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Title: Annual report
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100102/00002
 Material Information
Title: Annual report
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation. Sea Turtle Conservation Program
Publisher: St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation
Place of Publication: Gallows Bay, St. Eustatius, N.A.
Publication Date: 2004
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Bibliographic ID: UF00100102
Volume ID: VID00002
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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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Summary
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Introduction
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Main
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
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        Page 25
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        Page 28
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        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
Full Text






ST EUSTATIUS SEA TURTLE MONITORING PROGRAMME

ANNUAL REPORT 2004


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Rozenn Le scao and Nicole Esteban
St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA)
Gallows Bay, St Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
Semp@ggoldenrocknet.com or +599 318 2884 (tel)
www. statiapark. org

Programme affiliated with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conser-
vation Network (WIDECAST)


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Table of Contents


I Sum m ary ....................................................................................................................4
II Introduction ........................................................................ .................................... 6
III Participating organizations ..................................................................................... 7
A) St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) ............................................. 7
B) Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) ......................8
C) Working Abroad Programme: Statia Conservation Programme ...........................8
D) Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) .......................................... ............. 8
E) Funding agencies and donors.................................... .................................... 8
IV M methodology ............................................................................................................... 9
A) Study site: St Eustatius (DW I) ...................................... ............. ...................... 9
B) St Eustatius nesting beaches................................................... ........................ 9
C) Pre-nesting (m monitoring) preparation ............................................... ............ 12
D) Patrol activities ................................................................................................ 12
V Results................................................................................................................... 15
A) Nesting data..................................................................................................... 15
B) Em ergence data ...................................................................................................17
VI Discussion .......................................................................................................... 20
A) Education......................................................................................................... 20
B) Financial m anagem ent.................................. .................. ............................... 22
C) Publication and data sharing................................... ............. .......................... 22
D) Achievem ents 2004 ......................................... ................. ............................ 23
E) Recom m endations for 2005 ...............................................................................24
VII Acknowledgm ents ........................................................................... .......................26
VIII References .......................................................................................................27
IX Annexes ................................................................................................................ 28










List of Tables


Table 1: Carapace measurement and tagging of nesting green turtles.......................... 15
Table 2: Carapace measurement and tagging of nesting leatherback....................... 16
Table 3: Table from Sea Turtle Conservation Manual Eckert et al. (1999)..................... 17
Table 4: Green Turtle nests inventory .................................................................. 18
Table 5: Leatherback turtle nests inventory......................................................... 19


List of Figures


Figure 1: Map of St Eustatius in the Eastern Caribbean.............................................. 9
Figure 2: Map of St Eustatius (DWI) ..................................................................... 10
Figure 3: Zeelandia beach....................................................................................... 10
Figure 4: Turtle beach ............................................................................................. 11
Figure 5: Stakes placement................................................................................... 12
Figure 6: New vehicle for the monitoring programme .............................................. 13
Figure 7: Coen and Leatherback turtle........................................................................ 21
Figure 8: Antonio inventorying a leatherback nest....................................................22
Figure 9: Closed landfill on Turtle Beach (still being used) ............................................23










I Summary


* The Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is managed by St Eustatius National
Parks Foundation (STENAPA), which is the main environmental non-
governmental organization on St Eustatius (also known as Statia).

* Recent records of turtle nesting activities on St Eustatius date from June 1997
with the discovery of a nest by Jaap Begeman. Until this date, it was believed
that leatherback turtles no longer nested on St Eustatius.

* Since 2001, there have been confirmed nesting of three species of marine
turtles: the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the Green Turtle (Chelonia
mydas) and the Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). It is possible that the
Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) is nesting on St Eustatius, and there was an
unconfirmed sighting in 2004.

* STENAPA has four permanent staff and is able to carry on with projects such as
the sea turtle conservation thanks to two international volunteer programs: the
STENAPA Internship programme and Working Abroad programme started in
2001 and 2003 respectively.


* The St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is part of the Wider
Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network and follows its monitoring and
tagging protocols.

* In order to participate in the programme, volunteers follow a theoretical and
practical training at STENAPA.

* In the latter half of 2004, monitoring extended to six beaches with regular day
and night patrols.

* In 2004:
o Two Green sea turtles were flipper tagged, 22 Green turtles nesting
events were recorded, of which three were observed (with two successful
lays) and 13 dry runs recorded.
o Four Leatherback turtles were flipper tagged and two were pit tagged. 16
Leatherback nesting events were recorded, eight of these events were
observed, (with seven successful lays), two dry runs were recorded in
total.

* A total of six Green turtle nests and seven Leatherback nests were inventoried:
o STENAPA personnel recorded that it takes between 44 and 51 days for a
Green turtle nest to emerge, and noted that it takes 50-57 days for
Leatherback nests left in situ to emerge, and 64-66 days for relocated
nests to emerge









* In 2004, the sea turtle conservation programme reached the local and
international communities. Three methods of publicizing the programme were
used: STENAPA newsletters, STENAPA radio show and press releases.

* Achievements for 2004 includes:
o Continuation of beach clean up;
o Beach mapping;
o Police participation to enforce laws in regards to sea turtles protection
(e.g: sand mining and beach parties);
o Additional staff training (e.g: WIDECAST AGM and Sea turtle Symposium
2005);
o Increased volunteer supervision; and
o Monitoring of six nesting beaches thank to the purchase of a dedicated
vehicle for the programme.










