Title: Annual report
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 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: 2006
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00100102
Volume ID: VID00004
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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St Eustatius Sea Turtle

Conservation Programme


Annual Report 2006


Arturo Herrera and Emma Harrison
Programme Co-ordinators
St Eustatius National Parks Foundation
Gallows Bay, St Eustatius
Netherlands Antilles
www.statiapark.org
semp @goldenrocknet. com











Table of Contents




LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS .................................................................................................. 7

SUMMARY .....................................................................................................................................................................8

INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................................................................................13

PARTICIPATING ORGANISATIONS .......................................................................................................................14

STEUSTATIUS NATIONAL PARKS FOUNDATION (STENAPA) ................................................. ......................... 14
STENAPA Internship Programme .......................................................................................................................14
Working Abroad Programme Statia Conservation Project.............................................. ....................14
WIDER CARIBBEAN SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION NETWORK (WIDECAST)................... ..................... 15
DUTCH CARIBBEAN NATURE ALLIANCE (DCNA) ................................................... .....................................15
FUNDING AGENCIES AND DONORS .................................................................................. ..... ........................... 15

STUDY SITES .............................................................................................................................................................. 16

STEUSTATIUS ...................... ....................................... ........................ ................................... 16
SEA TURTLE N ESTIN G B EACHES .............................................................................................. ...........................16
Zeelandia Beach....................................................................... .........................17
Turtle B each.................................................................................................................................................... 17
L y n ch B ay ............................................................................................................................................................. 18
O ranje B ay ....... . ................................. ................................................................................................................ 18
Kay Bay ............ ................................................. 18

METHODOLOGY ........................................................................................................................................................ 18

PRE-SEASON PREPARATIONS....................................................................... ........................................................ 18
B each P rep aration ........................................................................................... ..............................................19
Training of Volunteers............ ................................................................................... 19
OTHER PREPARATIONS...................................................................... 19
Selection of New Programme Co-ordinator........................................................................ .......................... 19
MONITORING AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES .......................................................................................................... 19
Track Surveys..................... .................................................................................................... ........ .......... 19
Beach Patrols...................................... ...................................................................... 20
Tagging M ethods.................... .........................................................................................................................22
Carapace M easurem ents .................... .................................................................................................................23
Nest Survival and Hatching Success...................................................................................... ....................24










In-water Turtle Sightings....................................................................................... .........................................25

Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project 2006............................................................ .........................................26

Beach Erosion........................................................................................................ 27

COMMUNITY OUTREACH EVENTS ................................................................................................. ....................27

School Activities.............................................................................................................................................. 27

School Vacation Programm e ........................... ............................................................... ......... ...........28

M edia Exposure and Public Presentations............................................................ .........................................28

Participation in M meetings, W workshops and Symposia........................................................... .................... 28

RESUL TS......................................................................................................................................................................28

PRE-SEASON PREPARATIONS...................................................................................................................... .......28

Beach Preparation............................................................................................ ..............................................28

Training of Volunteers................................................................... .................................. .......... .......... 29

Selection of N ew Program m e Co-ordinator........................................................... ........................................29

M ONITORING AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES ................................................................................. ..........................29

Track Surveys....................................................................................................................................................... 29

Beach Patrols..... ............................................................................. 32

Tagging .................... ............................................................................................................................................ 34

Carapace M easurem ents ........................... ...................................................................... ......................... 34

N est Survival and H watching Success............................................................... ............................................. 35

In-W after Turtle Sightings ........................................................................................... ....................................40

Turtle ................................................................................................................................................................. 41

Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project 2006............................................................ .........................................41

Research Activities............................................................................................ ..............................................42

'Lisa' the H awksbill turtle.................................................................... ........................... ......... ...........42

'G race' the Green Turtle..................................................................... ............................ ......... ...........43

Beach Erosion.................... ..................................................................................................................................43

COMMUNITY OUTREACH EVENTS ................................................................................................. ....................44

School Activities.............................................................................................................................................. 44

School Vacation Programm e ........................... ............................................................... ......... ...........45

Beach Clean-Ups ......................................................................................... ................... ......................... 45

M edia Exposure and Public Presentations.......................................................... ...........................................45

Poster & Presentation at Annual International Sea Turtle Symposium........................... ...................46

Participation in M meetings, W workshops and Symposia........................................................... .................... 46

Culebra Island in-water m monitoring Programm e.................................................................. ...... .............. 47

Sea &Learn on Saba.................... .................................................................................................... ...........47










Annual Public M meeting of STENAPA .................................................................... ..........................................48

W ID ECAST Visit.......................................................................... ............................................ ....................48

D ISCUSSION ............................................................................................................................................................... .48

PRE-SEASON PREPARATIONS.....................................................................................................................................48

Beach Preparation............................................................................................ ..............................................48

Training of Volunteers.......................................................................................... ..........................................48

M ONITORING AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES ................................................................................. ..........................49

Track Surveys....................................................................................................................................................... 49

Beach Patrols..... .................................... ............................. 50

Tagging M methods .................... ........................................................................................................................ 50

Carapace M easurem ents .................... ................................................................................................................. 51

N est Survival and H watching Success................................................................ ............................................ 51

In-water Turtle Sightings................................................................. ................................ ......................... 52

Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project 2006............................................................ .........................................53

Beach Erosion........................................................................................................ 53

COMMUNITY OUTREACH EVENTS ................................................................................................. ....................56

School Activities.............................................................................................................................................. 56

Beach Clean-Ups ......................................................................................... ................... ......................... 57

M edia Exposure and Public Presentations............................................................ .........................................57

Participation in M meetings, W workshops and Symposia........................................................... .................... 58

RECOMM ENDATIONS FOR 2007 ......................................................................................... ...................................58

Participation of volunteers .......................................................................................... ................................... 59

Beach patrols................................................................................................... 59

D evelopm ent of the research program e..................................................................... ..................................59

A CKN O W LED GEM EN TS ...................................................................................................................................... 60

REFEREN CES ............................................................................................................................................................. 60

APPEND ICE S .............................................................................................................................................................. 62

APPENDIX 1 .................................................................................... ..................................... ..................... 62

Tagging and N est Location D ata.................................................................................. ..................................62

N est Excavation D ata......................... .......................63

APPENDIX 2 ..................................................................................................................................................... 64

IN-WATER SIGHTING SHEET............................................................. 64

APPENDIX 3 ..................................................................................................................................................... 65

APPENDIX 4 ..................................................................................................................................................... 66



4










Flyer information to inform the community about the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme.......................... ...66

APPENDIX 5 ........................................................................................................................... ..................... 67

Excavation data for leatherback nests.................................................................. ..........................................67

Excavation data for hawksbill nests........................... ....................................................................................67

APPENDIX 5 CONTINUED ...........................................................................................................................................68

Excavation data for green turtle nests................................................................. ...........................................68

APDIX 6.........APPENDIX 6 ...............................................................................................................................................................69

Photos and Satellite information for Lisa, the hawksbill turtle...................... ...............................69

APPENDIX 6 CONTINUED ......................................................................................................... ..........................70

APDIX 7.........APPENDIX 7 ...............................................................................................................................................................71

Photos and Satellite t, i. 1 ;,,. for Grace, the green turtle.............................................................................71

APPENDIX 7 CONTINUED ...........................................................................................................................................72

APPENDIX 8 ...............................................................................................................................................................73

2006 Education Outreach/Environmental Education................................................................ .................... 73

APDIX 9.........APPENDIX 9 ...............................................................................................................................................................74

Media Articles for the 2006 Year featuring the Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project....................................... 74

APPENDIX 9 CONTINUED ...........................................................................................................................................75

APPENDIX 9 CONTINUED ...........................................................................................................................................76

DAILY HERALD ARTICLE OF 11 SEPTEMBER, 2006. .......................................................................... 76

APPENDIX 10 ..................................................................................................................................................................77

2006 M edia Articles.. ........... ........... ...................................................... ..................... 77

APPENDIX 10 CONTINUED ........................................................................... .........................................................78

APPENDIX 11 ......................................................................................................... ...............................................80

Example of flyer advertising monthly cleanup of Zeelandia Beach....................................................................80

APPENDIX 12 ..................................................................................................... ......................... .....................81

APPENDIX 13 .............................................................................................................................................................82

APPENDIX 14 ..................................................................................................................................................................83

Sand M inning Policy........................................................................ .................................. ......................... 83

APPENDIX 14- CONTINUED.......................................................................... .........................................................84

Sand M inning Policy Continued............................................................................... .......................................84

APPENDIX 14- CONTINUED.......................................................................... .........................................................85

APPENDIX 15 .............................................................................................................................................................86

STENAPA letter written in opposition to Zeelandia SandMining written on 14th September, 2006.................86

APPENDIX 15 CONTINUED........................................................................................................ ..........................87













List of Tables


TABLE 1. SUMMARY OF TURTLE NESTING DATA COLLECTED DURING TRACK SURVEYS IN 2006..................................30
TABLE 2. CARAPACE MEASUREMENTS OF ALL LEATHERBACK TURTLES ENCOUNTERED IN 2006.................................35
TABLE 3. CARAPACE MEASUREMENTS OF ALL GREEN TURTLES ENCOUNTERED IN 2006......................................... 35
TABLE 4. CARAPACE MEASUREMENTS OF ALL HAWKSBILL TURTLES ENCOUNTERED IN 2006. ......................................35
TABLE 5. SUMMARY OF NEST SURVIVAL DATA FOR EACH MARKED LEATHERBACK NEST. ...........................................36
TABLE 6. SUMMARY OF NEST SURVIVAL DATA FOR EACH MARKED NEST OF HARD SHELL SPECIES..............................37
TABLE 7. SUMMARY OF EXCAVATION DATA FROM 2006............................................................... ..................... 39




List of Figures


FIGURE 1. MAP SHOWING LOCATION OF STEUSTATIUS IN THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN....................... ................ 16
FIGURE 2. MAP SHOWING LOCATION OF NESTING BEACHES ON ST EUSTATIUS ................................ ..................... 17
FIGURE 3. TAGGING SITES FOR LEATHERBACKS..... ........................................... .......................... .....................23
FIGURE4.TAGGING SITE FOR HARD SHELLS SPECIES....................................................................25
FIGURE 5. CARAPACE LENGTH LEATHERBACK .................................................................................. .....................23
FIGURE 6. CARAPACE WIDTH LEATHERBACK ........................................................................................ 24
FIGURE 7. CARAPACE LENGTH -HARD SHELL..................................................................... ......................................24
FIGURE 8. CARAPACE WIDTH HARD SHELL ...................................... ............................................................... 24
FIGURE 10. DISTRIBUTION OF NESTS ON SAINT EUSTATIUS NESTING BEACHES IN 2006 ......................................... 31
FIGURE 11. DISTRIBUTION OF FALSE CRAWLS ON SAINT EUSTATIUS NESTING BEACHES IN 2006 ................................32
FIGURE 12: TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION ON ZEELANDIA BEACH IN 2006...................................................33
FIGURE 13: MEASURING DIAMETER OF OLD SCAR POSSIBLY DUE TO SHARK BITE..................................................41
FIGURE 14: POSSIBLE BITE ON REAR RIGHT FLIPPER.................................................. .......................................... 41
FIGURE 15. PUPPET SHOW PERFORMED AT LOCAL SCHOOLS ..................................................................................44
FIGURE 16: DR. HARRISON WITH JUVENILE GREEN TURTLE........................................ ..................... .....................47
FIGURE 17: SAND MINING PERFORMED ON 1 NOVEMBER.................................................... ............................... 54
FIGURE 18: RUN-OFF RESULT OF CREATION OF WATER CATCHMENT CREATED BY PUBLIC WORKS.............................54
FIGURE 19: 30 NOVEMBER 2006 EROSION AND DEGRADATION OF ZEELANDIA BEACH GUT ENTRANCE ......................55
FIGURE 20: PUBLIC WORKS ATTEMPTING TO SAND MINE ERODED AREA OF ZEELANDIA BEACH. ................................55











List ofAcronyms and Abbreviations


AGM ................... ........................................ .. .......................... ANNUAL GENERAL M EETING

ARGOS ...................................................................... ADVANCED RESEARCH AND GLOBAL OBSERVATION SATELLITE

AVID... ............................................................ ...................... AMERICAN VETERINARY IDENTIFICATION DEVICES

CCL .................................................................................................... .......................... C URVED CARAPACE LENGTH

CCL N-T ........................................................ CURVED CARAPACE LENGTH (NOTCH TO TIP)

CCW ........................................................................................... ........ .................... ...... CURVED CARAPACE W IDTH

C M .......................................................................................................................... ......................... C HELON IA M YDAS

D C ....................................................................................................................................... D ERM OCHELYS CORIACEA

DCNA ................................................................... DUTCH CARIBBEAN NATURE ALLIANCE FOUNDATION

El ............................................................................................................. ......................... E RETM OCHELYS IM BRICATA

GPS ............................................................ ................................................................. GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM

IUCN .................................. INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
(WORLD CONSERVATION UNION)

KNAP........................................................ ..................... KLEINE NATUUR PROJECTEN FONDS, NEDERLANDSE ANTILLEN
(SMALL NATURE PROJECT FUNDS, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES)

M INA .................. ........................................................................................................ AFDELING M ILIEU EN N ATUUR
(SECTION OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURE OF THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT)

NACRI ..................................................... NETHERLANDS ANTILLES CORAL REEF INITIATIVE

NOAA .................................. ........................ NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ASSOCIATION

PERS. COMM. ....................................................................................... ........................... PERSONAL COMMUNICATION

PIT ....................... ............ ............. ............................................... PASSIVE INTEGRATED TRANSPONDER

STENAPA .................................... ................. ST EUSTATIUS NATIONAL PARKS FOUNDATION

SPAW ............................................. SPECIALLY PROTECTED AREAS AND WILDLIFE

USVI ................................................................................... ....... ..................... ..... U NITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS

UNEP.................................... ........................................ UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME

WIDECAST ................................... ................... WIDER CARIBBEAN SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION NETWORK

WTT ............... ........................................................................................WORLD TURTLE TRUST, HAWAII












Summary

* The St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme was initiated in 2001 due to concerns
that the island's sea turtle populations were being threatened due to habitat degradation and
destruction. The programme is managed by St Eustatius National Parks Foundation
(STENAPA), which is the main environmental non-governmental organization on the island.

* The Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is affiliated to the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle
Conservation Network (WIDECAST) and adopts its monitoring and tagging protocols.

* Since monitoring began, three species of sea turtles have been confirmed nesting on the
island; leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill
(Eretmochelys imbricata). There was an unconfirmed nesting by a fourth species, the
loggerhead (Caretta caretta), in 2004.

* Five nesting beaches have been identified; Zeelandia Beach, Turtle Beach, Lynch Bay,
Oranje Bay and Kay Bay. Zeelandia Beach is the primary nesting beach, and the only place
where all three species nest regularly; the other beaches are used occasionally by green and
hawksbill turtles.

* Daily track surveys are carried out on Zeelandia Beach and Turtle Beach throughout the
nesting season. Weekly track surveys were carried out on Oranje Bay following the report of
a hawksbill track on 1 June. The other nesting beaches were monitored sporadically. Every
track is identified to species; categorised as a false crawl or a nest; all nest locations are
recorded for inclusion in the nest survival and hatching success study.

* In 2006:
o Track surveys were conducted daily from 20 March to 24 November; a total of 232
morning surveys were completed.
o Leatherback nesting activity occurred from 17 March 14 June; 10 nests and two
false crawls were observed; all emergences were on Zeelandia Beach.
o Green turtles were recorded from 27 May until 18 September; 34 nests and 57 false
crawls were encountered; nesting was on Zeelandia Beach, Turtle Beach and Kay
Bay.
o Hawksbill turtles were observed from the 3 June until 19 September. Six nests and
two false crawls were recorded; hawksbills used Kay Bay (3 nests), Zeelandia Beach
(1 nest) and Oranje Bay (2 nests).

* Night patrols are only conducted on Zeelandia Beach due to limited personnel and minimal
nesting on other beaches; patrols run from 9.00pm 4.00am. Each turtle encountered is
identified to species; tagged with external flipper tags and an internal PIT tag leatherbackss
only); standard carapace length and width measurements are taken; nest locations are
recorded for inclusion in the nest survival and hatching success study.









* In 2006:
o Night patrols were conducted from 12 April -06 October; 127 patrols were
completed, totalling 812.75 hours of monitoring.
o One leatherback, three green turtles and one hawksbill turtle were encountered during
patrols; all were tagged by the Programme Co-ordinator.
o One remigrant green turtle returned to nest in the 2006 season. This green turtle was
first observed on 19 July.
o One green turtle and one hawksbill turtle during the night patrol were selected for
satellite transmission in 2006. This has been the second consecutive year that the
Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Satellite Tracking Project has been conducted and
successfully accomplished.

* Average carapace measurements for females nesting in 2006:
o Leatherback: Curved carapace length (CCL) = 158.7 cm; Curved carapace width
(CCW) = 114.8cm
o Green: CCL = 107.0 cm; CCW = 64.9cm
o Hawksbill: CCL = 85.5 cm; CCW = 75.0 cm.

* All marked nests were included in a study of nest survival and hatching success. During
track surveys they are monitored for signs of disturbance or predation; close to the expected
hatching date the observers record signs of hatchling emergence. Two days after hatchling
tracks have been recorded the nest is excavated to determine hatching and emerging success.

