monitoring

Research and Monitoring Guidelines for the Dutch Caribbean Protected Areas

Dutch Below 

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) along with local nature management organizations across the six Dutch Caribbean islands have recently published “Guidelines for the Design and Conduct of Research and Monitoring Projects within the Dutch Caribbean Protected Areas.” These guidelines aim to encourage local capacity building, ethical practices, science communication and targeted research on the most pressing conservation issues for managing protected areas. This advice is given to support improved collaboration and communication between (visiting) researchers, students and the local nature (management) organizations in their common goal of safeguarding nature in the Dutch Caribbean.

Saba island. Photo credit: Kai Wulf

The Dutch Caribbean, a haven for diverse flora and fauna, faces challenges from local, regional, and global threats. Recognizing the importance of preserving these natural resources and the essential role of research and monitoring in this, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and its network partners Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA),  STINAPA Bonaire, CARMABI Curaçao , Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF), Nature Foundation St. Maarten (NFSXM), St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA), developed guidelines for research and monitoring initiatives. These guidelines aim to bridge the gap between foreign research institutions, funders and local organizations, fostering effective conservation practices encouraging researchers to take the local context and needs into consideration.

Roadmap

The guidelines are like a roadmap for setting up and conducting research projects in the Dutch Caribbean. These guidelines have a few goals. First of all, to support research and monitoring in the region by creating a resource where all the recommendations and wishes of the nature conservation management organizations can be found. Second, to promote local capacity building such as training of local staff and build on social and technical infrastructures. Third, to encourage ethical practices while conducting research considering the local context. Lastly, to promote the sharing of research project information and results and to enhance science communication and outreach to a diverse group of stakeholders such as other members of the scientific community, local nature conservation organizations, policy makes and the inhabitants of the islands. This way, anyone interested can learn and use the valuable work being done to protect the unique plants and animals of the Dutch Caribbean.

Working together

Understanding the state of nature through research and monitoring is crucial for efficient and effective management and protection. Nature conservation (management) organizations’ staff (biologists and rangers) and (citizen) scientists from all over the world provide invaluable support by gathering knowledge about these complex and fragile ecosystems. Collaboration and communication between all involved stakeholders is of the utmost importance in the common goal to safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean for the wellbeing of future generations.

Read more: Find the complete Research and Monitoring Guidelines here.

DCNA 

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) supports (science) communication and outreach in the Dutch Caribbean region by making nature related scientific information more widely available through amongst others the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s news platform BioNews and through the press. No rights can be derived from the content. DCNA is not liable for the content and the in(direct) impacts resulting from publishing this article.

 

 

 

De Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) heeft samen met lokale natuurbeheerorganisaties op de zes Nederlands-Caribische eilanden onlangs “Guidelines for the Design and Conduct of Research and Monitoring Projects within the Dutch Caribbean Protected Areas.” gepubliceerd. Deze richtlijnen zijn bedoeld om lokale capaciteitsopbouw, ethische praktijken, wetenschapscommunicatie en gericht onderzoek naar de meest urgente kwesties voor het beheer van beschermde gebieden aan te moedigen. Dit advies wordt gegeven ter ondersteuning van een betere samenwerking en communicatie tussen (bezoekende) onderzoekers, studenten en de lokale natuur (beheer)organisaties in hun gezamenlijke doel om de natuur in het Nederlands Caribisch gebied te beschermen.

Saba eiland. Foto: Kai Wulf

De Nederlandse Cariben, een toevluchtsoord voor diverse flora en fauna, wordt geconfronteerd met uitdagingen van lokale, regionale en mondiale bedreigingen. Het belang van het behoud van deze natuurlijke hulpbronnen en de essentiële rol van onderzoek en monitoring hierin wordt erkend, en daarom ontwikkelde de Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) en haar netwerkpartners: Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA), STINAPA Bonaire, CARMABI Curaçao, Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF), Nature Foundation St. Maarten (NFSXM), St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA), richtlijnen voor onderzoeks- en monitoringsinitiatieven. Deze richtlijnen zijn bedoeld om de kloof tussen buitenlandse onderzoeksinstellingen, financiers en lokale organisaties te overbruggen en effectieve instandhoudingspraktijken te bevorderen en onderzoekers aan te moedigen rekening te houden met de lokale context en behoeften.

Stappenplan

De richtlijnen zijn als een routekaart voor het opzetten en uitvoeren van onderzoeksprojecten in Caribisch Nederland. Deze richtlijnen hebben een paar doelen. Allereerst om onderzoek en monitoring in de regio te ondersteunen door een bron te creëren waar alle aanbevelingen en wensen van de natuurbeschermingsorganisaties te vinden zijn. Ten tweede, het bevorderen van lokale capaciteitsopbouw, zoals de opleiding van lokaal personeel, en het voortbouwen op sociale en technische infrastructuur. Ten derde, het aanmoedigen van ethische praktijken bij het uitvoeren van onderzoek rekening houdend met de lokale context. Ten slotte het bevorderen van het delen van informatie en resultaten van onderzoeksprojecten en het verbeteren van de wetenschapscommunicatie en het bereiken van een diverse groep belanghebbenden, zoals andere leden van de wetenschappelijke gemeenschap, lokale natuurbeschermingsorganisaties, beleidsmakers en de bewoners van de eilanden. Op deze manier kan iedereen die geïnteresseerd is leren en gebruik maken van het waardevolle werk dat wordt gedaan om de unieke planten en dieren van de Nederlandse Cariben te beschermen.

Samenwerken

Inzicht in de toestand van de natuur door middel van onderzoek en monitoring is cruciaal voor efficiënt en effectief beheer en bescherming. Medewerkers van natuurbeschermingsorganisaties (biologen en rangers) en (burger)wetenschappers van over de hele wereld bieden een onschatbare ondersteuning bij het vergaren van kennis over deze complexe en kwetsbare ecosystemen. Samenwerking en communicatie tussen alle betrokken stakeholders is van het grootste belang in het gezamenlijke doel om de natuur in het Nederlands Caribisch gebied te beschermen voor het welzijn van toekomstige generaties.