II Introduction


Recent records of turtle nesting activities on St Eustatius date from June 1997 with the
discovery of a nest by Jaap Begeman. Until this date, it was believed that leatherback
turtles no longer nested on St Eustatius. After further sightings, Sea Turtle Conservation
Programme started when the Marine Park commenced awareness raising about
conservation of sea turtles in 2001. Since 2001, there have been confirmed nesting of
three species of marine turtles: the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the Green
Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). It is possible that
the Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) is nesting on St Eustatius, and there was an
unconfirmed sighting in 2004. The monitoring programme started in 2002 with random
nightly patrols on the main beach Zeelandia, and patrols have been regularly scheduled
since 2003. In the latter half of 2004, monitoring extended to six beaches with regular
day and night patrols.

The objectives of the St Eustatius Marine Park Sea Turtle Conservation Project range
from biological data collection to public awareness, and include the following:

To increase the nesting populations of sea turtles
To increase hatchling survival rates
To obtain data on the sea turtle nesting population
To obtain data on observed hatchling population
To fully protect turtle nesting habitats
To monitor turtle foraging habitats
To apply national and international treaties and conventions (CITES, SPAW, IAC,
etc)
To create an ongoing database of nesting and foraging marine turtles to be
shared regionally (WIDECAST) and worldwide
To educate local residents and tourists about the sea turtle conservation
programme
To encourage research about sea turtle populations to improve conservation on
St Eustatius

St Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) manages the Marine Park and started the
programme by raising awareness on sea turtle protection and their habitats. In October
2001, the St Eustatius Government closed Zeelandia beach to sand miners following
advice from the Marine Park. In 2002, STENAPA commenced regular patrols on St
Eustatius beaches and started collecting data. Additionally, in 2003, STENAPA started
to monitor hatchlings and also to record in-water sighting by divers, snorkellers and
bathers. To help with its conservation programme, STENAPA uses assistance from
international volunteers.

In order to carry out the sea turtle conservation programme in 2004, STENAPA received
funding from a number of sources: through the Working Abroad volunteer programme
(Annex 6), Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), World
Turtle Trust (WTT), KNAP Fonds Netherlands Antilles, IdeaWild and AMFO St Maarten.
Thanks to the latter, STENAPA was able to purchase a vehicle for the turtle programme.
This vehicle arrived in July and allowed personnel to increase patrols from one to six









beaches and to record a total of 52 nesting events in 2004, a record number since the
onset of the programme.

The aims of this Annual Report include the following:

Provide information locally and internationally about the sea turtle monitoring
programme.
Maintain a database summary for the programme, to be analyzed each year.
Produce a progress report for the Island Government and local/international
volunteers.
Outline all activities of the sea turtle monitoring programme.
Outline all positive and negative points encountered by the programme.
Review activities in the past year, and suggest recommendations for 2005.


III Participating organizations

A) St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA)
The Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is managed by St Eustatius National Parks
Foundation (STENAPA), which is the main environmental non-governmental
organization on St Eustatius (also known as Statia). In 1996, the island government
gave legal mandate to STENAPA to manage a new Marine Park and, in 1998, for a new
National Park. STENAPA also manages the Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden. The
Marine Park surrounds the island of St Eustatius from the high water mark to the 30
meter depth contour. Within the marine park are two marine reserves, which are
designated no-take zones and are in place to protect marine life habitats and to reduce
fishing pressure. The marine park maintains dive and yacht moorings and conducts
many programs such as the Snorkel Club, the Junior Ranger Club, surveys of marine
life, school educational activities and since 2002, the conservation of sea turtles on St
Eustatius. STENAPA is a not-for-profit Foundation with no permanent government
subsidies, relying on grants and minimal income from divers and yachts to carry out
projects. STENAPA has four permanent staff and is able to carry on with projects such
as the sea turtle conservation thanks to two international volunteer programs: the
STENAPA Internship programme and Working Abroad programme started in 2001 and
2003 respectively.

Internship programme
This programme started in September 2001 and, since then, 30 interns have helped to
accomplish projects at the botanical gardens, in the national park, in the marine park,
and also with educational programmes in the local schools and community. Interns are
often finishing a degree within the fields of biology, conservation or park management.
Interns are responsible for managing and accomplishing specific assignments and
overseeing volunteers from the Working Abroad volunteer programme on specific
projects.

Interns stay on St Eustatius for periods of approximately six months. Interns are
provided with basic living quarters, drinking water, a truck and fuel. Interns must pay
their own travel costs and food costs during their stay. The internships allow students
and professionals to gain good practical experiences in the field of their study. Without









dedicated volunteers, STENAPA would not be able to carry out many of its projects,
since it is impossible for the Foundation to afford such manpower and expertise.

B) Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST)
The St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is part of the Wider Caribbean
Sea Turtle Conservation Network. In June 2003, STENAPA manager Nicole Esteban
was appointed St Eustatius country coordinator for WIDECAST following a training
course whereby two staff learned about tagging and nest inventorying of Leatherback
sea turtles in St Croix (V.I.). The St Eustatius Sea Turtle Monitoring Programme
protocols were based on this training. In April 2002 and in February 2004, STENAPA
staff were able to attend the WIDECAST Annual General Meeting with funding and
logistical assistance provided in part through WIDECAST.

C) Working Abroad Programme: Statia Conservation Programme
Working Abroad is an international networking service for volunteers, workers and
travelers on volunteer projects in over 150 countries worldwide. STENAPA started its
collaboration with Working Abroad programme in January 2003. To participate in the
programme, volunteers pay US$ 1267 each for food, water, lodging, a truck, fuel, and a
project expenses fee (this does not include traveling costs). In 2004, a total of 31
volunteers were recruited through the Working Abroad organization in the UK. Teams of
up to eight volunteers stay for two months at a time on St Eustatius and assist in the
following projects: development of the botanical gardens, national park trail maintenance
and, during turtle season, all volunteers participate in day and night patrols.

D) Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)
DCNA is a foundation established in St Maarten which represents a formal cooperation
between the nature conservation management organizations of the Netherlands Antilles
with international agency representation. The goal of the foundation is to safeguard the
biodiversity and natural heritage of the islands by supporting and assisting nature
conservation efforts throughout the Antilles.

E) Funding agencies and donors
To properly run the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, the manager and field
coordinator allocate approximately 20 to 40 % of work time to raise funds for programme
costs per year. Fundraising occurs internationally and locally by soliciting specific
organizations and by donation requests through newsletters and turtle awareness
watches.
Organizations that have donated to the programme in 2004 are:

L Antillean Co-financing Organization (AMFO), Netherlands Antilles
a Department of Environment and Public Health (MINA-VOMIL) Curacao.
Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), Netherlands Antilles
a IDEAWILD, USA
i KNAP Fund, Netherlands Antilles
i Symposium committee of Sea Turtle Conservation and Biology
u Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation (WIDECAST), USA.
i World Turtle Trust (WTT), USA.
i Working Abroad Programme, UK











We also wish to recognize individuals that have contributed to the success of the
programme by donating their time while on patrol and providing financial assistance.

IV Methodology


A) Study site: St Eustatius (DWI)
The island of St Eustatius is located in the Windward Islands and is part of the
Netherlands Antilles. St Eustatius lies within the longitude and latitude median of 1730
North and 6258 West. Sister islands of Saba and St Maarten stretch out 30 Km north-
west and 63 Km north of St Eustatius respectively. St Eustatius is 21km2 in size and is
made up of an extinct volcano comprising the "Northern Hills" to the north (150 Million
years old) and a dormant volcano called the "Quill" to the south formed 22000 to 32000
years ago. Because of its volcanic origin, the beaches of St Eustatius are made of dark
sand.


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Figure 1: Map of St Eustatius in the Eastern Caribbean


B) St Eustatius nesting beaches:


Atlantic side: Zeelandia; Turtle Beach; Lynch Beach
STENAPA is able to monitor three nesting beaches located on the Atlantic side of Statia.
The largest beach of St Eustatius is Zeelandia beach, it stretches to 1 Km in length and
is linked to Turtle Beach (400 meters) which is in turn linked to Lynch beach (200
meters) (Figure 2).


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Figure 2: Map of St Eustatius (DWI)

Zeelandia beach (Figure 3) is highly active and sand erosion is continuous. Direct
access to the beach from the Atlantic deep sea for Leatherback Turtles is restricted to
the first 780 meters of the beach with 94 % of Leatherback nesting activities observed
within the first 420 meters of beach. Zeelandia Beach is a nesting site for Green (68% of
Green turtle nesting activities of 2004) and Hawksbill turtles. Zeelandia is the only beach
monitored at night by STENAPA.








Figure 3: Zeelandia beach


Turtle beach (Figure 4) is the second largest beach on the Atlantic side of Statia and
where 27 % of Green turtles nesting events were recorded. Unfortunately access to this
beach at night is highly restricted and only possible during day time when seas are quiet,
additional access to Turtle beach can be influenced by the moon effect on tides. This
nesting beach is very much affected by sand movement especially during hurricane
months June-November.



























Figure 4: Turtle beach


Lynch beach is a rocky beach covered by ground vegetation; the beach morning glory.
Lynch beach hosts a nesting habitat for Hawksbill turtles and Green turtles as well as
(possibly) Loggerheads. Lynch beach is stable due to the adjacent rocky and reef barrier
that provides a natural shelter for sand retention.

Lynch beach and Turtle beach have been monitored daily since September 2004.


Caribbean Side: Crooks castle Beach; Kay Bay
The Caribbean side of St Eustatius has two nesting beaches which are monitored:
Crooks castle and Kay bay beach.

Crooks castle beach is composed of mostly rocks and sandy patches, it also includes
300 year old ruins of former trading warehouses. In 2004, Crooks castle beach was not
regularly monitored due to the new ISPS regulations in place. Since July 2004, a
security pass is needed for access to that beach. Crooks castle beach extends about
400 meters. No turtle activities were recorded on Crooks castle beach in 2004.

Kay bay beach is made of rocks and sand. The only access to Kay bay beach is via
private residential property. Hawksbill and Green turtles were documented nesting on
this beach in 2004.

All beaches are bordering a moderate to high cliff line which erodes constantly especially
after rainfall. Erosion also occurs through natural and manmade (Zeelandia beach
entrance & Smith gut) channels during heavy rainfall.









C) Pre-nesting (monitoring) preparation
The sea turtle conservation 2004 programme commenced with the following monitoring
activities:
January: preparation of numbered stakes for Zeelandia Beach day and night
patrols. The stakes were cut from a plank of wood 2x4x16. A total of 64 stakes
were cut using 2 planks of 2x4x16. The stakes were engraved with numbers
from 1 to 64. The numbers were painted over with white paint and a reflective
strip was taped to the top of the stake. Stakes were hammered deep in the sand
at 20 meter intervals, starting from the northern most part of the beach (Figure
5). Volunteers Alexander Cadle and Shon Norris prepared and installed the
stakes.
February and March: two beach clean ups were organized in preparation for the
first Leatherback turtle nesting season (Annex I: press release)
Preparation and posting of flyers advertising the commencement of daily
morning patrols, to encourage the participation in patrols by local residents
(Annex II)
March 15: beginning of morning patrols on Zeelandia beach.


