Caribbean

Marine gastropods from the ABC islands and other localities 14. The family Terebridae with the description of a new species from Aruba (Gastropoda: Terebridae)

The species of the family Terebridae occurring at the Dutch Leeward Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao), and other parts of the tropical western Atlantic are reviewed on the basis of material in the Zoölogisch Museum, Amsterdam. A new species is described from Aruba. Terebra leptaxis Simone, 1999 is considered a junior synonym of T. doellojuradoi Carcelles, 1953. 

Date
2007
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Author

Attitudes towards marine mammal conservation issues before the introduction of whale-watching: a case study in Aruba (southern Caribbean)

1. Effective conservation management requires a solid understanding of social and economic factors, in addition to biological factors affecting what is to be conserved. Aruba is one of the most densely populated islands in the Caribbean and its already high number of tourists is still increasing. No commercial whale-watching operations are offered yet on the island. This provides a rare opportunity to document knowledge of and values concerning marine mammals before the introduction of whale-watching operations.

2. In 2010, a survey was conducted to investigate the awareness and attitudes of resident Arubans (n = 204) and tourists (n = 198) towards marine mammals and their conservation on Aruba. Knowledge of the local marine mammal community was low for both groups. Most participants would support more stringent legislation for protecting marine mammals in Aruba. Overall concern regarding threats to marine mammals was high and oil spills, chemical pollution, litter and sewage were identified as the most serious threats. A large proportion of residents (84.2%) and tourists (83.6%) were interested in, and willing to pay for, viewing marine mammals. Both groups preferred to see marine mammals in the wild rather than in captivity.

3. This is the first study that investigates the attitudes of people towards marine mammals and their conservation in a country that does not have marine mammal related tourism yet. This study suggests that strong support for marine mammal conservation issues does not critically depend on detailed knowledge of the local marine mammal community, or on the availability of whale-watching operations.

Date
2013
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Legislation
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba

Bats of Saba, Netherlands Antilles: a zoogeographic perspective

Data presented herein provide records of four species of bats new to the fauna of the Antillean island of Saba — Monophyllus plethodon, Ardops nichollsi, Tadarida brasiliensis, and Molossus molossus. Together with three species previously recorded from the island – Brachyphylla cavernarum, Artibeus jamaicensis, and Natalus stramineus – the chiropteran fauna of the island is documented to be composed of seven species. Our analysis of species/area relationships for West Indian bats provides a slope value of z = 0.177 and R2 = 0.76; therefore, the bat fauna of the West Indies has the flattest slope for this relationship of any West Indian group. This relationship is best explained by a propensity for over water dispersal by West Indian bats. We propose to unite the chiropteran faunas of the islands of Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Nevis, Saba, St. Barthélemy, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, and St. Martin by recognizing them as the Northern Antillean Faunal Area. Given the small size of Saba (12 km2) and the even smaller effective habitat for non-molossid bats (4 km2), conservation concerns are expressed for the future of the fauna and some recommendations are made for its preservation. 

Date
2007
Data type
Scientific article
Geographic location
Saba

Land Cover and Forest Formation Distributions for St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Eustatius, Grenada and Barbados from Decision Tree Classification of Cloud-Cleared Satellite Imagery

Satellite image-based mapping of tropical forests is vital to conservation planning. Standard methods for automated image classification, however, limit classification detail in complex tropical landscapes. In this study, we test an approach to Landsat image interpretation on four islands of the Lesser Antilles, including Grenada and St. Kitts, Nevis and St. Eustatius, testing a more detailed classification than earlier work in the latter three islands. Secondly, we estimate the extents of land cover and protected forest by formation for five islands and ask how land cover has changed over the second half of the 20th century. The image interpretation approach combines image mosaics and ancillary geographic data, classifying the resulting set of raster data with decision tree software. Cloud-free image mosaics for one or two seasons were created by applying regression tree normalization to scene dates that could fill cloudy areas in a base scene. Such mosaics are also known as cloud-filled, cloud-minimized or cloud-cleared imagery, mosaics, or composites. The approach accurately distinguished several classes that more standard methods would confuse; the seamless mosaics aided reference data collection; and the multiseason imagery allowed us to separate drought deciduous forests and woodlands from semi-deciduous ones. Cultivated land areas declined 60 to 100 percent from about 1945 to 2000 on several islands. Meanwhile, forest cover has increased 50 to 950%. This trend will likely continue where sugar cane cultivation has dominated. Like the island of Puerto Rico, most higher-elevation forest formations are protected in formal or informal reserves. Also similarly, lowland forests, which are drier forest types on these islands, are not well represented in reserves. Former cultivated lands in lowland areas could provide lands for new reserves of drier forest types. The land-use history of these islands may provide insight for planners in countries currently considering lowland forest clearing for agriculture. 

Date
2008
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Eustatius