Title: STENAPA update
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 Material Information
Title: STENAPA update
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation
Place of Publication: Gallow Bay, St Eustatius, N.A.
Publication Date: March 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
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Bibliographic ID: UF00100100
Volume ID: VID00025
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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March 2010


STENAPA Update


What are our Coral Reefs worth?


The Statia National Marine
Park conducted an Eco-
nomic Valuation of St.
Eustatius' coral reef ecosys-
tems in the fall of 2009. This
study was carried out by
Marine Park Manager
Tadzio Bervoets, who had
previously worked on a to-
tal economic valuation of
Bermuda's coral reefs. The
valuation attempted to put
a monetary estimate on the
coral reefs surrounding
Statia.
Coral Reefs are one of the
island's most valuable re-
sources; they provide a live-
lihood through dive tour-
ism and fishery and provide
protection from large, dam-
aging waves caused by hur-
ricanes. In order to properly
manage the coral reef eco-
system, an economic valua-
tion is a useful tool to deter-
mine what exactly the
monetary value of a coral
reef is. With an attached
value, better management
decisions can be made to
adequately protect this
most precious of resources
In order to complete the
study four questionnaires
were distributed. Two dealt
specifically with fisheries,
one with hotel accommo-
dations, and one with dive
tourism. Data were also
provided by the Statia Tour-


ism Development Founda-
tion. Coral reefs have direct
and indirect influences on a
wide range of economic
factors, and the generation
of data was crucial to the
successful completion of
this study. Data was input-
ted into a computer pro-
gram created by the World
Resource Institute and
which was adjusted by
STENAPA to reflect Statia's
unique ecological and eco-
nomic situation.
The findings of this study
have outlined that Statia's
coral reef resources provide
important goods and ser-
vices to the economy of the
island. The revenue that the
resource is able to generate
through coral reef associ-
ated tourism and fishery is
approximately
US$11,200,454 per year.


r


A well-attended informative
session about the approach
and results of the study was


held at the National Park
Visitor Centre on 25th Feb-
ruary. The audience were
cautioned that although
this number is high, and
highlights the importance
of coral reefs to the island, it
also suggests that there is
an increased need for con-
servation, so that the value
does not diminish. The
value of the coral reefs may
also increase in time with
the tourism development.
The study concludes that it
is in the best interest of
Statia to incorporate envi-
ronmental economic data
for a number of reasons,
including:
(1) Enforcement of land-
use and development
regulations in the
coastal zone,
(2) Enforcement of usage
of anchorage areas,
(3) Incorporation of eco-
nomic valuation in EIAs,
(4) Inclusion of economic
impacts in assessing
fines for damages to
reef from activities such
as anchoring in the
reserves, oil spills, etc
(5) Weigh revenues from a
growing tourism indus-
try against long-term
economic losses from
environmental impacts.


Newsletter 1/2010





Inside this Publication...

Value of our Coral Reefs I

First turtle tracks of 2010 2
New Marine Park
manager
New plant species for 3
Statia, Discovery of new
Results of 2009 bird sur- 4
veys

Orchids of St Eustatius 5-6


Don't forget...

Guided Hikes: Available for
groups of 2 or more

Botanical Garden: Open from
sunrise to sunset. Great for fam-
ily picnics and BBQs

2010-International Year of
Biodiversity : Join our open
house events, either hiking, at
the Botanical Garden or at the
Visitor Centre, on 22-23 May

Captain Dory Preserve:
The eco-friendly camp site on
island. Call for information and
rates.




REMINDER

It is illegal to anchor,
fish, set traps or
spear fish
in the Reserves.

Nothing at all may
be removed
from the Reserves.


-' w-







STENAPA Update


2010 Turtle nesting season starts


In keeping with the past two previous
years, the first of the nesting female
Leatherbacks arrived on Zeelandia
beaches in the 3rd week of March.

As the season has just started this is a
good time to remind everyone that


Zeelandia beach is a protected sea
turtle nesting habitat and therefore
certain activities such as bonfires, loud
noises and bright lights, driving on the
beach and the removal of sand are
prohibited during nesting season.

