Brief biological inventory of Bolivia, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

The lands of the former Bolivia Plantation amount to about three-thousand three-hundred (3,300) hectares of wildlands and basically constitute the eastern quadrant of the island of Bonaire, stretching along the central east coast from Lagun  to Boka Olivia. A brief biological inventory of Bolivia was conducted  3-6 November 1997, in which semiquantitative data was collected on the terrestrial flora and fauna at 34 different sites and/or transects. With exception of most of the lower limestone terrace, Bolivia was found to be well vegetated in terms of overall vegetation cover, and to possess much in the way of of scenic landscapes.

Whereas Stoffers (1956) indicated most of the Middle (limestone) Terrace areas as constituting dry evergreen vegetation, at present most dry evergreen species are virtually absent. One consequence of this finding is that the (likely) better developed dry evergreen formations on Bonaire (e.g. Colombia, Karpata, Tolo) must now be accorded a much higher conservation priority than could heretofore be realised. 

Bolivia shows extensive signs of past agricultural use and strip-mining for coral rubble. At present feral livestock (goats and donkeys) are at clearly detrimental densities, and mining activities form an immediate threat to some very rare coastal rubble vegetation.

Based on this initial assessment, several principal conservation priorities for Bolivia can be identified. These are:

  1. Nesting habitat for the Bonaire Lora, along the coastal terrace edge
  2. Ecologically important food sources, especially candelabra cacti concentrated in various areas
  3. The cave systems of Roshikiri and Spelonk
  4. Terrace edge area along the length of the coastline
  5. Coastal rubble vegetation between Spelonk and Boven Bolivia
  6. Brasía terrace woodland of Beneden Bolivia
  7. Washikemba woodland in the souther parts of Bolivia.

On the basis of these principal conservation values and the area's greater role as ecological corridor beween the northern and souther halves of the island, an initial scetch of recommended conservation areas is presented. The results indicate that any potential development  should be concentrated in the central section of Bolivia.

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