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Dry Forest Monitoring Results from the Slagbaai area in Washington Park.

STINAPA reports that after 32 hours of dry forest monitoring of 24 plots, and a whopping 5322 plants counted, they have finally finished data collection for the Slagbaai area of the park!  In the dry forest area, 19 different species were counted, and the best news is that no exotic or invasive species were detected in any of the plots.

Species important for Bonaire’s fauna.

Many of Bonaire’s ecologically important species (birds, bats, iguanas, and lizards) depend upon plants for food, The monitoring found these plant species include kalbas, kadushi, yatu, palu di lele, palu di kuida, palu di boneiru, and watapana, some of which were also the most abundant in terms of cover.

Biodiversity in the Slagbaai portion of the park as shown in the dry forest monitoring.

Using a biodiversity index looks at how many individuals are distributed over the number of species.
The index for biodiversity varies between 0 (low) to 5 (high)

  • Average biodiversity in the park was: 1.15 (on the low side)
  • Lowest biodiversity was 0.11 (plot 16 with 4 species)
  • Highest was 2.13 (plot 5 with 13 species).

Although STINAPA cannot yet draw conclusions on what this says about the overall state of the vegetation in the park, they will continue to monitor the dry forest to see how it develops. In November, 2020, they will commence with monitoring in the Washington part of the park.  Once that has been completed, a better comparison view can be made of the two major areas of the park and a better sense of how the park is developing can be assessed.

  • Cacti account for 75.5% of all plants counted
  • Trees account for 24.5%
Types of plants monitored in Bonaire's dry forest.
  • In terms of how much area each plant covers, the highest cover plants were the following:
The species found with the most cover in the Bonaire dry forest monitoring survey.
  • The tree population was subdivided based on height in 3 categories: seedlings (less than 50 cm/20 inches), saplings (between 50 cm and 100 cm/20 to 40 inches), and mature trees (over 100 cm/over 40 inches). 
Trees by height in Bonaire's dry forest monitoring survey.

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(Source:  STINAPA)

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


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