Brown Boobies (Sula leucogaster) roosting at Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands
Brown Boobies (Sula leucogaster) are known to roost on the northwestern coast of Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. A published account from the 1950s reported ~200 Brown Boobies roosting in this area, along with smaller numbers of two other seabird species, and described regular hunting raids by fishermen in which up to 100 birds were harvested. In 1969, this roosting area and its surroundings were designated as a 30-km² nature reserve, and hunting became illegal. Although seabird assemblages were not monitored subsequently, anecdotal reports suggest that the number of roosting seabirds had decreased dramatically to < 60 individuals. In 2008–2010, we conducted roost counts at seven sites in Washington-Slagbaai National Park in northwestern Bonaire. Most counts were substantially higher than the anecdotal reports, with a maximum of 240 Brown Boobies in July 2009. We saw no evidence of breeding and did not observe any banded birds. Other roosting birds—Masked Boobies ( Sula dactylatra) and Brown Noddies (Anous stolidus)—were also present in very small numbers.
Bonaire, Brown Booby, Caribbean Netherlands, citizen science, roost, Sula leucogaster, Washington-Slagbaai National Park