In order to prepare for this year's tur-
tle season and report to colleagues
from other islands about last year's
turtle nesting activities, Marine Park
Manager, Jessica Berkel attended the
annual meeting of WIDECAST in
Martinique earlier this month. Jessica
is very enthusiastic about this season
and stated 'For the first time there will
be two Turtle Program interns to help
with the field work, all data collection
and analysis. Nightly patrols and all
the other duties connected with the
program is a lot of work and having
two interns to assist will make every-
thing work that much smoother'.


First tracks on Leelandia during


STENAPA is asking for everyone's
cooperation in order to make this
year's nesting season a successful
one. Persons taking their dogs on
the beach are kindly asked to keep
an eye on them especially when they
are digging. In 2009 there were three
incidents where dogs had dug up a
nest containing hatchlings.

Statia is very privileged that the criti-
cally endangered Leatherbacks nest
here on our shores. Although we do
not get thousands of nesting females
like Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname
we should do our best to protect the
ones that do come. It is truly a re-
markable sight to witness these gi-
ants on the beach.

Please contact the Visitor Centre if
you wish to go on the call list for
witnessing the nesting females.


Marine Park Manager Jessica Berkel takes the reins


Jessica Berkel has been promoted to
the position of Marine Park Manger.
She has assumed the duties of Tadzio
Bervoets who is returning to his native
St Maarten after a year of memorable
work with the Marine Park, "I feel
honoured and privileged to have been
a part of an organization as important
and dedicated as STENAPA and to
have worked on the conservation of
Statia's truly unique and spectacular
marine ecosystem. Having said so
STENAPA and Statia now have a
valuable asset in Jessica as the new
Marine Park manager, and through
her contribution, Marine Conservation
will continue to be a priority on St.
Eustatius and in the region," com-
mented Tadzio.
Jessica is by far no newcomer to
STENAPA and has worked with the
organisation in a variety of roles. She
became the Secretary to the Board of


STENAPA in 2000 and continued
until 2007 when the Island Govern-
ment transferred her from the airport
to STENAPA. Jessica worked as Ad-
ministrator for STENAPA in 2007,
assisting with a wide range of duties
including information for park visi-
tors, media communication and data-
base entry.
In 2008, Jessica commenced her train-
ing to become Marine Park Manager
and worked alongside two Marine
Park Managers to benefit from their
experience and learn the necessary
skills and duties to be successful in her
new position. She took over as Tur-
tle Programme Coordinator in 2009 in
preparation for taking on this new
role. Training courses attended by
Jessica in the past two years include
PADI diver rescue course, first aid
and oxygen administration, sea turtle
monitoring, reef resilience and lionfish


awareness course, bird ecology and
mooring installation.
Jessica is happy and proud to take
over as Marine Park Manager and
hopes to work in an atmosphere of
cooperation with all the stake hold-
ers of the Park. In her opinion, 'We
are entrusted with the care of the
Park for just a brief time in the
scheme of things and so its our duty
to preserve it for those who come


Jessica Berkel and Tadzio Bervoets


Page 2







Newsletter 1/2010


Plant inventory by New York Botanical Garden


Back in February 2008, a team of experts
from the New York Botanical Garden
(NYBG) visited Statia to carry out a much
needed inventory of plants. The team
hiked the various trails of the Quill and
northern hills. They collected, pressed,
dried and took back to New York around
350 species of flora. This only included
plants that were in flower at the time,
meaning that many species which were
not in bloom were not collected and
therefore remain unidentified.
STENAPA recently received the first re-
sults of identification of the 337 speci-
mens of vascular plants. Of the species
collected, 196 have so far been identified
by Dr. Eric Lamont. Over the coming


months he will work on identifying the
remainder of the collection. Of the 196
species identified, this includes 26 new
records of plants for St. Eustatius. This
figure is based on earlier listings made by
Howard (1974-1989) and Rojer (1997).
It is hoped that the newly identified spe-
cies will motivate funders to provide fi-
nancial assistance for the planned follow-
up field visit to complete collection of
specimens. In particular, the team would
like to make an in-depth inventory of the
Quill's crater, an area that harbours lush
vegetation and large Fig, Silk Cotton and
Mahogany trees. If possible they will
bring climbing harnesses in order to ex-
amine the many epiphytes that grow on