* In 2006:
o 50 nests were marked: 10 leatherbacks, 34 greens and six hawksbill nests.
o 21 nests were lost during the incubation period; 15 green nests and six hawksbill nests
were presumed to be washed away during high tides in October; one leatherback nest
was washed over by the tide for three days causing inundation; All hawksbill nests
were presumed to be lost, with one hawksbill nest inundated before being moved on
18 October.
o Mean incubation period for leatherbacks was 64.3 days, for greens 51.1 days and for
hawksbills was indeterminable since none survived.

* Excavations were performed on 20 nests; six leatherbacks, 13 greens and one hawksbill.
o Average egg chamber depth varied between the three species: leatherback = 68.6 cm,
green = 54.4cm and hawksbill = 48.2cm.
o Mean clutch size for each species: leatherback = 76.2 yolked + 34.2 yolkless eggs;
green = 101.2 eggs and hawksbill = 131 eggs.
o Hatching success was greater for green nests than either hawksbill or leatherback:
51% compared to 0.00 % and 21.1%, respectively.
o Leatherbacks hatching success improved from the 2005 season, increasing from 3.5%
to 21.1% in 2006.
o All hawksbill nests were lost for the 2006 season. This was due to a culmination of
reasons. Mostly because of laying in Oranje Bay and Kay Bay which has a limited
area available for nesting and those areas washed away by high tides later on in the








season. The one nest laid on Zeelandia was inundated for an unknown period of days
before being relocated causing nest failure.
o Emerging success was lower for leatherback than greens; 15.3 % compared to 46.4 %,
respectively.
o Very little predation was observed and a few deformed embryos were recorded; one
nest had several hatchlings with deformed carapaces; one had an incomplete skull and
no eyes present while another green hatchling had two sets of jaws. One green turtle
egg contained twin embryos, and 11 albino green turtle hatchling was also found. Ten
were found from one nest.
o Six nests were relocated during the 2006 season; one hawksbill nest, one leatherback
nest and four green turtle nests. The hawksbill nest was laid on 7 September but due
to the risk of erosion from freshwater run-off from the surrounding cliff, was relocated
19 October. The eggs appeared to have been affected by the run-off.
o The leatherback nest was immediately relocated whilst being laid. Unfortunately, the
eggs were unfertilised.
o Of the four green turtle nests that were relocated; two hatched, one was washed away
and one failed to hatch.
o In future years the practise of relocating nests laid in erosion zones to safer sections of
the beach will continue.

* On 27 September, a dead hawksbill turtle was encountered by the Programme Co-ordinator
on Turtle Beach during a morning survey. At the current time, the Co-ordinator was lacking
the equipment to perform a proper necropsy, but the turtle was moved and a necropsy was
performed later. A rudimentary necropsy to determine the cause of death. Unfortunately no
definitive answer as to the cause of death was determined from the necropsy.

* A satellite tracking project was initiated in 2005 by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance
(DCNA) which was continued in 2006. This research was an inter-island collaboration
between STENAPA and the Nature Foundation St Maarten. Dr Robert van Dam was the lead
biologist, providing expertise and training in satellite telemetry methodology.
o Two transmitters were successfully deployed on nesting females; one on a green turtle
("Grace") that nested on Zeelandia on 17 September, the other was a hawksbill
("Lisa") that nested on Zeelandia on 7 September. The turtles' names were taken from
two competitions that were organised for students for the "Name the Turtle"
Competition in 2005.
o The green turtle initially went off towards St Kitts, but then headed back towards
Statia and returned to nest once more (29 September). The night patrol found her after
nesting as she was returning to the ocean. They double-checked to make sure the
transmitter was properly attached and it was. She then moved in between St Kitts and
Nevis in presumably near-shore waters of the island. We suspect that she is in
foraging grounds. As early as December, Grace has travelled a total distance of 1700
km.
o Lisa was the first hawksbill observed nesting on St Eustatius for the 2006 season. The
last observed hawksbill was in the 2004 season. She took off from Statia, and headed
straight to St Barts. She remained around the uninhabited islands between St Barts and
St Maarten for over two weeks before moving to Anguilla for a few days. In late
September she started moving again, and travelled to the US Virgin Islands where she








stayed until approximately 7 October. Then the hawksbill started out for open water
and appeared to head back towards Anguilla but veered to the uninhabited islands
between St Maarten and St Bartholomew again in mid October. Lisa moved just off
the southeast point of St Maarten but returned to the uninhabited islands around 10
November where she has been since.

* Beach erosion continued on Zeelandia Beach in 2006:
o Many of the numbered marker stakes were lost due to high tides. Approximately,
twenty were replaced.
o A new method of beach mapping and erosion was undertaken this year. Data were
collected in July and November and compared within the year. 64% of the stakes had
recorded a positional change from the cliffs that were less than 50cm from their July
positions. Only one stake recorded more than 2m cliff erosion from its July location.
Although the data does not suggest extensive cliff erosion, the data points to possible
steady erosion. Preliminary data stills needs multiple year analyses before any
tangible conclusions can be made.
o Sand mining compounds the erosion problem at the northern end of Zeelandia Beach.
Despite being an illegal activity, it occurred throughout 2006, in the gully and on the
beach.
o In addition to the illegal sand mining, the Executive Council of the Island Government
agreed to a one-year policy of sand mining to curb the sand shortage for construction
on St Eustatius. This policy started 11 October and will be a temporary solution that
will be monitored with certain steps placed to minimise the impact on Zeelandia
Beach. None of the preparation steps agreed to have been implemented but the
Executive Council has already permitted one sand mining operation to proceed on 1
November.
o Four major cliff falls and four minor cliff falls were recorded from June to October.
o Monitoring of erosion will be a priority for 2007. A suggestion for 2007 is to monitor
erosion rates and water table to see if there is a correlation.

* Several different community activities were conducted in 2006:
o A puppet show was organised for local schools and the after school programme to
teach about water quality with a turtle, Scout, as the main puppet in the theme.

* Ten beach clean-ups were conducted on Zeelandia Beach. A total of 16 trucks full of rubbish
bags were removed, including a partial radiator, water heater, large rope, fishing nets, oil
barrel, a plastic barrel, four large batteries and several car batteries. Unfortunately it was
difficult to attract support from the local community despite visits to schools to notify classes.

* The Sea Turtle Conservation Programme was featured in regular articles in the local press
and on the radio. The STENAPA quarterly newsletter included several features about the
research activities conducted in 2006 and the new website contains several pages dedicated to
the programme, with a focus on the Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project 2006.

* Staff participated in several regional and international meetings in 2006:








o The Programme Co-ordinator, Emma Harrison attended the 26th International Sea
Turtle Symposium in Crete, Greece 3 8 April, 2006 and the WIDECAST Annual
General Meeting.
o The Programme Co-ordinator travelled to Puerto Rico from 11 19 March, to
participate in the in-water monitoring programme of juvenile green and hawksbill
turtles at foraging sites close to Culebra Island. The purpose was to receive training in
a protocol for conducting in-water capture of turtles, possibly implementing the
techniques on Culebra Island to the St. Eustatius in-water monitoring programme.
o On 16 August, STENAPA held its first Annual Public Meeting upstairs at the
government guesthouse. At the Annual Public Meeting, Dr Harrison, gave a
presentation on the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme.
o In September, the Programme Co-ordinator was the opening night speaker of the "Sea
& Learn on Saba" event. The work of the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme was
presented to international biologists, tourists and local residents. The focus of the
presentation was satellite tracking and its role in the conservation of Caribbean Sea
turtles.

*Several recommendations are made for the 2007 season:
o Continued participation of volunteers, from Working Abroad and the STENAPA
Intern Programme. To extend volunteer participation, and arrange a dedicated Sea
Turtle intern(s) for the upcoming 2007 season.
o Monitoring of nesting beaches to continue: daily track surveys on all beaches and
night patrols of the primary nesting beach.
o Further development of the research programme: expand the focus of the programme
by implementing an in-water survey of juvenile turtles and continue the satellite
tracking project. There is a proposal to extend the satellite tracking to leatherback
turtles for 2007.
o Monitoring of erosion should also become a priority. In addition, monitor the water
table at Zeelandia beach to determine if the subterranean water levels are causing
possible egg failure but more importantly accelerating possible beach erosion.
o As well as the monitoring of erosion, continue to monitor the sand mining approved
by the Executive Council of the Island Government and develop alternatives,
including instigating a study to assess sustainability of sand mining and impact to the
beach nourishment process.
o Include schoolchildren in carrying out beach cleanup. Arrange a contest to see who
can collect the most rubbish and award a prize to the winner of the competition.
o Integrate The Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal CleanupTM Campaign with
monthly beach cleanup. The Ocean Conservancy organizes a worldwide annual
cleanup on 16 September.
o Revitalize the in-water turtle sighting surveys with the local diving centres. This
information will help make more informed decisions regarding the in-water
monitoring programme.









Introduction

The St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) established the Sea Turtle Conservation
Programme following concerns that the island's sea turtle populations were being threatened by
anthropogenic disturbance and destruction of nesting beach habitats through sand mining, joy
riding and pollution.

A community outreach campaign was organised in 2001, to begin raising public awareness about
sea turtle conservation issues. Subsequent to this initiative, a beach monitoring programme was
started in 2002, in affiliation with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network
(WIDECAST). The first year of the programme saw very limited and sporadic monitoring of the
primary nesting beach due to a lack of personnel; however, in 2003 regular night patrols were
made possible following the introduction of the Working Abroad Programme, which brings
groups of international volunteers to assist with projects in the National and Marine Parks. By
2004 the programme had expanded to include daily patrols on several of the island's nesting
beaches, with a dedicated vehicle and a full-time project co-ordinator during the nesting season.

Data from the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme have shown that three species of sea turtle
regularly nest on St Eustatius; the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the green (Chelonia
mydas) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), all of which are classified as either
endangered or critically endangered by the IUCN. There has also been an unconfirmed report of
nesting by a fourth species, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), which is classed as threatened by
the IUCN.

The ultimate objective of the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is to promote the
long-term survival of the sea turtle populations on and around the island. This goal is achieved
by safeguarding critical sea turtle habitats; conducting research to provide policy and decision
makers with current, relevant data on the status of sea turtles in the region, and limiting
environmental impacts on nesting beaches and in near-shore waters. One of the most important
factors to ensure the success of the project is the direct involvement of the local community in the
programme to promote a better understanding of the importance of long-term conservation, not
just for sea turtles but for other locally threatened species.

The aims of this Annual Report include the following:
Summarise the activities of the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme conducted in 2006
Review the accomplishments and deficiencies of the programme in 2006, and suggest
recommendations for 2007
Provide a summary of the data from 2006 research initiatives
Present information locally, regionally and internationally about the research and
monitoring programme on the island
Produce a progress report for the Island Government, programme funding organizations,
the local community and international volunteers.









Participating organizations

St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA)
The Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is co-ordinated by the St Eustatius National Parks
Foundation (STENAPA), which is the main non-governmental environmental organization on the
island of St Eustatius (known locally as Statia). In 1996, STENAPA was given a legal mandate
by the Island Government to administer 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 St Eustatius from the high water mark to the 30 metre depth contour; there are two
marine reserves within the Marine Park, which are designated no-take zones and are in place to
protect marine habitats and to reduce fishing pressures. The Marine Park staff conducts regular
patrols and enforcement, maintain dive, snorkel and yacht moorings and conduct many
educational programmes, such as the Snorkel Club and the Junior Ranger Club, in addition to
research and monitoring activities such as the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme.

STENAPA is a not-for-profit foundation, relying on government subsidies, grants and minimal
income from divers, yachts and hikers to conduct its activities. STENAPA has only eight staff
and is reliant on volunteers to run projects such as the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme. The
organisation is supported by two international volunteer programmes; the STENAPA Internship
Programme and the Working Abroad Programme, which are discussed in more detail below.

STENAPA Interni.\hili Programme
Since the inception of the Internship Programme in September 2001, over 37 interns from various
countries including Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Holland, Hungary, Germany and New
Zealand have helped accomplish projects at the Botanical Garden, in the Quill National Park, in
the Marine Park; they have also assisted with educational programmes in the local schools.
Interns are responsible for overseeing the daily activities of volunteers from the Working Abroad
Programme, in addition to managing and completing individual assignments.

Interns are provided with a small monthly stipend, basic accommodation and the use of a truck
during their six-month stay; however, they are personally responsible for all travel costs, and
living expenses while on the island. The internships allow students and professionals to gain
valuable practical experience in their chosen field. Without these dedicated volunteers,
STENAPA would not be able to conduct many of its projects, since the Foundation could not
afford such manpower or expertise.

Working Abroad Programme Statia Conservation Project
Working Abroad is an international networking service based in France that, since it was founded
in 1997, has established volunteer projects in over 150 countries worldwide. STENAPA started
its collaboration with the Working Abroad Programme in January 2003, and to date a total of 90
volunteers have been recruited via their organisation. On St Eustatius groups of up to eight
volunteers stay for two months and assist in the development of the Botanical Garden, conduct
maintenance of the National Park trails and, during turtle season, participate in night-time beach
patrols. For their stay each volunteer pays approximately US$1700 towards food, water, lodging,








truck hire, fuel and a project expenses fee (this does not include international travelling costs or
personal living expenses during their stay).

Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST)
The St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is affiliated to the Wider Caribbean Sea
Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST). Founded in 1981, WIDECAST represents the
largest network of sea turtle research and conservation projects in the world; with members in
over 30 Caribbean states and territories. Affiliation provides access to a collaborative framework
of organizations within the region, with a strong emphasis on information exchange, training and
active community participation. WIDECAST promotes interaction between different stakeholder
groups to ensure effective management and conservation of turtle populations in the Caribbean.

In June 2003, STENAPA Manager Nicole Esteban was appointed WIDECAST Country Co-
ordinator for St Eustatius, following completion of a training course in St Croix (US Virgin
Islands). Subsequent to this, the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme implemented
WIDECAST-approved protocols for monitoring and data collection. WIDECAST has assisted
the programme through donation of tags and purchase of PIT tag applicator. The Sea Turtle
Programme Co-ordinator attended the WIDECAST Annual General Meetings in 2004, 2005 and
2006; with funding and logistical assistance provided in part through WIDECAST.

Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)
The DCNA was founded in 2005, and represents a formal coalition of the six nature conservation
management organizations of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, with representation from
international agencies, central government and financial experts. Their main goals are to
safeguard the biodiversity and promote sustainable management of the natural resources of the
islands, through the establishment of long-term, sustainable funding sources. The Manager of
STENAPA is currently the chairperson of the DCNA.

Funding agencies and donors
To effectively run the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, the STENAPA Manager and Project
Co-ordinator allocate approximately 10 to 30% of their time to raise funds to cover the annual
programme costs. Fundraising occurs both locally and internationally by soliciting specific
organizations, and by donation requests through newsletters and turtle awareness campaigns.

Organizations that have contributed to the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme in 2006 are:
Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)
Travel Committee of the International Sea Turtle Society
USONA Programme of the Netherlands Antilles
Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), USA
World Turtle Trust (WTT), USA
Working Abroad Programme, France

We also acknowledge those individuals who have contributed to the success of the programme by
donating their time or providing financial assistance.









Study Sites

St Eustatius
The island of St Eustatius is part of the Netherlands Antilles that includes Bonaire, Curacao, St
Maarten, Saba and St Eustatius. It lies in the North-eastern Caribbean, and is located in the
Windward Islands, lying within the longitude and latitude median of 1730 North and 6258
West; the sister islands of Saba and St Maarten stretch out 30km north-west and 63km north,
respectively (See Figure 1).

St Eustatius is 21km2 in size and is dominated by two volcanoes; an extinct volcano comprising
the "Northern Hills" (150 million years old) and a dormant volcano called the "Quill" in the
south, formed 2200 to 3200 years ago. As a result of its volcanic origin, the beaches of St
Eustatius all have dark sand.


Figure 1. Map showing location of St Eustatius in the Eastern Caribbean


Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches
Since the initiation of the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme in 2002, nesting activity has been
recorded at five beaches on St Eustatius: Zeelandia Beach, Turtle Beach and Lynch Bay on the
Atlantic side of the island, and Oranje Bay and Kay Bay on the Caribbean side (See Figure 2).
There follows a brief description of each of these beaches.



























Figure 2. Map showing location of nesting beaches on St Eustatius

Zeelandia Beach
-At over 1km this is the longest beach on St Eustatius; it is directly
linked to Turtle Beach at its southern end. It is quite a narrow beach
backed by cliffs, except in the northern 200m where these is a
relatively sparse border of Sea Grape trees (Coccoloba uvifera). In
this region there are also the remains of an abandoned hotel behind
the beach and the principal public access area. Ground vegetation is
not extensive, limited to small patches of Beach Morning Glory
(Ipomoea pes-caprae) and an unidentified succulent-type plant,
which are both grazed by cows that occasionally shelter under the sea grape trees. The beach is
very dynamic with considerable sand movement throughout the year; despite this it is still the
most stable, permanent beach on the island. Erosion is extensive close to the access area,
especially following heavy rains; the problem is exacerbated by sand removal in that region.
Close to the southern end of the beach is a large storm water gut which acts as the landfill for the
island's household waste. It is the primary turtle nesting beach hosting three species of turtle
(green, leatherback and hawksbill), and the only place on the island where leatherbacks have
been recorded nesting. It is the only beach monitored at night by the Sea Turtle Conservation
Programme.

