Early Start for 2008 Thrtle Season
Reminders for the General Public
In the night or early morning
hours of March 13-14, a leather-
back turtle came up on Zeelandia
beach and nested. This makes
her the first female to come up
for what is the earliest recorded
start of a nesting season in the
five years since STENAPA began
their turtle program.
And as if on cue she returned to
the beach early on Easter Mon-
day evening and laid a second
set of eggs. When she was done
laying, she was tagged on both
rear flippers and she also re-
ceived a PIT tag. The tagging
provided a perfect hands on
training opportunity for the new
Marine Park Manager (see adja-
Mr. Arturo Herrera, STENAPA'S
former Turtle Program coordina-
tor, has travelled back to Statia
for a week to train Mr. Munson i n
tagging, reporting, research and
all relevant turtle related data as
Mr. Munson will now be heading
up the turtle program as part of
his duties in the Marine Park.
The general public is hereby
reminded that Zeelandia
Beach falls under certain
regulations during nesting
season which is from April to
bright lights and loud noises
on the beach are prohibited.
Also driving on the sand is
not permitted. Please abide
by these regulations and en-
courage others to do so as
these activities on the beach
scare female turtles away.
Sandmining is illegal all year
round. A sand miner was is-
sued a summons already for
this season. He had unknow-
ingly come dangerously close
to destroying a nest. Com-
pounding the violation is the
fact that he drove his vehicle
onto the sand.
New Marine Park
On Monday, March 17th,
Mr. Lee Munson arrived on St.
Eustatius to take up the posi-
tion of Marine Park Manager.
After a long advertising and
interview process, Mr.
Munson was chosen from
among some 50 ca ndidates
who applied for the position.
Lee is a Marine Ecologist and
master scuba diver trainer
from England. He has worked
all over the world, including
Mexico, Australia, South East
Asia and until recently, in a
very remote location i n
Photo of Lee Munson
Mozambique. He is excitedto
be working on Statia and
after living so far from civiliza-
tion for so long he has been
pleasantly surprised by what
he has seen so far.
The Marine Park manager is
responsible for overseeing all
duties and activities pertain-
ing to the Marine Park,
Inside this Publication
Turtle season has begun I
New Marine Park Man- I
Island-wide plant survey 2
Staff receive training 2
Bonaire Rangers visit
Statia for work exchange 3
Another Turtle lost to
Friends of STENAPA
Fort Oranje Activities
* You canj oin us for our regu-
lar beach cleanup. Watch
for the flyers that will be
posted around town or call
* Volunteers are always wel-
come to help out at the Bo-
Visiting Botanists from New York Botanical Gardens
The group ha ving a rest at the Qu/ll rim.
In the beginning of February of this year,
a group of botanists from the New York
Botanical Garden (NYBG) spent over a
week on St. E ustatius collecting speci-
mens to create a detailed inventory of
the island's plant life.
Conservation International was the fund-
ing agency for this project. Their aim is to
create inventories for most of the islands
in the Caribbean region because of their
unique biodiversitywhich is becoming
increasingly threatened due to develop-
ment. Conservation International has
Staff Receive Plant Identification Training
In the first two weeks of March, all staff
and land park interns took part i n a two
weeks training course on Plant identifica-
tion. Andre Proosdij, the scientific keeper
of Hortus Botanicus, the Botanical Gar-
dens in Amsterdam, visited the island to
conduct this course. His travel was
funded bythe Dutch Caribbean Nature
Andre gave very brief and interesting
presentations at the Visitor Center but
preferred to be in the field givi ng more
hands on training. The staff preferred this
as well and are in agreement that this
Course leader, Andre, explaining how to
recognize different types of plant families
was one of the best courses that they
had ever followed.
The course covered a wide range of top-
ics including invasive species, endan-
gered plant species, vegetation zones,
plant collecting, plant identification, infor-
mation display on trails and at the Botani-
cal Gardens, breeding programs for en-
dangered plant species and training in
plant propagation. As well as donating
his holidaytime to the training course,
Andre was also very kind to leave a huge
box of plant books valuable to us for ref-
erence at the Botanical Gardens and for
preparing educational material for the
various children's clubs that we have
throughout the year.