Stakes placement


D) Patrol activities
Day and night patrols of Zeelandia beach commenced on March 15, 2004. During the
second week of September, day patrols extended to the Turtle beach, Lynch beach and
Kay bay after the purchase of a dedicated vehicle for the programme. Night patrols
(Zeelandia beach) stopped on September 23, since the last nesting activities were
observed on Zeelandia beach on September 16. Daily patrols continued on all beaches
and ended on November 3.



























Figure 6: New vehicle for the monitoring programme


Taqqinq Methods
Metal flipper tags were donated by the Marine Turtle Tagging Center, Barbados, part of
WIDECAST. All tag applicators are inspected and cleaned on a routine basis and
discarded when they cease to function properly.

Tagging methods are based on the protocols of the Turtle Monitoring Programme in St
Croix, USVI. These techniques are also described in the literature "research and
management techniques for the conservation of sea turtles". Tags are applied to the
fleshy skin located between the back flippers and the tail of nesting Leatherbacks, and
on the proximal part of the front flipper of Greens and Hawksbills where the swimming
stroke will cause minimal up-and-down movement (Eckert et al., 1999). The turtle is
tagged whilst tamping and covering her nest right after she has finished laying. This is
done so that the turtle is not disturbed while preparing for laying and during laying. Two
metal tags are attached to each hard shell turtle to minimize the effect of tag loss. For
Leatherbacks only, one metal and one Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag are
applied to each individual. A single PIT tag is inserted in the front shoulder part of the
turtle under the skin with the use of an applicator. An AVID scanner is used to detect PIT
Tags. Only trained persons are allowed to tag turtles.

Carapace Measurements
Length and width of shell of a nesting sea turtle are taken using metric measurements.
Measurements of the shell width and length are taken using flexible metal tape (curved
measurement).

Hard shell species:
The carapace length measurement is the curves carapace length notch to tip (CCLn-t)
(Eckert et a.,1999). The tape is stretched from the most anterior medial notch of the
carapace in a straight line to the most posterior medial notch. The carapace width









measurement is the curves carapace width (CCW) (Eckert et aL.,1999). In this instance
the tape is stretched from the widest point of each side of the carapace in a straight line.

Leatherback:
Flexible tape is used to measure the length of the shell (CCL) and the width (CCW) in
the following manner:
Length: from the nuchal notch at the midline straight to the most posterior tip of the
caudal peduncle (Eckert, et a.1999).
Width: from the ridge crest to the ridge crest at the widest point (Eckert et aL.,1999).

Track measurements
Tracks are measured from one outer flipper edge mark to the opposite outer flipper edge
mark in a straight line. For each turtle track found, three different width measurements
are taken. Upon entering the data in the spreadsheet the average of the three
measurements is computed. This technique allows for fewer mistakes in measurement.

Nest measurements
When a turtle is observed nesting, the details are recorded on a data sheet in the
following manner:
Stake number (Zeelandia Beach only)
Date (we record two dates since a typical night patrol is from 20:00-21h00hrs to
03:00-04:00hrs and therefore overlaps over 2 days)
Time (we use the 24hrs clock system, and we write down the time a turtle is first
observed)
Triangulation measurements are taken from stakes located nearest to the center
of the nest.
Distance of center of nest from vegetation
Distance of center of nest from the high water line.
GPS marker of nest is recorded.
Species of sea turtle

Nests only data collection
Nests are recorded in the following manner:
Stake number (Zeelandia Beach only)
Date and time the nest is first observed, (if possible we estimate the exact night
that nest was laid this can done based on previous patrol records)
Distance of nest from vegetation
Distance of nest from high water line
GPS marker of nest
Species of Sea turtle (if possible to identify)

Dry Run Measurements
Dry runs are recorded in the following manner:
Track width measurements
Date and time (if possible we estimate the exact night that nest was laid this can
done based on previous patrol records)
Stake number (Zeelandia Beach only)
GPS
Species of sea turtle (if possible to identify)











V Results


A) Nesting data
This section of the report presents nesting data for three confirmed species of sea turtles
nesting on Zeelandia beach for 2004. Additionally, it is possible that a fourth species (the
loggerhead) visited St Eustatius in 2004. Staff were able to tag two species of sea
turtles: the green and the leatherback and summary tables are included below.

Green turtles
The first nesting Green turtle was observed on Zeelandia beach on July 19, 23:30 hours.
The last nesting event was observed on September 19. Two Green sea turtles were
flipper tagged, 22 Green turtles nesting events were recorded, of which 3 were observed
(with 2 successful lays) and 13 dry runs recorded.

Table 1: Carapace measurement and tagging of nesting green turtles
Carapace1 (meters) Flipper tag Location
Width Length
0.96 1.15 WE 19 Front left
1.10 1.36 WE 13 Front left


Hawksbill turtles
The first nesting Hawksbill turtle visited on Zeelandia beach on June 27. The last nesting
visit was recorded on October 13. 12 Hawksbill turtles nesting events were recorded, 4
of these were dry runs. One of these events was observed at Turtle beach at 8:20am (a
dry run) and no tags were seen on this turtle. An interesting set of tracks happened at
Kay Bay Beach where residents indicated that 8 narrow tracks < 0.70m wide, no tail drag
and alternate gait were observed on the morning of October 13. We recorded these
tracks as Hawksbill tracks based on the description of the residents who have been
helpful at assisting with previous turtle nesting events on Kay Bay Beach.

Leatherback turtles
The first Leatherback turtle track was recorded on the 18 April, 14:30 hours. The first
nesting Leatherback turtle was observed on the 26 April, 23:00 hours. The last nesting
event for Leatherbacks was recorded on the June 29. 4 Leatherback turtles were flipper
tagged and 2 were pit tagged. 16 Leatherback nesting events were recorded, 8 of these
events were observed, (with 7 successful lay), 2 dry runs were recorded in total. Inter-
nesting intervals for tagged Leatherback ranged from 8 to 10 days.