Lees meer

Hier vindt u de volledige richtlijnen voor onderzoek en monitoring (link)

DCNA

De Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)ondersteunt (wetenschaps) communicatie en outreach in de Nederlandse Caribische regio door natuurgerelateerde wetenschappelijke informatie breder beschikbaar te maken via onder meer de Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s nieuwsplatform BioNews en de pers. Dit artikel bevat de resultaten van verschillende (wetenschappelijke) projecten, maar de projecten zelf zijn geen DCNA-projecten. Aan de inhoud kunnen geen rechten worden ontleend. DCNA is niet aansprakelijk voor de inhoud en de indirecte gevolgen die voortvloeien uit het publiceren van dit artikel.

 

 

 

Published in BioNews 70

Date
2023
Data type
Other resources
Theme
Governance
Legislation
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

Terrestrial bird monnitoring

Currently volunteers in collaboration with Waardenburg Ecology and DCNA are monitoring terrestrial breeding birds for all 6 islands: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustoatius.

Observations became recently available for a few months, varying per island, see summary below

At this moment it is not yet possible to provide monitoring indicators.

 

Bonaire (November, December 2022, January, February, March 2023 ): 

American Flamingo
Bananaquit
Bare-eyed Pigeon
Barn Swallow
Black-faced Grassquit
Black-whiskered Vireo
Blue-tailed Emerald
Brown Booby
Brown Pelican
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Brown-throated Parakeet
Caribbean Elaenia
Common Ground Dove
Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara (Northern)
Eared Dove
Gray Kingbird
Greater Yellowlegs
House Sparrow
hummingbird sp.
Lesser Yellowlegs
Magnificent Frigatebird
Merlin
Northern Scrub-Flycatcher
Northern Waterthrush
Osprey
Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Peregrine Falcon
Red-eyed/Chivi Vireo
Royal Tern
Ruby-topaz Hummingbird
Saffron Finch
Scaly-naped Pigeon
Tropical Mockingbird
Venezuelan Troupial
White-tipped Dove
Yellow Oriole
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler (Golden)
Yellow-shouldered Parrot

 

Aruba (Arikok, March and April 2023): 

Bananaquit
Bare-eyed Pigeon
Barn Swallow
Black-and-white Warbler
Black-faced Grassquit
Blackpoll Warbler
Blue-tailed Emerald
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Carib Grackle
Caribbean Elaenia
Common Ground Dove
Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara (Northern)
Eared Dove
Groove-billed Ani
Indigo Bunting
Northern Scrub-Flycatcher
Osprey
Peregrine Falcon
Ruby-topaz Hummingbird
Shiny Cowbird
Tropical Mockingbird
Venezuelan Troupial
White-tipped Dove
Yellow Oriole
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler (Golden)

 

Curacao (March and May 2023)

American kestrel
Bananaquit
Blackfaced grassquit
Blue-tailed emerald
Brown-crested flycatcher
Brown-throated Parakeet
Caribbean elaenia
Common Ground Dove
Crested Caracara
Grey Kingbird
Magnificent Frigatebird
Northern scrub flycatcher
Northern waterthrush
Pigeon
Reiger
Rufous Collared sparrow
Scaly-naped pigeon
Tropical mockingbird
Troupial
White tipped dove
White-tailed hawk
Yellow Oriole
Yellow warbler

 

Saba (April 2023) 

American Kestrel
Antillean Crested Hummingbird
Bananaquit
Barn Swallow
Black-faced Grassquit
Black-whiskered Vireo
Bridled Quail-Dove
Brown Trembler
Brown-throated Parakeet
Caribbean Martin
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Gray Kingbird
Green-throated Carib
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch
Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Purple-throated Carib
Red-tailed Hawk
Scaly-breasted Thrasher
Scaly-naped Pigeon
White-winged Dove
Yellow Warbler
Zenaida Dove

 

Statia (March, April, May 2023) 

American Kestrel
Antillean Crested Hummingbird
Bananaquit
Black-faced Grassquit
Black-whiskered Vireo
Brown Pelican
Brown Trembler
Caribbean Elaenia
Common Ground Dove
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Gray Kingbird
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch
Magnificent Frigatebird
Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Red Junglefowl (Domestic type)
Red-billed Tropicbird
Red-tailed Hawk
Scaly-breasted Thrasher
Scaly-naped Pigeon
White-winged Dove
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Zenaida Dove

 

Sint Maarten (April, May, August, September, October, November 2023)

American Kestrel
Antillean Crested Hummingbird
Bananaquit
Black-faced Grassquit
Black-whiskered Vireo
Brown Pelican
Carib Grackle
Caribbean Elaenia
Caribbean Martin
Common Ground Dove
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Gray Kingbird
Great Egret
Green-throated Carib
Laughing Gull
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch
Magnificent Frigatebird
Mangrove Cuckoo
Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Royal Tern
Scaly-breasted Thrasher
Scaly-naped Pigeon
White-winged Dove
Yellow Warbler
Zenaida Dove
Date
2024
Data type
Raw data
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

The Science Behind Protecting Birds

Dutch, Papiamento and Papiamentu below 

 

A new DCNA project “Monitoring for Bird Biodiversity Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean” has officially been launched. Through combining enhanced training, field surveys and the use of a standardized monitoring programme, local nature management organizations can now better contribute to monitoring and protecting land bird populations and its environments across the Dutch Caribbean.  

Through this new project, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) aims to equip the nature management organizations (parks)- Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA)Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (STINAPA), Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (CARMABI), Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) and Nature Foundation St. Maarten– with the tools to actively monitor land bird populations and analyze the data. This project is more than mere data collection; it is a dynamic, science-driven initiative designed to facilitate comprehensive analysis and knowledge sharing, offering insights into the health of the local ecosystems. The project started this year and will run through the first quarter of 2028. The project is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and DCNA’s activities are funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. 

Ecological Health 

Birds offer a unique lens through which the parks can assess the overall health of their ecosystems.  In addition, birds play a crucial role in island ecosystems e.g., pollinating flowers, dispersing seeds, and emphasize how important protected areas are for certain restricted-range, vulnerable species. By tracking the relative abundance and species composition of birds across different environment types, there are a number of key insights to be gained on island, inter-island and regional levels. 

One objective is to better understand the relative abundance of birds, both in general and for specific species. Through careful observation, this project will look to discern patterns and fluctuations over seasons and time. These fluctuations are not just indicators of avian life but windows into broader ecological dynamics. 

In addition, this project will investigate the composition of bird species in various environments throughout the year.  This will give the parks a better understanding of how local ecosystems evolve and adapt throughout the year. 

