Monitoring of the Bridled Quail Dove Abundance on Sint Eustatius from 2016-2021. After hurricane Irma in Aug-Sep 2017, the abundance of the Bridled Quail Dove collapsed.
Monitoring of the Bridled Quail Dove Abundance on Sint Eustatius from 2016-2021. After hurricane Irma in Aug-Sep 2017, the abundance of the Bridled Quail Dove collapsed.
Nederlands, Papiamento and Papiamentu below.
The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) recently supported the attendance of representatives from the Protected Area Management Organizations of Aruba (Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba), Bonaire (STINAPA), Saba (Saba Conservation Foundation) and Sint Maarten (the Nature Foundation) to a five-day BirdsCaribbean Landbird Monitoring Workshop in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic where participants were trained in increasing the capability to monitor landbirds in the wider-Caribbean Region.
Monitoring the health of landbird populations is vitally important to understand changes in population sizes and distributions of species in response to environmental changes and threats, such as from climate change, pollution, invasive species, development, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and more. Through the monitoring of the health of landbird populations in the Dutch Caribbean, conservation managers will be better able to tell how these species, and the nature areas in which they live, are doing. The data they gather will help decision-makers to plan conservation and management actions to ensure the Dutch Caribbean’s amazing birds will be around for our children and grandchildren to see and enjoy.
We are grateful to Birds Caribbean for organizing this Training of Trainers workshop. With the skills learned during this workshop we will be able to increase the way we protect our nature areas on land which are some of the most threatened spaces on our islands,” commented Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the DCNA.
The participation of qualified local conservationists to the workshop was made possible through the support of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Fund, Environment and Climate Change Canada, US Forest Service International Programs, Optics for the Tropics, and the DCNA.
From left to right: Kai Wulf, Director at the Saba Conservation Foundation; Caren Eckrich, Biologist at STINAPA Bonaire; Melanie Meijer Zu Schlochtern, Manager of the St. Maarten Nature Foundation; Tadzio Bervoets, Director Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance; Giancarlo Nunes, Conservation Manager Aruba National Parks Foundation; Jilly Sarpong, Terrestrial Park Ranger STINAPA Bonaire at the BirdsCaribbean Terrestrial Bird Monitoring Workshop in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic (Credit: Giselle Dean, Bahamas National Trust- all rights reserved.
BirdsCaribbean landvogel monitoring workshop
De Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) maakte onlangs de deelname van vertegenwoordigers van de beheerorganisaties van beschermde natuurgebieden op Aruba (Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba), Bonaire (STINAPA), Saba (Saba Conservation Foundation) en Sint Maarten (the Nature Foundation) mede mogelijk aan een vijfdaagse BirdsCaribbean Landvogel Monitoring Workshop in Jarabacoa, Dominicaanse Republiek. Tijdens de workshop werden de deelnemers getraind in het monitoren van landvogels in de Caribische regio.
Het monitoren van de gezondheid van landvogelpopulaties is van groot belang om inzicht te krijgen in veranderingen in populatiegroottes en verspreiding van soorten als reactie op veranderingen en bedreigingen van de natuur en milieu, zoals klimaatverandering, vervuiling, invasieve soorten, ontwikkeling, orkanen, vulkaanuitbarstingen en meer. Door het monitoren van de gezondheid van landvogelpopulaties in het Caribisch deel van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden kunnen natuurbeheerders beter zien hoe het met deze soorten en de natuurgebieden waarin ze leven, gaat. De verzamelde gegevens helpen besluitvormers bij het plannen van instandhoudings- en beheeracties. Zodat ook onze kinderen en kleinkinderen later kunnen genieten van de prachtige vogels in het Nederlands Caribisch gebied.
“We zijn BirdsCaribbean dankbaar voor het organiseren van deze workshop. Met de nieuwe vaardigheden die we tijdens deze workshop hebben geleerd, kunnen we onze natuurgebieden op het land beter beschermen, die een van de meest bedreigde gebieden op onze eilanden zijn ”, aldus Tadzio Bervoets, directeur van de DCNA.
De deelname van gekwalificeerde lokale natuurbeschermers aan de workshop werd mogelijk gemaakt door de steun van het US Fish and Wildlife Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Fund, Environment and Climate Change Canada, US Forest Service International Programs, Optics for the Tropics en de DCNA.