1 These measurements are average of measurements taken from each nesting observance.










Table 2: Carapace measurement and tagging of nesting leatherback

Carapace2 (meters) Flipper tag Location PIT tag Location
Width Length
1.07 1.41 WC 335 Rear left -
1.20 1.49 WE 3 Rear left -
1.07 1.44 WE 18 Rear right 133713290A Front right
1.16 1.85 WE 9 Rear left 134822465A Front right


Loggerhead
On September 26 at 17:00hrs Mr Ishmael Berkel saw a turtle nesting on Lynch Beach.
He reported it and later identified the turtle as a Loggerhead after looking at the
WIDECAST Key Identification sea turtle sheet. It is not known whether this nest was
successful or not. The track left behind the turtle had been erased by heavy rainfall that
started during and continued after the nesting process.

Unknown sea turtle tracks


Seven additional sea turtle tracks were labeled as unknown.
identified either because they were too faint due to rain fall, or
erosion area where the tide had greatly washed over the tracks.


These tracks were not
they were located in an


Another example of unidentified tracks happened on Turtle Beach. On the October 13
two sets of tracks were labeled as unknown for the following reason: The first track had
a smaller overlapping hawksbill track partially covering it. This track was large, we noted
no tail drag and its width measured 1.33 meters. The second set of unidentified tracks
has its incoming and out going gait well overlapping each other. The track had no tail
drag and its width was measured about 1.22 meters.



















2 These measurements are average of measurements taken from each nesting observance.












B) Emergence data
STENAPA staff and volunteers monitored hatching emergence. Emergence was observed from a total of 8 Leatherbacks and 6
Green turtle nests. Hatchlings and/or nest content were recorded following the WIDECAST protocol.


Table 3: Table from Sea Turtle Conservation Manual Eckert et al. (1999)

Code Detail
E = Emerged Hatchling leaving or departed from nest
S = Shell Number of empty shells counted (>50% complete)
L = Live in nest Live hatchlings left among shells
D = Dead in nest Dead hatchlings that have left their shells
UD= Undeveloped Unhatched eggs with no obvious embryo
UH = Unhatched Unhatched eggs with obvious embryo (excluding UHT)
UHT= Unhatched term Unhatched apparently full term embryo in egg shell or pipped
(with a small amount of external yolk material)











Green turtles

STENAPA personnel recorded that it takes between 44 and 51 days for a Green turtle nest to emerge.

Table 4: Green Turtle nests inventory

Date dd/mm Coordinates E UD UH UHT S L D Yolkless
06/09 to 9/09 Zeelandia 1- 1 31- 6
_____ 17 30.309' N 62 58.759' W
20/09 445 0 2 1
Zeelandia
27/09-29/09 Kay bay 41 48 196
17 28.259' N 62 58.938' W
30/09 Zeelandia 87
13/10 15/10 Zeelandia 24 119 10
17/10- 18/10 Zeelandia 15-20 8 5 6
1730309'N 62 58 759' W


3 This hatchling was rescued from a ghost crab. Due to the location where this hatchling was found on the beach, it was noted that prior to being attacked by the
crab, this hatchling had been disorientated by the lights of the Pompier Country Club House.
4 Rescued hatchlings were placed on the sand and followed; some were observed moving towards the lights of Pompier Country Club House.
5 One live hatchling was found on his back on the beach. From the tracks mark left by the hatchlings it was estimated that 1/3 of them were temporarily
disoriented by the Country Club lights, they re-orientated themselves to the sea upon reaching the shadow of the cliff line. 3-4 tracks were followed towards the
main entrance of the beach, these hatchlings could have been disrupted by the street lights or by car lights.
6 On the 27th 16 hatchlings were found dead on top of nest entrance during a routine sunset patrol. On 28th 1 was found dead on top if the nest and two dead in
the nest
7 On the morning of August 16th, 10 eggs were found scattered around a partially covered nest with a distinct body pit, we carefully buried those eggs and found
more eggs already buried we left them in place and finished covering the nest. More eggs were found along the departing track 3 crushed 3 complete. It seems as
if the turtle was disrupted, no footprints found around the track. The turtle could have been disrupted by car lights from the opposite cliff before laying. She
wandered extensively and she found herself disorientated in a dry sand gut made on the beach by flooding (between stake 2 & 4). This nest was dug on
September 30 (approx. emergence date) 8 hatchlings were saved from the nest. It was observed that the nest contained numerous worms and green eggs.
8 4 hatchlings disorientated by Country Club light, 2 of these were rescued from ghost crabs.
9 Early morning of October 15, we were able to find the nest entrance by looking at the flies accumulating on top of the nest, we removed a layer of sand and
found dead hatchlings. We recovered hatchlings with deformed scute patterns Error! Reference source not found., some hatchlings were trapped in roots below
the nest entrance, we released them.













Leatherback turtles

It appears to take 50-57 days for leatherback nests left in situ to emerge, and 64-66 days for relocated nests to emerge.