the limbs of these trees, such as bromeli-
ads, ferns and possibly even orchids.
Clearly there is still plenty to discover
with regard to the flora of Statia, and the
continuation of this project will prove
extremely valuable, not only to botanical
enthusiasts. The more that is known
about our local environment the better it
can be protected. Thanks to the team at
NYBG, and funding from Conservation
International, STENAPA is one step closer
to having up-to-date resources that can
be made available to the general public.
Once the list is complete, with photo-
graphs of every species, it will be pub-
lished on the National Park website
(www.statiapark.org) for all to see.


Discovery of a new scorpion species on Statia


The National Parks was lucky enough
to receive a visit from one of Puerto
Rico's greatest naturalists, Alejandro
Sanchez. Sanchez is also a military
chaplain with the rank of major in
the Puerto Rico National Guard. Ac-
companying him was Joseph Bur-
gess of the Guana Tolomato Matan-
zas National Estuarine Research Re-
serve in Florida, an expert in reptiles
and amphibians.
During their visit, the two hiked the
Quill and explored Gilboa Hill. They
were accompanied by National Park
Ranger Hannah Madden and interns
Allison Ruschp and Claire Winfield.
The purpose of their visit was to ex-
plore the flora and fauna of the is-
land, in particular reptiles and arach-
nids. One evening after sunset, they
went up the Quill trail to collect scor-
pions using a UV light, which when
shined upon these tiny creatures
makes them glow in the dark. Al-
though only one species had been
previously recorded (Centruroides
barbudensis), the team collected two
species of scorpion which were sent
to the Museum of Natural History in
Cuba for DNA analysis. Both popula-
tions were said to be abundant.
Since the January visit comparison of
the two different species by Rolando
Turuel in Cuba has shown that the
smaller scorpions all belong to a spe-


cies of the genus Oiclus (family Scor-
pionidae, subfamily Diplocentrinae),
which represents the first record of
these taxa from St. Eustatius because
Centruroides barbudensis is the sin-
gle scorpion so far officially recorded
from Statia.


One of the collected scorpions

The team also spent hours searching
for adult tarantulas, but unfortu-
nately only young ones were found.
Tarantulas live in burrows in the soil
or under rocks in the Quill. While
some burrows were discovered, lur-
ing the animals with a piece of grass
was unsuccessful, and digging out
the burrow did not produce any re-
sults. Had any adults been discov-
ered, a male and female specimen
would have been collected and sent
off for DNA analysis. It is possible that
Statia's arachnids are different to
those found on nearby islands.


The National Park is home to nine
species of reptiles. Mr. Burgess was
particularly interested in two species
of dwarf gecko that dwell amongst
the rocks and leaf litter, namely the
Saba Dwarf Gecko (Sphaerodactylus
sabanus) and Island Dwarf Gecko
(Sphaerodactylussputator). The tiny
Saba Dwarf Gecko grows no bigger
than 29mm, and according to re-
search there are said to be more than
1750 individuals per hectare in heav-
ily shaded areas on the leeward
slope of the Quill. The Island Dwarf
Gecko can grow up to 35mm and is
easily identifiable from the cross-
bands which occur along the back
and tail. Unlike the Saba Dwarf
Gecko, these geckoes prefer open
hillsides and are abundant in the re-
mains of dead agave plants. They are
more likely to be found in the north-
ern hills than the Quill.
The photographs taken by Father
Sanchez have been posted on his
website of West Indian Natural His-
tory (http://www.kingsnake.com/
westindian/), which is a fantastic in-
depth resource for anyone wanting
to learn more about the breathtaking
flora and fauna of the Caribbean is-
lands. 2010 is the International Year
of Biodiversity- let us all work to-
gether to protect our local wildlife
before it is too late.












St Eustatius: National and Marine
Parks and Botanical Gardens
S L ,4f X>


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 endemic
species (flora and fauna) and to educate the community about the impor-
tance 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.