Van links naar rechts: Kai Wulf, directeur van de Saba Conservation Foundation; Caren Eckrich, Bioloog bij STINAPA Bonaire; Melanie Meijer Zu Schlochtern, Manager Nature Foundation St. Maarten; Tadzio Bervoets, directeur DCNA; Giancarlo Nunes, Conservation Manager Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba; Jilly Sarpong, Terrestrial Park Ranger STINAPA Bonaire bij de BirdsCaribbean Landbird Monitoring Workshop in Jarabacoa, Dominicaanse Republiek (Credit: Giselle Dean, Bahamas National Trust- alle rechten voorbehouden)
Tayer di Para Terestre
Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance ta Sostené Presensia di Konservashonistanan di Áreanan Protehá na un Tayer di Para Terestre.
Resientemente Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) a sostené presensia di representantenan di organisashonnan di maneho di Área Protehá di Aruba (Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba), Boneiru (STINAPA), Saba (Saba Conservation Foundation) i St. Maarten (the Nature Foundation) na un tayer di trabou di BirdsCaribbean tokante vigilansia di paranan terestre na Jarabacoa, Repúblika Dominikana. E partisipantenan a risibí training di oumentá kapasidat pa vigilá para terestre den e region amplio di Karibe.
Vigilansia di e salú di e populashon di paranan terestre ta di vital importansia pa komprendé e kambionan den grandura di populashon i distribushon di espesie, komo reakshon riba kambionan ambiental i menasanan manera kambio di klima, polushon, espesienan invasivo, desaroyo, orkan, erupshon di volkan i mas. Vigilando e salú di e populashon di paranan terestre den Karibe Hulandes, managernan di konservashon lo por haña un mihó bista riba kon ta bayendo ku e espesienan akí i ku e área di naturalesa kaminda nan ta biba. E datonan ku nan kompilá lo yuda e tumadónan di desishon pa plania akshonnan di konservashon i maneho pa sigurá ku e paranan fasinante di Karibe Hulandes lo ta presente pa nos yunan i nietunan mira i disfrutá di nan.
Nos ta agradesido na Birds Caribbean pa a organisá e tayer di Training di e Trainer. Ku e abilidat ku a siña durante e tayer nos lo oumentá e manera ku nos ta protehá nos áreanan di naturalesa terestre ku ta algun di e espasionan mas menasá riba nos islanan,” Tadzio Bervoets, direktor di DCNA a komentá.
E partisipashon di konservashonistanan lokal kalifiká na e tayer di trabou a bira posibel ku sosten di ‘the US Fish and Wildlife Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Fund’, ‘Environment and Climate Change Canada’, ‘US Forest Service International Programs, Optics for the Tropics’, i DCNA.
Di man robes pa man drechi: Kai Wulf, Direktor di Saba Conservation Foundation; Karen Eckrich, Biólogo di STINAPA Bonaire; Melanie Meijer Zu Schlochtern, Manager di St. Maarten Nature Foundation; Tadzio Bervoets, Direktor Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance; Giancarlo Nunes, Conservation Manager Aruba National Parks Foundation; Jilly Sarpong, Terrestrial Park Ranger STINAPA Bonaire; na e tayer di “the BirdsCaribbean Terrestrial Bird Monitoring Workshop“ na Jarabacoa, Repúblika Dominikana (Fuente di pòrtrèt: Giselle Dean, Bahamas National Trust).
Tayer di Parha Terestre di BirdsCaribbean
Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) recientemente a apoya asistencia di representantenan di e Organisacionnan di Maneho di Area Proteha di Aruba (Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba), Boneiro (STINAPA), Saba (Saba Conservation Foundation) y Sint Maarten (The Nature Foundation) na un workshop di monitoreo di parha terestre di BirdsCaribbean di cinco dia na Jarabacoa, Republica Dominicana, na unda a capacita e participantenan pa aumenta capacidad di monitorea parha terestre den Region di Gran Caribe.
Monitoreo di salud di e poblacionnan di parha terestre ta di vital importancia pa compronde e cambionan den tamaño di e poblacionnan y distribucion di e especienan como reaccion na e cambionan y menasanan ambiental, manera cambio climatico, contaminacion, especienan invasor, desaroyo, horcan, erupcionan di volcan y mas. Pa medio di monitoreo di salud di e poblacionnan di parha terestre den Caribe Hulandes, e administradornan di conservacion lo ta miho prepara pa conta tocante e especienan aki y e areanan natural den cua nan ta biba. E datonan cu nan compila lo yuda e personanan cu ta responsabel pa tuma decision pa planifica e accionnan di conservacion y maneho pa garantisa cu e parhanan increibel aki den Caribe Hulandes lo t’ey pa nos yiunan y nietonan por mira y disfruta di nan.