Turtle Beach
This is the second longest beach on the Atlantic side, measuring
approximately 400m. It links to Zeelandia Beach at its northern
point, and connects to Lynch Bay around a point to the south. It is a
steeply sloping bay, which is subject to considerable sand movement
especially during the hurricane season (June November). It is
backed by cliffs and there is virtually no vegetation except for
occasional Sea Grape trees on the cliffs. There is a storm water gut
in the middle of the beach which was formerly used as the land-fill


Atlantic Orean


;.- I li..i



Li,






Cniliibben Sef








for the island; although not currently used this gut still contains a large amount of refuse and is
open to the beach. Nesting activity to date has been limited to green turtles. Unfortunately
access to this beach at night is often prohibited due to the tides, and therefore it is only patrolled
during the day except when conditions permit.

Lynch Bay
This very small, rocky beach is located around the point to the
south of Turtle Beach; it is approximately 200m long. There is
considerable ground vegetation cover, primarily Beach Morning
Glory and it is backed by a sloping cliff which provides the only
access when tides prohibit movement from Turtle Beach. Unlike
many of the other beaches on the island Lynch Bay is stable due to
the adjacent reef barrier that provides a natural shelter and also for
sand retention. Green and hawksbill nesting activity has been recorded at this beach, and it was
the site of an unconfirmed loggerhead nesting event in 2004 (I. Berkel, Pers. Comm.). Due to
access issues, Lynch Bay can only be monitored safely during the day.

Orange Bay
This is a very dynamic sandy beach on the Caribbean side of the
island; it experiences considerable sand movement throughout I
the year. It stretches for almost 2km and runs into the harbour at
its southern end. The beach is bordered by grass and the
occasional Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera) in addition to several
hotels and shops; there are also ruins of warehouses on the sand
and in the near-shore waters along its entire length. Very little .
nesting of green and hawksbill turtles has been observed, due to A .
which fact it is not monitored regularly.

Kay Bay
This is a short, rocky bay on the Caribbean side of the island;
approximately 200m long. It is backed by a high cliff, which has a
few Sea Grape trees; there is no other vegetation cover. Green and
hawksbill turtles have been recorded nesting on this beach. The
only access to Kay Bay is via private residential properties; the
owners of one property report any signs of turtle nesting activity to
STENAPA as this beach is not monitored on a regular basis.



Methodology

Pre-Season Preparations
The Sea Turtle Conservation Programme 2006 commenced with the following pre-season
activities:








Beach Preparation
To prepare the primary nesting beach for patrols, numbered stakes were positioned at 20m
intervals along Zeelandia Beach; these stakes are used to mark the location of all nests or false
crawls recorded during day or night patrols. Each stake was placed as close as possible to the
vegetation or cliff behind the beach. Some stakes were remaining from the 2005 season, these
were repainted; any that were missing were replaced.

Training of Volunteers
The materials used for training volunteers about the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme were
reviewed before the first group from Working Abroad arrived in April 2006. Two short
presentations were created; the first was a basic introduction to sea turtles, their biology and
nesting behaviour; the second focused on beach monitoring protocols and the correct use of the
data collection sheets. Every volunteer received training before assisting with beach monitoring.


Other Preparations
At the conclusion of the 2006 nesting season, the following activities were performed:

Selection of New Programme Co-ordinator
In July the existing Programme Co-ordinator, Dr Emma Harrison, announced her resignation
from the position; she accepted a new job as the Scientific Director of a turtle conservation
organisation based in Costa Rica. She remained in St Eustatius until 1 November to oversee the
end of the nesting season, begin the in-water surveys and to train the new Programme Co-
ordinator.

The position was advertised locally in the Daily Herald newspaper and on radio, and also on
several listservers including NANCI (Netherlands Antilles Coral Reef Initiative), CORAL,
seaturtle, in addition to the DCNA (Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance) list and via the
WIDECAST network.

Assistance with UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme and SPAW
In partnership with the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme, an assessment of the degree
to which parties to the Cartagena Convention's Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas
and Wildlife (SPAW) have implemented legislation to enable the Protocol was conducted.
STENAPA assisted with writing the text that has executed laws relating to Netherlands Antilles'
and Aruba's legislation, specifically St. Eustatius, that deal with SPAW, focussing on sea turtles
as a proxy for the several hundred species listed in the Protocol annexes.

Monitoring and Research Activities
During the 2006 nesting season several different monitoring and research activities were
conducted as part of the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme:

Track Surveys
Daily track surveys were conducted on the primary nesting beach (Zeelandia Beach) and Turtle
Beach; surveys of other beaches were performed periodically when deemed necessary. These








surveys provide data on the temporal and spatial utilisation of previously identified turtle nesting
beaches throughout the nesting season. For each track observed the following information is
recorded (See example of data collection sheet in Appendix 1):
Observer Name of observer recording data.
Date
Weather Brief description of environmental conditions.
Moon phase Based on the previous night's moon; this information is recorded to
determine whether there is a relationship between moon phase and emergence.
Species If possible to determine from the track.
Track width Measured as the straight-line distance between the outer flipper edge
marks; taken to the nearest millimetre. For each track the width is measured at three
random locations and the average used in analyses.
GPS location Measured either at the centre of the nest or at the apex of a false crawl
track.
Locale name Name of the beach.
Triangulation measurements to two landmarks Straight-line distance to the two nearest
numbered stakes; taken to the nearest centimetre. Measured either from the centre of the
nest or at the apex of a false crawl track.
Distance to vegetation Straight-line distance to the vegetation behind the beach or to the
cliff if no vegetation; taken to the nearest centimetre. Measured either from the centre of
the nest or at the apex of a false crawl track.
Distance to high tide line Straight-line distance to the most recent high-tide line; taken
to the nearest centimetre. Measured either from the centre of the nest or at the apex of a
false crawl track.
Number of unsuccessful nest cavities If the turtle made more than one attempt at nesting
during the same emergence.
Result of nesting attempt Recorded as either lay, probable lay, false crawl (when some
nesting activity observed) or track only (no nesting activity at all).

All marked nests were monitored daily and their status recorded; any disturbed or destroyed nests
were noted. After the data have been recorded a line is drawn in the sand through both tracks to
indicate that it has been registered, ensuring that data are not collected twice for the same track.
Surveys were conducted as early as possible in the morning to prevent tracks from being
disturbed or washed away. For continuity, and to increase the accuracy of data collection,
surveys were conducted by the Programme Co-ordinator or trained personnel in her absence.

Beach Patrols
Nightly beach patrols were conducted on Zeelandia Beach and, when tidal conditions permitted,
Turtle Beach; data from previous years show very low nesting densities at other beaches, making
it an inefficient use of resources to carry out night patrols at these other locations. Each patrol
consisted of a minimum of two people; including either the Programme Co-ordinator or an intern
when possible, although occasionally two Working Abroad volunteers conducted a patrol
together. A stretch of beach approximately 1km in length was monitored on Zeelandia Beach (up
to 1.6km when Turtle Beach was included) from the cliffs at the northern end to just south of
Smith's Gut; hourly patrols of this section were conducted between 9.00pm 4.00am.








The primary objective of the beach patrols was to encounter as many nesting turtles as possible;
to tag them with flipper and/or internal tags as appropriate, collect carapace measurements, mark
the location of the nest for inclusion in a nesting success survey and relocate any nests laid in
designated erosion zones. For each turtle observed the following data were recorded (See
example of data collection sheet in Appendix 1):
Observer Name of observer recording data.
Date Patrols span two dates but to avoid confusion the first date is used throughout the
entire patrol.
Time At the moment the turtle is first encountered
Weather Brief description of environmental conditions.
Moon phase This information is recorded to determine whether there is a relationship
between moon phase and nesting emergence.
Species If the turtle is not observed the species is determined from the track, where
possible.
Gender
Tag information See detailed description below of data recorded.
Activity At the moment the turtle is first encountered. Classed as emerging, searching,
body pitting, digging egg chamber, laying, covering, disguising, gone (used if turtle has
returned to the sea).
Carapace Length See detailed description below of measurements taken for each
species.
Carapace Width See detailed description below of measurements taken for each species.
Parasites/Ectobiota The presence of any parasites on the turtle are recorded, with a brief
description of the parasite; its location is indicated on a diagram on the data collection
sheet.
Injuries Any injury to the turtle is described and the location indicated on a diagram on
the data collection sheet.
Notes Any additional pertinent information about the turtle or their behaviour is
recorded here.
Track width This is only recorded if the turtle is not observed during the patrol.
Measured as the straight-line distance between the outer flipper edge marks; taken to the
nearest millimetre. For each track the width is measured at three random locations and
the average used in analyses.
GPS location Measured either at the centre of the nest or at the apex of a false crawl
track. When possible this is taken while the turtle is laying, when the egg chamber is
open and the exact location of the eggs is known.
Locale name Name of the beach.
Triangulation measurements to two landmarks Straight-line distance to the two nearest
numbered stakes; taken to the nearest centimetre. Measured either from the centre of the
nest or at the apex of a false crawl track. When possible these measurements are made
while the turtle is laying so that the exact location of the eggs is known.
Distance to vegetation Straight-line distance to the vegetation behind the beach or to
the cliff if no vegetation; taken to the nearest centimetre. Measured either from the centre
of the nest or at the apex of a false crawl track. When possible this measurement is made
while the turtle is laying so that the exact location of the eggs is known.








Distance to high tide line Straight-line distance to the most recent high-tide line; taken
to the nearest centimetre. Measured either from the centre of the nest or at the apex of a
false crawl track. When possible this measurement is made while the turtle is laying so
that the exact location of the eggs is known.
Number of unsuccessful nest cavities If the turtle made more than one attempt at
nesting during the same emergence.
Result of nesting attempt Recorded as either lay (when the turtle was seen laying),
probable lay (if the nest site suggests that the turtle laid but no eggs were seen), false
crawl (when some disturbed sand observed) or track only (no nesting activity at all, no
disturbed sand).
Relocation data If the nest is deemed to have been laid in an unsuitable location which
is prone to erosion or flooding the eggs are relocated to a more secure section of the
beach. The following data are recorded for this new nest site.
o New GPS location Taken at the centre of the new egg chamber.
o Triangulation measurements to two landmarks Straight-line distance to the two
numbered stakes closest to the new nest location; taken from the centre of the
new egg chamber.
o Distance to vegetation Taken from the centre of the new egg chamber.
o Distance to high tide line Taken from the centre of the new egg chamber.
o The number of eggs The total number of eggs; also recorded separately are the
number of yolked and yolkless eggs.
o Time eggs laid The time the turtle began to lay eggs.
o Time eggs reburied The time the eggs were placed in the new egg chamber.

All data were collected either while the turtle was laying or immediately afterwards, when she
was covering the nest site; no turtle was touched before she had started laying.

Once the turtle had returned to the sea, a line was drawn in the sand through both tracks to
indicate to the person conducting the track survey the following morning that data had been
collected, preventing data repetition for the same track or nest.

Tagging Methods

Flipper Tags
Metal flipper tags (National Band and Tag Company, MONEL Style #49: WC251 WC350 and
INCONEL Style #681: WE1 WE100) were donated by the Marine Turtle Tagging Centre,
Barbados, which is affiliated with WIDECAST. All tag applicators are inspected and cleaned on
a routine basis and replaced when they cease to function properly.

Standard tagging methods are used, based on the protocols of the Turtle Monitoring Programme
in St Croix, USVI. For leatherbacks, external flipper tags are applied to the centre of the fleshy
skin located between the back flipper and the tail (See Figure 3). For hard shell species, tags are
applied adjacent to the first large scale on the proximal part of the front flipper (See Figure 4),
where the swimming stroke will cause minimal tag movement (Balazs, G. H, 1999). Tags are
applied while the turtle is covering her nest, immediately after she has finished laying eggs; this
is done so that the turtle is not disturbed prior to laying. Two metal tags are attached to each
turtle, both leatherbacks and hard-shelled species; this is to ensure that even if one tag is lost the








individual can still be recognized. External flipper tags were only applied by trained personnel,
either the Programme Co-ordinator or a Marine Park intern.

Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tags
PIT tags were purchased by the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme with funding from KNAP
Fund, MINA. For leatherbacks only, in addition to the two external flipper tags, one PIT tag is
also applied to each individual. A PIT tag is a small microprocessor which transmits a unique
identification number when read using a hand-held scanner. While the turtle is laying, a single
PIT tag is inserted under the skin in the front shoulder muscle of the turtle using an applicator
(See Figure 3). All leatherbacks encountered were scanned for the presence of PIT tags using an
AVID scanner before a PIT tag was inserted, to avoid double-tagging individuals. Only the
Programme Co-ordinator and STENAPA Manager were trained to apply PIT tags.

T g i, Ir '- Fr cap Tagging sile for flipper tag











Tulingm idle r r tloper t0 D

Figure 3. Tagging sites for leatherbacks Figure 4. Tagging site for hard shell
species

Carapace Measurements
Standard carapace length and width measurements (as of Bolten, 1999) were taken of each
nesting turtle encountered, after she had finished laying. Measurements were made using a
flexible metal or fibreglass tape measure; each measurement was taken once, to the nearest
millimetre.

Leatherback

Curved carapace length (CCL) was measured from the nuchal notch (the
anterior edge of the carapace where it meets the skin) in a straight line to the
most posterior tip of the caudal projection (See Error! Reference source I
not found.). When the caudal projection is not symmetrical the arapal
Length
measurement is made to the longest point (any such irregularity would be c (CL),
noted on the data collection sheet as influencing the measurement).
Measurements were taken just to the right of the central ridge, not along its
crest, to avoid errors associated with carapace surface irregularities. Figure









5. Carapace length leatherback

Curved carapace width (CCW) is measured at the widest point, but there
are no standard features delineating the end points (See Figure 6). The
tape measure passes over the ridges and does not follow their contours.

Figure 6. Carapace width leatherback


Hard shell species


Cur..d (..rah..e


For green and hawksbill turtles the curved Widik(Cow)
carapace length notch to tip (CCL n-t) was
measured. It is measured in a straight line from the anterior point
at the mid-line (where the carapace and skin meet) to the
posterior tip of the supracaudal scutes (See Figure 7). As the
supracaudals are often asymmetrical CCL n-t is taken to the
longest tip.


Figure 7. Carapace length -hard shell

Curved carapace width (CCW) is measured in a straight line between the
widest points of the carapace (See Figure 8); there are no anatomical features
marking the end points.


* I
Curvd Carapace
Width (C 11W)


Figure 8. Carapace width hard shell


Nest Survival and Hatching Success


All nests recorded were included in a study on nest survival and hatching success. Every day
during morning track surveys the status of each marked nest was observed; a record was made if
a nest was deemed disturbed, destroyed or washed away. Close to the predicted hatching dates (at
around 50 days) the triangulation data were used to mark the site of the egg chamber; to prevent
the surveyor having to re-measure the nest each day a small "V" of sticks was placed on the sand
behind the nest site. This area was closely monitored for evidence of hatching; a depression,
hatchling tracks or hatchlings. When any signs of hatching were observed the nest was excavated
after 48 hours; if no signs of hatching were recorded the nest was excavated after at least 70 days
from the date the eggs were laid. All excavations were conducted by the Programme Co-
ordinator or trained personnel to ensure accuracy of data collection.

If a depression or other sign of hatching was present the excavator carefully dug down at this
point until the first egg was encountered; if hatching had not been observed the triangulation data
were used to locate the expected site of the egg chamber where digging commenced. Using
gloves, the nest contents were carefully removed from the egg chamber and inventoried. The


Curved
Carapace
Length
Notch to
Tip
(CCL n-t)








following data were recorded for each excavated nest (See example of data collection sheet in
Appendix 1):
Nest code Each nest was given a unique identification number.
Observers Names of people present during excavation.
Date The date the nest was laid; when hatching was observed and the date the
excavation was conducted.
Number of empty shells Only shells corresponding to more than 50% of the egg were
counted; representing the number of hatched eggs.
Number of hatchlings Any hatchlings found in the egg chamber were recorded; dead or
alive.
Number of unhatched eggs Eggs were opened to search for the presence of embryos
and categorised as:
o No embryo No obvious embryo present.
o Embryo Embryo present; includes all stages of development.
o Full embryo Embryo in final stages of development and ready to hatch.
Number of pipped eggs Eggs where hatchling had broken the egg shell but failed to
hatch; characterized by triangular hole in the shell. Whether hatchling was alive or dead
was also recorded.
Number of predated eggs If possible the type of predator was noted; often characterized
by a circular hole in the shell.
Number of deformed embryos Any deformities were recorded such as missing flippers,
additional scutes on carapace, albinism or the presence of multiple embryos in a single
egg
Number of yolkless eggs Small, yolkless eggs were counted separately.
Notes Any additional pertinent information was recorded.
Depth of nest To the top of the egg chamber (first egg encountered) and the bottom of
the egg chamber (after final egg removed); measure to nearest centimetre.

Any hatchlings found alive were released to the sea. When the inventory was complete the nest
contents were returned to the egg chamber and reburied.

In-water Turtle Sighlingls.
To obtain information on in-water sightings of turtles, data collection forms were given to the
three dive centres on St Eustatius: Dive Statia, Golden Rock Dive Centre and Scubaqua as well
as visiting live-aboard dive vessel Caribbean Explorer (See example of data sheet in Appendix 2).
The data form was redesigned in October to have a different focus that would coincide with the
upcoming habitat mapping and in-water survey programme that will be instated for the upcoming
year. The following data were recorded for each sighting:
Dive Site Location where turtle was seen.
Date
Time Time of sighting.
Dive Centre --- Who the dive centre was when the turtle was sighted.
Dive Master
Species of turtle Green, hawksbill, loggerhead or leatherback.
Size of turtle Less than 10cm, 10 50cm, 50 100cm, more than 100cm.
Did the tail extend more than 15cm past the shell? Yes, no, don't know.