Table 5: Leatherback turtle nests inventory

Coordinates E UD UH UHT Yolkless S L D Unkno
Date dd/mm
Date dAll nests on Zeelandia wn

06/17-06/21 17030.468'N 62058.893'W 21 7 3 2 70 32 1
06/17 1730.419'N 6258.859'W 15 -
07/06 17 30.400'N 62 58.853'W Unknownlo 17 2 1 96 17 -


07/08 1730.415'N 62058.856'W Unknown" 8 1 9 95 24 8 3 2
07/20 17 30.442'N 62058.880'W 2212 -
07/20 17 30.409'N 6258.851'W 6 15 9 64 6 4 813
07/06-07/07 17 30.413'N 62 58.856'W 1114 27 8 22 17 23 1 16 1


10 Nest collapsed before the end of the inventory. However this nest had been relocated and 59 yoked eggs were counted.
1 This nest was relocated and 57 yoked eggs were counted
12 Did not find the nest entrance, additional tracks (not counting 22 observed hatchlings) were observed many in the vegetation line, no source of artificial lights
were observed on the beach, however a slope (between stake 2 & 4) was created (because of dune erosion) on the beach and towards the sea grapes dunes
because of heavy rain fall. Since it is believed that hatchlings use the natural slope of the beach to reach the ocean, this may have been the reason why we found
tracks disorientated towards the dunes.
13 It was noted that some eggs might have been predated upon by a ghost crab found alive inside the nest while inventorying.
14 Two dead










VI Discussion


A) Education

Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Educational Officer (2004-2005)
In May 2004, DCNA proposed to lead a project on education awareness about turtles for a year,
commencing September 2004. This project funded an educational officer for the three islands of
Saba, Statia and St Maarten for a year from November 2004 to November 2005. This officer will
create an educational curriculum (based on RARE manual) for the protection of sea turtles and
their habitats. Dominique Vissenberg from Holland was hired by the three marine parks of the
Dutch Windward Islands to create and implement this educational awareness project.

Media Information
In 2004, the sea turtle conservation programme reached the local and international
communities. Three methods of publicizing the programme were used: STENAPA newsletters,
STENAPA radio show and press releases (Annex 1).

Newsletters are published on a quarterly basis. In 2004, three of the newsletters included
information on the Sea Turtle Conservation and Monitoring Programme (June, September,
December). Newsletters are printed and distributed locally (schools, businesses, shops) and
sent via emails reaching past volunteers and conservationists abroad (Caribbean, Europe and
USA). Newsletters are created by Statia Resident Heidi Duncan.

STENAPA radio show was aired on local radio PJR1 91.5 FM for the first time in February
2004. This programme runs monthly and was funded for a year by the VNP Funds. Executive
board member of STENAPA, Jessica Berkel, is responsible for the radio programme and
designed a turtle awareness talk: "Statia Sea Turtle Conservation Programme", this was aired
on April 1st, 2004.

Public awareness watches
On 11th June, Marine Park staff created a 'visitors guidelines' (eg using red flashlights) to the
sea turtle conservation programme due to reoccurring problems with guests on patrols. The
guidelines are based on Marine Park personal observations and the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission Sea Turtles Guidelines (Annex 3). These basic guidelines became
very helpful especially since an increasing number of tourists desire to participate in night
watches. These guidelines reinforce that STENAPA is a conservation foundation and ensures
that proper behavior is followed around nesting sea turtles and hatchlings.

In addition to night watch patrols, adverts were made for volunteers for sunset emergence
patrols.

A total of 22 persons participated in public awareness watches (night and sunset). This number
is expected to increase as the programme grows.

School presentations
At the end of every month, STENAPA gives presentations in all four island schools. The
presentation topics differ each month and are based on programmes conducted by STENAPA.
The presentations are created and given by staff and volunteers. In 2004, one presentation on








sea turtle conservation and biology was given at four local schools.


School trainees and Vacation Job Programme
In 2004, two high-school students, Coen Cherubin and Genillio Hassell and one graduate
Antonio Raphael Flemming of Gwendolyn van Putten High-school assisted with the sea turtle
monitoring programme.

Coen Cherubin (16 years old) worked at STENAPA for a month from April May 2004 and was
able to assist staff with night monitoring of Leatherback Sea Turtles.


Figure 7: Coen and Leatherback turtle


Genillio Hassell (17 years old) accompanied STENAPA staff to the WIDECAST Annual
General Meeting (January 2005) and to the XXV Symposium of Sea Turtle Biology and
Conservation. Genillio attended all meetings as well as posters session. Genillio recognized that
this experience was valuable and gained much from this week of events. Genillio was
accompanied and supervised by his teacher Etiennes De Vries. All expenses for this trip were
funded by AMFO Sint Maarten and the Sea Turtle Symposium Committee.

Antonio Flemming (18 years old) graduated in June 2004 and was assigned to work at
STENAPA for the month of July 2004. This Vacation Job Programme was recently implemented
by the Island Government to give young graduates an opportunity to obtain work experience
before pursuing studies abroad. Antonio helped with night patrols, nest inventories and
hatchling recovery.

























Figure 8: Antonio inventorying a leatherback nest


B) Financial management

Accounting
STENAPA Treasurer Jana Mason volunteered time for maintaining the accounting for the Sea
Turtle Conservation and Monitoring Programme.

Fund-raising
This programme is self sufficient within the STENAPA programme and has been funded through
a number of grants that have paid for the salary for the Turtle Programme Coordinator, a new
vehicle dedicated to the Turtle Programme, travel to the WIDECAST AGM and XXIV
Symposium in Costa Rica in February 2004 and travel to the WIDECAST AGM and XXV
Symposium in Savannah Georgia in January 2005.