Nos ta gradici Birds Caribbean pa a organisa e tayer aki di Capacitacion di e Capacitadornan. Cu e habilidadnan siña durante e tayer aki, nos por aumenta e forma cu nos ta proteha nos areanan natural riba tera, cu ta algun di e espacionan mas menasa na nos islanan”, Tadzio Bervoets, Director di Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, a comenta.
Participacion di conservacionistanan local califica na e taller tabata posible danki na apoyo di US Fish and Wildlife Service Neotropical Bird Conservation Act Fund, Environment and Climate Change Canada, US Forest Service International Programs, Optics for the Tropics, y DCNA.
Di robes pa drechi: Kai Wulf, Director di Saba Conservation Foundation; Karen Eckrich, biologa na STINAPA Boneiro; Melanie Meijer Zu Schlochtern, Gerente di St. Maarten Nature Foundation; Tadzio Bervoets, Director di Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance; Giancarlo Nunes, Gerente di Conservacion di Aruba National Parks Foundation; Jilly Sarpong, ranger di Terrestrial Park STINAPA Boneiro na e Tayer di Monitoreo di Parha Terestre di BirdsCaribbean na Jarabacoa, Republica Dominicana (Potret:Giselle Dean, Bahamas National Trust).
Published in BioNews 51
In 1983, when the second edition of ‘Birds of The Netherlands Antilles’ by Dr. K.H. Voous was published, the number of birds recorded on Bonaire stood at 181. Since then, this number has grown steadily to 237, averaging three new birds reported every two years. This has accelerated recently, with 15 new birds confirmed in the last five years alone.
Annual updates to the local bird records have been published in the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance’s (DCNA’s) free newsletter BioNews issues 11 (2017), 19 (2018) and 31 (2020). Between 2016 and 2019, Peter-Paul Schets has provided annual updates to the bird species lists on Bonaire, which included a brief overview of each new species. In 2020, two new birds were added to this list.
Common swift (Apus apus)
Common swift Photo credit © Steve Schnoll
In May of 2020, local birders Spike Stapert and Steve Schnoll spotted and photographed a unique swift. With the help of several experts, including Peter-Paul Schets (reviewer for eBird-Bonaire) this individual was identified as a Common swift, common and widespread in Europe, but rare in the Caribbean. There has only ever been one other confirmed sighting in the area, a record from Suriname dating back to 2012. Not only was this a new species for Bonaire, but for ABC islands and for the Caribbean as well!
Common swifts breed throughout almost all Europe and Asia. It is a well-known summer visitor to cities in western Europe, where they arrive from their wintering ground by the end of April and leave by mid-summer. They are known to spend the winters in Africa, south of the equator. It is a strong flyer and is known to spend most of its life in flight.
White-winged tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
White-winged tern Photo credit © Steve Schnoll
Steve Schnoll was birding at Bonaire Sewage Works (LVV) on the early morning of June 12th 2020 when he noticed an unfamiliar small tern which was hovering over the main pond. This tern was mainly black with a black bill, red legs, mostly white wings and a white tail. Thanks to some well shot photographs, this bird was later identified as a White-winged tern in breeding plumage, a first for Bonaire as well for ABC islands. It stayed for a week at the same location, enabling a few other lucky birders to observe this graceful and delicate bird.
White-winged terns are known to breed between central Europe and eastern Asia. Every spring it is seen in small numbers in The Netherlands. This species winters mainly in Africa and southeast Asia, Australia and even as far as New Zealand. Like Common swifts, this tern is a recognized vagrant to North America.
This tern represents species number 237 for Bonaire. Interestingly, of the 15 new species found on Bonaire since 2016, seven were found at LVV ponds, three of which were new for ABC islands. Thanks to these freshwater ponds, this area seems to be a magnet for rare birds.
Report your sightings
Have you observed birds? Report your nature sightings and photos on the website DutchCaribbean.Observation.org or download the free apps (iPhone (iObs) & Android (ObsMapp)).
Species reports by local communities and tourists are invaluable for nature conservation efforts to help increase public awareness and overall species protection. Besides, DCNA, Observation International and Naturalis Biodiversity Center are working together to develop on automated species identification app for your phone. Your uploaded photos are of great value to make this possible. For questions, please contact research@DCNAnature.org
We would like to thank Peter-Paul Schets for writing this article and Steve Schnoll for sharing his records and for providing pictures of both species.
Article published in BioNews 43
Action Plan for Yellow-shouldered Amazon consists of:
The Jan Thiel lagoon can be considered the most important wetland of Curaçao based on its combined value as a feeding habitat for terns. As is likely the case in general with the other saliñas of Curaçao, Jan Thiel lagoon appears to be of the greatest significance to flamingos during the dry season when the larger wetlands in Venezuela run dry. The lagoon is also an area that has historically provided conditions suitable for massive nesting by rare species of terns. Nesting by terns still occurs but on a much lesser scale and with fewer species. During the rainy season, and because of the presence of many dams which retain fresh water on the eastern half of the lagoon, the area is of persistent value to several waterbirds which showed a preference for feeding in less saline water. These include species such as ducks, sandpipers, and black-winged stilts.
