Conservation

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire - Progress Report 2008

Our 2008 work plan focused on the following objectives to help us achieve our mission:

  • Science - Improved understanding of sea turtle biology through research in order to guide conservation efforts in benefit of these endangered species.
  • Conservation - Effective management, conservation and advocacy on behalf of Bonaire’s sea turtles and their habitats, resulting in improvements in environmental policy, law and enforcement that ensure conservation and recovery; clean nesting sites; and abundant, high quality foraging habitats.
  • Education and Public Awareness - Increased public awareness of, and concern for, sea turtle conservation, resulting in increased volunteerism and participation in conservation policy, action and advocacy.
  • Training and Collaboration - Provision of training and collaboration opportunities for conservation volunteers and workers that results in increased capacity, locally and throughout the region, for sea turtle conservation efforts.
  • Fund Development - Ongoing public and private financial investment in support of the protection and recovery of Bonaire’s sea turtle populations.
  • Organizational Development - Development, maintenance, and use of systems and resources that facilitate effective operation of the organization. 
Date
2009
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire
Author

Research and Monitoring Report 2010 - Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire

In 2010, we completed our 8th year of systematic research on the sea turtles of Bonaire. In this report you will read about the methods and results of our sea turtle research and monitoring activities, including nesting beach monitoring, foraging ground surveys, and turtle migration tracking.

Four of the Wider Caribbean’s six species of sea turtles are found in the waters of Bonaire. They are: the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbracata), the green turtle, (Chelonia mydas), the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), and the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea). The hawksbill and leatherback are considered “critically endangered” throughout their global ranges; and the green and loggerhead considered “endangered”. Bonaire offers a relatively safe haven for foraging juvenile hawksbill and green turtles, as well as critical nesting grounds for hawksbill, loggerhead, green, and the occasional leatherback. 

Date
2011
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire
Author

The Lesser Antillean Iguana on St. Eustatius: A 2012 population status update and cause for concern

To assess the status and current population densities of the endangered Lesser Antillean Iguana (Iguana delicatissima) on the island of St. Eustatius, we spent more than 80 h searching for iguanas and covered more than 63 km of trails and tracks — but found only 22 iguanas, for an overall average of 3.7 h per iguana. Overall population density was 0.35 iguanas per hectare, which represents 0.5–1.0% of densities documented elsewhere in healthy populations. Population densities have declined across all habitats since the last assessment in 2004. The lack of nesting sites and high iguana mortalities due to anthropogenic causes were the two core factors limiting recovery of iguanas on St. Eustatius.

Our principal recommendations are to:

  • (a) Train and equip border officials to prevent potential entry of mongooses and Green Iguanas from neighboring islands;
  • (b) implement enforcement and upgrade protective legislation;
  • (c) develop and maintain new additional nesting habitat, a measure that is both easy and inexpensive; and
  • (d) establish a program to promoto "iguana-friendly" gardens as the main means of reducing cumulative mortality.

Finally, we propose the development of an in situ husbandry and breeding program to help bolster the overall recovery program, a move that would also benefit islanders by offering a relaxed setting in which they could better learn to appreciate this emblematic island species.

Date
2013
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Eustatius

Research and Monitoring Report 2012 - Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire proudly presents its 2012 Bonaire Sea Turtle Research and Monitoring Report.
In this report you will read about the methods and results of our sea turtle research and monitoring activities, which include nesting beach monitoring, foraging ground surveys, turtle migration tracking, and responding to reports of turtle strandings. With our nesting beach monitoring, we track turtle nesting activity, determine nest size and productivity, and estimate the number of hatchlings produced. With our foraging ground surveys we capture, tag, measure and photograph individual turtles and establish catch-per-unit-effort measures of turtle abundance. We inspect the turtles for signs of illness or injury, including fibropapillomatosis. Our recapture of previously tagged turtles provides valuable insight into turtle residency duration, home range, growth rates, and habitat quality. With satellite telemetry, we are able to identify the migration paths and distant feeding grounds used by our breeding and nesting turtles. Our follow-up on reports of turtle strandings has resulted in the occasional rescue of sea turtles and has helped us to identify threats and take actions to mitigate problems.
New research was started in 2012 with funding from IMARES (the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies in the Netherlands). Using abundance surveys and deploying dataloggers we began to study the foraging use of Lac by hawksbill turtles. The results so far demonstrate that these turtles regularly move in and out of the bay, and indicate that this area is an important turtle foraging area for not only green but hawksbill turtles as well. This continuing research will be helpful in strengthening our case for the importance of protecting Lac.
We use the information gathered in our research and monitoring activities to identify and implement conservation, education, and advocacy efforts needed to ensure protection of Bonaire’s sea turtles. We also use sea turtle conservation as a focal point to drive and stimulate general conservation awareness and efforts. For information about these other important activities of STCB, please visit our STCB website

 

Date
2013
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire
Author

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