I Newsletter 1/2007
The satellite transmitter that was
fitted to Hawksbill turtle Lisa
transmitted for the last time on
February Ist, 2007.
Lisa last transmitted from an area
just to the north of St. Barths in
the location of some uninhabited
It is not known whether she has
lost the transmitter, if the battery
has died or if some harm has
come to her. The expected bat-
tery lifetime is up to 6 months.
Lisa was fitted with her transmit-
ter in September of last year after
laying 143 eggs on Zeelandia. It
is suspected that while in An-
guilla's waters she also came
ashore and laid some eggs. This
was based on the change in the
strength of her satellite signal
and could not be verified.
It is possible that she also nested
on St. Croix but again this cannot
From the time of her nesting on
Zeelandia beach until the time of
her last transmission, Lisa had
traveled 2870 kilometers.
To get a better picture of her
overall travels, you can visit
our website and click on the
projects tab for more informa-
A link to www.seaturtles.org,
gives an interactive map of
Lisa was the first Hawksbill of
the 2006 turtle season to be
spotted on Zeelandia Beach
by one of our patrols. Her
name was chosen by Evan
Hassell, a 4th grade student
of the Governor de Graaf
school. He was the winner of
an arts & craft competition
held in 2005.
Grace, a green turtle, also
tagged with a transmitter just
two weeks after Lisa, is still
transmitting. She has traveled
a total of 3009 kilometers and
is still happily swimming
around between St. Kitts and
Grace deposited 129 eggs on
Zeelandia beach before she
was tagged and released.
Lisa is Missing!!
Inside this Publication
Lisa is Missing!!
National Parks user Fees I
Junior Rangers visit to
Quill National Park 2
New Staff Member 2
The whales are back!! 2
Snorkel Club Graduates! 3
National Parks Fees
A willingness to pay study
was conducted in the two
National Parks over a four
month period late last year.
The reasons for this survey
were the outdated user fee
structure and the fact that
these fees still do not cover
the operational costs for the
The results of this survey
clearly showed that visitors
to the parks are more than
willing to pay a higher fee to
make use of these natural
The only user group that
may not see a change will
be the yachts as there was
insufficient data to be able to
make a determination about
STENAPA is presently await-
ing Government's decision
on the matter concerning
the increasing of park fees.
The recommended fees as
compared to the existing
ones are as follows:
Single Dive tags $3 -> $4
Annual Dive tag $15 -> $20
Trail pass $3 -> $6
Multi-pass (diving/hiking) $25
These tags and passes are
and visitors to the island
Corallita Research Final 4
Use your Eco-bags as much as
Tip. Keep them in your glove
compartment and you'll always
have them handy!!
Guided tours are available for
school or church groups.
Objectives for 2007
Close-up otra iawksDll turtle.
St Eustatius: National and Marine Parks and Botanical Gardens
Junior Rangers visit the Quill National Park
On Monday, February 19th, the Junior .'
Rangers visited the Ouill accompanied by ., .
Hannah Leslie (leader), Lauren Maloney ,
(intern) and Vincent Kleinekorte (intern). ""
-. A ""
Everyone takes a break at the top.
Photo break on the trail.
The group met at 8:00am at the visitor
center and set out for the trailhead. This
trip was organized to get the kids out of
the house and into nature during their
free week from school. Junior rangers are
kept busy with projects in both the Na-
tional Parks, the Botanical Garden, the
turtle program and with beach cleanup.
They must complete all projects in their
activity book in order to graduate.
Not too tired to have fun in the crater.
New Staff Member Jessica Berkel
STENAPA is pleased to welcome Jessica
Berkel, who has been transferred to the
National Parks Foundation as an Office
Administrator. Here follows a short inter-
What is your background?
I have a diploma in Graphic Design and
have worked free lance in that field for
10 years. Since coming to Statia, I have
worked for the Island Government in the
tower at the FDR Airport. After waiting
some years for a transfer, I finally got the
good news this year.
Is it very different from your previous job?