The lagoon is approximately 80 ha and is surrounded by approximately 228 ha of additional scenic conservation area which contain rare tracts of native vegetation and which provide valuable habitat to many other native species such as konènchi, sloke, tapa kaminda, and warawara. The best vegetations are found on the eastern side of the lagoon, particularly the southern quadrant of the eastern half of the lagoon. This quadrant has quite rare vegetation, best described as a Haematoxylon-Coccoloba vegetation in which the dreifi shimaron is found to be abundant on volcanic soil. Such vegetation is also known from areas of Oostpunt, Malpais, and Seru Cocori. Other species remarkably abundant in the Haematoxylon-Coccoloba unit include the mata piska and the palu di pushi while the presence of scattered kibrahacha and mangel di sabana likely indicate species which were once much more abundant but which have somehow survived the intensive use of this area in the past. Rare plant species found in the area include the trees lumbra blanku (Croton niveus), kurahout (Peltophorum acutifolum), mata kombles (Schoepfia schreberi), "fuma machu" (Vitex cymosa). For the latter species, less than 20 trees are known to exist in the Dutch Antilles.
A major limitation to the avifaunal use of the lagoon, particularly the flamingos and tern nesting is the current high level of uncontrolled recreational disturbance. Unintentional recreational disturbance can likely be greatly reduced by a combination of properly informing visitors, by planting vegetation barriers to shelter visitors from the constant sight of the birds and by partially redirecting trails.
The planned Jan Thiel-Amandelweg road is a major threat to the ecological integrity of the conservation area. The road is protected to lie directly in the two most important freshwater areas bordering the lagoon and on top of one of the four locations which support tern breeding. The mere physical presence of the road is in itself a scourge to the vegetation as is cuts through a part of the Haematoxylon-Coccoloba vegetation and lies directly on top of three (fortunately resprouting) very rare Vitex cymosa trees. If this road is ever built it will add a large source of constant disturbance (incl. traffic noise) for much of the eastern half of the lagoon (which is the principal area used by the avifauna), and a major source of littering and contaminants from vehicles.
The abandoned landfill of Koraal Specht has not been sealed to prevent rainwater percolation and several seeps were seen to emanate from the landfill and flow into the lagoon. The landfill likely forms a serious long-term threat to the lagoon and a study is needed with regards to the potential leaching of contaminants.
Even though there are very many scattered seabird sighting records for the pelagic waters of the wider Caribbean Sea, only few studies bring these data together to generate a more comprehensive understanding of seabird use of the offshore areas of the region. The same is the case for the Dutch Caribbean EEZ which amounts to about 92 thousand km2 of the Caribbean Sea. As a consequence, information on seabird use of offshore waters has been identified as a key knowledge gap and research priority for both EEZ conservation and management purposes (Jongman et al. 2010, Meesters et al. 2010) and in support of a Bonaire-Curacao UNESCO World Heritage nomination that has been a Bonaire government ambition since 2003 (Debrot et al. 2017).
In this project we followed up on these information needs by compiling many older but as-yet unpublished seabird records around the Dutch Caribbean islands, the eastern Caribbean as well as many poorly accessible seabird records for the waters off the coasts of Colombia and Venezuela. The most important additions of previously unavailable or new records for the eastern Caribbean were as follows: 1824 records by Poppe (1974), 627 by Halewijn (1972), 443 recent records by M. de Boer and J. Saulino (2014) all principally for the waters of the Dutch Caribbean, 547 records from Casler and Lira (1979) and Casler and Pirela (2004) for the northwestern sector of Venezuela and 249 records by Naranjo (1979) and Estela et al. (2004) for the Caribbean coast of Colombia. These were subsequently merged with several smaller and larger sources of seabird sighting records to yield a current total compilation of 150,372 sighting records with either exact or approximate position determinations.
The database provides temporal and positional occurrence information for 65 nominate species and 13 larger familial or generic species groups in the Caribbean basin. As such, it provides a major new opportunity for the WUR to study and publish on various aspects of seabird distribution in the coming years. The potential topics include: 1) the community composition of the pelagic seabirds of the Caribbean in comparison with the community structure of other pelagic seabird communities, 2) how different habitat features (such as upwelling areas, proximity of nesting and/or roosting areas) are used by different species, 3) the identification of temporal trends in seabird species distribution and abundance, 4) identification of areas deserving conservation and management priority, either around seabird colonies or at the high seas.