The monitoring efforts will help to ensure that species under threat are identified in time to influence their long-term survival. Also, changes- or the absence thereof- in bird population sizes may indicate environmental change or stability. In this way, monitoring bird population can tell us more about nature’s “health” in general. This helps parks to evaluate conservation success and adapt management actions if needed.  

Methodology 

Photo credit: Rostislav Stach (SHAPE/DCNA)- all rights reserved

In 2022, the DCNA has provided parks’ staff with the opportunity to attend the PROALAS bird monitoring workshop in the Dominican Republic, organized by BirdsCaribbean. Through DCNA’s Research and Monitoring Working Group, the parks chose to use the PROALAS protocol as a standardized landbird monitoring method. Thanks to this standardized protocol, data collected in this programme will be comparable between Dutch Caribbean islands and with the rest of the Caribbean and South American region.   

Bird surveys will be conducted twice a year, specifically in March/April (post rainy-season) and in October/November (pre-rainy-season) on all six Dutch Caribbean islands. These surveys will be executed by trained park rangers and other bird experts. 

A Shared Commitment to Science 

This project will also contribute to achieving the strategic goals regarding (land)birds and their habitats as a part of the Nature and Environment Policy Plan (NEPP) by the Ministries of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), and Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W).  The project has been developed in consultation with Wageningen University & Research to make sure it can be used to the related “State of Nature of the Caribbean Netherlands Reporting”. Furthermore, to promote transparency and foster collaboration, all collected data will be made accessible through the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database (DCBD)Observation.org, and BirdsCaribbean. This commitment to data sharing transcends borders, ensuring that the science-driven conservation efforts benefit not only the Dutch Caribbean but also the global scientific community.  

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DCNA       

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) supports (science) communication and outreach in the Dutch Caribbean region by making nature-related scientific information more widely available through amongst others the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s news platform BioNews and the press.  No rights can be derived from the content. DCNA is not liable for the content and the in(direct) impacts resulting from publishing this article.      

 

 

Een nieuw DCNA-project ‘Monitoring for Bird Biodiversity Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean’ is officieel gelanceerd. Door het combineren van verbeterde training, veldonderzoek en het gebruik van een gestandaardiseerd monitoringprogramma kunnen lokale natuurbeheerorganisaties nu beter bijdragen aan het monitoren en beschermen van landvogelpopulaties en hun omgeving in het Caribisch gebied. 

Met dit nieuwe project wil de Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) de natuurbeheerorganisaties (parken) – Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA)Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (STINAPA), Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (CARMABI), Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) en Nature Foundation St. Maarten– uitrusten met de tools om landvogelpopulaties actief te monitoren en de gegevens te analyseren. Dit project is meer dan alleen het verzamelen van gegevens; het is een dynamisch, wetenschappelijk aangedreven initiatief dat is ontworpen om uitgebreide analyses en kennisuitwisseling mogelijk te maken en inzichten te bieden in de gezondheid van de lokale ecosystemen. Het project is dit jaar gestart en loopt tot het eerste kwartaal van 2028. Het project wordt gefinancierd door het Ministerie van Landbouw, Natuur en Voedselkwaliteit en de activiteiten van DCNA worden gefinancierd door de Nationale Postcode Loterij. 

Ecologische gezondheid 

Vogels bieden een unieke lens waarmee de parken de algehele gezondheid van hun ecosystemen kunnen beoordelen. Bovendien spelen vogels een cruciale rol in de ecosystemen van eilanden, bijvoorbeeld door bloemen te bestuiven, zaden te verspreiden, en ze benadrukken hoe belangrijk beschermde gebieden zijn voor bepaalde, kwetsbare soorten met een beperkt verspreidingsgebied. Door de relatieve dichtheid en soortensamenstelling van vogels in verschillende omgevingstypen te volgen, kunnen er een aantal belangrijke inzichten worden verkregen op eiland-, intereiland- en regionaal niveau. 

Eén doelstelling is om de relatieve dichtheid aan vogels beter te begrijpen, zowel in het algemeen als voor specifieke soorten. Door middel van zorgvuldige observatie zal dit project proberen patronen en fluctuaties in de loop van seizoenen en tijd te onderscheiden. Deze fluctuaties zijn niet alleen indicatoren van het vogelleven, maar vensters in een bredere ecologische dynamiek. 

Daarnaast zal dit project het hele jaar door de samenstelling van vogelsoorten in verschillende omgevingen onderzoeken. Dit zal de parken een beter inzicht geven in hoe lokale ecosystemen het hele jaar door ontwikkelen en zich aanpassen. 

De monitoringinspanningen zullen ertoe bijdragen dat bedreigde soorten tijdig worden geïdentificeerd om hun overleving op de lange termijn te beïnvloeden. Ook kunnen veranderingen – of de afwezigheid daarvan – in de omvang van de vogelpopulatie wijzen op veranderingen of stabiliteit in de omgeving. Op deze manier kan het monitoren van de vogelpopulatie ons meer vertellen over de ‘gezondheid’ van de natuur in het algemeen. Dit helpt parken om het succes van natuurbehoud te evalueren en indien nodig beheersmaatregelen aan te passen. 

Methodologie 

 Antillean crested hummingbird (Orthorhyncus cristatus) by Rostislav Stach (SHAPE/DCNA)- Alle rechten voorbehouden 

In 2022 heeft DCNA parkpersoneel de mogelijkheid geboden om de PROALAS-workshop voor vogelmonitoring in de Dominicaanse Republiek bij te wonen, georganiseerd door BirdsCaribbean. Via de Research and Monitoring Working Group van DCNA kozen de parken ervoor om het PROALAS -protocol te gebruiken als een gestandaardiseerde monitoringmethode voor landvogels. Dankzij dit gestandaardiseerde protocol zullen de in dit programma verzamelde gegevens vergelijkbaar zijn tussen de Nederlands Caribische eilanden en met de rest van het Caribisch gebied en de Zuid-Amerikaanse regio. 

Er zullen tweemaal per jaar vogelonderzoeken op alle zes de Nederlands-Caribische eilanden worden uitgevoerd, namelijk in maart/april (na het regenseizoen) en in oktober/november (vóór het regenseizoen). Deze onderzoeken zullen worden uitgevoerd door getrainde parkwachters en andere vogelexperts. 