Condition of the turtle Alive, dead, injured. If injury, a description of the injury.
Distance from the turtle less than 3 metres, 3-5 metres, 5-10 metres, over 10 metres.
Visibility clarity of the water.
What depth was the turtle seen -metres.
Where was the turtle On the surface, in the water column or at the bottom.
What was the environment Sand, sea grass, coral reef, rock or other (cave, wreck, etc.).
What was the turtle doing- Resting, mating, swimming or eating?
Were tags present Yes, No or Unsure.
Any other comments

Originally divers were asked to complete the forms whenever they encountered a turtle while
diving. Due to the fact that many people could be completing the form for just one turtle, it was
decided to let the Dive Master fill out the form. The Programme Co-ordinator visited the dive
centres periodically throughout the 2006 season to collect any completed forms.

Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project 2006
In June 2005, funding was confirmed from the DCNA to initiate a multiple-year sea turtle
tracking project in the Netherlands Antilles. This project was an inter-island initiative between
the DCNA, STENAPA and the Nature Foundation Sint Maarten; led by sea turtle biologist Dr
Robert van Dam. The objective was to learn the geographical range of adult female green and
hawksbill turtles nesting on St Eustatius and St Maarten, by determining their migratory
movements and the location of their feeding grounds. Another important aspect of the project was
as a forum to engage local communities in sea turtle conservation issues, by illustrating turtle
migratory behaviour from the islands.


Basic Satellite Telemetry
Satellite telemetry involves attaching a small transmitter to the carapace of a turtle; each time the
turtle surfaces to breathe, a signal is sent to an ARGOS receiver on-board a polar orbiting NOAA
satellite. This signal provides information
about the location of the turtle; the signal is
classified into one of five location classes
depending on its accuracy. This will vary
depending on several factors including
environmental conditions and relative
location of transmitter and satellite. Using
satellite transmitters it is possible to follow ST Eus ATrUS'
individuals and gain detailed information L AROPE PARK
about turtle migration and migratory m e .......M
behaviour patterns. By knowing where
turtles are going and the routes they use
Figure 9. Satellite transmitter fitted to a
turtle carapace

between breeding and feeding areas,








researchers can determine potential threats in all areas frequented by turtles and so focus
conservation efforts where most needed.

Satellite transmitters are small and lightweight; the Telonics ST-18 used on St Eustatius
measured 12cm by 5cm and weighed approximately 200g. Essentially they are electronic
components and a battery housed inside a hard plastic casing, with an external antenna at one
end. They are designed to be hydrodynamic and so cause minimal disruption to a turtle's natural
swimming and diving behaviours. For hard shell species transmitters lie on a layer of elastomer
that cushions between the transmitter and the carapace; it is then secured using layers of
fibreglass resin.
The fibreglass creates a protective casing for the transmitter against damage on reefs or other
hard surfaces during its time in the ocean. Transmitters will normally last several months until
the battery fails, the antenna is broken, or it is dislodged from the carapace.

Education and Media Ac tiivlics
In 2005 the "Help Out or Sea Turtles Miss Out" programme, teaching the local communities
about sea turtle conservation issues, with Education Officer Dominique Vissenburg, was
particularly successful. In 2006, the year the focus of the school education programme was waste
management and pollution. Each month, the Education Officer visited the four island primary
schools and looks at a specific topic related to the main theme; while on St Eustatius she is
provided with logistical support from STENAPA staff.

To raise public awareness of the Sea Turtle Conservation Project, different media events were
arranged; these included a radio interview in November and December, articles in the local
newspaper, the quarterly STENAPA newsletter, features regarding satellite tracking on the
STENAPA website, and a poster presented at the 26th International Sea Turtle Symposium. The
poster was entitled "A Satellite Tracking Project in the Windward Islands of the Netherlands
Antilles".

Beach Erosion
When the numbered stakes were placed along Zeelandia Beach before the start of patrols, the
distance from the stake to the cliff or vegetation was recorded to determine the extent of erosion
along the monitored section of beach. This estimate of erosion has taken place since 2004.

If a significant landslide or cliff fall was encountered during a patrol on any nesting beach, the
following data were recorded; the date, time (if known), amount of cliff affected and a
description of the damage, including a photograph whenever possible.

Community Outreach Events
Raising community awareness of the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is a fundamental part
of the programme. Various activities were arranged during 2006, which are described below:

School Ac ti'ilies
The Education Officer for the Windward Islands of the Netherlands Antilles, Dominique
Vissenberg, visits St Eustatius monthly to coordinate the education. The Education Officer








focused on waste management and pollution in 2006. Other activities, such as puppet shows,
were organised.

School Vacation Programme
This programme was implemented by the Island Government in 2004: recent high school
graduates, who are continuing their studies overseas, are given work placements with local
businesses during their summer vacation. STENAPA has participated in this scheme since its
inception and accepts at least one student each summer. The student is paid by the Island
Government and assists with many of the ongoing programmes including the Sea Turtle
Conservation Programme, helping on night patrols, nest excavations and beach clean-ups.

Beach Clean-Ups
Zeelandia Beach was chosen for Beach Clean-ups as it is the primary turtle nesting beach on the
island, and the beach where the majority of the turtle research activities occur. These events were
conducted with the aid of staff, interns, volunteers and members of the public. Each clean-up was
advertised in advance to encourage participation by the local community. A record was made of
the number of participants at each clean-up and the amount and type of rubbish collected. All
rubbish was disposed of at the Smith's Gut landfill site.

Media Exposure and Public Presentations
Whenever possible the events of the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme 2006 were publicised
in the local newspaper, STENAPA newsletter, on local radio or via the STENAPA website.
Public presentations were also given to different groups on the island.

Participation in Meetings, Workshops and Symposia
In an effort to broadcast the work of the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme to as
wide an audience as possible, the Programme Co-ordinator tried to attend any relevant meetings,
workshops or symposia relating to turtle biology, research or conservation issues. Such
gatherings create ideal opportunities to establish regional and international contacts within the sea
turtle community; these contacts may provide guidance or support to expand and develop the
programme on St Eustatius in the future.


Results

Pre-Season Preparations

Beach Preparation
A total of 65 stakes were prepared by the Programme Co-ordinator; each stake had a number
engraved and then painted white. A band of reflective tape was applied to help locate them on
the beach at night using a flashlight. Stake 1 was located at the northern limit of Zeelandia Beach
and they ended at stake 65, half-way along Turtle Beach; they were positioned by the Programme
Co-ordinator and a group of Working Abroad volunteers. Only part of Turtle Beach was marked
in April as no leatherback nesting had been observed on that beach in previous years; in August
temporary stakes were placed on the remainder of Turtle Beach, when green turtle nesting








activity was recorded. Over the course of the nesting season some of the stakes were lost due to
high tides and beach erosion; these were replaced using temporary markers.

Training of Volunteers
The Programme Co-ordinator conducted the first training session on 12 April 2006; present were
Working Abroad volunteers and Marine Park staff and interns. Each successive group of
Working Abroad volunteers received an identical orientation. In addition to the two theoretical
presentations on sea turtle biology and data collection, they received practical training on nest
marking methodology and carapace measurements.

All interns also received training in external flipper tagging protocols; it was hoped that they
could tag turtles encountered on nights when the Programme Co-ordinator was not leading beach
patrols. However, during the monitoring period, all turtles requiring tags were actually observed
on patrols led by the Programme Co-ordinator.

Preparations

Selection of New Programme Co-ordinator
In July the Programme Co-ordinator, Emma Harrison, announced her resignation from the
position; she accepted a new job as the Scientific Director of another turtle conservation
organisation based in Costa Rica. She remained in St Eustatius until the end of October, to
oversee the end of the nesting season, begin the in-water surveys and to train the new Programme
Co-ordinator.

In September the position was advertised locally in the Daily Herald newspaper and on radio, and
internationally via several listservers. Almost 40 applications were received, and a short-list of 13
submitted answers to additional questions prepared by STENAPA Manager Nicole Esteban.
From these 13, three were selected for interview by telephone. Their recommendations were
submitted to the board of STENAPA and the selected candidate, Arturo Herrera, was informed
on 3 October and appointed to start on 26 October; an application for a work permit was
submitted to the island authorities prior to arrival on St Eustatius.


Monitoring and Research Activities
The following is a summary of the data collected during the 2006 monitoring and nesting
activities of the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme.

Track Surveys
Daily morning track surveys were conducted between 20 March and 23 November; a total of 232
surveys were completed. On 17 days, surveys were not performed either due to inclement
weather conditions making surveying dangerous, training or lack of personnel. The Programme
Co-ordinator conducted 79% of the track surveys; trained volunteers and interns carried out the
surveys in her absence.

Zeelandia Beach was always included in the survey; Turtle Beach was surveyed on all but eight
days and Lynch Beach was surveyed on 35 occasions during the season. For the last month








surveys were limited to Zeelandia Beach as nesting activity had ceased; morning surveys were
only conducted to monitor marked nests for hatching activity.

The first track was observed on 17 March: a leatherback nest was recorded on Zeelandia Beach.
This nest was reported by Manager, Nicole Esteban as the Programme Co-ordinator was away
from the island and no night patrols were being conducted at that time. The last nesting activity
was recorded on 17 September; a green turtle nest laid on Zeelandia Beach.

Three species of turtle were recorded nesting in 2006; leatherback, green and hawksbill.
Leatherback nesting occurred between 17 March and 14 June; green turtle nesting activity was
recorded from 27 May 18 September; six hawksbill nests were observed, between 1 June and
19 September.

2006 proved to be the busiest nesting season to date since the inception of the monitoring
programme in 2002. Considerable nest activity was observed in 2006 (See
Table 1, Figure 10 and Figure 11); a total of 50 nests and 61 false crawls for all three species.
Zeelandia Beach was the primary nesting beach with 30 nests in total. Turtle Beach recorded
eleven nests, with seven in Kay Bay and two in Oranje Bay.


Table 1. Summary of turtle nesting data collected during track surveys in 2006

Number Location Number of Location of
of Nests of Nests False Crawls False Crawls

Leatherback 10 All Zeelandia Beach 2 All Zeelandia Beach

19 Zeelandia Beach 38 Zeelandia Beach
Green 34 11 Turtle Beach 57 18 Turtle Beach
4 Kay Bay 1 Lynch Beach
1 Zeelandia Beach
Hawksbill 6 3 Kay Bay 2 Oranje Bay
2 Oranje Bay













Nest Distribution for 2006 Season


* Hawksbill
SGreen
* Leatherback

Kay Bay


Zeelandia Beach


7


Turtle Beach
A____ s ____
^-4---- ---~


-5
0


E4
z

3


I
E 4-------------------------------------


1 3 5 7 9


11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 75 77 79
Stake Number


Figure 10. Distribution of nests on Saint Eustatius Nesting Beaches in 2006


Oranje Bay










Distribution of False Crawls in 2006
12 Turtle Beach
Hawksbill
mGreen
Leatherback
10 Oranje By



8-

SZeelandia Beach Lynch 3ay

S6-








0 ......


1 3 5 7 9 11 1315 17 1921 2325272931 3335373941 4345474951 5355575961 6365676971 7375777981 83
Stake Number


Figure 11. Distribution of false crawls on Saint Eustatius nesting beaches in 2006


All leatherback nesting activity occurred on Zeelandia Beach, and was almost exclusively limited
to a 300m stretch at the northern end (See Figures 10 and 11); only one false crawl was recorded
south of this area. Green turtles used four nesting beaches for either nesting or false crawl
activities; but most emergences were on Zeelandia Beach and Turtle Beach. The rest of the
activities were distributed on Kay Bay, with five nests and Lynch Bay with one false crawl. In
contrast to leatherbacks, green turtle activity was not as concentrated. There were very few tracks
and nests north of marker 11, with activity clustered between markers 43 to 63. Green turtle nests
were not found north of marker 11 but were scattered throughout Zeelandia and Turtle Beach,
with a moderate concentration found between stake number 44 and stake number 64 (See Figures
10). One false crawl was observed near stake three but most false crawls were recorded south of
stake number 10 (See Figure 11). Hawksbill activity was confirmed on three of the nesting
beaches; Zeelandia with one nest near marker 1, Kay Bay with three nests, Oranje Bay with two
nests and two false crawls. Hawksbills showed no discernible pattern, with truly scattered
nesting.

Beach Patrols
In 2006 monitoring of Zeelandia Beach was performed seven nights per week, to include
weekends. Patrols commenced at 9.00pm and ended around 4.00 am; they were conducted along
the entire length of Zeelandia Beach and occasionally on Turtle Beach, when tidal conditions
permitted.









Night patrols were conducted between 12 April and 6 October; patrols ended on this date as no
nesting activity had been observed for 20 consecutive days and it was assumed that the season
had finished. In total, 127 patrols were conducted with approximately 813 hours of patrol time
logged. If insufficient personnel were available patrols were cancelled; on eight nights patrols
were cancelled or terminated early due to bad weather causing dangerous conditions on the
beach. The Programme Co-ordinator led 37.0 % of patrols, assisted by interns and volunteers;
when not on patrol the Programme Co-ordinator was on radio stand-by to assist the team on the
beach if necessary.

Turtles were encountered on 21 separate nights; approximately 16.5% of patrols, or an encounter
rate of 1 turtle every 6 nights. The first leatherback was recorded on 20 March, but the first
female encountered was on 15 April. The last recorded leatherback was on the 14 June; the first
green individual observed was on 30 June. The last recorded and observed green turtle was 17
September. Finally, the first hawksbill turtle was recorded by a member of the public on beach 1
June at approximately 9.00 pm with the last recorded hawksbill on 21 September.

The times of encountering a turtle varied throughout the night. The earliest a turtle was
encountered was at 6:45am during a morning survey on 26 March. The turtle was a leatherback
that was seen by the Programme Coordinator. The turtle was returning to the sea after nesting and
had no tags present. Most night encounters were between 8.20pm and 3.20am with peaks
between 10.00pm 11.15pm, 00:10 00:30am and 1:00 1:15am. The latest a turtle was recorded
was 3:20am which was a green false crawl on 25 September.


Figure 12: Temporal distribution of turtle encounters during night patrols on Zeelandia
Beach in 2006








Eight individual females were encountered; one leatherback, six green turtles, and one hawksbill
were observed during patrols. One leatherback was seen seven times, all of which were
successful nesting attempts; the average inter-nesting interval for the leatherback was 8.3 days
(with a range of 8 12 days). Of the green turtles, three were observed more than once with one
being recorded four times. One laid two nests but not recorded to have any false crawls; one laid
a nest and made one known false crawl; another accounted for four false crawls. Unfortunately,
with the lack of data, average inter-nesting interval for green and hawksbill turtles could not be
calculated from a single individual but collectively the inter-nesting interval for green and
hawksbill was 1.5 days (30 June to 20 August) and 18.3 days (1 June to 18 September),
respectively.

Visitors were always welcome on night patrols, both tourists and members of the local
community. However, very few people joined researchers in 2006; only 24 people in total,
comprising two staff members, three medical students, two journalists and 17 interested members
of the public. In addition, on two separate nights, a total of 13 students from the Caribbean
Marine Reserves Programme (part of the Broadreach Programme) joined patrols. This
programme brings groups of high school students from the United States to study how marine
reserves are managed and also participate in hands-on field research.

Tagging
Of the seven individual females encountered on beach patrols during the 2006 nesting season
(See above) only one had tags from previous years. The leatherback turtle that was encountered
had no tags (PIT or back flipper tags) when first encountered and was given two external flipper
tags in both rear flippers (Tag numbers WC339 and WC340) and a single PIT tag (133922451A)
in the right-hand shoulder muscle. The hawksbill encountered had no tags and was given two
external flipper tags (WE34 and WE35). Of the green turtles encountered, one was already
tagged and the rest were given new external flipper tags. The previously-tagged turtle was a
returning green that had been recorded in 2004 and returned to nest despite an injury to its left
rear flipper. The green turtle's external flipper tag was located on the left front flipper (WE19)
but was unable to receive another tag on the right front flipper due to time constraints. All
tagging of turtles was performed by the Programme Co-ordinator.

Carapace Measurements
Standard carapace measurements were taken for each female that was tagged; some individuals
were measured more than once, if they were encountered multiple times during the season. Table
2 Table 3 and Table 4 show the curved carapace length (CCL) and width (CCW) measurements
for each leatherback and green turtle encountered, and the mean for each species.

In Table 2, the same leatherback turtle encountered was measured six times; CCL measurements
showed 5cm of variability, ranging from 157.2 cm to 162.2cm, with a mean of 158.7cm. Width
also varied 2cm for the same female; CCW = 114.0cm 116.3cm, with a mean of 114.8cm.
There was up to 5cm variation in the CCL measurements taken (Range = 157.2cm 162.2cm),
with the CCW measurements differing by two centimetres (Range = 114 cm 116.3cm).








Table 2. Carapace measurements of all leatherback turtles encountered in 2006.


Turtle Identification Curved Carapace
Number Length1 (CCL) / cm
WC339 158.7


Species Mean


158.7


Curved Carapace
Width1 (CCW) / cm
114.8
114.8


Table 3. Carapace measurements of all green turtles encountered in 2006.