L. . . . . .


National Parks Office
Gallows Bay
St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
Phone/Fax 599-318-2884
Email: info@statiapark.org


President:
Vice President:
Treasurer:
Secretary:


Irving Brown
Ronnie Courtar
Ruth Pandt
Ingrid Walther


Next edition of STENAPA Update available soon with articles on:

* New guide books for the National and Marine Park
* 2010 International Year of Biodiversity
* Completion of first year of monthly lessons on nature and environ-
ment at primary schools


* Junior Rangers and Summer Club


The National Park staff began conduct-
ing biannual bird surveys in 2009 in or-
der to determine the abundance, distri-
bution and health of Statia'a bird popu-
lations. Training on bird identification
and monitoring protocols was given by
Dr Adrian del Nevo in 2008 and again in
February 2010 organized by DCNA with
funding from Vogelbescherming Nether-
lands.
Statia has 54 recorded species of birds,
26 breed on the island while 28 species
are considered Neotropical migrants.
Two areas on the island were declared
Important Bird Areas (IBA) by Bird Life
International in 2008. 'The IBAs have
been identified on the basis of nine spe-
cies that variously trigger the IBA crite-
ria for restricted-range birds and con-
gregatory birds. The Quill IBA embraces
the island's forest-dependent species,
while Boven IBA supports nesting habi-
tat for [the Red-Billed Tropicbird]


Phaethon aethereus", and other sea
birds (Collier and Brown, 2007). Bird
Life International has listed nine key
species: Red-billed Tropicbird, Bridled
Quail-dove, Purple-throated Carib,
Green-throated Carib, Antillean Crested
Hummingbird, Caribbean Elaenia,
Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Brown Trembler,
and the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
Terrestrial bird surveys began in January
2009 and were repeated in June. Sur-
veys were conducted using transects,
point counts, or observations. Twenty
different species of birds were observed
in this study, totaling 679 individuals.
Seven of nine species listed as key spe-
cies for St. Eustatius by Bird Life Interna-
tional were observed during the 2009
Survey.
Twelve different species of birds were
recorded during surveys in town for
2009, making it the most diverse habi-
tat. Gilboa Hill, the Botanical Garden


Road and .
the crater
Antillean crested hummingbird
rim each
recorded ten species. The Quill trail was
the least diverse habitat, with only
seven different species.
The Quill trail was also the only habitat
on the island to record the Bridled
Quail-dove. The Purple-throated Carib,
and Green-throated Carib were re-
corded just twice. Two Purple-throated
Caribs were observed in the Crater. Two
Green-throated Caribs were observed at
the fort. The Antillean Crested Hum-
mingbird was the only bird observed in
all nine habitats, despite the fact that it
was observed about a third as many
times as the most abundant species, the
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch. The Lesser
Antillean Bullfinch, the Pearly-eyed
Thrasher, the Bananaquit, and the
Zenaida Dove were each observed in
eight of the nine habitats.


Counting( 6irds on Statia


brS^t^apko]


*








STENAPA Extra Focus on Statia Species


The Orchids of St. Eustatius


In the late 17th Century, the French natu-
ralist Charles Plumier arrived on the is-
land of St. Vincent. He collected and illus-
trated many plants from the island. His
illustrations survived and got into the
hands of Carlos Linnaeus, the founder of
the modern plant identification and clas-
sification system. Linnaeaus was the first
to formally describe many of Plumier's
plants, including Brassavola cucullata, a
magnificent orchid found on St. Eusta-
tius. Raymond Tremblay and Jim Acker-
man from the University of Puerto Rico
first visited Statia in 2008 to help
STENAPA inventory the orchids of the
island and establish a monitoring pro-
gram to ensure conservation of Statia's
orchid species. With the advent of the
Quill/Boven National Park, these orchids
have a home where they have the po-
tential to thrive for the enjoyment of all.


(Photo: Brassavola cucullata)

Statia is home to around 18 species of
orchids, some of which have not been
seen for some time. The island has sev-
eral more species than others of similar
size such as St. Barths, St. Maarten, Nevis
and Saba, and more than a number of
much larger islands as well. The diversity
of habitats found on Statia is key to the
relatively high number of species found.
The hot, relatively dry conditions in
Boven harbour some species not seen
elsewhere, and conversely the moist lush
forests on the upper elevations of the
Quill are occupied by other species.


