home to many birds, including some birds rarely seen elsewhere, such as the white-crowned pigeon, rufus-necked rail and black catbird.
Some birds remain year round, but many are transients that pass through in the Spring and/or Fall or spend the winter here. Mangrove warblers can also be seen flitting around in the mangrove all year long.