A manual for the landbird monitoring program of STINAPA Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

About 210 resident and migratory bird species are found on the island of Bonaire. More than half of these species are landbirds. Some of the landbirds are endemic subspecies. Despite its small area, Birdlife International designated five Important Bird Areas (IBAs) on Bonaire. This manual is a working tool for STINAPA employees and volunteers doing landbird surveys on Bonaire.

1) The monitoring program covers the areas considered potential habitat for feeding, nesting, and roosting of the selected species of landbirds on Bonaire. 2) Surveys are conducted at least twice per year (February-March and September-October). About 10 days are needed per sampling period. 3) Morning counts start after sunrise and stop at 10:00 hours. Afternoon counts start at 16:00 hours and stop before sunset. 4) At least two observers are needed for the collection of count and supplementary data related to habitat, food, disturbance, and other factors that may affect species detection and abundance at sampling units (fixed on-road and off-road points). 5) Additional information are collected about uncommon observations, such as large flocks in roosting areas, nesting activity, the presence of predators, and any other observation that may be of interest for research, monitoring, and management purposes. The location of these observations is recorded using GPS units. Date, time, and additional comments are also recorded. When possible photos are taken to provide complete documentation for future reference and consultation as needed. 6) Weather conditions are recorded as part of standard data collection. 7) Just like any other activity conducted by STINAPA Bonaire, human safety is always considered a priority over the completion of survey activities.

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