Category Archives: Nature

Seabirds and Juvenile Green Sea Turtle are Successfully Rehabilitated on Bonaire

Bonaire takes care of its nature; a sea turtle and seabirds are successfully rehabilitated.

 

Update on seabirds rescued from oil spill.

As was reported a few weeks ago, Elly Albers of the The Mangrove Center was tasked with the care, cleaning, and rehabilitation of several seabirds, which were covered in oil, after an oil spill occurred up-current in Trinidad.

Brown Boobies and Red-footed Boobies are happy and healthy.

Today, Elly is happy to report that four Brown Boobies and two Red-footed Boobies have survived, are alive and well, and nearing the completion of their rescue/rehabilitation.

Their last washing was on June 12th, 2017, and now Elly is waiting until their natural waterproofing returns to normal.  Once that occurs, these six seabirds will be set free to return to their natural habitat.

Their release into the wild will occur once the feathers are sufficiently waterproofed.

These seabirds’ feathers are not naturally waterproof, but the bird can increase water resistance by applying waxes from their preen glands, found at the base of the tail.

Seabirds also have “powderdowns” which are special feathers which are constantly disintegrating into a waterproof powder.  This powder also adds to the water-resistance of the birds’ feathers.

Boobies, like other seabirds that dive underwater, are blessed with particularly dense feathers, which also helps to keep the water from penetrating to the bird’s body.  These birds must constantly preen their feathers to keep them in good shape, and continually distribute the waterproofing oils and powders.

The birds collectively eat about 2 kilos (4.5 pounds) of fish each day. The fish is purchased from Bonaire’s local fishermen.

 

“Rosita”, a Juvenile Green Sea Turtle, is successfully rehabilitated.

Over the past six weeks, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) has successfully rehabilitated a juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas), named “Rosita,” which was found at Lagun, floating and unable to feed herself.

Rosita was found in trouble on a beach on Bonaire’s eastern coastline.

Rosita was found on May 21st, 2017 by dog walkers who reported the turtle in trouble to the STCB Hotline (+599 780-0433). After a first assessment by STCB’s Project Coordinator, it became clear that the turtle was positively buoyant, and therefore unable to dive for food and so likely to die without help and intervention.

Rosita is a juvenile green sea turtle rehabilitated on Bonaire.A six-week recovery.

Over the course of six weeks, Rosita was re-hydrated, treated for any possible infection, aided in her digestion, fed well, and supported in the process of achieving neutral buoyancy once more by progressively weighting her carapace. Alternative therapies given included a complimentary course of biomagnetism/energy healing treatments from Rosita Paiman, after whom the turtle has been named.

Due to expert team work from STCB staff and volunteers, veterinarian Fulco de Vries, therapist Rosita Paiman, and the team at Harbour Village Bonaire, Rosita has made a full recovery and she was released back to the wild on Sunday, July 2nd, 2017.

If a turtle is found in distress, call the STCB Hotline.

Dr. Sue Willis of STCB encourages all those on Bonaire–visitors or residents–to report a turtle in trouble:

“Bonaire is home to three of the world’s six endangered or critically endangered species of marine turtles. Being able to respond to and assess any sea turtle in trouble on Bonaire is therefore very important. We can’t always save their lives, but at the least we can prevent unnecessary suffering.’’

If you see a turtle in trouble, distress, or danger, please call the STCB Hotline at +599 780-0433.

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Status of Shark and Ray Communities in the Dutch Caribbean

Even as there is greater awareness about the ecological niche that sharks fill in the world’s oceans, their populations are declining.

Research by Imares has shown that a decrease in sharks as apex predators leads to a disturbed natural balance in the sea. This could have consequences for the total fishery stock.

In September, 2015, the Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs opened the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary, creating the eleventh shark sanctuary in the world. Since that time, additional work has been done to enact further protection for sharks in the waters of the Dutch Caribbean.

Shark research continues on Bonaire in September, 2017Last September, shark research on Bonaire began with a joint study commissioned by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), STINAPA, and Imares.  This coming September, a research study group will be back on Bonaire to continue this research on the sharks which live in Bonaire’s waters.