Een gedeelde toewijding aan de wetenschap 

Dit project zal tevens bijdragen aan het realiseren van de strategische doelen op het gebied van (land)vogels en hun leefgebieden als onderdeel van het Natuur- en Milieubeleidsplan (NEPP) van de ministeries van Landbouw, Natuur en Voedselkwaliteit (LNV) en Infrastructuur en Waterstaat. (I&W). Het project is ontwikkeld in overleg met Wageningen University & Research om ervoor te zorgen dat het gebruikt kan worden voor de gerelateerde “Staat van de natuur Caribisch Nederland rapportage”. Om de transparantie te bevorderen en samenwerking te bevorderen, zullen alle verzamelde gegevens bovendien toegankelijk worden gemaakt via de Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database (DCBD)Observation.org, en BirdsCaribbean. Deze toewijding aan het delen van gegevens overstijgt grenzen en zorgt ervoor dat de wetenschappelijk gestuurde inspanningen op het gebied van natuurbehoud niet alleen ten goede komen aan het Nederlandse Caribisch gebied, maar ook aan de mondiale wetenschappelijke gemeenschap. 

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DCNA 

De Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) ondersteunt (wetenschaps) communicatie en outreach in de Nederlandse Caribische regio door natuurgerelateerde wetenschappelijke informatie breder beschikbaar te maken via onder meer de Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s nieuwsplatform BioNews en de pers. Aan de inhoud kunnen geen rechten worden ontleend. DCNA is niet aansprakelijk voor de inhoud en de indirecte gevolgen die voortvloeien uit het publiceren van dit artikel.  

 

 

A lansa oficialmente un proyecto nobo di DCNA “Monitoreo pa Conservacion di Biodiversidad di parha den Caribe Hulandes”. Mediante combinacion di miho capacitacion, estudionan di campo y uzo di un programa di monitoreo standarisa, awor e organisacionnan local di maneho di naturalesa por contribui miho na monitoreo y proteccion di e poblacionnan di parha di tera y nan medio ambiente den henter Caribe Hulandes. 

A traves di e proyecto nobo aki, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) tin como meta ekipa e organisacionnan di maneho di naturalesa (parkenan): Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA), Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (STINAPA), Investigacion y Maneho di e Biodiversidad di Caribe (CARMABI) , Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) y Nature Foundation St. Maarten, cu e hermentnan pa monitorea activamente e poblacionnan di parha di tera y analisa e datonan. E proyecto aki ta mas cu un simpel compilacion di dato; e ta un iniciativa dinamico, impulsa pa ciencia y diseña pa facilita analisis integral y intercambio di conocemento, ofreciendo informacion tocante salud di e ecosistemanan local. E proyecto a cuminsa e aña aki y lo extende te na e prome trimester di 2028. E proyecto ta financia pa Ministerio di Agricultura, Naturalesa y Calidad di Alimento y e actividadnan di DCNA ta financia pa Loteria di Codigo Postal di Hulanda. 

Salud Ecologico 

E parhanan ta ofrece un lens unico a traves di cua e parkenan por evalua salud general di nan ecosistemanan. Ademas, e parhanan ta hunga un rol crucial den ecosistema insular, por ehempel, polinisando flor, distribuyendo simia, y nan ta enfatisa importancia di e areanan proteha pa cierto especie vulnerabel di distribucion restringi. Door di sigui e abundancia relativo y composicion di e especienan di parha den diferente tipo ambiental, por obtene un serie di conocemento clave na nivel insular, interinsular y regional. 

Un di e metanan ta pa compronde miho e abundancia relativo di parha, tanto den especie general como den especie specifico. A traves di un observacion cuidadoso, e proyecto aki lo trata na discerni patronchinan y fluctuacionnan a lo largo di e estacionnan y tempo. E fluctuacionnan aki no ta solamente indicado di bida di parha, sino bentananan pa un ecologico dinamico mas amplio.  

Adicionalmente, e proyectonan lo investiga composicion di e especienan di parha den varios medio ambiente durante aña. Esaki lo duna e parkenan un miho comprension di con e ecosistemanan local ta evoluciona y adapta nan mes durante aña. 

E esfuersonan di monitorea lo yuda garantisa cu e especienan menasa ta keda identifica na tempo pa influencia nan sobrevivencia a largo plazo. Ademas, e cambionan (of ausencia di nan) den tamaño di poblacion di parha por indica un cambio of stabilidad ambiental. Di e manera aki, monitorea poblacion di parha por bisa nos mas tocante “salud” di naturalesa en general. Esaki ta yuda e parkenan evalua e exito di conservacion y adapta e accionnan di maneho den caso cu ta necesario. 

Metodologia 

Foto: Rostislav Stach (SHAPE/DCNA)- Tur derecho reserva

Na aña 2022 DCNA a brinda personal di e parkenan oportunidad di asisti na PROALAS bird monitoring workshop in the Dominican Republic, organisa pa BirdsCaribbean. Pa medio di Grupo di Trabou di Investigacion y Monitoreo di DCNA, e parkenan a opta pa utilisa e protocol PROALAScomo metodo standarisa di monitoreo di parha di tera. Danki na e protocol standarisa aki, e datonan compila den e programa aki lo ta comparabel entre e islanan di Caribe Hulandes y resto di e region di Caribe y Zuid-Amerika. 

Lo realisa censo di parha dos biaha pa aña, specificamente den luna di maart/april (post- temporada di yobida) y den luna di october/november (pre- temporada di yobida) na tur seis isla di Caribe Hulandes. E estudionan aki lo wordo realisa pa park rangers capacita y otro expertonan di parha.  

Un compromiso Comparti cu Ciencia 

E proyecto aki tambe lo contribui pa logra e metanan strategico relaciona cu e parhanan (di tera) y nan habitat como parti di Nature and Environment Policy Plan (NEPP)  di Ministerio di Agricultura, Naturalesa y Calidad di Alimento (LNV), Infrastructura y Maneho di Awa. (I&W). E proyecto a keda desaroya den consulta cu Wageningen University & Research pa garantisa cu por uza esaki den e informacionnan relaciona cu  “State of Nature of the Caribbean Netherlands Reporting”. Ademas, pa promove transparencia y fomenta colaboracion, tur dato compila lo ta accesibel a traves di e database Biodiversidad di Caribe Hulandes (DCBD), Observation.org y BirdsCaribbean. E compromiso aki di comparti dato ta pasa frontera, pa sigura cu e  esfuersonan di conservacion impulsa pa ciencia ta beneficia no solamente Caribe Hulandes, sino tambe e comunidad cientifico mundial.  