C) Publication and data sharing
The following correspondence and assistance was given for publications and to exchange
information:
o May: Nature Conservancy Eastern Caribbean Program, Raquel Seybert: Sea Turtle Data
Collection.
o June: WIDECAST Project Officer, Maria Perez: survey completion on illegal trade of Sea
Turtle Product.
o July September: correspondence with Adolphe Debrot from Carmabi Foundation in
Curacao for publication of a paper on nesting sea turtle in the Dutch Antilles: "Noteworthy
sea turtle nesting records for the Netherlands Antilles".
o August: correspondence with WIDECAST Director, Dr. Karen Eckert. Information submitted
for a manuscript written by Dr. Eckert to be published in the Journal of the Center for
Maritime Research (MARE), University of Amsterdam.
o September: correspondence with World Turtle Trust Director, Laurie McKeon, STENAPA
submitted a photo of Zeelandia beach for the new WTT brochure.









D) Achievements 2004


Beach clean ups
A series of nine beach clean ups were organized by STENAPA in 2004 (Annex 2). The purpose
of these clean ups is to remove as much debris as possible to facilitate access to the beach for
nesting females and to the sea for hatchlings. Adjacent to Zeelandia beach is an operational
landfill called Smith Gut. Since its creation (2003), increasing amounts of debris have been
reported (by locals and visitors) on Zeelandia beach. One resident reports: "Since Smith Gut
landfill has opened, every time I go line fishing on Zeelandia beach, I hook trash such as plastic
sacs....

Further south on Turtle beach is an old landfill (Figure 9). Although it was closed down in 2003,
the turtle programme coordinator has observed sporadic use of the landfill by residents while on
day patrols. This landfill still spills over on the beach with high seas. Marine Park rangers are
continuously picking up plastic bags afloat at sea while patrolling.




















Figure 9: Closed landfill on Turtle Beach (still being used)

Beach mapping
One complete mapping of all the beaches on the Atlantic side was created using Microsoft
Excel. The mapping was conducted with the assistance of volunteers Naomi Osborne and
Sheila Morrison. The technique used for mapping is as follows, a team of two people records
coordinates along the beach, at both the high water line and the vegetation line at intervals of
five meters. It took three full days for STENAPA team to register the mapping data for
Zeelandia, Turtle beach and Lynch Beach. All nests were added to the map for a bird's eye view
of nesting sites (Annex 4).

Law enforcement
Sand mining
Previous to 2003, Zeelandia beach was heavily sand-mined. This beach was the only source of
sand for construction. The demand for sand increased in part due to the growing number of
medical students enrolling at the local medical school and needing housing. In 2001, STENAPA








successfully lobbied the Island Government to stop sand-mining activities and apply the SPAW
and CITES treaties signed in 1991. Since 2002, local company TRICO Supplies has imported
construction sand and, with the support of the St Eustatius Police enforcing the legislation, sand
mining drastically decreased.

Beach parties
On June 11, STENAPA was approached by Chief of Police Inspector Look as Gwendolyn van
Putten High School requested a permit to conduct a party on Zeelandia Beach for its graduating
class. Since this party was involving use of fire (BBQ) and was going to take place from sunset
during a period of Leatherback turtle hatchling emergence, the Marine Park recommended that
the party be moved to the Caribbean side "Gallows bay" where no nesting of sea turtles had
been previously recorded.

Staff training
In 2004, programme coordinator Rozenn the Scao was able to attend the XXIV Symposium on
Sea Turtle Conservation and Biology and the WIDECAST AGM 2004 meeting in Costa Rica
(February 2004). Attending these two conferences was fruitful for the programme. Attendance at
both meetings was an eye opener about similar conservation programmes in the Caribbean and
abroad.

Volunteer supervision
In 2003, limited patrolled supervision by staff occurred due to the vital need of raising funds for
2004 nesting season. In 2004, increase in patrol supervision by staff and interns was achieved
and 80 % of night patrols were supervised by the Coordinator.

Dedicated Vehicle for the Sea Turtle Programme
In August 2004 STENAPA crew were able to greatly increase night and sunset patrols on six
nesting beaches on Statia. The new vehicle allowed to increase data collection for the
programme. Staff were happily surprised by the number of nesting events recorded and nest
monitoring conducted thanks to this vehicle.


E) Recommendations for 2005

Participation of Volunteers should continue
The Working Abroad volunteer programme started in 2003 and STENAPA internship
programme began in September 2001. Without assistance from these volunteers, the sea turtle
monitoring programme could not continue as intensely as currently planned.

Regular patrols at night and at sunset
2005 patrols will be conducted in the same way as 2003 (phase 2) and 2004 patrols were
conducted. STENAPA will also conduct regular sunset patrols for hatchling emergence in
accordance with nesting timings. Corrie Corrie Bay, Lynch Beach and Crooks Castle Beach and
Kay Bay will continue to be monitored for nests.

Staff Training
In 2004, staff will keep up to date with monitoring and conservation techniques. Additionally staff
will aim to gain funding to attend important meetings and conferences abroad pertaining to Sea
Turtle Conservation.








Sunset emergence monitoring
In 2004, STENAPA increased sunset patrols to monitor nest emergence frenzy. In 2005
STENAPA will continue and monitor nest emergence at sunset and at night.

Beach Mapping
STENAPA will continue with mapping of the beach. Data will be gathered and will be entered in
Microsoft Excel. It is hoped that staff will acquire expertise to produce more advanced maps in
future. In 2004, staff were able to increase data collecting and mapped a wider portion of beach.
In 2005, the aim will be to map all nesting beaches.