Turtle Identification Curved Carapace
Number Length1 (CCL n-t) / cm
WE32 109.3
WE28 111.0
WE 30 104.0
WE36 106.0
WE19 112.5


Species Mean


108.6


Curved Carapace
Width' (CCW) / cm
102.7
I 96.9
I 96.9
I 100.0


I 99.1


Individual green turtles showed much more variation in both carapace length and width than
leatherbacks (See Table 3); CCL n-t ranged from 104.0 cm 112.5 cm, with a mean of 108.6 cm;
CCW ranged from 96.9cm 102.7cm, mean = 99.1.
Table 4. Carapace measurements of all hawksbill turtles encountered in 2006.


Turtle Identification Curved Carapace
Number Length1 (CCL n-t) / cm
WE34 85.52


Species Mean


85.52


Curved Carapace
Width1 (CCW) / cm
75.02
75.02


In Table 4, only one hawksbill turtle was encountered throughout the course of the 2006 season.
There were not enough multiple data sets to have repeated measures and determine any variations
in CCL and CCW.

Nest Survival and Hatching Success
Twenty nests were marked for inclusion in the nest survival and hatching success study; six
leatherbacks, 13 green turtles and a hawksbill. Tables 5 and 6 provide a summary of the nest
survival data obtained from each marked nest of 2006; each table details, for leatherbacks and


1 If a turtle was encountered on more than one occasion the average of all measurements taken are shown








hard shell species respectively, nest code, turtle identification number, location of the nest, fate of
the nest, incubation period in days (if known), and whether the nest was excavated or not.
Table 5. Summary of nest survival data for each marked leatherback nest.


Nest Turtle Id
Code Number
DC061 WC339
DC062 WC339
DC063 WC339
DC064 WC339
DC065 WC339


DC066 WC339


DC067 WC339
DC068 WC339
DC069R WC339
DC0610 WC339


Incubation Nest
Location Fate of Nest Excav
/ days' Excavated
Zeelandia Partly hatched 66 Yes
Zeelandia Partly hatched 60 Yes
Zeelandia Nest not found1 N/A1 No
Zeelandia Partly hatched Unknown Yes
Zeelandia Partly hatched 67 Yes
Nest not found,
Zeelandia markers moved by N/A1 No
sand miners
Zeelandia Unhatched/Inundated N/A1 Yes
Zeelandia Nest not found N/A1 No
Zeelandia Unhatched/Unfertilised N/A1 Yes


Zeelandia


Nest not found


N/A1


No


The survival of nests varied in accordance to what nesting beach was utilised, but overall was not
very high. For example, on Kay Bay and Oranje Bay, none of the nests emerged because they
were washed away. Kay Bay saw eight washed away while Oranje Bay saw two wash away. Four
nests were laid on Turtle beach; one nest could not be found when it was time to excavate. One
successfully hatched, two partially hatched and one could not be located. On Zeelandia Beach, 36
nests were laid, but only 12 hatched. This left 24 clutches that failed to have hatchlings emerge
from them for various reasons. Of the 24 that failed to hatch, 11 were washed away and lost due
to erosion before it could be relocated to a safer location. One hawksbill and one green turtle nest
was relocated in the middle of the incubation period as high tides posed a serious threat to the
survival of the eggs if left in situ.

Evidence of hatching was only observed for nine marked nests; six green nests and three
leatherback nests. This was either hatching tracks in the sand or hatchlings encountered on the
beach, and therefore it was only possible to calculate the incubation period for these nests. For
both leatherbacks and greens, incubation period was determined from multiple nests; 64.3 days
and 51.1 days, respectively.



1 "N/A" indicates that the data of incubation was unknown either due to an unknown nesting date or the clutch did
not hatch for several reasons described in "Fate of Nest".








Excavations were conducted on 20 of the 50 marked nests; six leatherback, 13 green and one
hawksbill nest. Eleven nests, four leatherback, and seven green, could not be found by
researchers when it was time to excavate the nest; on some occasions the nest was marked after
the turtle had left the beach, and so only an approximate location of the egg chamber was known.
For all of these nests no signs of hatching were observed, thus exacerbating this lack of
information about the exact location of the eggs When trying to excavate each nest, several holes
were dug in the vicinity of where the triangulation measurements crossed, to try to locate the egg
chamber. Only when this procedure had been performed, and no eggs were encountered, was the
attempt abandoned and the nest classified as "Could not find".
Table 6. Summary of nest survival data for each marked nest of hard shell species.

Nest Turtle Id Incubation / Nest
Code Number Fdays Excavated
CM061 Unknown2 Turtle Beach Hatched 47 Yes
CM062R WE28 Zeelandia Hatched 53 Yes
CM063 Unknown2 Zeelandia Hatched 51 Yes
CM064 Unknown2 Kay Bay Lost3 N/A3 No
CM065 Unknown2 Zeelandia Unhatched Unknown1 No
CM066 Unknown2 Kay Bay Lost3 N/A3 No
CM067 Unknown2 Kay Bay Unhatched Unknown1 No
CM068 Unknown2 Turtle Beach Unhatched Unknown1 No
CM069 Unknown2 Zeelandia Hatched 51 Yes
CM0610 Unknown2 Kay Bay Lost3 N/A3 No
CM0611 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 N/A3 No
WE30/WE Hatched 48 Yes
Zeelandia
CM0612 31
CM0613 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 Unknown3 No
Zeelandia
R
CM0614 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost1 N/A1 No
CM0615 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 Unknown1 No

1 "Unknown" indicates that no signs of hatching were observed or nest could not be found during excavation. Also
the hatching date was not known, so it was impossible to calculate an incubation period.
2 Turtle not observed and so identity and tagging information was unknown.
3 These nests were not excavated but presumed washed away be the high tides observed in October.
4 Nest relocated on 3-Oct-06 as egg with dead hatchling observed on sand during track survey.
5 Nest relocated 18-Oct-06 but was lost due to inundation due to run off from cliff









CM0616 Unknown2 ZUnhatched N/A1 Yes
Zeelandia
R
CM0617 Unknown2 Turtle Beach Lost3 Unknown1 No
CM0618 Unknown2 Zeelandia Partly Hatched 50 Yes
CM0619 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 N/A3 No
CM0620 Unknown2 Zeelandia Partly Hatched Unknown4 Yes
CM0621 Unknown2 Kay Bay Unhatched Unknown3 No
CM0622 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 Unknown I No
CM0623 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 N/A3 No
CM0624 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 N/A3 No
CM0625 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 N/A3 No
CM0626 WE30 Zeelandia Unhatched N/A1 Yes
CM0627 Unknown2 Turtle Beach Partly Hatched 50 Yes
CM0628 Unknown2 Zeelandia I Lost3 N/A3 No
CM0629 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 N/A3 No
CM0630 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost3 N/A3 No
CM0631 Unknown2 Zeelandia Lost' UnknownI No
CM0632 Unknown2 Turtle Beach Partly Hatched 38 Yes
CM0633 WE36 Zeelandia Partly Hatched 63 Yes
CM0634 Unknown2 Zeelandia Partly Hatched 54 Yes
R
EI061 Unknown2 Oranje Bay Lost3 N/A3 No
EI062 Unknown2 Kay Bay Lost3 N/A3 No
EI063 Unknown2 Oranje Bay Lost3 N/A3 No
EI064 Unknown2 Kay Bay Lost3 N/A3 No
EI065R WE 34 Zeelandia Unhatched N/A5 Yes
EI066 Unknown2 Kay Bay Lost3 N/A3 No

The excavation data from all marked nests are detailed in Appendix 5, with some of the data
summarised. The depth of nests differed considerably between the three species, with
leatherbacks digging deeper nests than either greens or hawksbills; mean depth to bottom of egg
chamber was 68.6cm compared to 68.1cm for greens and 48.2cm for hawksbills. Although
leatherbacks dig deeper, it was unusual for green turtles, on average, to lay as deep as








leatherbacks. On average, green turtle nests are 55cm and an average leatherback digs to an
average of 60 cm. Leatherbacks laid much fewer yolked eggs per nest than greens or hawksbills;
range was 50 94 for leatherbacks, 14 139 for greens and 139 for hawksbills. Mean number of
eggs per nest for each species was 76.2 eggs for leatherbacks, 104.3 for greens and 139 for
hawksbills, although the sample size for the Hawksbill species was only n = 1. Leatherback nests
excavated contained yolkless eggs (small-sized eggs which have no yolk); No greens or
hawksbill nests were observed to contain yolkless eggs (See Appendix 5).
Table 7. Summary of excavation data from 2006

Mean Depth Mean # Eggs Mean % Mean %
to Bottom/cm / Nest Hatching Emergence
Leatherback 68.6 76.2 + 34.171 21.1 15.3
Green 68.1 104.3 51.0 46.4
Hawksbill 48.2 139 0.0 0.0

The three species showed great variability in both hatching and emerging success; hatching
success was calculated as the number of hatchlings that made it out of the shell into the egg
chamber; emerging success was the number of hatchlings that made it out of the nest.
Leatherbacks showed a better hatching and emerging success rate than 2005; 21.1% hatching
success compared to only 3.5% in 2005 and 15.3% emerging success in 2006 to just 2.1% in
2005. Two leatherback nests contained only unhatched eggs indicating that no hatchlings
survived; four green nests were also completely unhatched. Greens were much more successful
than leatherbacks; hatching success was 51.0% and emerging success was 46.4% for the 2006
season. No hawksbill hatchlings managed to successfully complete the incubation period. Five of
the nests that were laid in Kay Bay and Oranje Bay were washed away during high tides observed
in October. No hatchlings or egg clutches were found during excavations in Kay or Oranje Bay.
The hawksbill nest that was laid in Zeelandia beach was inundated by freshwater runoff before
being relocated. Unfortunately, during the exhumation of the nest, it seemed that the inundation
was sufficient enough to cause failure of that particular egg clutch (EI065R).

During the excavation of a leatherback nest (DC062) a number of dead hatchlings were found in
the egg chamber (13 hatchlings), which suggested that they encountered a problem while trying
to leave the nest that prevented many of them emerging and going out to the open sea (See
Appendix 5). When unhatched eggs were opened it was found that leatherbacks had fewer eggs
with no visible embryo present; these eggs were assumed not to have been fertilised properly and
no embryo developed. The mean percentage of eggs with no embryo for each species was 46.8%
for leatherbacks, 44.9% for greens. One leatherback nest seems to have been an unfertilised
clutch (DC069R). 72 of the 74 eggs contained no embryo, while 48 of the eggs were yolkless.

Several nests contained pipped eggs; 18 leatherbacks and 91 greens, with a total of 109 eggs, 39
of which were dead. Very few eggs showed signs of predation; only 3 in total and only from
green nests; it was not possible to determine the type of predator. Deformed embryos were rare;


1 Normal and yolkless eggs calculated separately for leatherbacks.








several hatchlings from nest CM0603 had deformed carapaces; one from nest CM0616R had an
incomplete skull and no eyes present while another green hatchling from nest CM0618 contained
two jaws but no shell or limb deformities were recorded on this particular hatchling. One green
turtle egg contained twin embryos, and a total of eleven albino green turtle hatchling were also
found; ten of which came from one nest, CM0620.

Six nests were relocated during 2006, due to the likelihood of it being washed away if left in
place; one leatherback, one hawksbill and four green turtles. The leatherback nest was relocated
as the eggs were laid into chamber which was filling with water, indicating the female lay below
the high tide line. The nest was relocated between stakes eight and nine. No leatherback nests
were washed away during the 2006 season. The hawksbill nest was relocated on the 19 October
after being laid on 7 September. The reason was that runoff from the nearby cliff after a heavy
rain causing erosion. The nest was relocated a few meters away directly in front of Stake 1 which
is protected from runoff by a large boulder. Of the green turtle nests that were relocated, two
were laid below the high tide line and relocated during that night patrol. One was relocated from
marker 45 to marker 39 and the other from marker 46 to 39. In the future any nests laid in this
area will be relocated as it appeared to be a section of the beach particularly prone to erosion.
The nests were relocated during a night patrol as the eggs were visible in a bank of sand being
eroded by waves. The other two green clutches were relocated after the original nesting date.
CM0634R was originally recorded as a false crawl on 21 August but eggs were observed on the
surface of the sand on 22 September indicating the nest was being washed away. Four eggs were
destroyed by the sea and not relocated (marker 36 to marker 39). The other green turtle clutch
(CM0613R) was moved ten days after it was laid, 10 August, as the nest was being washed out to
sea. This clutch was moved from marker 53 to marker 64.

In-Water Turtle Sightings

In 2006, the in-water turtle monitoring programme was temporarily put on hold. Initially, the in-
water surveying was planned to begin in 2006. The reason was due to the upcoming development
of in-water survey monitoring techniques being developed for WIDECAST. These protocols
should be completed sometime in mid-2007. It was deemed that since these protocols would
largely determine how the in-water monitoring would be conducted, the information that was
currently being collected could potentially be of minimal value.

In light of these events, however, in-water turtle sights were still lightly conducted. In late
October, a revised form was introduced and distributed to the local dive centres; Dive Statia,
ScubAqua and Golden Rock Dive Centre. The new form included the Dive Master as the primary
contact point. The reason for this was that diver might be less experienced in accurately
identifying a turtle underwater and so more prone to error. Also, the metric system was used
exclusively, which created additional white space and a more readable form. The rest of the basic
data (condition of turtle, where it was seen, etc.) remained unchanged. The inclusion of the
"Presence of Tags" section was included along with "Other Comments" and the new Sea Turtle
Conservation Programme logo was displayed (See Appendix 2).








Turtle Stranding
On 27 September, a dead hawksbill turtle was encountered by the Programme Co-ordinator on
Turtle Beach during a morning track survey. Lacking the necessary equipment to perform a
necropsy the turtle was moved above the surf line, to ensure that it was not swept away by the
tide. Later that day the Programme Co-ordinator, assisted by Marine Park Ranger Walter Blair,
returned and performed a rudimentary
necropsy to try and determine the cause of
death.
Figure 13: Measuring diameter of old ,.
scar possibly due to shark bite.
On initial examination it was discovered that ...ie
the turtle had a large section of its rear
carapace (diameter 22cm) and the entire .
right rear flipper missing. No other
obvious signs of injury were observed on the
upper side of the turtle, however, when she
was flipped over to begin the necropsy
several additional signs of damage were
found (See Figure 14). A bite was detected
on the plastron, which had a diameter of 23cm, and there was an additional puncture wound in
the flesh close to the left rear flipper. These injuries were possibly from a previous shark attack,
since they were completely healed. None of the injuries looked serious enough to cause death,
and they may have possibly occurred post-mortem. The curved carapace length was 82.3cm and
71.8cm curved carapace width; plastron length was 60. lcm

Figure 14: Possible bite on rear right flipper.
P The Programme Co-ordinator was able to conduct a
very basic necropsy; all the internal organs were
PWY .h removed and examined; none showed signs of disease
t~ or damage. The digestive tract was completely full;
there were even undigested pieces of sponge very
close to the mouth. This indicates that the turtle was
actively feeding up until close to the time of death.
The reproductive organs showed her to be female;
though the ovaries were undeveloped indicating that
she was probably a juvenile or non-breeding adult.
Unfortunately no definitive answer as to the cause of
death was determined from the necropsy.


Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project 2006
The following is a summary of the research activities that were conducted as part of the Sea
Turtle Satellite Tracking Project 2006; see also Harrison (2006).








Research Ac tiilices

A short training session on the methods for applying the transmitters was given to the Programme
Co-ordinator, STENAPA Manager, and researchers in St Maarten in 2005. The preliminary
schedule for attachments was organised for the month of September; with an initial plan for three
transmitters to be deployed. Two were proposed for St Eustatius, ideally on greens and
hawksbills, and one on a hawksbill on St Maarten. Dr van Dam left instructions on equipment to
purchase and the design of a wooden holding box that was to be constructed.


'Lisa' the Hawksbill turtle
On the night of 7 September 2006 a hawksbill turtle was encountered on the northern end of
Zeelandia beach. The animal was intercepted as it attempted to return to the water after a failed
nesting attempt. The hawksbill proceeded to go back up the beach again to eventually nest, laying
143 eggs. The turtle was then held in a plywood box for transmitter application. In addition to
flipper tags, a Telonics ST-20 A-1010 transmitter with Argos ID 60725 was attached to the
uppermost part of the carapace by the deployment team, led by Dr Emma Harrison, STENAPA's
Research Officer. This animal was average size for a hawksbill turtle, measuring 85.5cm curved
carapace length. After obtaining a small skin sample for future genetic studies, the turtle was
released and returned to the sea at 6.00am on 8 September (See Appendix 6).

As part of a project studying the effects of different beach characteristics on nest success a small
data logger was placed in the nest, to monitor the temperature during incubation. This project is
being conducted by sea turtle biologist Mario Mota from Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida,
USA. He was interested in acquiring data from a black sand beach and approached the
Programme Co-ordinator about the possibility of deploying data loggers on St Eustatius

This transmitted hawksbill turtle was named 'Lisa' by one of the winners of an arts and crafts
competition held among schoolchildren on St Eustatius by STENAPA. She departed the waters
of St Eustatius immediately after nesting on Zeelandia Beach, swimming north towards St
Barth's and on to Scrub Island, on the east side of Anguilla. She remained there for several days
and, based on the signal strengths received by satellite, may have nested on the ample sandy
beach there on the night of 24 September, some 16 days after her nesting on St Eustatius and in
accordance to the typical inter-nesting interval exhibited by Caribbean hawksbills. Then she
moved westwards through deeper waters, changing southwards onto St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin
Islands. 'Lisa' stayed just off the north-western tip of St Croix and again may have nested on the
night of 8 October. After this possible nesting, 'Lisa' swam eastwards, again towards Anguilla
and St Maarten, eventually settling in waters 20-35 meters deep near the west end of Ile
Fourchue, an uninhabited cay located between St Barth's and St Maarten (See Appendix 6). The
area appears to be a good foraging ground for adult hawksbill turtles, as another hawksbill turtle
was similarly tracked using a satellite transmitter to the same area after nesting in 1998 at Mona
Island, Puerto Rico (R. van Dam, unpublished data). As of early December 2006 the turtle
remained transmitting from this same location. Although 'Lisa' ended up only 63km straight-line
distance from St Eustatius, she swam over 2000km to reach this foraging ground destination after
possibly nesting on two different islands.