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DCNA 

Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) ta sostene comunicacion (cientifico) y  divulgacion den region di Caribe Hulandes door di percura cu e informacion cientifico relaciona cu naturalesa ta ampliamente disponibel a traves di entre otro, Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, e plataforma di noticia BioNews di DCNA y prensa.  No tin derecho pa saca nada di e contenido. DCNA no ta responsabel pa e contenido y e impactonan indirecto cu resulta di e publicacion di e articulo aki. 

 

 

DCNA a lansa un proyekto nobo  ‘Monitoring for Bird Biodiversity Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean  – Monitoreo pa konservashon di biodiversidat di para na Karibe Hulandes’.  Pa medio di un kombinashon di entrenamentu mehorá, investigashon den vèlt i uso di un programa di monitoreo standarisá, awor organisashonnan lokal di maneho di naturalesa por aportá mas mihó na monitoreo i protekshon di populashon di para di tera i nan alrededor den área karibense. 

Ku e proyekto nobo akí Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) ke ekipá e organisashonnan di maneho di naturalesa (e parkenan) – Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA)Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (STINAPA), Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (CARMABI), Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) i Nature Foundation St. Maarten– ku e hèrmèntnan  pa aktivamente monitoriá populashon di para di tera i analisá e informashonnan. E proyekto akí ta mas ku solamente akumulá informashon; e ta un inisiativa dinámiko, impulsá sientífikamente i ku nan a diseñá pa hasi análisis amplio i interkambio di konosementu posibel i pa brinda komprenshon tokante salú di e ekosistemanan lokal. E proyekto a ranka sali e aña akí i ta kontinuá te den e promé kuartal di aña 2028. Ministerio di Agrikultura, Naturalesa i Kalidat di Kuminda ta finansiá e proyekto i Nationale Postcode Loterij ta finansiá e aktividatnan di DCNA. 

Salú ekológiko 

Para ta ofresé un lèns úniko atraves di kua e parkenan por evaluá salú general di nan ekosistemanan. Banda di esaki para ta hunga un ròl krusial den ekosistema di e islanan, por ehèmpel pa medio di polinisá flor i plama simia, i nan ta enfatisá kon importante áreanan protehá ta pa sierto espesienan vulnerabel ku un área restringí kaminda ta topa ku nan. Pa medio di sigui e abundansia relativo i e komposishon di espesie di para den diferente tipo di medio ambiente, por optené konosementu importante riba nivel insular, interinsular i regional.  

Un di e metanan ta pa komprendé e abundansia relativo di para mas mihó, tantu en general komo pa espesienan spesífiko. Pa medio di opservashon minusioso e proyekto akí ta bai purba distinguí patronchi i fluktuashon den kurso di vários temporada i tempu. E fluktuashonnan akí no solamente ta indikadónan di bida di para, pero tambe ta duna un bista riba un dinamismo ekológiko mas amplio.  

Aparte di esaki durante henter aña e proyekto akí lo investigá komposishon di espesienan di para den diferente alrededor. Esaki lo duna e parkenan un mihó komprenshon di e manera ku ekosistemanan lokal ta evoluá i adaptá nan mes durante henter aña.  

E esfuersonan i monitoreo lo yuda garantisá ku ta identifiká espesienan menasá na tempu pa influensiá nan sobrebibensia riba término largu. Kambio  – òf ousensia di kambio  –  den grandura di e populashon di para tambe por indiká sierto kambionan òf stabilidat den medio ambiente. Di e manera akí monitoreo di populashon di para por konta nos mas tokante ‘salú’ di naturalesa en general. Esaki ta yuda e parkenan pa evaluá éksito di konservashon di naturalesa i si ta nesesario adaptá e medidanan di maneho. 

Metodologia 

Foto: Rostislav Stach (SHAPE/DCNA)- Tur derecho reserva

Na aña 2022 DCNA a ofresé personal di parke e posibilidat pa asistí na e tayer di PROALAS pa monitoreo di para na Repúblika Dominikana, organisá pa BirdsCaribbean. Via e Grupo di Trabou di Investigashon i Monitoreo di DCNA e parkenan a skohe pa usa e protokòl di PROALASkomo un método standarisá di monitoreo pa para di tera. Danki na e protokòl standarisá akí e informashonnan ku a akumulá den e programa akí lo ta komparabel entre e islanan di Karibe Hulandes i ku sobrá di e área karibense i region Suramerikano. 

Dos biaha pa aña lo ehekutá investigashon di para, spesífikamente na luna di mart/aprel (despues di temporada di yobida) i na luna di òktober/novèmber (promé ku temporada di yobida) na tur e seis islanan di Karibe Hulandes. Rangernan entrená di parke i otro ekspertonan di para lo ehekutá e investigashonnan akí. 

Un dedikashon kompartí na siensia 

E proyekto akí lo kontribuí na realisashon di e metanan stratégiko riba tereno di para (di tera) i nan áreanan di biba komo parti di e  Plan di Maneho di Naturalesa i Medio Ambiente di e ministerionan di Agrikultura, Naturalesa i Kalidat di Kuminda i Infrastruktura i Maneho di Awa. A desaroyá e proyekto den konsulta ku Wageningen University & Research pa sòru ku por us’é pa e ‘Raportahe tokante Estado di Naturalesa di Karibe Hulandes’ korespondiente. Ademas, pa promové transparensia i kolaborashon, lo hasi tur e informashonnan akumulá aksesibel via Dutch Caribbean BiodiversityObservation.org, i BirdsCaribbean. E dedikashon na kompartimentu di informashon ta surpasá frontera i ta sòru pa e esfuersonan impulsá pa siensia riba tereno di konservashon di naturalesa no solamente ta na benefisio di e área di Karibe Hulandes, pero tambe di e komunidat sientífiko mundial.  

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DCNA       

Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)  ta sostené komunikashon (sientífiko) i ‘outreach’ den region hulandes karibense pa medio di hasi informashon sientífiko relashoná ku naturalesa mas ampliamente disponibel via entre otro Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA su plataforma di notisia BioNews i via prensa. No por derivá ningun derecho for di e kontenido. DCNA no ta responsabel pa e kontenido i e konsekuensianan (in)direkto ku ta surgi for di publikashon di e artíkulo akí. 