There are openings for researchers; those wishing to apply need:

  • Dutch citizenship
  • Good analytical skills
  • Good scientific writing skills.

 

The aim of the project is to develop a robust method for long-term shark and fish community surveys in the Dutch Caribbean. As many of the reefs in the Dutch Caribbean extend below safe limits for diving surveys, baited remote underwater stereo-video (stereo BRUV) will be used to study fish diversity, relative abundance and population structure.

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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STINAPA Connecting People with Nature Events for June, 2017

STINAPA’s June events include hiking to the top of Bonaire and enjoying Bonaire’s summer birds.

 

See sunrise from Brandaris, the highest point of Bonaire during the next hosted hike in Washington Slagbaai National Park.

Guided hikes in Washington Slagbaai National Park.

The only way to view sunrise from Brandaris is to join STINAPA on one of their sunrise hikes of Bonaire’s highest point.  The next event will be on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18th, 2017, so grab the father in your life and get climbing.

The experience of sunrise (or sunset) on Brandaris is a singular experience, and one which most visitors never get to enjoy.  The hike will begin before sunrise, so participants must be at the entrance to the park before 5:00 AM.

Hiking Brandaris, the highest point of Bonaire.Space is limited and registration is necessary.

There is space for twenty participants, and pre-registration is necessary by calling STINAPA at 717-8444; the entry fee is $10.00 per person.  Participants must arrange their own transportation to and within the park.

What to bring; fitness is important.

A good physical condition is important and children 10 years and up may participate only if accompanied by an adult. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes and bring your own water and a snack and don’t forget to bring a flashlight, since the climb will begin in darkness.  Plans call for everyone to be back at the park entrance about 8:30 AM.

Toward the top of Brandaris, there is a part which can be a bit of a strain, but once you reach the summit, the views of Bonaire are unforgettable.

Birdwatching with STINAPA at LVV on June 24th from 4:30 to 6:00 PM.

Bonaire has an amazing diversity of birds, but many visitors do not realize it.  On June 24th, there is an excellent opportunity to go birding with STINAPA at Bonaire’s LVV facility on Kaminda Lagoen.

Rare species of birds can be spotted.

This area has a constant supply of fresh water which attracts an abundance of bird species. Very rare species of birds for the ABC islands have been spotted in this area, such as the Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Southern Lapwing, and the Glossy Ibis. This event provides an excellent opportunity for bird photography as well.

What to bring, make a reservation.

Bring binoculars (if don’t have any, STINAPA can loan you some) and drinking water, and be sure to wear good walking shoes. Reservations are needed, so be sure to call STINAPA at 717-8444 to insure your place. There are no costs involved to participate, but donations are always welcome. Meet at the office building next to the wastewater tanks.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Quick Response on Bonaire Averts Potential Environmental Calamity

Excellent cooperation and fast mobilization on Bonaire has helped to avoid environmental problems after tar globules from Trinidad arrive on Bonaire.

As reported last week, two weeks ago, Bonaire started seeing globules of tar arrive on the windward eastern coastline, after traveling downcurrent from Trinidad and an oil spill from their Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

Today, after two weeks of intensive work, we have good news to report that the east coast is returning to normal.

The entire Bonaire community–including nature organizations, government, private sector, and private citizens–came together in a massive cleanup effort, which has helped tremendously with dealing with the potential negative ramifications of the Trinidad oil spill. As of now, the most ecologically valuable areas do not appear to have been negatively impacted or have seen only minimal impact.

150 volunteers work together.

Last Saturday, over 150 volunteers worked ceaselessly along Bonaire’s east coast beaches at various locations to insure that all is safe and clean and remove any oil which had washed up on Bonaire’s shore, including a number of places near Washington Slagbaai National Park, Lagun, Washikemba, Sorobon, Willemstoren and Markultura. Oil that had washed up was collected and, where possible, even scraped off the rocks.

 

Safety materials were provided to all volunteers by Bonaire’s island and federal governments, while STINAPA organized the volunteers for the different locations. The Fire and Police Departments assisted by delivering materials and food (donated by Bonaire Food Group and its supermarkets), and the volunteers did the rest!