'Grace' the Green Turtle
On the night of 17September 2006, a female green turtle was intercepted after it laid 129 eggs on
Zeelandia Beach. The turtle was held in a plywood box for application of the Telonics model ST-
20 A-1010 transmitter with Argos ID 60724 by a team led by Emma Harrison. The turtle was
also flipper tagged and measured 106cm curved midline carapace length, which is an average size
for a green turtle in the Caribbean. This turtle was quite a lot larger than the hawksbill female,
measuring 106cm in length; however she was much calmer throughout the 2-hour long
attachment procedure, making it a lot easier for the team to get the transmitter fitted properly.
Fortunately they were able to release her back to the sea just before a huge rain storm began. If it
had started raining while they were working with the transmitter, would have severely hampered
the entire attachment process. The transmitted animal was released at approximately 2.25am.
(See Appendix 7)

Initially she headed around the northern end of St Eustatius before spending several days close to
St Kitts. During that period, it looked as if she was heading back towards St Eustatius, to lay
another nest. Those assumptions were confirmed on 29 September; the night patrol out on
Zeelandia Beach radioed around 10.15 pm to report that 'Grace' had been seen heading back to
the sea. They had checked her transmitter and everything appeared to be in good condition. The
transmitted green turtle was named 'Grace', short for Graceful, by another winner of the schools'
arts and crafts competition. 'Grace' started swimming towards the southeast and along the west
coast of the island of St Kitts, maneuvering around to the southeastern point of that island, along
the coast facing Nevis. She has since been transmitting from what apparently is her foraging
habitat. 'Grace' swam about 60km to reach this location, which appears to contain stretches of
relatively shallow seagrass beds and is influenced by some sediment flows from rivers on Nevis.
Green turtles are generally herbivores and often associated with such seagrass beds. 'Grace' is the
second green turtle tracked from St. Eustatius; 'Miss Shellie' was followed in 2005 to an area just
in front of the Zeelandia nesting beach. According to latest calculations, Grace has traveled over
1700km as of early December 2006 with a straight line distance of just 38km (See Appendix 7).

Beach Erosion
Of 52 stakes that had been placed in 2005, approximately 32 still remained at the start of 2006;
20 had been lost, mostly south of Smith's Gut. For the remaining 32 the distance between the
stake and the cliff was measured as an indicator of cliff erosion along Zeelandia Beach. Since a
new method of beach mapping and erosion was implemented, using data from 2005 beach
mapping data would not be applicable. Consequently, figures were compared from information
taken July 2006 and figures collected in mid-November 2006. Ten stakes were in exactly the
same location as July 2006 suggesting no cliff erosion for that period. Forty-one (64.0%) stakes
had a positional change of 50cm or less from their July location; eleven stakes displayed cliff
erosion of 50 100cm from the July location (11.0%); six (9.8%) recorded over Im of cliff
erosion since the July mapping. Of these six, one (1.6%) was recorded 2m in front of where it
had been in July. The mean distance between the stake and the cliff was 0.9m; the range was
0.00 m 2.00 m. Erosion was concentrated in several areas; from stakes 6 14, stakes 23- 27
and between stakes 32 38. The first of these areas is close to the public access at the northern
end of Zeelandia and the other two are about half-way along the beach, before Smith's Gut.
Although the data does not suggest the dramatic cliff erosion there was between 2004 and 2005,








the data does indicate probable steady erosion. Preliminary data still needs multiple year analyses
before any tangible conclusions can be made.

During 2006 eight cliff falls were observed on Zeelandia Beach. Four were considered major
while the rest were minor cliff falls. Observed evidence shows that the major cliff falls occurred
in the early part of the season, two in June, one in July and another in August. Two occurred just
north and south of Smith's Gut and each time the fallen boulders covered almost the entire width
of the beach. This made negotiating these areas during night patrols difficult, especially when
coupled with the nightly tides.
On two occasions the section of cliff which fell was equal or more than 10m in length; the largest
(recorded on 18 June) was approximately 15m long. A very large section of the cliff, consisting
of boulders and small rocks, was found. During the month of October, four separate falls were
recorded, all regarded as minor and ranging between one to three meters. Twice during the
season, cliff falls coincided with heavy rains.

Community Outreach Events

School Ac /it'viic'
In September, Dominique Vissenberg, Elsie Riley and several volunteers participated in a puppet
show for the new school year's nature conservation educational programme (theme of 'Water').
All Cycle One and Two pupils of the four schools participated (Governor de Graff, Golden Rock
School, Seventh Day Adventist School and Terminal School) in the introductory session. During
the introductory puppet play, the turtle mascot, Scout, explains his needs and gives examples of
different threats he faces in his life. Afterwards, Dominique Vissenburg led a discussion about
sea turtles.

In a land-versus-sea turtle race, the children participated and practised how difficult it is to walk
on land with flippers. This demonstrated what sea turtles experience when they go to a beach to
nest. Also, children held their breath to demonstrate how long turtles can hold their breath in
comparison, over five hours.

In later lessons, the water topic will fit in with a
pirate theme. The focus goes onto marine life and
also the diversity of properties that water has. The
major theme is not directly related to turtles; more
so the importance of water, marine habitat and
coastal vegetation. The central character is Scout,
who is a marine turtle. Scout fall under the curse of
greed and becomes a pirate sailing under the pirate
ship, Black Turtle. Each adventure Scout and his
pirate crew have introduces a new lesson on water.
In the end, Scout breaks the curse of greed and
returns to his normal self (see Appendix 8).
Figure 15. Puppet show performed at local schools








School Vacation Programme
This programme was implemented by the Island Government in 2004; recent graduates, who are
continuing their studies overseas, are given work placements with local businesses during their
summer vacation. In 2006, Ramon Del Rosario participated for the month of July. He
participated in a variety of ranger tasks, including several nest exhumations for the Sea Turtle
Conservation Programme.

Beach Clean-Ups
Ten beach clean-ups were organised during the 2006 turtle nesting season; every month except
for the month of September. Some beach clean-ups were conducted on the weekends to draw
assistance from the local community. Unfortunately the response from the local community was
disappointing; in the ten clean-ups that were organised, no local volunteers participated. In one
case, the Statia Oil Terminal Company promised a joint effort for a beach cleanup, but due to
miscommunication none of their personnel ended up taking part. A group of 13 students and staff
from the United States, who were working with STENAPA as part of the Broadreach Programme
assisted in a beach cleanup on 13 July.

Media Exposure and Public Presentations
To ensure that the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme reaches as wide an audience as possible,
the Programme Co-ordinator maintained regular exposure in the press and on local radio. Many
press releases were published during 2006. A total of thirteen media articles were submitted and
published in the Daily Herald. The topics covered the Programme Co-ordinator travelling to the
Sea Turtle Symposium to present a scientific poster, illegal sand mining, the first turtles of the
season, a puppet show held in all the primary schools, upcoming vacancy of the Programme Co-
ordinator position and updates on the satellite tracking project (See Appendix 9). The St.
Eustatius Turtle Programme was also mentioned in an article published on 3 June reporting on
sea turtles for World Environment Day. The article focused on turtles on St Maarten, but included
information on St. Eustatius.

The satellite tracking project was also featured in a monthly radio interview in late October. The
30 minute radio interview focused on the 2005/6 DCNA Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project.
The questions pertained to satellite tracking, basic satellite telemetry and results from 2005 and
2006 transmitted turtles.

To maximise the exposure that the St. Eustatius Turtle Programme receives internationally as
well as locally, the STENAPA newsletter also featured an articles about turtles in every edition in
2006 (See Appendix 12). This quarterly newsletter is sent electronically to interested parties and
ex-volunteers. The STENAPA website (http://www.statiapark.org) has several pages dedicated
to the St. Eustatius Turtle Programme activities which are updated regularly. Not only do the web
pages focus on the Conservation Programme, but the site also has several pages dedicated to the
Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project in 2006, with links to location maps on
http://www.seaturtle.org.








Poster & Presentation at Annual International Sea Turtle Symposium
At the 26th Annual International Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation in Greece
in April, 2006, Ms Vissenberg gave a presentation which gave details on the "Help Out or Sea
Turtle Miss Out" programme. The presentation features Scout, the mascot of the environmental
education programme. Although the focus was on the community in general, the primary focal
point was the island schools, 143 classes in 24 different schools on three islands. The campaign
entitled "Help Out Or Sea Turtles Miss Out" was adapted from the "RARE Promoting
Protection through Pride" programme that achieved widespread success in many countries in the
Caribbean region. The three aims were to increase pride that these islands (the Winward Islands
of Saba, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius) still have sea turtles, to create awareness that they need
protection and to identify concrete ways in which the public can help (See Appendix 13). In
addition, the Programme Co-ordinator presented a poster entitled "A Satellite Tracking Project in
the Windward Islands of the Netherlands Antilles", which gave information about the satellite
tracking study conducted on St Eustatius and St Maarten in 2005 (see Appendix 13). The poster
discussed how satellite telemetry has become a common tool for turtle biologists to discover
migration pathways between nesting beaches and foraging grounds. The poster highlighted
potential threats that may be faced while travelling between reproductive and feeding areas. The
poster also demonstrated how projects such as these can increase community awareness by
highlighting turtles' migratory behaviour to engage the public in conservation issues. The poster
was seen by an international audience and received very positive feedback, especially regarding
the community awareness aspect.

Participation in Meetings, Workshops and Symposia

Annual International Sea Turtle Symposium
As stated previously, the 2005/6 Programme Co-ordinator, Dr Emma Harrison, attended the 26th
Annual International Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation held on Crete, Greece
from 3 April, 2006 to 8 April, 2006. The symposium is usually the only time when the majority
of turtle biologists from various parts of the globe come together in one location

In addition to the main symposium activities, the International Sea Turtle Symposium is an
opportunity to arrange smaller regional groups for their Annual General Meetings (AGM). These
AGMs include regions such as WIDECAST with whom the St Eustatius Turtle Programme is
affiliated. These AGMs normally occur a few days before the general symposium commences.
As a result of this affiliation, the Research Officer was invited to attend the WIDECAST AGM,
which took place the 3 4 April, 2006; Dr Emma Harrison represented STENAPA Manager,
Nicole Esteban, who is the Country Co-ordinator for WIDECAST but was unable to attend the
symposium.

This meeting was very productive for the Research Officer, Dr Harrison, with respect to making
contact with other turtle biologists in the Caribbean region. Many regional turtle conservation and
monitoring projects were present. Establishing links with neighboring islands, and other Dutch
Caribbean islands, was one of the objectives of her participation at the WIDECAST meeting. Dr
Harrison had the opportunity to talk to people from St Kitts, Aruba and Bonaire, in addition to
the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Barbados. These initial meetings will form the
foundation for continuing dialogue and collaboration between St Eustatius and these other








projects, many of whom are more established and so can offer guidance and advice to the project
as it develops in the future.

Attendance at local, regional and international meetings, symposia and conferences is important
for the continuing success of the St Eustatius Turtle Programme. Such gatherings provide a
forum in which to broadcast the work being done by STENAPA with regard to turtle
conservation on the island, while also facilitating links with other sea turtle researchers that may
be beneficial in the future. The Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation is
obviously the largest of these meetings within the field of turtle research, and so it is important
that the Coordinator of the St Eustatius programme be permitted to participate in future years.


Culebra Island in-water monitoring
Programme
At the invitation of sea turtle biologists Dr Robert van
Dam and Dr Carlos Diez, the Programme Co-ordinator
travelled to Puerto Rico the 11 19 March, to
participate in their in-water monitoring programme of
juvenile green and hawksbill turtles at foraging sites
close to Culebra Island. The purpose of the visit was to -
receive training in a protocol for conducting in-water
capture of turtles; with the possibility of implementing
the technique in St Eustatius.

Figure 16: Dr. Harrison with juvenile Green turtle.
Juvenile turtles were captured using a net placed in shallow water foraging sites. Upon capture
the individuals were tagged, measured and weighed before being released at the capture site. A
group of veterinarians from the University of Georgia, USA, were also present; they were
conducting health assessments of all the turtles caught. They were particularly interested in
determining the reasons for the differential incidence of fibropapilloma tumours at the two study
sites; one of which had turtles with the tumours, the other showing no cases of the disease.

This was an ideal opportunity for the Programme Co-ordinator to meet other sea turtle biologists
working in the region, and establish a network of contacts for future research initiatives as part of
the St. Eustatius Turtle Programme. This opportunity would provide ideal training for in-water
methodologies, which could be modified for use in St Eustatius.
Sea &Learn on Saba
In October Dr Harrison was the opening night speaker of the "Sea & Learn on Saba" programme.
The focus of her presentation was satellite tracking and its role in the conservation of Caribbean
Sea turtles. Dr Harrison's presentation was well attended, by over 80 people and received
positive feedback; it is hoped in the future, that participation in "Sea & Learn on Saba" will
continue. The exposure may be regional, but the presenters are internationally renown in their
respective fields. The awareness of a sea turtle conservation programme will benefit not only St.
Eustatius, but the surrounding region as well.








Annual Public Meeting of STENAPA
On 16 August, STENAPA held an Annual Public Meeting upstairs at the government guesthouse.
Members of the public were invited to attend, with snacks and refreshments provided. The
meeting was the first of its kind and it is hoped that it will become an annual event in the future.
It is believed that the community will have a better understanding of the role of STENAPA and
the research being conducted by the Turtle Programme; so that hopefully they can become more
involved in future activities. This should increase support for upcoming projects that the Turtle
Programme may undertake that will incorporate community involvement.


WIDECAST Visit
In October, the WIDECAST Executive Director, Dr Karen Eckert, visited St Eustatius to discuss
programme and objectives for in-water monitoring programme. She was shown the habitat of the
Marine Park and capture and observations methods were discussed. Scuba surveys were decided
to be the most practical method as the waters is too deep for snorkelling. Coincidentally, since the
water is too deep, the habitat also deems the use of nets as ineffective. Hand-capture of turtles
was discussed and realistically possible but unlikely due to stress to turtle and safety concerns to
divers.


Discussion

Pre-Season Preparations

Beach Preparation
The system of marking the primary nesting beach (Zeelandia Beach) with numbered wooden
stakes remains the most cost effective method, due to the high probability of losing the markers
as a result of high tides outside the nesting season. They are easy to replace or repaint at the start
of each season; the reflective tape is very beneficial at night and greatly facilitates finding the
stakes when measuring nests in the dark. A recommendation is to extend the markers to include
all of Turtle Beach, as several turtles used that beach during the 2006 season and temporary
stakes had to be positioned to mark nests.

Training of Volunteers
A review of the volunteer training materials was undertaken before the arrival of the first group
of Working Abroad volunteers in April, 2006. The Programme Co-ordinator wanted to ensure
that everyone involved in night patrol activities was given sufficient training in all aspects of the
data collection protocols, both theoretical and practical. Additional training in tagging methods
was provided for interns who were expected to lead patrols when the Programme Co-ordinator
was not available. The level of training given to all volunteers was adequate for them to be able
to collect the required data, as under normal circumstances they were not expected to undertake
patrols without the Programme Co-ordinator or an intern present. It is suggested that the same
training and orientation activities continue in 2007.









Monitoring and Research Activities


Track Surveys
In 2006 it was not always possible to conduct track surveys every morning, due to schedule
conflicts and lack of personnel; however, surveys were completed for Zeelandia Beach most
morning throughout the nesting season. They are an effective method for surveying nesting
beaches not patrolled at night, to give an indication of spatial distribution of nesting around the
island. Similar to previous years, three species of turtle were recorded nesting on St Eustatius;
leatherback, green and hawksbill, no evidence of loggerhead turtles was found. Although there
was an unconfirmed sighting in 2004 of a loggerhead turtle, they have not been recorded since
then.

As also observed previously, Zeelandia Beach remains the primary nesting beach for all three
species, indeed it is the only beach where leatherback nesting was recorded. A sizeable amount
of nesting occurred elsewhere on the island; Turtle Beach had 11 nests and 18 false crawls, seven
nests were recorded on Kay Bay, two nests were recorded on Oranje Bay and one false crawl on
Lynch Beach. Some of these emergences were observed by residents living close to the beach.

In total more nests and false crawls were recorded for all three species in 2006 compared to 2005;
10 leatherback nests in 2006 compared to 16 in 2005; 34 green nests in 2006, 15 in 2005 and six
hawksbill nests in 2006 compared to two in 2005. No nesting trends can be inferred from just a
few years of data; given the long-term life cycle of each of the three species, continued long-term
monitoring is essential before any assessments can be made about population trends on the
island's nesting beaches. With the implementation of regular surveys throughout the nesting
season it will be possible to start between-year comparisons in the future.