 

 

 

Published in BioNews 69

Date
2023
Data type
Media
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

Guidelines for the Design and Conduct of Research and Monitoring Projects within the Dutch Caribbean Protected Areas

The Dutch Caribbean is home to a wide variety of unique animal and plant species and tropical habitats like coral reefs, mangroves and elfin forest. Nature contributes to the wellbeing of the local people, providing areas used as to generate income, food, recreation and (coastal) protection. Unfortunately, the islands’ natural resources are under pressure, stemming from local, regional and global threats. This combination makes understanding the state of nature through research and monitoring projects crucial for efficient and effective management and protection.

Each island has its own nature conservation (management) organizations tasked with safeguarding these natural areas. Nature conservation (management) organizations’ staff (biologists, rangers) and (citizen) scientists from all over the world provide invaluable support by gathering knowledge about these complex and fragile ecosystems.

The funding for research and monitoring in the Dutch Caribbean comes largely from the European Netherlands but also from other foreign institutions. Some monitoring (and research) projects by the local nature conservation (management) organizations are funded by governments and through park visitors' incomes. Science and research agendas are determined, and essential fieldwork is often directed by large science institutes and universities such as Wageningen University & Research (WUR), Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Smithsonian Institution. Although these institutions have sound scientific expertise and can meet the specific conditions required by international funders, they often lack local knowledge, capacity and infrastructure on the islands to carry out their work. Research topics are often based on knowledge gaps in science and international reporting obligations which do not always match the most pressing conservation issues for managing the protected areas (parks) in the Dutch Caribbean.

Local organizations can play an essential role in ensuring the local context is taken into consideration when doing research on the Dutch Caribbean islands. The (small) local non-governmental conservation organisations are often the only institutions with the capacity to support fieldwork of visiting scientists. They have the staff, local knowledge and necessary infrastructure and/or logistics (e.g. vehicles and laboratories), but their resources and capacity are often limited. One of the principles of 'sound nature management' is to have management choices guided by scientific research ('science-based management'). Unfortunately, this is often impossible on the islands due to a lack of financial resources and personnel, and conservation organizations are frequently forced to conduct annual monitoring with the limited available resources they have ("management-based science").

One of the key roles of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) is to find ways to build local capacity, improve knowledge sharing and cooperation, and promote efficient networking between different stakeholders, including the nature conservation management organizations on the six Dutch Caribbean islands. To help guide (visiting) researchers, students and funders in their design and implementation of projects within the region, nature conservation management organizations created these Research and Monitoring Guidelines for the protected areas (parks) with the following objectives:

• Support research and monitoring: keep researchers, funders and students well informed about the nature conservation management organizations’ research recommendations and wishes by having this framework updated yearly and published in DCNA’s digital newsletter BioNews and the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database.

• Support local capacity building: encourage (visiting) researchers, students and funders to include local capacity building in their activities to adopt a more sustainable and integrative approach by bridging the worlds of knowledge and action, by not only focusing regionally but emphasizing approaches which are local, place-based, and solution-oriented.

• Encourage ethical practices: provide guidance for conducting research which is carried out in consideration of the local context, practices and sensitivities.

• Make scientific information widely available: request researchers to submit data, reports and publications for upload to the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database where it can be used, amongst others, to guide local policy and management.

• Support science communication and outreach: to promote the sharing of project information to enhance communication and outreach to a diverse group of stakeholders such as other members of the scientific community, local nature conservation organizations, policy makes and the inhabitants of the islands.

 

 

Date
2023
Data type
Other resources
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

Sea Turtle Trends: Understanding Patterns with Predictive Models

Dutch below

In their 2019 paper, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) used sea turtle data collected between 2003 and 2018 to estimate abundance and predict future population trends for green and hawksbill turtles on Bonaire’s west coast. The non-profit organization has now expanded that research in their latest paper to determine the population trend between 2019 and 2022.

Hawksbill turtle. Photo credit: Brenda Kirkby

Sea turtles are an iconic species that face a wide variety of threats.  Since these species can travel vast distances, they are susceptible to a number of transboundary threats, including climate change and poaching as well as local concerns such as pollution and habitat loss.  Monitoring nesting and foraging grounds is a critical part in understanding long-term sea turtle trends throughout the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, sea turtles can be difficult to accurately monitor due to issues with detection and hence incomplete counts. To combat this, research statisticians have developed methods to estimate detection and population size, allowing for more realistic counts. STCB has been working many years to monitor local turtle populations, and in collaboration with Frank Rivera-Milan, to determine trends and test the accuracy of prediction models. For this particular research, the goal was to determine whether the population increased, decreased on remained the same between 2019 and 2022, compared to 2003-2018 and predictions for 2019-2030.

Results

Between 2019 and 2022, surveys were conducted along western Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. In total 703 green turtles and 56 hawksbill turtles were recorded.  Researchers also looked at how easy it was to spot the turtles, and they found that some factors, like the substrate (e.g., sand, rubble) or the level of disturbance (e.g., boats, divers), influenced the number of turtles that were detected.

Green turtle. Photo credit: Brenda Kirkby

When comparing historical data to the prediction data, this study yielded interesting results.  For green turtles, the number of turtles counted between 2019 and 2022 did not change much but was comparatively lower than data collected from 2003-2018 and lower than estimates predicted in the 2019-2030 model.  The number of hawksbill turtles, on the other hand, fluctuated between 2019 and 2022 but was similar to previous surveys (conducted between 2003-2018) and was closer to the predictive models.

Implications

The study’s density estimates aligned with previous research on sea turtles in other locations, and the researchers emphasized the importance of accounting for detection when estimating population numbers. This research concluded that this methodology provided reliable detection and population estimates for monitoring sea turtles within foraging grounds in the Caribbean, therefore this approach could be valuable for similar studies in coastal areas.

DCNA

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) supports science communication and outreach in the Dutch Caribbean region by making nature related scientific information more widely available through amongst others the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s news platform BioNews and through the press. This article contains the results of one of those scientific studies, but this study is not a DCNA study. No rights can be derived from the content. DCNA is not liable for the content and the in(direct) impacts resulting from publishing this article.

 

 

In hun wetenschappelijk artikel uit 2019 gebruikte Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) gegevens over zeeschildpadden die tussen 2003 en 2018 waren verzameld om de populatie te schatten en toekomstige populatietrends voor groene en karetschildpadden aan de westkust van Bonaire te voorspellen. STCB heeft dat onderzoek nu uitgebreid in hun nieuwste wetenschappelijk artikel om de populatietrend tussen 2019 en 2022 te bepalen.