It was an awesome effort, and today we are happy to report that Bonaire’s beaches on the east coast are now clean and safe, with no new oil washing ashore in several days. Due to the organized clean-ups that began on Saturday, May 27th, 2017, it can be said that the sandy areas are clean. Unfortunately, it is not possible to remove all oil residue from the rocks and stones. The beaches are receiving continued monitoring.

Join STINAPA’s Junior Rangers at Lagun tomorrow morning for an additional cleanup.

Because it has been observed that there is still oil washing ashore at Lagun, there will be another cleanup tomorrow at this location by STINAPA’s Junior Rangers, who adopted this beach years ago as their beach to keep clean on a regular basis.

The reason the oil is still present at Lagun is because oil that was washed into the bay is still coming ashore with seaweed. If you wish to help out, join the Junior Rangers tomorrow morning at Lagun.  Protective gear will be provided, including gloves, boots, and overalls. If you still have protective gear from the cleanups of last week, please bring these with you. STINAPA and the Junior Rangers thank you for any assistance.

Seabirds are recuperating.

Red-footed Booby, recuperating from Trinidad oil spill.

Image courtesy of Elly Albers

Eight seabirds (Red-footed Boobies and Brown Boobies) were found still alive, but covered in oil. These were brought to Elly Albers at the Mangrove Info Center for rehabilitation, as she has experience in helping seabirds return to health. Two were very sick and did not live, but Elly is happy to announce that the remaining six seabirds are healthy, clean and stable.

The birds required multiple cleanings using Dawn dish-washing liquid, as the tar was not easy to remove. However, they are finishing their recoveries, and Elly hopes they can be released again soon.

Thanks go to many entities on Bonaire for the great coordination and fast mobilization:

  • Bonaire’s Governments
  • STINAPA
  • STCB
  • STINAPA Junior Rangers
  • Selibon
  • The Dutch army
  • Bonaire’s Fire Department
  • Bonaire’s Police Department
  • Ministry of I&M
  • Bonaire Food Group
  • van den Tweel Supermarket
  • Warehouse
  • Kooyman
  • The Mangrove Info Center
  • Elly Albers
  • Rentofun
  • Budget Car Rental
  • Bonaire Hydrotest and Maintenance
  • And, of course, the many hundreds of private citizens who volunteered!

(Source:  STINAPA, The Mangrove Info Center)

 

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


 

 

 

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Save Our Sharks Room is Launched at Washington Park’s Open House

Enjoy this year’s open house at Washington Slagbaai National Park on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

This Sunday heralds the annual open house event for Bonaire’s Washington Slagbaai National Park, and this year there is a special feature, when the new Save Our Sharks Room is launched.

Fun events will be occurring all day long throughout the park.

Washington Slagbaai National Park's Open House is June 11, 2017The park’s open house is a fun day filled with lots of events, food, and sun and sand for anyone, residents or visitors alike, to enjoy. The park is open from 8:00 AM through 5:00 PM, and entrance for this very special day is free. Transportation from the entrance to Boka Slagbaai is provided at 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, with a return at 3:00 PM.

Don’t miss the grand opening of the new Save Our Sharks Room, with interactive exhibits.

At 10:00 AM, there will be a very special grand opening of STINAPA’s Save Our Sharks room, located in the park’s museum at the entrance.  Within this special room, one can discover the sharks of Bonaire, uncover fossil shark teeth in the Shark Tooth Dig, and learn about the sharks of the past, present, and future! Thanks to the generous support of the Nationale Postcode Loterij in the Netherlands, STINAPA, among others, is able to make a real difference in shark conservation in the Caribbean.

Biking, hiking, barbecue and drinks, local market, and face painting.

But events will be occurring all day long.  There’s a mountain bike race starting at 7:30 AM, a local market will be open at 8:00 AM with food and drinks, there’s hiking for both kids and adults, face painting, handicrafts, barbecue, and live local music starting at 1:00 PM.

Enjoy the day!

(Source:  STINAPA)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Marine Species on Bonaire Which Have Protection

There are both plant and animal species on Bonaire which are protected under either international agreements or local laws.