The benefits of this course are that the
office staff can give more information to
visitors, including persons buying plants
from our pla nt sale; and rangers that give
guided hikes can now do so in more de-
tail. The entire course has been docu-
mented to enable us to teach future vol-
unteers, interns and staff thatjoin our
All staff and interns that attended the
course received a certificate in plant iden-
tification. The two weeks came to an end
with a BBQ at the Botanical Gardens
which was a joint thank you event for
Andre and the three visiting rangers from
Bonaire. All in all it was a very busy and
very productive two weeks for the man-
agement and staff of the National Parks.
therefore launched several projects in the
region to identify species and col lect data
so that informed decisions can be made
to preserve this area's natural resources.
Stenapa staff organized the hikes and
supplied transportation, guides and local
knowledge in an effort to assist the bota-
nists in their work.
Different types of specimens were col-
lected bythe experts in their own respec-
tive field, flowering pla nts, mosses and
lichens. On a daily basis each gathered
anywhere from 50-75 samples.
In addition to long days collecting, the
scientists were happy to have the Junior
Rangers join them on a hike where they
showed them the correct ways to collect
samples and cuttings from trees. Also
how to preserve the collected samples by
pressing and drying them overnight.
In particular Revi nio Schmidt was very
interested in the botanist's work and
asked a lot of questions. Ra nger Hanna h
Leslie who was in charge of taking care
of the team, made sure the children re-
ceived a workbook to keep their interests
in botany alive.
The team was also lucky enough to see
the Statia Morning Glory vi ne when it
was in full bloom. Photogra pher Carol
Gracie who traveled with the group was
very happy that s he could take photos of
the Morning Glory flowering in the wild.
All the specimens collected were trans-
ported to the New York Botanical Gar-
den where they will be photographed
again on special sheets which show up
the exact size. The entire collect on will
be available later in the year as the St.
Eustatius Virtual Herbarium on the inter-
Last year Saba had the honor of a visit by
this team of botanists and their collection
is available for reference onli ne
All in all the team were able to collect
100's of specimens here on Statia. Be-
cause of the wealth of material here and
because not all pla nts flower at the same
time, Conservation International has ap-
proved a follow up trip to Statia in 2008.
In the meantime National Park ra nger
Hannah Leslie and the NP intern Ms.
Lindsay Galway continue to collect sam-
ples for the botanists to have upon their
Bonaire Rangers on Statia
For Marine Park Work Exchange
From I to r GregoryLa Croes, Edin "Din"Domacasse /chief ranger), KarelRosaria and
NVadio Spanner, Statia Marie Park Ra anger who worked with the rangers the first week.
Lost to a Net
On Easter Sunday, a family walking on
Lynch Beach came upon this dead Olive
Ridley turtle. The Olive Ridley is seriously
endangered and this is the first recorded
evidence of their presence in our waters;
they tend to stay closer to the Gulf of
Mexico. It is quite clear from the photo
that the turtle was entangled in a fishing
net. Entanglement prevents a turtle from
coming to the surface to take a breath
and it subsequently drowns.
Fishermen are reminded to do their best
to retrieve nets that are washed over-
board and to pull in drifting nets that are
obviously abandoned and bring them
ashore. These are simple measures to
prevent the death of this threatened spe-
cies. When staff went to examine the
turtle, someone had removed the shell
making it very difficult to identify. Luckily
photos were taken or this rare occur-
rence would have been overlooked. The
shell of a dead turtle is invaluable for use
in identification and education purposes.
All turtle carcasses should be reported or
brought to the Marine Park Office.
On Monday, March 3rd, three rangers
from the Bonaire National Marine Park,
BNMP, arrived on Statia as part of an
exchange program funded by the Dutch
Caribbean Nature Alliance, DCNA.