Karetschildpadden. Photo credit: Brenda Kirkby

Zeeschildpadden zijn een iconische soort die met een breed scala aan bedreigingen wordt geconfronteerd. Omdat deze soorten grote afstanden kunnen afleggen, zijn ze vatbaar voor een aantal grensoverschrijdende bedreigingen, waaronder klimaatverandering en stroperij, maar ook voor lokale problemen zoals vervuiling en verlies van leefgebied. Het monitoren van broed- en foerageergebieden is een cruciaal onderdeel om inzicht te krijgen in de langetermijntrends van zeeschildpadden in het Caribisch gebied.

Helaas kunnen zeeschildpadden moeilijk nauwkeurig te volgen zijn vanwege problemen met detectie en dus onvolledige tellingen. Om dit tegen te gaan, hebben onderzoeksstatistici methoden ontwikkeld om de detectie en de populatiegrootte te schatten, waardoor meer realistische tellingen mogelijk zijn. STCB werkt al vele jaren aan het monitoren van lokale schildpaddenpopulaties, en in samenwerking met Frank Rivera-Milan, aan het bepalen van trends en het testen van de nauwkeurigheid van voorspellingsmodellen. Voor dit specifieke onderzoek was het doel om te bepalen of de bevolking toenam, daalde of gelijk bleef tussen 2019 en 2022, vergeleken met 2003-2018 en voorspellingen voor 2019-2030.

Resultaten

Tussen 2019 en 2022 zijn tellingen uitgevoerd langs westelijk Bonaire en Klein Bonaire. In totaal werden 703 groene schildpadden en 56 karetschildpadden geregistreerd. Onderzoekers keken ook naar hoe gemakkelijk het was om de schildpadden te spotten, en ze ontdekten dat sommige factoren, zoals de ondergrond (bijvoorbeeld zand, puin) of de mate van verstoring (bijvoorbeeld boten, duikers), van invloed waren op het aantal schildpadden dat werd gedetecteerd.

Groene schildpad. Photo credit: Brenda Kirkby

Bij het vergelijken van historische gegevens met de voorspellingsgegevens leverde dit onderzoek interessante resultaten op. Voor groene schildpadden veranderde het aantal getelde schildpadden tussen 2019 en 2022 niet veel, maar was relatief lager dan de gegevens verzameld van 2003-2018 en lager dan de schattingen die in het 2019-2030-model waren voorspeld. Het aantal karetschildpadden fluctueerde daarentegen tussen 2019 en 2022, maar was vergelijkbaar met eerdere onderzoeken (uitgevoerd tussen 2003-2018) en lag dichter bij de voorspellende modellen.

Implicaties

De schattingen van de dichtheid tijdens de studie kwamen overeen met eerder onderzoek naar zeeschildpadden op andere locaties, en de onderzoekers benadrukten het belang van het verantwoorden van detectie bij het schatten van populatieaantallen. Dit onderzoek concludeerde dat deze methodologie betrouwbare detectie- en populatieschattingen opleverde voor het monitoren van zeeschildpadden in foerageergebieden in het Caribisch gebied, daarom zou deze aanpak waardevol kunnen zijn voor soortgelijke studies in kustgebieden.

DCNA

De Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) ondersteunt wetenschapscommunicatie en outreach in de Nederlandse Caribische regio door natuurgerelateerde wetenschappelijke informatie breder beschikbaar te maken via onder meer de Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s nieuwsplatform BioNews en via de pers. Dit artikel bevat de resultaten van een van die wetenschappelijke onderzoeken, maar dit onderzoek is geen DCNA-onderzoek. Aan de inhoud kunnen geen rechten worden ontleend. DCNA is niet aansprakelijk voor de inhoud en de indirecte gevolgen die voortvloeien uit het publiceren van dit artikel.

 

 

 

Published in BioNews 67

Date
2023
Data type
Other resources
Theme
Education and outreach
Geographic location
Bonaire
Author

The state of Curaçao's Coral Reef

Coral reefs in the Caribbean are degrading rapidly with a loss of ~50% in just 4 decades. The cause of this degradation is a combination of natural and human impacts (Wilkinson 2000). If present rates of decline continue, researchers project that 60% of Caribbean coral reefs will be lost over the next 30 years. The cumulative impacts from runoff, pol- lution, tourism overuse, destructive fishing and cli- mate change contribute synergistically to these re- gion wide trends. This Assessment finds the same is true for Curacao

The following five indicators were used to assess the health and condition of reef communities at each site: (1) the abundance of reef building organ- isms and their dominant competitors to determine if reefs at a location were growing or declining, (2) the abundance of coral recruits (juvenile corals) to assess the ability of a reef to renew itself, (3) the diversity, abundance, and biomass of all reef as- sociated fishes to assess the state of economically and ecologically important fish species around the island, (4) the abundance of mobile invertebrates such as lobsters and conch (not yet reported in this Assessment), and (5) water measurements to assess water quality for marine life and ocean users. Researchers conducted marine surveys at 148 nearshore sites around Curaçao

Date
2017
Data type
Other resources
Geographic location
Curacao

Report on Queen Conch (Lobatus gigas) Population Monitoring in Lac Bay 2022

1.Background

The queen conch, orLobatus gigas, is an iconic species found within the Caribbean, beingboth economically andsocially important.Famous for its unique and beautiful shell, alongwith its role as a popular item in local dishes, this species is heavily fishedand, in someareas,highly threatened.A project started in the 1980's, Marcultura, worked to boost localpopulations by cultivating conch to be released in the bay (Hensen,1983). Unfortunately,there were no long-term positive impacts to the conch populations after this project.Since November 1992, queen conch havebeen listed as an CITES Appendix II species,which means it is at risk of endangerment. However, due to concerns over local populations,taking conch from Bonaire has been forbidden since 1985. Only legal imports (from countrieswith CITES export permits) are allowed. Unfortunately, poaching is still an ongoing issue forthe island.The conch middens (old shells) that can be seen in large piles along the Lac Caibeach are from conch caught locally and brought in from the Aves Islands.Other species in the genusLobatusandStrombusareLobatus raninus (hawkwing conch),Lobatus costatus(milk conch) andStrombus pugilus (fighting conch) also occur on Bonaire.Lobatus costatusare taken incidentally but their shell is verythick,and they have very littlemeat.