Internationally protected marine species on Bonaire.

Download the list of protected marine species on Bonaire.

The species of marine animals that are protected are listed below and these can be important for reef fishermen to know about.

All whales, dolphins, sharks, rays, and sea turtles that may be found in the waters of Bonaire are protected by treaties (international agreements). All the soft and hard corals are also protected. In fact, the entire underwater park and all that is in it is protected, alive or dead.

Click image to download the entire list of protected marine species on Bonaire (in PDF format)

Click image to download the entire list of protected marine species on Bonaire (in PDF format)

In the underwater marine park, except for the two fish reserves, fish may be fished with traditional fishing gear. However, a number of fish and other marine animals are protected according to international and local law. Most of the mentioned fishes occur on the red list of endangered species of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). It concerns CR (critically endangered), EN (endangered) or vulnerable (VU) categories. The government is more or less obliged by the international community to protect these fishes.

Parrotfish are protected because of their ecological importance. They play a key role in the ecosystem. Parrotfish are grazers needed to keep our coral reefs free from algae. Groupers are getting rarer and are at the top of the food chain. They also have a touristic value, like the sea turtles, sharks and rays.

Lobsters are over-fished. Separate management measures are required to maintain and improve the lobster numbers. Lobsters may only be caught between 1 November and 30 April and only along the east coast between Malmok and the Willemstoren. A lobster whose head and trunk together (carapace) is less than 12 cm/4.75 inches may not be captured or killed. Also, egg-bearing lobsters must not be caught or killed, for obvious reasons. The conch (locally known as karko) is on the list because this mollusk is also over-fished.

Locally protected sea creatures

Fishes

(Provided by scientific name, Papiamentu name, Dutch name, English name)

Balistes vetula, pishiporko rabu di gai, koningstrekkervis, queen triggerfish
Dermatolepis inermis, olitu, zeebaars, marbled grouper
Epinephelus itajara, djufes, itajara, Goliath grouper, jewfish
Epinephelus striatus, jakupepu, Nassau tandbaars, Nassau grouper
Lachnolaimus maximus, hòkfes, everlipvis, hogfish
Lutjanus analis, kapitán, snapper, mutton snapper
Lutjanus cyanopterus, karaña, snapper, cubera snapper
Scaridae, gutu, papegaaivissen, parrotfishes
Thunnus obesus, buni wowo grandi, grootoogtonijn, bigeye tuna

Invertebrates

(Provided by scientific name, Papiamentu name, Dutch name, English name)

Panulirus argus, kref, kreeft, Caribbean spiny lobster
Panulirus guttatus, kref, gevlekte kreeft, spotted spiny lobster
Panulirus laevicauda, kref, kreeft, smoothtail spiny lobster

Mollusks/Seashells

Strombus gigas, karkó, grote kroonslak, queen conch

(Source:  STINAPA)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Trinidadian Oil Spill Reaches Bonaire’s East Coast

Massive oil spill cleanup in process organized by STINAPA, STCB, the island government, Selibon, and volunteers.

 

It is with a very heavy heart that today we report that the result of an oil spill last month in Trinidad is now affecting Bonaire’s east coast.

Trinidad oil spill reaches Bonaire’s east coast.

On April 23rd, 2017, a fuel oil storage tank ruptured at Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre (Trinidad) refinery spilling 20,000 gallons. Aerial surveys and monitoring indicated that some of the oil leaked from the Pointe-a-Pierre operations and made its way out to sea.

tar from a Trinidad oil spill mars Bonaire's east coastIt has taken about a month to reach Bonaire’s east coast, but globules of tar began washing up on the island’s eastern coast last Thursday. The island government’s Department of Public Health, STINAPA, along with its Junior Rangers, STCB, the island’s waste management company Selibon, and a slew of volunteers have spent the last four days doing their best to mitigate the damage.

Bonaire is racing against time and making a massive effort to mitigate the damage to its natural resources.

Bonaire’s government began immediate aerial surveying, but the salt in the sea has turned most of the oil into tar, so it is not easily detected by air as the tar could be floating just under the surface of the sea.