There has been a recent increase in public awareness of environmental issues as the effects of climate change have become ever more noticeable in our daily lives. As we enter a new decade, it becomes useful to review what conservation efforts have worked so far, and take inventory of what efforts will be required for the future. Starting with the constitutional referendum creating the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES), the response to conservation challenges of all six Dutch Caribbean islands have varied. Since 2010, the BES islands have seen an overall increase in funding support and conservation actions, and therefore presumably also saw greater improvements when compared to Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, though clearly not enough (Sanders et al, 2019).
The goal of this Transboundary Species special edition of BioNews is to provide an update on the latest published research results and highlight the need for transboundary protection. These species know no boundaries, and thus move between the Dutch Caribbean islands and beyond. Their protection will require broadscale conservation efforts which cover the entire Caribbean, including the six Dutch Caribbean islands. Collaboration between all six islands is of the utmost importance. This is one of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance’s (DCNA) main goals: working together and sharing skills, knowledge and resources to maintain a solid network and support nature conservation in the entire Dutch Caribbean.
Raw monitoring data on terrestrial bird abundance observations. A long list of species is recorded accompanied by date/time and location. The species are grouped and indicators (e.g. species richness, shannon diversity index, abundance per species group) are automatically calculated .
Please contact ECHO for more information.
In 2010 a petrochemical fire took place at the BOPEC oil terminals on Bonaire. These facilities are located on the shores of the Goto lake, a legally protected RAMSAR wetland and important flamingo foraging area. Before the fire, daily flamingo counts averaged approximately 400 birds that used the area to feed on Artemia (brine shrimp) and Ephydra (brine fly larvae). Immediately after the fire, flamingo densities plummeted to nearly none and have not recovered. A large amount of fire retardants were used to combat the fire, and were hypothesised to be a potential cause for the flamingo declines. Our analyses of 15 years of baseline flamingo monitoring data show that rainfall does influence flamingo densities but only on the short-term and steering seasonal dynamics of flamingos. Therefore the rainfall event/change in the rainfall regime cannot account for lasting absence of flamingos. Nearby control lakes that were not affected by the fire showed no lasting reduction in flamingo densities, but instead an increase due to the birds no longer feeding in Goto.
In 2012, we measured the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs, which includes PFOS) in Goto and control-lake waters and conducted additional chemical screening (fingerprinting) of sediments and biota. These measurements showed both lasting elevated levels of PFCs, in water, sediments and biota (fish) and lowered food-species concentrations in Goto as compared to control areas. Based on calculated Risk Quotients combined with the chronic exposure, for the documented PFOS levels, toxicological effects on benthic organisms such as Artemia and Ephydra are likely. Nevertheless additional impact by other associated retardant toxicant is also probable. Goto was found to be chemically different based on GC*GC chemical fingerprinting indicative of elevated Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) concentrations, a compound used in petrochemical industries as a solvent.
In conclusion, our results demonstrate a close link between the 2010 Bopec fires and the subsequent abandonment of the adjacent Goto lake by foraging flamingos. Compared to nearby control lakes, Goto was found to have elevated (and toxic) concentrations of PFCs and associated low food species concentrations. Therefore, our results suggest that the lasting abandonment of the lake by flamingos after the fire have been due to the drastically low food-species densities as likely caused by toxic ecosystem effects resulting from retardants released into the environment while combatting the fires.
The breeding success of obligate secondary cavity nesting birds, including most parrots, can be limited by the availability and quality of nest cavities. Habitat degradation can reduce the number of large cavity-containing trees. This reduction in available cavities can be exacerbated by destructive nest poaching practices, which leave cavities damaged and unusable. Yellow-shouldered Amazons Amazona barbadensis inhabit degraded dry-forest areas on the island of Bonaire (Caribbean Netherlands), and were suspected to be limited by the number of suitable nesting cavities. We compared two approaches to increasing the availability of nesting sites, measuring occupation rates of 10 nest boxes and 10 repaired natural cavities over three years. While none of the nest boxes were used, two of the restored cavities were occupied within five months of repair, and a third in the following year. Only one of the breeding attempts in restored cavities (33%) was successful, compared to the population average of 56%. Sample sizes are small, but restoring natural nest cavities led to a higher rate of uptake than nest boxes and was a considerably quicker and cheaper intervention. However the effectiveness of this intervention depends on the threat of poaching, and there is a risk that restoring poacher-damaged nests may attract breeding pairs away from safer cavities.