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire

Spatial & Temporal monitoring of Bonaire’s near-shore water quality

Internship report

Although Bonaire’s waters harbours one of the richest reefs of the Caribbean, it has not evaded the unprecedented global decline of these unique and precious systems. Recent research suggests a significant impact of local stressors on coral reef functioning. Future intensification of Bonaire's coastal activities may increase run-off, sedimentation, and eutrophication, which, potentially could induce detrimental changes to the system. However, identifying adverse effects of for example nutrient run-off on coral reefs in field conditions remains challenging. Nevertheless, a new local monitoring infrastructure may help to evaluate the risks posed by nutrient pollution by detecting the frequency and origin of harmful concentrations. We aim to create an integrated seawater quality management plan on Bonaire. For this, we measured levels and spatiotemporal variation of dissolved inorganic nutrients (NH4+, NO2-, NO3-, PO43-) and physiochemical water quality parameters (chlorophyll-a and turbidity).

Preliminary data (NOV 2021-Feb 2023) are presented of this ongoing 4-year monitoring project. Spatial water quality data from thirty-seven study sites collected from November 22nd to December 1st (2021) at 5 and 10m depth on the reef slope indicated that DIN concentration at site B12 (marina) and at the sites located in the area North of Kralendijk exceeded the 1μM threshold value set for the phase shift from coral to macroalgae-dominated coral reefs. Furthermore, geographical differences between in nutrient concentrations and relative abundance of nutrient species were found. Ammonium dominated the DIN pool in the areas Kralendijk and North of Kralendijk, whereas in the northern part of Bonaire DIN pool predominantly comprised of nitrate.

The temporal monitoring showed mean chlorophyll-a concentrations across Bonaire’s west coast approached the upper range of the safe threshold value (0.3 μg/L), indicating that Bonaire’s reefs are experiencing a chronic state of eutrophication. The data presented here of short-time span and should be considered as preliminary results. The outcome of this multi-year project, however, will provide more thorough insight spatiotemporal variation in nutrient and physiochemical water quality parameters. This data will help build scientific knowledge into both sources and resilience to external nutrient loading of coral reef ecosystems. Understanding this heterogeneity in local water quality conditions, will aid effective management, help restore reef resilience, and increase our chances of mitigating the global decline in coastal reef systems.

For full report or more information,  please contact erik.meesters@wur.nl or gulsah.dogruer@wur.nl

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Report number
Wageningen Marine Research Student Report
Geographic location
Bonaire
Author

STENAPA’s protection of Caribbean Sea turtles

Each year, hawksbill and green turtles, and sometimes even leatherback turtles, come to the beaches of Statia to lay their eggs. New protocols, developed by two research students from Van Hall Larenstein University, will aid in STENAPA’s ability to accurately and safely track sea turtle beach activity and hatchling success in the future.

Three different types of turtles can be found on the beaches and in the surrounding waters of St. Eustatius: the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). The hawksbill and green turtle are frequent visitors of the waters of Statia and can be encountered during snorkeling or diving. Every year, nesting hawksbill and green turtles can be found on the beaches. A less frequent visitor is the leatherback turtle. They can only be spotted while nesting since the leatherback is a deep-sea species. Occasionally, a nest of a Leatherback turtle can be found on St. Eustatius.

 

Hawksbill sea turtle. Photo credit: Naturepics: Y.+T. Kühnast

Monitoring

STENAPA monitors the beaches, both morning and night, to identify new nests and track hatching success. The details and information from these beach patrols are collected by filling in data sheets. Those data sheets can be used internationally for the purpose of having comparable data.  Annemieke Borsch and Louise Kramár, two students from Van Hall Larenstein University, recently produced protocols as part of an explanatory report in cooperation and guidance from STENAPA. These protocols cover morning patrol, night patrol and next excavation while the whole report can be used as a guide for how to perform certain tasks in a correct, safe and careful way during patrols.

Importance of data collection

Data collection on turtles is important because it gives information on the status of the species. Baseline information can become important when a new factor comes into play, to see what the effect of the factor is. Besides this, the data collection gives insight in the population trends, if it is declining or growing. It also makes it possible to detect diseases or parasites in a population in an early state. The data collection is also important to get to know the species better, for example habitat, food source and breeding grounds, to protect these necessary factors for the turtles.

Green sea turtle. Photo credit: Naturepics: Y.+T. Kühnast

Why turtles need protection

The green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles are on the IUCN red list of endangered species. The green turtle is listed as ‘’endangered’’ and the hawksbill and leatherback turtles are listed as ‘’critically endangered’’. Sea turtles need protection because they are keystone species. This means, that they are an important part of the marine environment and have an influence on the species living among them. Hawksbill turtles live close to the coral reefs, where they feed on sponges which compete with corals for space. Green turtles are important because they feed on seagrass, which keeps the seagrass ecosystem healthy meaning it can take up more carbon and sustain more species this way. Leatherback turtles are known to control the number of jellyfish in the oceans. Besides the ecological benefits, the turtles are also important for coastal communities, since many people rely on the incomes that are being provided by turtle watching and diving. Some indigenous communities see turtles as a part of their culture and there is said that seeing a turtle in the wild has psychological and emotional benefits.

How to support

There are several ways to contribute to the conservation of sea turtles on Statia. If you are interested in helping, STENAPA offers both part- and full-time volunteering programs (for more information contact volunteer@statiapark.org and/or check out https://www.statiapark.org/vacancies-turtle-program/). Together with the National Parks Staff you can take part in the in-water surveys conducted throughout the Marine Park. If scuba diving is not possible, staff are happy to provide training for beach patrols so that you would be able to assist in the monitoring of nesting turtles on the beaches. Since the turtles are protected, people are not allowed to disturb them. This is the reason why you should contact STENAPA if you want to be involved and not go looking for turtles by yourself.

STENAPA needs volunteers especially for the patrols since it is necessary to be done a few times a week during nesting season. Their wish is for the (local) volunteers to be able to patrol as independently as possible with the help from instructions and the protocols guiding them.

 

More information

To learn more about STENAPA and the turtle species on St. Eustatius you can go to the website: www.statiapark.org. If you are interested in protocols about morning and night patrols and the nest-excavations, send your request to STENAPA.

 

Published in BioNews 54

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Eustatius
Author

BirdsCaribbean Landbird Monitoring Workshop

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.

 

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Nederlands

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)

 

 

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Papiamentu

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).

 

 

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Papiamento

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

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Saba
Saba bank
St. Maarten
Author