Trinidad oil spill reaches Bonaire's east coastIt should be noted that at this time, the tar is only washing up on Bonaire’s east coast so it doesn’t impact the safety of water sports enthusiasts diving or kiting on Bonaire’s western leeward short.

Seabirds along Bonaire’s eastern coast are at high risk for death or sickness.

Because the areas of Lac, Lagun, and Sorobon are high-risk areas due to their large bird diversity, cleanup actions are being focused upon these areas first. Unfortunately, bird populations in these areas, and especially those of seabirds, can be quickly affected, many times causing the bird’s death.

 

STINAPA and volunteers working tirelessly to clean up the oil

 

Do not attempt cleanup without the proper equipment.

It should be noted that residents or visitors should NOT try to assist with the cleanup operations without the proper equipment.  The oil/tar can be toxic and shouldn’t come in contact with a person’s skin.  Should it be touched, the tar should be cleaned with an oil-based substance, such as Baby Oil or cooking oil.  Alcohol will not remove it.

You can help. Volunteers are needed to assist with proper cleanup and tar removal efforts.

Those who wish to volunteer to help will be provided the proper equipment and instructions as to how to safely remove the tar.  Removal of the tar is easier in the mornings, as the lower temperatures make the tar and oil less fluid. Those who wish to help can sign up by sending an email to either marinepark@stinapa.org or volunteer@stinapa.org, with the subject line, “Oil Cleanup Volunteer.”  Please provide your name, contact phone numbers, days you are available to help, your address, and if you require transportation or not.

Or contact either STINAPA (717-8444) or STCB to participate in a joint cleanup effort tomorrow morning, May 30th, 2017. If you cannot assist tomorrow, your assistance during the rest of the week is still appreciated.

 

Rehabilitating Seabirds.

Already affected seabirds are arriving at The Mangrove Info Center, as Elly Albers, owner/manager of the center, has had good experience with the rehabilitation of sick or injured seabirds. Already two boobies have “checked in” in with Elly for a health check.  After a massive cleaning, the birds are resting, and hopes are high they can be re-introduced to the sea and shorelines after the situation has resolved.

(Source:  OLB, STINAPA, images and videos by STINAPA and Elly Albers, used with permission)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Bonaire’s Royals Get Ready for Babies

Springtime heralds the breeding season for Bonaire’s terns.

Love is in the air, but no, we are not discussing whether Bonaire’s Royals, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, are expecting!  Instead, we are referring to Bonaire’s Royal Terns, as well as other species of terns found on Bonaire.

Springtime on Bonaire, as in many other locations around the world, signals the breeding season for many animals.  Bonaire’s population of terns, usually made up of Royal Terns, Caspian Terns, Least Terns, or Common Terns, and occasionally other species of terns, are also feeling the urge to propagate their species.

On a recent birding excursion to Bonaire’s south leeward coast, I was surprised to see a large number of terns and laughing gulls on a very small piece of dry real estate, just off the side of the road.  There were so many seabirds on such a small islet,  I had to stop to take a longer look.

Tern courtship includes offerings of fish, dancing, and posturing.

Much to my surprise, I found some real courtship behavior in full swing.  The first behavior which caught my attention was the offerings of very fine fish dinners.

Courtship feeding is frequently seen in terns. For instance, in an effort to lure females to their territories in the nesting area, a male tern may carry a fish around the breeding colony and display it to prospective mates. After a pair bond is formed, during the “honeymoon period” the male tern can actually feed the female, and soon thereafter they begin to copulate.

As I watched, I saw many examples of fish being offered, always proffered with the fish crosswise in the mouth, but the females seemed to be playing hard to get, with all offerings ignored.  In some cases, the male would fly off to another female on the islet to see if he could find a more willing prospective mate.

The size of the proffered fish might be a determining factor as to whether the female accepts the food or not.  In an older study of Royal Terns in another location than Bonaire, on 23 occasions in which the female accepted the food, the proffered fish was 7 cm. in length or longer.  In seven refusals of food, the fish was only 5 cm in length or smaller and very slender. This leads to speculation that the function of courtship feeding may give the females the opportunity to assess potential mates as future providers for chicks.