Oh, very much so. This work is more chal-
lenging and there is nothing routine
about it at all. Almost every day when
you get to the office, outside of your nor-
mal work, there is something else that
comes up. Sometimes its hard to com-
plete something in the time that you set
yourself to do it, because most of the
time you are doing three things or more
What does your job at STENAPA entail?
It is very varied, I do a bit of everything.
Writing reports for funding agencies,
giving information to visitors, answering
email queries, banking, coordinating
activities, scheduling, seeing that the
web site is kept updated, souvenir sales,
etc. When one of the funders is visiting,
you have to take them to see what their
money is being spent on, so that can be
on the 'to-do' list for the day as well.
The Whales are Back
The whales are passing by the island of
St. Eustatius once again. They have al-
ready been spotted from the lookout
area at the Botanical Garden. This is your
opportunity to see them breaching, as in
the photo below, in real life and not just
on a television screen.
Humpback whales traditionally pass the
island from December to April. If you are
lucky to see them, it is quite an experi-
ence. Take the kids out to the Botanical
Garden for a picnic and the possibility of
getting a glimpse at one of these giants.
Give an example of 'something coming
Well, the other day I was working on a
report and a call came in that there was a
mega-yacht anchored in the Southern
reserve. So I tried calling them on the
radio but got no answer. Then a dive
operator came in to report them. Eventu-
ally I had to go out to the yacht with the
Marine Park ranger to explain to them
where they were and why they had to
move. They were very cooperative.
Any difficulties so far?
Not really. I helped out a lot when the
previous manager was here, so sales and
information etc. I had done before. Mak-
ing reports is new to me but I am enjoy-
ing the challenge. Sometimes some
yachts people are a bit difficult about
paying their fees but youjust explain to
them why they have to pay it and they
pretty much are happy to pay in the end.
They almost always come back so I guess
they are really not all that put off by fees.
STENAPA Objectives for 2007
The National Parks Foundation has
achieved most of the goals that it set
itself in 2006 as you may have read in
Apart from the ongoing projects, here
follows a condensed view of what we
expect to achieve this year.
Building expansion project
Complete the finishing touches including
the garden landscaping, an information
sign and a brochure about our services
Continue the visits to the schools and
search for funding for this program to
continue in the 2007/2008 school year.
Plastic Bag Campaign
Continue public awareness via media
and discuss and ensure further action
with the Executive Council.
Continue monthly radio program, quar-
terly newsletters, newspaper articles and
arrange annual meeting.
Complete management plan. Complete
replacement of 12 yacht moorings.
Zeelandia Beach Protection
Plant sea grapes to restore area, arrange
study to investigate impact of sand min-
ing and place boulders to prevent vehicle
access to the beach proper.
Quill National Park
Complete the management plan for the
Quill, produce information signs for trail
network. Carry out inventory of all signs.
Conduct land crab survey. Complete bird
survey. Improve Round the Mountain trail
and its signage. Carry out impact study
on and control of the roaming animals in
Continue to organize school visits for
each class during the year and also visits
for church groups and senior citizens.
Prepare and start planting out the Fruit
garden and the Children's garden.
Organize local volunteers for weekends
with the focus on Corallita clearing. The
vine is invading the garden property.
Carry out habitat mapping of the Marine
Park (to map sea-grass beds etc.), begin
in-water monitoring of juvenile and resi-
dent turtles and follow the same monitor-
ing habits as used in 2006.
Tanker Impact Survey
Continue with consultation of Marine
Department of Statia Terminal. Finalise
and distribute this study and produce
report for the funders, KNAP.
Follow up on recommendations given to
Government and the general public.
Monitor hot spots that were discovered
during the research phase of this project.
Monitor encroachment into the Quill.
Beach Restoration Project
Manage ReefBall project when funding is
Plan development of remaining areas
and volunteer facilities.
With the above outlined list of things to
do and everything else that could not be
published here due to lack of space, this
year promises to be a busy one for man-
agement and staff.
Pass by the Visitor Center at
Gallows Bay any day of the
week during opening hours.