Orchids on Statia and elsewhere exist
because of a web of relationships with
other organisms. An orchid seed cannot
germinate without being infected by a
fungus (which the orchid then parasi-
tizes!), and orchids usually cannot pro-
duce seeds without bees, birds, butter-
flies, wasps, or moths to pollinate the
flowers. Each species has one or a few
types of pollinators, and in the case of
Brassavola cucullata, the pollinator is
likely to be a long-tongued moth that
probes the depths of flowers searching
for nectar. The flowers emit a heavy
sweet perfume at night to attract the
moth. The orchid, though, offers nothing
for the services of the moth. The orchid's
'partners' for survival are not partners
after all; the orchid takes advantage of
the fungus and dupes the pollinator.

Jim Ackerman returned to Statia with
Frank Axelrod in early 2009 in order to
inventory Statia's plant biodiversity. After
three rigorous days in the field, the team
collected a fine sample of the island's
flora, and identified two new records of
orchids! The Quill's Mazinga trail is a
treasure-trove of wonderful plants and
spectacular views of the crater and the
sea. Tucked away in hard to reach places,
Jim found a small population of Prescot-
tia oligantha, one of the smallest flow-
ered orchids around. The plants produce
a single spike of many flowers, but each
pinkish flower is only about 2mm long.


(The tiny flowers of P. oligantha

Jim suspects the flowers self-pollinate
because all flowers set fruit, providing a
continuous supply of seed to keep the
population going. Prescottia oligantha is
one of the most widespread orchid spe-
cies. It is found in Central and South
America, and on many islands of the


West Indies. Nevertheless, P oliganthais
not yet known from Statia's neighbours,
Saba, St. Maarten, St. Barths or St. Kitts.

The other new orchid record for St.
Eustatius was discovered growing on a
windblown tree stump on Mazinga peak.
The orchid is Ornithidiumcoccineum,
formerly known as Maxillaria coccinea.
Healthy plants produce a number of in-
florescences bearing single reddish-
orange flowers. Although nobody has
seen any visitors to 0. coccineum, we
suspect that hummingbirds are the polli-
nators as the flowers have a small quan-
tity of nectar at sugar concentrations
typical of hummingbird-pollinated plants.
Although this plant did not look happy,
another individual was discovered some
months later and will be closely moni-
tored. As yet nobody on Statia has seen
the flowers. Ornithidium coccineum oc-
curs from Hispaniola all the way down
the Lesser Antilles. It is quite likely that
Statia's plant came from wind-blown
seeds from nearby St. Kitts.











(Ornithidium coccineum )

It is therefore clear that Statia should be
recognized not only for its remarkable
marine life, but also its fascinating and
diverse plant life. Enjoy below some im-
ages of the orchids that have so far been
discovered on Statia:

V in4 Lv


Statia's most abundant orchid, Epiden-
drum ciliarecan be found on three trails
in the Quill and all over the northern hills.


Page 5







STENAPA Extra Focus on Statia Species


Orchids of St. Eustatius (cont.)


Epidendrum difforme complexcan only
be found on the Mazinga trail and is
thought to be self-pollinating.


m -m
Brassavola cucullata makes its home on
the Quill's Around the Mountain South
trail and at the top of Boven.


Tetramicra canaliculata prefers the ex-
posed, dry, rocky areas of the northern
hills.


Psychi/i correlliiprefers the exposed
sheer cliff faces of the northern hills.


Poystachya concrete has by far the best
view, perched on this tree overlooking
the crater on the Mazinga trail.


Mesadenuslucayanus was recently dis-
covered growing on the main Quill trail
and on a single, treacherous slope oppo-
site Gilboa Hill.


A few individuals of Epidendrumanceps
can be found on the Mazinga trail.


Tolumnia urophylla (Dancing Lady) en-
joys the sunnier conditions of the Around
the Mountain South trail and Signal Hill.


All photos by Hannah Madden.


Page 6




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