Males were busy with other courtship displays, including some high-stepping “Happy Feet” dancing in front of females, as well as unmistakable posturing of the male, with his neck extended and slightly back, and with the bends of the wings out like a skirt.

I was enthralled by the show these seabirds were putting on for me, and several other cars with visitors pulled off to the side of road and joined me in watching.  It should be said that any time you are observing nesting birds on Bonaire, it is best to keep your distance and use a spotting scope or binoculars.  This is for the safety of the future chicks, as, should your motions scare the nesting female off the nest, the egg could be preyed upon, or even over heat and cook under Bonaire’s sun.

However, after about an hour, in which I did not see one female accept an offer of food, I continued on my way.

New chicks are on the way.

Terns on Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean) exhibiting courtship behavior (copulation)

But I was curious to see what the outcome would be, so I visited the islet again the next day.  Although about 30% less populated, those remaining were very busy with some real courtship!  It seems the females’ defenses came down within those 24 hours, and copulation was repeatedly occurring.  When looking closer through binoculars, I could already see some eggs laid in the nesting colony, so we should expect to see some tern chicks in coming days.Terns on Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean) exhibiting courtship behavior (nesting)

So what is the moral of this story?  I would normally encourage everyone to stop and smell the roses, but since roses are not common on Bonaire, I will instead encourage everyone to stop and watch the terns courting!  Keep your eyes open whenever you are driving around Bonaire as you never know what royal experience you may encounter in Bonaire’s nature.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter, Stanford University, Searchable Ornithological Research Archive – UNM)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Cargill and STINAPA Collaborate to Protect Corals Under Bonaire’s Salt Pier

Relocating corals under Bonaire’s Salt Pier.

Salt Pier’s temporary closing.

Late in March, the Bonaire Insider informed its readers of the then-impending closure of Bonaire’s Salt Pier dive site for a temporary period while Cargill made renovations to the pier.

Last week, STINAPA and a group of assistants dove tirelessly under Bonaire’s Salt Pier in an effort to mitigate potential damage to the corals in that location.

Old anchor chains were scheduled for removal, but were encrusted with live corals.

As part of the renovations for the major pier repairs, two huge 40-year-old anchor chains, both encrusted with living corals, were to be removed. Cargill requested STINAPA’s advice as to how to minimize damage, and they agreed to leave most of the old chains in place, but instead lay the new chains next to them.  In order to clear a path for the new chains, live corals and sponges had to be relocated to a safe area nearby.

Corals and sponges were relocated to nearby areas or to coral nurseries.

STINAPA relocates corals at Bonaire's Salt PierWith the expertise of Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire and the help of number of volunteers, the STINAPA Junior Rangers, and many private sector divers, STINAPA proceeded to relocate a large number of hard corals, soft corals, and sponges, which would otherwise have faced certain death. The live corals were moved by hand while on SCUBA to nearby safe zones. For moving the larger colonies, the marine park rangers used lift bags.

A few of the corals were transported by boat to coral restoration sites at Buddy Dive and Harbour Village. In the coming months STINAPA will be monitoring the survival rate of the corals and sponges that were relocated.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Washington Slagbaai National Park Remains Closed After Heavy Rains

Washington Slagbaai National Park temporarily closed.

Unfortunately, Bonaire’s Washington Slagbaai National Park remains temporarily closed as the northern part of the island received torrential rains on Friday, April 14th, 2017.

Heavy rains caused flooding in Bonaire's Washington Slagbaai National ParkRainfall in the park totaled 65.3 mm/2.57 inches in three hours, causing flooding and damage to the roads.  Although the park staff has been working tirelessly to get the park ready for visitors once again, the park remains closed until another assessment can be made this weekend.  The earliest the park might be open for traffic is Monday, April 24th, 2017, but STINAPA will evaluate if that is possible this weekend.

In the meantime, the museum, Kasikunda Trail, and the Lagadishi Trail are open for visitors, and entrance to the park is free during this interim period.

For additional information, you may contact Washington Slagbaai National Park at telephone 788-9015.

Note Update April 24, 2017:  We are happy to report that Washington Slagbaai National Park is now open with normal hours.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


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