Prices from FIs 5,- to FIs 50,-
Open during the lunchtime !!
Ten children completed their snorkeling
course and became PADI certified skin
divers. The graduates are:
Monique and Marissa Balelo, Bradley van
Putten, Kendro and Lisandro Redan,
Dean Marion, Martin de Jong, Terieke
Anthony, Francesca Dembrook and
STENAPA congratulates them and for
those moving on to Junior rangers, we
wish you much success.
After 5 months of lessons and a lot of
smiles and laughter, Snorkel Club 2006
came to an end. Because all the partici-
pants were successful in passing their
exams, it was a very happy ending to the
program. This particular group's program
began in September 2006 and was com-
pleted in January of this year. The course
was made up of one two hour session
per week with practical as well as theo-
St Eustatius: National and Marine
Parks and Botanical Gardens
STENAPA is an environmental not-for-profit foundation on St Eustatius
and was established in 1988. The objectives of STENAPA are to upkeep
the natural environment, to preserve and protect endangered or en-
demic species (flora and fauna) and to educate the community about the
importance of the protection of the natural environment.
Areas of responsibility include management of the marine park, the na-
tional parks and the Miriam C Schmidt Botanical Gardens. STENAPA is
legally delegated by the Island Council to manage these protected areas.
National Parks Office
St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
Next edition of STENAPA Update available soon with articles on:
* New turtle nesting season starts
* Survey of the rarest plant in the Kingdom Statia Morning Glory
* Volunteer program latest activities
* Rangers complete Tour Guiding Training
* First Trees planted in new Fruit Garden
Check our web site for previous editions of this quarterly newsletter!
Final Corallita Research Results...Is there a solution for this problem?
In January, the one-year pilot project on
Corallita (Mexican Creeper) came to an
end. The researchers, Dr. Pieter Ketner
and Ing. Joris Ernst returned to the island
to present their findings to the general
public and to the Island Government.
STENAPA staff had assisted with the
monitoring of the test areas and with
various other aspects of the research
such as collecting rainfall data in the test
areas, making of photographicaljournals,
observation of roaming animals and con-
What we now know:
Through area mapping and reconnais-
sance, it is now known that around 15-
20% of the island is covered with this
invasive vine. Doesn't sound like a large
figure but that constitutes a fifth of our
tiny little island.
Flowering and fruiting takes place almost
the whole year and seeds taken from the
plant show an average germination rate
of almost 50%. This should not come as a
surprise as we all know that it is quite a
The plant spreads mainly through stem
and root cutting and tubers (potato like
growths on the roots). In heavily infested
areas, you can find on average up to 280
tubers per m2.
It is not very likely that animals are help-
ing to spread the vine because practically
no animal considers Corallita as a part of
their diet. Only pigs have been seen on
occasion to be rooting out the tubers for
a snack. Also no seeds were found in the
stools or dung of any animals.
Threats to the environment:
This vine poses many threats to our envi-
ronment. Not the least of which is the
potential loss of our native fruit and vege-
table trees and shrubs. A short ride in the
country is all it takes to find sugar apple,
sour-sop and cherry trees blanketed by
Also the plant is slowly making its way up
the mountain and will,
unless tightly controlled,
eventually find its way into
the National Park. Anyone
who has descended into the
crater in the past few years,
will have noticed that the
vegetation has already been
devastated by roaming
goats. The added strain of
an invasive vine suffocating
the rare and amazing plants
Containing and Controlling Corallita:
Repeated cutting down of the plant only
weakens it and eventually re-growth oc-
curs. But cutting in combination with the
application of a herbicide, such as 'Round
up', causes serious damage to the plant
Once you have cleared, for instance your
yard, using this method, sow grass and
mow it regularly, to keep the vine under
control. Remember, not every tuber will
be destroyed by this method. Most impor-
tantly, keep up the maintenance, or the
hard work would have been for nothing.
We might not be able to clear all the land
of this pest but let us all at least start in
our own gardens.