Education
STENAPA will continue with its sea turtle education programme lead by Dominque Wissenberg
through the DCNA project (school and business presentations). In 2004 STENAPA launched its
first public radio show to talk about environmental issues including sea turtle protection. It is
hoped that the radio show will continue providing there is necessary funding. STENAPA has two
after-school programmes in which primary school children (grades 5-6) are introduced to sea
turtle conservation among other environmental issues. Both these programmes will be ongoing
in 2005. In 2004, a small amount of residents participated in sea turtle monitoring field work and
three high-school students were directly involved with STENAPA programmes and sea turtles
conservation. It is hoped that participation will increase in 2005

Waste management and roaming animals
STENAPA hopes to collaborate with the government to find solutions to the waste and recycling
issue on St Eustatius. The Foundation will continue with beach clean ups. STENAPA will
continue to raise awareness about roaming animals on the island.









VI Acknowledgments


This programme would not be in force without the involvement of STENAPA staff and board
members and many local and international volunteers. STENAPA Foundation wishes to
recognize its staff, interns and Working Abroad Volunteers that have contributed and offered
support to the 2004 sea turtle conservation and monitoring programme

The St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation programme would not be operational without financial
assistance from AMFO Sint Maarten, IdeaWild, Knap Fund, The Sea Turtle Symposium
Committee, WIDECAST, Working Abroad and World Turtle Trust.

For sharing their expertise, recommendations and support, we wish to especially thank Dr
Karen Eckert (WIDECAST) and Paul Hoetjes (MINA/VOMIL).

Special thanks to Jessica Berkel, Martine Cotten, Dr Jan and Corrie van Duren, Sheila
Morrison, Naomi Osborne and Joanna White for their assistance.









VI References


Eckert K.L., K.A. Bjorndal, Abreu-Grobois, M. Donnelly (Editors). 1999. Research and
Management Techniques for the Conservation of Sea Turtles. IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle
Specialist Group Publication No 4.

Rozenn Le Scao, Nicole Esteban. 2004. St Eustatius National Parks Sea Turtle
Conservation Programme. St Eustatius Netherlands Antilles.

Sybesma, Jeffrey. 1992. WIDECAST Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for the
Netherlands Antilles (Karen L. Eckert, Editor). CEP Technical Report No. 11. UNEP Caribbean
Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. 63 P.

Staatsbosbeheer (2000) Management Plan for the Quill/Boven National Park. 2000-
2004.







VII Annexes

Annex 1: Press release (Parks Foundation tags its first turtle of 2004 season)


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Annex 2: Press release (Volunteers clean Zeelandia Beach)
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Annex 3: Guidelines for visitors to the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Monitoring Programme at
Zeelandia Beach

St Eustatius National and Marine Parks Foundation (STENAPA) started its monitoring
programme in 2001. In the Netherlands Antilles all sea turtles and their habitats are protected.
The Marine Park is part of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network and follows
WIDECAST protocols to carry out with monitoring of sea turtles nesting on Statia. As a visitor
and guest to the programme, we ask that you please closely follow these guidelines:

Because the Marine Park will be conducting field work, we ask that no more than 2
guests visit the beach per night. Visitors must remain with the group at all time unless
further advice from Marine Park personnel.
We ask that guests sign this waver at the National Parks office before joining a patrol.
This also allows for Marine Park field workers to know when visitors are going to join a
patrol.
We ask that you arrange your own transport to Zeelandia beach since the Marine Park
does not provide transportation for visitors to and from the beach.
NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY is allowed. The Marine Park patrol will be taking flash
photography only when needed. You are welcome to leave your email with the Marine
Park and we will gladly forward pictures of sea turtles to your email address.
The use of flashlight by visitors is not permitted unless a red filter is placed over the light
(The Marine Park will not provide red filters). Improper use of lights may deter a nesting
female and disorientate hatchlings
Be aware that hatchlings are emerging from nests and you will be asked to walk right
behind field workers so that no hatchlings are injured or killed by foot steps. Note that
hatchlings will only be handled if they are trapped or have flipped over on their back, this
will be performed by Marine Park personnel.
We asked that you closely follow any requests by Marine Park field workers. For
instance, you will be asked to stand behind a nesting turtle, be aware that contact or light
touching with a nesting female is permitted only after all eggs have been deposited and
she is on her way back to the ocean.

Finally, we would like to thank you in advance for observing these guidelines. Be aware that
Zeelandia beach hosts a low number of nesting sea turtle and that you may not see any turtles
while on patrols. You should bring an extra layer of clothing and water/snacks for rest periods
between patrols.

I would like to participate in the patrol taking place on the night of

I have read and acknowledge these guidelines and will respect these regulations.

Name:
Signature:
Date:







Annex 4: Map of beach on the Atlantic side (Zeelandia)


950

900

850

800


650
]6n


*1.- .


HWL
VL









Annex 5: Relevant legislation
International legislation signed by the kingdom of the
Netherlands Antilles:

*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(C.I.T.E.S)
Chelonia mvdas (Linnaeus, 1758)
Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus, 1766)
Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761)

Additional information about C.I.T.E.S Endangered Species list for
the Netherlands Antilles can be found at:
http://www.cites.org/eng/resources/species.html

The Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and
Wildlife of the Cartagena Convention (the SPAW Protocol).

Additional information about the SPAW Protocol for the
Netherlands Antilles can be found at:
http://qrid2.cr.usqs. .ov/cepnet/pubs/leqislation/spawnut.html

The Inter-American Convention for the protection and
Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)
Additional information about the IAC Convention can be found at:
http://www.sinac.qo.cr/otros/coptortuqa/i-index.htm

The Convention of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also
known as CMS or the Bonn Convention)
Additional information about the CMS Convention:
http://www.wcmc.org.uk/cms/

National legislation:
Island Territory of Sint Eustatius
Marine Environment Ordinance Sint Eustatius 1996 NR.3


* Protection of Fauna and Flora, 1998




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