As for many locations in the Caribbean, leatherbacks on St Eustatius nest earlier than either of the
hard shell species; between March and June, compared to June to October for greens and
hawksbills. In 2006 Leatherbacks and Green turtle species were reported nesting earlier than in
2005; nine days earlier for Green turtles and eleven days earlier for Leatherbacks. For hawksbills,
nesting in 2006 started later than 2005; 1 June for 2006 compared to May 27, 2005. Nesting
terminated on the 8 October for the 2006 season and the 1 October for 2005. These dates show
little variation of the end of the nesting season. The earlier start to the season may be the result of
differing environmental conditions between the years; in preceding years, water temperatures in
the Caribbean were higher than normal, marked by extensive coral bleaching in the region from
August 2005 (Esteban, Kooistra and Caballero, 2005). With just a few years of data, however, it
is difficult to determine a "normal" nesting season for St Eustatius, and so further monitoring is
required to create a better evaluation.

With this in mind, it is proposed that more attention is given to morning track surveys; they
should be conducted as early as possible in the day to ensure that all tracks and nests are
undisturbed, and carried out as extensively as possible on all identified nesting beaches on the
island. They should only be conducted by the Programme Co-ordinator or trained personnel in
their absence, this reduces observer bias in the data and minimises data collection errors by
untrained observers. No unidentified tracks were recorded in 2006; all tracks could be identified
as a particular species, showing that sufficient training in track recognition had been received.









Beach Patrols
The 2005 expansion of the night patrol schedule to cover weekends has continued to be
successful as several females were encountered on Friday and Saturday nights during the 2006
season; four leatherbacks and 12 green turtles. Prior to the 2005 nesting season, these turtles
would not have been observed and the data assigned to "unknown" female. Nightly patrols
should be continued in future nesting seasons.

A slightly higher number of turtles were encountered on night patrols in 2006 than 2005 (14
compared to eight, respectively). This indicates that more nesting females emerged in 2006. The
patrol schedule, of one patrol every hour between 9.00pm and 4.00am, remains feasible, and
almost guarantees that any turtle nesting during the patrol period will be encountered. In 2006,
the turtle encounter rate was 16.5 % of night patrols, comparable to previous years. An analysis
of the hours of peak emergence was conducted to determine if patrols could be shortened;
reducing the time observers would need to remain on the beach but without the risk of losing
valuable encounters. It was determined, however, that shorter patrols would result in missed
turtles (see Figure 12). Another suggestion is to extend the section of beach patrolled at night;
although tide conditions often prohibit patrols along Turtle Beach. Whenever possible,
particularly during months when green turtles and hawksbills are nesting, patrols should cover
Turtle beach in addition to Zeelandia Beach.

Tagging Methods
In 2005, the tagging protocol was changed slightly from 2004; all turtles, irrespective of species,
were double tagged with external flipper tags. This practice was used during the 2006 and will
continue to be used in the foreseeable future. The reason is to maximise the probability of being
able to positively identify the individual if she returned to nest and thus minimising the effect of
tag loss. If only one flipper tag is applied, a turtle could be categorised as a new recruit in error if
that tag is lost. Leatherback turtles also had one internal PIT tag inserted, in addition to the two
flipper tags; to standardise the protocol, each PIT tag was placed in the right shoulder. No
previously tagged leatherbacks were encountered, and none of the females showed scars from old
tags. Only one green turtle had tags when first encountered; she carried a single flipper tag that
had been originally applied on Zeelandia Beach in 2002.

More females were tagged during night patrols in 2005 than in 2006, seven in 2005 compared to
six during the 2006 season. All turtles that were encountered had tags when they left the beach
during the 2006 season. Furthermore, all turtles that were tagged were double tagged.

As leatherback turtles are often prone to high levels of flipper tag loss it is advisable to continue
the double flipper tagging protocol as well as using PIT tags which are less likely to be lost.
Green turtles and hawksbills should also have two flipper tags applied, proximal to the last scale
on the trailing edge of the front flippers; this tag location causes least drag and hence improved
tag retention.

Only trained personnel should be allowed to apply tags, either flipper or PIT; this will usually be
the Programme Co-ordinator or a STENAPA intern. The procedure established in 2005 to cover
the nights when the Programme Co-ordinator was not scheduled for beach patrol was that she
would be on radio stand-by and could join the patrol crew to assist with tagging and data








collection if they encountered a turtle. This worked well for most patrols in 2005 and 2006, but
requires careful co-ordination of equipment and radios to ensure that they are fully charged prior
to the patrol. It is recommended that this system continue to be implemented in future years,
particularly as the Programme Co-ordinator plans to reduce the number of night patrols they
conduct in order to focus on other aspects of the monitoring and research programme, such as the
daily track surveys and education activities.

Carapace Measurements
The leatherbacks encountered in 2006 was longer than those observed in 2005; mean CCL was
1.48m in 2005 compared to 1.58m in 2006; however, CCW was almost identical both years
(1.14m in 2006 and 1.12m in 2005). A similar situation was shown for green turtles; mean CCL
n-t in 2006 was 1.07m compared to 1.08m in 2005; mean CCW measurements were 0.98m in
2006 and 1.00m in 2005. Again, no major variance was shown between 2006 and 2005 nesting
season. In 2005, no hawksbills were measured so comparisons could not be made.

This difference may be a result of observer bias, or a genuine difference in the size of turtles
observed; it will be interesting to compare these results with 2007. There was also some minor
confusion by the Programme Co-ordinator as to what CCL measurements had actually been taken
in 2004, as the description in the annual report did not correspond to the actual measurements
taken; this could account for the quite large differences observed between the two years.
Hopefully, this minor problem will be corrected in the future.

Practical training with a real carapace was conducted with volunteers in 2006, to give them an
indication of the position of the tape measure on the carapace during measurements. This should
be repeated in future seasons to ensure accurate measurements are being taken. For the 2006
season, the decision to convert to fibreglass tape measures for carapace measurements and not the
metal tapes that have been used to date was approved. Fibreglass tape measures are more flexible
and therefore fit better to the curve of the carapace and give a more accurate measurement. Also,
they do not rust as readily and hence are less likely to "stick" during measurements. Hopefully,
this will not affect measurements taken in the future, as the previous and current Programme Co-
ordinator have considerable experience in carapace measurements and are keen to minimise
errors in data collection.

Great care must be taken when training volunteers how to take carapace measurements, as there
is scope for considerable variation in the placement of the tape measure, particularly for CCW
where there are no clearly defined end-points to measure between. Measurements of leatherback
turtles should be taken by two people, as it is impractical for one person to reach the front and
rear of the carapace. It is also important to carefully position the tape measure alongside the
central ridge, not along the top of it, as these can also greatly effect measurements.

Nest Survival and Hatching Success
Nest survival for all species was mixed throughout the season. As stated previously, no hawksbill
nests survived the incubation period. This was due mainly to nest site selection where they were
lost due to high tides, but one hawksbill nest on Zeelandia was lost due to inundation of a runoff
from the nearby cliff. Twenty-one one nests from green and hawksbill clutches were washed
away with exceptionally high tides; 15 and six respectively. In 2005, a green turtle nest was
buried under a cliff fall, but in 2006 no cliff falls were culpable in the loss of any nests. No








leatherback nests were known to wash away, but one leatherback nest was washed over by the
tide for an unknown number of days and presumed to be the cause of failure of that particular
clutch. Hatching and emerging success showed extreme differences between the species; mean
hatching success for leatherbacks was 21.1% compared to 51.0% for greens. Emerging success
was 46.4% for greens, the highest for all species. Leatherbacks had 15.3% for emerging success.
Although the hawksbill figures were unfortunate compared to 2005, leatherbacks demonstrated
improved success from the 2005 season of just 3.5% to 21.1% in mean hatching success and an
increase in emerging success from 2.1% to 15.3%. Green turtle nests showed a decrease from the
previous season, with a hatching success of 76.8% and emerging success of 70.1%, compared to
51.0% and 46.4% in 2006, respectively.

One possible reason that might explain both the lack of success for hawksbill nests, especially
when compared to the other species and previous years, is female nest site selection. All but one
nest laid by hawksbills was laid either in Oranje Bay or Kay Bay. Both of these bays have very
minimal suitable nesting habitat throughout the year and subsequently all nests were washed
away by high tides later on in the season. The one nest laid on Zeelandia was inundated for an
unknown period of days before being relocated. Although the 2006 season appears to be an
anomaly for hawksbills, previous and subsequent seasons will capture an improved
understanding of nesting patterns in regards to this species.

Although, leatherbacks improved markedly from the 2005 season, the low percentage of hatching
success and emergence is cause for concern. Although the data indicates that the numbers are
usually low, the inception of this conservation programme is relatively young and it will take
several more seasons and raw data to make a more accurate assessment of the success of
leatherback nests in St. Eustatius.

In-water Turtle Sighiluings
The redesigned forms will hopefully provide important information about the turtles using the
near-shore waters around the island; such data collection has, to date, not been incorporated into
the monitoring schedule of the Programme.

An important consideration when analysing data from previous years is that they were recorded
by untrained observers, thus the opportunity for error in, for example, species identification,
could be relatively high. This is the reason for requesting the Dive Master assist in filling out the
form. Also, it is easy to overestimate the size of turtles underwater; frequently people will
classify a turtle in a size range larger than its actual size.

Despite the minimal amount of data obtained during the 2006 season, the diver sighting surveys
will be continued in 2007. It is also hoped to include dive centres on Saba, to gain data from a
wider area within the Netherlands Antilles. It will be encouraging to receive support from the
dive centres on St Eustatius and the support of the local community for the St. Eustatius Turtle
Programme which will always be appreciated.

The raw data does point out that turtle sightings are relatively common in the waters around St
Eustatius, and it is these observations that will assist to shape the in-water surveying programme
in 2007. Using the data from the diver sighting forms, locations will be considered to conduct
regular dive surveys to collect data on species composition, size classes and habitat utilisation.










Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project 2006
The implementation of a satellite tracking project in 2005 was a major development for the Sea
Turtle Conservation Programme on St Eustatius. The tracking project was just as accomplished in
2006 as it was in 2005. This joint initiative with St Maarten, funded by the DCNA, was planned
to not only provide information on the feeding grounds and migratory pathways of turtles that
nest in the Netherlands Antilles, but also to engage the local communities on both islands in sea
turtle conservation issues.

Three of the five transmitters obtained for the project were not deployed in 2005, and so they
were held with the intention of using them during 2006. With the assistance of Dr Robert van
Dam, the Programme Co-ordinator re-programmed the remaining transmitters in August, to
adjust the settings with the aim of extending the battery life. In preparation for the deployments
the Programme Co-ordinator and the Education Officer, Dominique Vissenberg, held a training
session in August to practise the attachment procedures.

The plan was to deploy two transmitters on St Eustatius and one on St Maarten, if sufficient
evidence of nesting was encountered; the Programme Co-ordinator would assist with the
attachment of the transmitter on St Maarten. Using data from the daily track surveys of Zeelandia
Beach and Turtle Beach, a diary of turtle emergences was created to try and highlight nights
when known turtles were expected to return to the nesting beach. This information helped target
nights when turtles were most likely to be encountered during a night patrol. Deployments were
scheduled for the beginning of September, to try and avoid the difficulties encountered in 2005
with reduced nesting towards the end of September.

As part of a project studying the effects of different beach characteristics on nest success a small
data logger was placed in the nest, to monitor the temperature during incubation. This project is
being conducted by sea turtle biologist Mario Mota from Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida,
USA. This study required that the number of eggs laid by each female was counted while she was
laying; the hawksbill turtle laid 143 eggs, an average clutch size for this species.


Beach Erosion
Erosion continued on Zeelandia Beach in 2006. Since a new method was implemented, it was not
practical to compare data between years, so an analysis was done within the year. During the pre-
season preparations, the numbered markers that had been lost were replaced and the distance
from their 2005 location measured. Compared to 2005, the amounts of lost stakes were less than
the beginning of the 2006 season. Also, in 2005 only one-fifth of the stakes were in the same
place as the previous year, suggesting no cliff erosion in those sites. Erosion was exacerbated by
several large cliff falls in the middle of the nesting season (June October). Two occurred in
June, one in July and August and four in October. These are not only extremely hazardous to
researchers (several occurred at night when beach patrols were being undertaken), but also a risk
to turtles and nests close to the cliff. Two of the cliff falls was directly in front of the landfill site
at Smith's Gut; heavy machinery is used to regularly compress the rubbish at the site, it is
feasible that the vibrations of these machines, in conjunction with heavy rain weakening the
structure of the cliff, could cause the cliff to give way.









In 2007, further detailed investigations will be conducted on the extent of beach erosion on
Zeelandia Beach. The marker stakes are a useful method of rapidly assessing erosion along the
cliff base; but it is also proposed to monitor erosion rates at the top of the cliff by placing
supplementary stakes at known distances from the cliff edge and recording any changes observed
at regular intervals throughout the year.
These studies will be complemented by
photograph documentation of the beach,
showing sand deposition and erosion during
the year. The findings from these surveys
will be presented in a report that will discuss
rates of beach erosion in the last two years;
this report should be finalized in the summer
of 2007.


Figure 17: Sand mining performed on 1
November
Another compounding factor affecting beach
erosion in one particular section of Zeelandia Beach is sand mining. Although illegal since 2001,
it still occurs regularly, the sand being used in construction around the island. Most sand is taken
from behind the beach, in a gulley that has been created from storm water run-off; this is close to
the main public access at the north end of Zeelandia Beach. Some sand, however, is still being
taken directly off the beach in front of the access area, as it is possible to drive a truck on the
sand. On numerous occasions in 2006 the Programme Co-ordinator witnessed people excavating
sand, both in the gulley and on the beach; she reported each incidence to the STENAPA manager
and the police were informed several times; no-one was charged for these offences. The
Programme Co-ordinator approached several people who were observed taking sand; she told
them that it was a prohibited activity, that it was increasing erosion on the beach and also
endangering sea turtle nests in the area. This illegal activity reached a critical point in September
at a time when there had been no sand supplies available for purchase on island for several
months, and when a rumour was circulated that the Governor had permitted sand mining, within
hours over 10 vehicles were observed on the beach
Sand mining until the rumour was negated.



Figure 18: Run-off result of creation of water
catchment created by Public Works

In 2006, the Executive Council reversed its
decision of making sand mining a prohibited
activity. The newly-adopted sand mining policy
was implemented much to the concerns and
opposition raised by STENAPA over beach
dynamics and sustainability (See Appendix 15). This one year policy was introduced to solve the
sand shortage for construction. Sand mining is to be done at the behest of the Executive Council








by the Public Works department of St. Eustatius
whenever sand is not available for purchase.
Construction suppliers have been unable to obtain
sand since early 2006 due to regional export
embargo and barge size limitations, with negative
consequence for economic development. The policy
is a temporary solution and proper steps were
assured to ensure minimal impact on nature conservation (see Appendix 14). Sand will be
excavated from a delineated fenced zone within the gut area of Zeelandia Beach, only above the
high tide level (the beach berm) and not extending either side of the entrance of the gut. Only the
Public Works Department is authorized to extract sand, in the present of personnel from
STENAPA. Also, two sites were excavated in the gut entrance to a five meter depth to prevent
erosion. Unfortunately, heavy rains washed out the gut at the beach entrance and created a large
pit in early October and, subsequently, all sand and moved earth has been washed out to sea. To
further exacerbate this, the Executive Council has been ineffective in completing Phase 1-
Preparation of the Sand Mining Policy (see Appendix 14). To prevent extending this one year
policy; it is advisable to develop alternative solutions.

Figure 19: 30 November 2006 erosion and degradation of Zeelandia Beach gut entrance

The beach close to the access point is where the majority of leatherback nests were laid in 2006
(please see Figure 10); their poor success is not surprising considering that this area shows a
dramatic loss of sand after heavy rains, caused by the run-off from the gulley, and is often also
flooded after storms. It is also the site of the majority of sand mining, legal and illegal due to its
accessibility. To prevent further beach degradation in this area, and to improve hatching success
of nests laid in this zone of the beach, a concerted effort is required to eradicate sand mining both
on the beach and in the gulley directly behind the sand. Only through improved enforcement of
regulations can the situation improve. Several members of STENAPA staff were sworn in as
Special Agents of Police in September 2006 after completing a training course in December
2005. This status gives them the authority to charge people in breach of environmental laws on St
Eustatius. Hopefully with additional personnel to assist them, the police will be better able to
regulate these illegal activities. A recommendation for 2007 is to monitor sand mining activities
more comprehensively, especially in months outside the nesting season when it is known that
STENAPA personnel are not actively patrolling Zeelandia Beach and mining has been observed
to intensify. An extensive database of information
.. ... about the frequency of sand mining, and the damage
caused, will be gathered and passed on to the relevant
authorities to investigate.

Figure 20: Public Works attempting to sand mine
eroded area of Zeelandia Beach.
In addition to reducing erosion caused by sand
mining, some regime to fortify the area behind the
disturbed section of beach is also required; the
vegetation has been destroyed and so there is little
protection for the cliffs, which are eroding at an alarming rate. One proposal is to protect the








remaining vegetation, another idea is to investigate the feasibility of initiating a renourishment
scheme; such proposals will need the support of external researchers with specific knowledge and
experience. A proposal was sent to Statia Oil Terminal for the possible placement of boulders to
protect the existing vegetation and new sea grape plants that could be planted. At present, no
plans to proceed have been made. If nothing is done, and the situation continues as at present,
then the erosion rates currently observed will result in a drastic loss of suitable nesting habitat
along the Atlantic coast of the island, with obvious negative consequences for all the turtle
species that utilise that beach, in particular leatherbacks. It is hoped that in 2007, the Executive
Council, Oil Terminal and STENAPA can reach an agreement to place boulders to protect the
existing and new vegetation that will be planted to curb the erosion.