In 2006, three of our ra ngers, Nadio
Spanner, Walter "Gadjet" Blair and Ger-
shon Lopes, then assistant manager,
went to Bonaire for 10 days to experi-
ence work in that Marine Park
While the rangers were on Statia, they
took part in many different activities in
the Park. Among others, mooring installa-
tion, in-water turtle monitoring dives,
patrols, line cleaning, a beach cleanup
and even helping to supervise Snorkel
Club kids on the last Monday.
On Friday, March 7th, during STENAPA's
weeklystaff meeting, the rangers gave a
very riveting presentation of their daily
work in the BNMP. Staff was very inter-
ested and asked many questions during
and after the presentation. Apparently
on Bonaire they are very serious about
enforcing their laws and the people
know this, so violations are at a mini-
As a thank you for all their hard work,
their week ended with a barbecue at the
Botanical gardens on Wednesday, March
12th. They left the next day after saying
their goodbyes at the office.
Upon their departure, the rangers said
that they had learned a great deal on
Statia and that theythought the people
were very friendly and gentle.
The Chief Ranger, Edwin Domacasse,
urged the Island Government that if they
want to keep the coral in good health,
they need to put down more laws, such
as banning spear fishing (especiallythose
working with tourists) and also ensuring
that there was more personnel work ng
for the Marine Park.
The rangers, staff and volunteers enjoy-
inga thank you barbecue at the Botani-
cal Gardens on theirl/ast evening
Fisherrren should retrieve nets that go
overboard as the consequences can be
Pass by the Visitor Center at
Gallows Bay any weekday
from 7:00am 5:00pm
Prices from FIs 5,- to FIs 50,-
Open during the lunchtime !!
St Eustatius: National and Marine
Parks and Botanical Gardens
National Parks Office
St. EustatiLu, Netherlands Antilles
info@statia prk org
"Friends of STENAPA"
The Friends of STENAPA program,
launched last December, allows nature
lovers in the general public to contribute
to nature conservation on the island.
A number of local businesses now offer
discounts to persons presenting their
Friends of STENAPA membership card.
5% All food and drinks
Brown's Garage 10% All labor
Dive Statia 2nd hour free-kayak rental
Five Pearls shop 10% All purchases
I.F. Rivers 5-10% General merchandise
10% Gates/welding repair
10% Dive fees (rack rates)
10% Food(no take-out)
10% Hot lunch
Intermezzo 10% off Espresso Cocktails
Persons wishing to become a member or
purchase a gift membership can obtain
more detailed information from the Na-
tional Parks Visitor Center or online on
our webs ite (wwws tatiapark.org).
STENAPA is an environmental non-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 endemic
species (flora and fauna) and to educate the community about the im-
portance 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.
Congratulations to the new officers that were voted in during bi-annual
board elections on Tuesday 1st April 2008.
Next edition of STENAPA Update available soon with articles on:
National Park Management Plan
DCNA board meeting in Statia
Junior Ranger graduates
By Park Ranger
In the last week of March, Ranger Carlton
van Puttenwas alerted by the regular gar-
dener to the presence of a trapped iguana
in the Museum gallery yard at Gallowsbay.
The iguana was taken to the Botani cal Gar-
den where an attempt was made to revive
it with rest, shade, water and fruit. Unfortu-
nately the animal died the next afternoon.
It had been trapped in the fence over the
long Easter weekend (5 days) and it is
thought that lack of food and water and
exposure caused it to succumb in the end.
Visit our Information
Booth at Fort Oranje
On SundayApril, 6th there will be an
island Health Day that begins with a
walk-a-thon which will end at Fort
Oranje. There are several activities that
will be held at the Fort and they include
Glucose and Blood pressure checks as
this Health day is focusing on Diabetes.
STENAPA will have an information booth
where we will be distributing eco-bags
and mini-guides and answering any
questions that the public might have.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer in the
various parks can sign up at that time.
There is always room for an extra ha nd at
the Botanical gardens where the daily
struggle with Corallita continues and on
Beach Clean-ups especially now that tur-
tle nesting season has begun..