Community Outreach Events

School Ac tlil'iie.
While the schools continued to support the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme during 2006,
with the puppet show, vacation activity and satellite tracking projects, there is still scope for
further active participation among the students. Principals and teachers were extremely
supportive of all involvement with the programme, facilitating the activities whenever possible.
The students all enjoyed the activities, and appear to be remembering the underlying messages
being given; their knowledge of turtles, their biology, threats and the need to conserve them is
vastly improving. Also, the Junior Rangers in October were also involved first-hand; they were
given a brief presentation about the life cycle of a leatherback turtle and conservation. They were
then taken to Turtle Beach and observed an excavation of a green turtle nest that hatched the
night before. In the nest were six hatchlings that had not emerged and the students guarded the
hatchlings as they made their way to the sea. Overall, the junior rangers learned a vast amount
about the life cycle of a sea turtle and the threats that they face in each stage. Furthermore, they
learned that they could make a difference in a turtle's life by not littering in the marine
environment or beach and reducing possible hazards they face. By teaching the children, we hope
to encourage them to become more active in environmental issues, not only currently but in the
future as well.

However, it is hoped that in 2007 there will be further involvement of students in research and
monitoring activities. One area that has been suggested is to take small groups of students on
night patrols whenever possible; obviously this would require careful organisation, planning and
supervision, but the impact that would be achieved by having students witness a turtle nesting
would be overwhelming. Another possibility is to have students participate in early morning
survey patrols to search for emerging nests; this would be easier to arrange than a night-time
activity, affording another opportunity to see an amazing natural phenomena as hatchlings crawl
to the sea.

Engaging students in other activities, such as the monthly beach-cleans is also proposed for 2007:
this would coincide with another educational programme being planned for schools in 2007,
which will teach students about the ecosystems present in different water bodies (freshwater,
brackish water, marine water). Following the success of the satellite tracking competitions in
2005 and 2006, it is hoped to establish an inter-school contest to see which school collects the








most rubbish over the year. Perhaps this can be done on World Oceans Day or a short period of
time.

Hopefully, a continued effort to teach about sea turtles will furnish students with a better
awareness of the marine environment and a deeper understanding of the need to protect natural
resources; it is also hoped that they will appreciate what nature has to offer in general, and how
they can be personally involved in conservation initiatives on their own island.

Beach Clean-Ups
Regular monthly clean-ups of Zeelandia Beach were organised during the 2006 turtle nesting
season. The majority of the rubbish collected was plastics, and household waste that had
presumably come from the landfill site at Smith's Gut, although large fishing nets and lines were
also encountered; these are extremely hazardous to turtles as they can easily become entangled
and die.

To encourage the participation of the local community in the clean-ups in 2007, the Programme
Co-ordinator is hoping to improve notification of clean-ups, possibly by publicising events in the
local press or on the radio. The Co-ordinator also plans to approach large employers on the
island, such as the oil terminal, to enquire about their support for such activities, by donating
man-power or resources. Additionally, the Programme Co-ordinator plans for participation in the
International Coastal Clean-up organised each September by the Ocean Conservancy. This
global event highlights marine pollution problems, and would hopefully be a great means of
generating local support for the beach clean-ups on the island. Volunteers record specific types of
marine debris being found, allowing The Ocean Conservancy to compile, analyse and track this
data year-by-year and make discoveries about the behaviours that cause the debris.

In relation to the beach clean-up activities, with respect to waste management on the island in
general; it is vital to try to raise awareness in the community about recycling, reducing waste and
other associated waste issues. One big problem on the island is the Smith's Gut landfill site; it
requires immediate and drastic attention because if an alternative solution is not found quickly it
could rapidly become an uncontrollable disaster. STENAPA continues to alert the Island
Government to this environmental hazard with regular letters about the landfill.

Media Exposure and Public Presentations
The St Eustatius Turtle Programme received a considerable amount of exposure in the media
during 2006. The article of the Programme Co-ordinator and Environmental Education Director
heading to Greece for the Sea Turtle Symposium to showcase the "Help out or Sea Turtles Miss
Out" Campaign started the exposure on 18 February. In total thirteen articles were published in
the Daily Herald featuring humpback whales and leatherbacks off St. Eustatius waters (1 April),
illegal sand mining and the research and monitoring activities of 2006; the majority focused on
the satellite tracking project. The radio interview with the Programme Co-ordinator in early
November also gave good publicity to the programme (see Appendix 10).

It is important for all significant events to be broadcast to the local community, to ensure that
they remain fully informed about all the work being achieved as part of the St Eustatius Turtle
Programme. In addition, any activities that allow the results of the monitoring and conservation








programme to be published to locally should be encouraged, such as public talks or presentations
with different sectors of the community, such as church groups.

The STENAPA newsletter and website also provide the ideal forum to reach an international
audience, and inform them about the work of the St Eustatius Turtle Programme; the website in
particular is a great medium in which to inform the wider pubic about the work being done for
sea turtle conservation on St Eustatius, as it can be regularly updated with news, research
activities and data.

Participation in Meetings, Workshops and Symposia
Participation in local, regional and international events is important for the work of the Sea Turtle
Conservation Programme on St Eustatius to be recognized within the wider sea turtle community.

The Annual International Sea Turtle Symposium is an ideal forum to exchange information with
leading experts in all fields of sea turtle biology and conservation; the WIDECAST meetings,
held at the same time as this symposium, bring together the majority of the sea turtle projects
from the Caribbean. They facilitate contact with other turtle conservation and research
organizations from the area, and serve as a perfect arena in which develop and maintain regional
contacts. The affiliation that the St Eustatius Turtle Programme has with the WIDECAST
network is a beneficial one, as it provides this small island initiative access to more established
projects, who can share their experiences with developing programmes such as ours. In future it
is hoped that the Programme Co-ordinator can continue to attend the symposium, and it is
anticipated that, as the St Eustatius Turtle Programme develops, we will be able to present more
of our research findings at this important event.

The Puerto Rico, Isla Culebra workshop in September, was also advantageous to the
development of the St Eustatius Turtle Programme. While it is agreed that the population of
turtles nesting on the island is very small and that monitoring activities is in its infancy, it is still
beneficial to gain knowledge regarding various methods of in-water capture and monitoring.
Furthermore, it was another opportunity to disseminate information about the project to
researchers working in the region, and important international contacts were made.

The invitation of the Programme Co-ordinator to participate in the Saba "Sea and Learn"
programme was also a great occasion to represent STENAPA at a small scale international event,
and to share the results of the St Eustatius Turtle Programme with a slightly wider audience,
although still within the Netherlands Antilles. Such links with neighboring islands should be
actively encouraged, to facilitate the flow of information within the region. It is hoped that in
2007 exchange trips can be made to neighboring islands to visit other turtle research
programmes, conduct training and share knowledge and experiences between projects.

Recommendations for 2007


Several recommendations are proposed for the St Eustatius Turtle Programme in 2007; these
suggestions are given following an assessment of the achievements and deficiencies of the project
in 2006. Many of these recommendations have been mentioned previously in the relevant section








of the discussion; however, those that were not, which relate more to the programme in general,
are listed below.

Participation of volunteers
Without the continued assistance of volunteers from these two programmes the St Eustatius
Turtle Programme could not conduct its intensive research and monitoring activities. It is
therefore recommended that for 2007 volunteers continue to participate in all aspects of the
project; care should be taken to ensure that all volunteers receive adequate training prior to
participating in any research activities. Also, local volunteers should be actively recruited and
invited to participate in beach patrols or other project events, thus increasing local involvement in
the programme. Furthermore, it is recommended that a dedicated Sea Turtle Intern be appointed
for 2007 to aid the Programme Co-ordinator.

Beach patrols
The daily monitoring of the nesting beaches should continue in 2007. The continuation of
nightly patrols in 2006 was very successful, and should be maintained providing that sufficient
personnel are available to assist the Programme Co-ordinator and STENAPA staff. The inclusion
of a dedicated Sea Turtle intern for the nesting season should remedy the personnel situation. As
mentioned above, more focus should be place on morning track surveys, especially on beaches
other than Zeelandia Beach, which are not monitored at night.

Early morning patrols during hatchling season were performed in 2006; this is one activity that
should be continued indefinitely. It provides increased data on the hatching dates of marked
nests, thus enabling the incubation period to be determined more accurately, but it is an ideal
means of involving interested members of the public in research activities. In particular, students
could be invited to participate in these patrols, which would be logistically much easier to
organise than a night-time patrol. Patrols could be organised for days close to the predicted
hatching date of a nest, especially if signs of imminent hatching have been witnessed. They also
provide an excellent education opportunity; the chance to teach the public about what to do, or
not to do, if they observe a turtle nest hatching.

Development of the research programme
In addition to the monitoring activities conducted on the nesting beaches it is hoped to expand the
research programme of the St Eustatius Turtle Programme in 2007. To date the focus has been on
adult females nesting on the island's beaches; however, it is known that there are juvenile turtles
using the in-shore waters within the Marine Park. An in-water survey of these turtles is proposed
for 2007 with the groundwork currently being laid out. This in-water monitoring programme will
run indefinitely and quantify the data currently being received from divers about turtle sightings
in the area. The objectives of this study will be to determine what species of turtle are present; to
assign individuals to size classes and hence calculate their approximate age; to investigate habitat
use by these turtles and, if possible, study their behaviour in greater detail. Ideally an in-water
tagging programme would be hopefully developed to monitor movement of individuals from
juvenile feeding grounds to adult foraging areas; this would require extensive training on in-water
methods, which would be facilitated by the closer links being developed with other turtle projects
in the region. This tagging phase will not be implemented until 2008 at the earliest as in-water
surveying guidelines and method becomes more established and familiar. One aspect of the in-








water programme is the benthic mapping of the entire Marine Park. Presently, little is known
about the underwater topography of the Marine Park. To do random surveying throughout the
Marine Park without determining underwater topography would be an ineffective use of time.
Therefore, benthic mapping of the Marine Park will occur before in-water surveying commences.
The benthic mapping will determine potential sites where turtles may reside and concentrate
efforts of habitats that are known to be foraging or resting areas.



Acknowledgements

The St Eustatius Turtle Programme wishes to acknowledge the contributions made by many
organizations and individuals during 2006.

The project recognizes the continued assistance of STENAPA staff and board members, without
whom it could not continue its research and conservation efforts.

The intensive monitoring schedule could not be accomplished without the hard work and
dedication of STENAPA interns, international Working Abroad participants and local volunteers.

We received financial assistance during 2006 from the Travel Committee of the International Sea
Turtle Society, USONA, Working Abroad and the World Turtle Trust; these awards and
donations covered operational expenses and travel costs to participate in international meetings
and symposia. Gay and Henk Soetekouw also donated funds towards travel expenses to attend
the Sea Turtle Symposium. We also received $150 from the printing firm Firgos in St Maarten,
which covered costs of producing the poster presented in the Sea Turtle Symposium.

For sharing his expertise, and providing training on satellite telemetry methods, we wish to
especially thank Dr Robert van Dam, without whom the Sea Turtle Tracking Project 2006 would
not have been possible.

For her guidance and continued support of the St Eustatius Turtle Programme in her role as
WIDECAST Director, we would also like to thank Dr Karen Eckert.

Special thanks to Dr Jan and Corrie van Duren, for their assistance in monitoring Kay Bay.


References

Balazs, G. H. 1999
"Factors to consider in the :,,in,, of sea turtles". In Eckert K.L., Bjorndal, K. A., Abreu-
Grobois, F. A. & Donnelly, M (Editors) "Research and Management Techniques for the
Conservation of Sea Turtles". IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group Publication No 4. Pp.
101-109

Bolten, A. 1999








"Techniques for measuring sea turtles". In Eckert K.L., Bjorndal, K. A., Abreu-Grobois, F. A.
& Donnelly, M (Editors) "Research and Management Techniques for the Conservation of Sea
Turtles". IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group Publication No 4. Pp. 110 114

Esteban, N., Kooistra, D. & Caballero, A. 2005
"Report on observations of coral bleaching in St Eustatius Marine Park, Saba Marine Park and
St Maarten Marine Park".
Unpublished report produced for the St Eustatius National Parks Foundation, Saba Marine Park
and St Maarten Marine Park


Harrison, E. 2005
"Activity Report on the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project
2006".
Unpublished report produced for the St Eustatius National Parks Foundation

Pritchard, P. C.H. & Mortimer, J. A. 1999
"Taxonomy, external morphology and species identification". In Eckert K.L., Bjorndal, K. A.,
Abreu-Grobois, F. A. & Donnelly, M (Editors) "Research and Management Techniques for the
Conservation of Sea Turtles". IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group Publication No 4. Pp.
21-38

le Scao, R. & Esteban, N. 2004
Annual Report of the St Eustatius National Parks Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, St
Eustatius Netherlands Antilles

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

Sybesma, J. 1992
WIDECAST Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for the Netherlands Antilles (Ed. K. L. Eckert).
CEP Technical Report No. 11. UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica.
Pp.63










Appendices


Appendix 1

Examples of data collection sheets updated or created in 2006.

Taclgin- and Nest Location Data


[ I




- I I

















---- -- 1--


I
-


S


Turtle Identification, Size
and Health
:ec2es
e^le'
e,'ae; -'


P, Tag v


| -- _
PT a; .%Cate r



S.oca' e' i


Nev.


r, II-oc iti



egl',3aar-e Les 1q C oeri";
_s,1.-C.: ,eavl; GorE


P~le


N ZtS


In absence of turtle
*'.a'' .t\3 r _. r r _


Nesting/Sighting Informatwcn

i dae iN, I -

Locale care
77.arg j'at[ r
Led'd7-n1 1 ~
Lanrtarki ;
N g"wapH r irt
Veceart:r i i
'n3s cess J Nest Ca-.es

Rest. t
LS ,'ib, C 'ob & e c,,_ C ..5
Nest Relocation


e'w ^ah ',.e "'.N V



Lanor..3 a 2 1


Vegewli r I
II


I


i~j


i







Nest Excavation Data


NEST EXCAVATION DATA SHEET
Nest Code


Observers


Laid
Date Hatched
Excavated

Number of Empty Shells (>


Number of
Hatchlings

Number of
Unhatched
Eggs


- Alive
- Dead


,50%)


F'..


- No Embryo
- Embryo
- Full Embryo


Number of Pipped Eggs

Number of Depredated Eggs

Number of Deformed Embryos

Number of Yolkless Eggs


__


Depth of Nest


Depth to bottom of
egg chamber cm
\---


Notes









Appendix 2

In-Water Siehtine Sheet


Example of the in-water turtle sighting form given to dive centres in St Eustatius in 2006.


St Eustatius Turtle Programme
In-Water Turtle Sighting Form

Sea turtles are endangered throughout the Caribbean.
This form is part of a preliminary assessment of their numbers
and habitat use within Statia Marine Park. The findings will
aid in the implementation of an effective conservation
management strategy to ensure their future survival.


Dive Site
Dive Centre

Species


I Size of turtli


Green E
Hawksbill Q
< 10cm D


Date
Dive Master
Loggerhead
Leatherback
50 100cm


Time


10 50cm [ > 100cm O
Did the turtle's tail extend more than 15cm beyond the shell?


Yes O No D
Condition of the turtle?
Alive D Injured EO
If injured, describe injury
Distance < 3m 5- 10m
from turtle 3 5m O > 10m
SVisibility? __Metres
What depth was the turtle seen at?
Where was the turtle?
At surface On bottom O
What was the environment?
SadIRcs ~ Re


Don't know n


Dead [


LI

Metres


Water column n


Sand O Rocks O Reef DO gso D
grass
What was the turtle doing?
Resting C Swimming D Eating O
SWere tags present? (Metal tags located on front flippers, close to body)
I Yes n No E Uns
! Other comments:


Other E


Mating 0

ure D]


Thank you! Please return completed form to your dive master.
For more information please contact the STENAPA office in Gallows Bay
or visit the website at www.statiapark.org


Pro~ "
^'s~t~

^*fr^'-


~p=l


&












Appendix 3

Updated "Guidelines for Visitors" fact-sheet.



Guidelines for visitors to the St Eustalius Sea Turtle Monitoring
Programme at Zeelandia Beach

St Eusiatius National and Marine Parks Foundation (STENAPA stated its sea turtle monitoring
programme in 2001. In the Neiherlands 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 monitor female turtles nesting on Statia. As a visitor and guest of the
programme we ask that you please read these guidelines and sign the waiver below, PRIOR to
participating in a beach patrol:
A maximum of 2 guests are allowed on the beach per night because the patrols are conducted
for research purposes not as a tour. You need to register at the National Parks office so that
researchers know when they haie gtiesls accompanying a patrol.
Patrols are conducted nightly on Zeelandia beach between 9,00pm and 4.00rn. You wIll need
to make your own way to and from the beach, as the Marine Park cannot organize
transportation. Please arrive by 8 O5pm so that the patrol can start promptly at 9,00pm,
Visitors must remain with the group at all times and fSblow the advice of the patrol leader.
NO PHOTOGRAPHY or VIDEO RECORDING is allowed The Marine Park personnel may
take photographs, but only if necessary tor research purposes You are welcome to leave your
e-mail with the Marine Park and we will gladly forward pictures of sea turtles to you
NO WHITE L IGHT is used on the beach; visitors may only use flashilhts that have a red filler
attached (Please provide your own filters) Improper use of lights may deter a neSring female
or disorientate haichlings
A 'ong-sleeved top and long trousers are suggested clothing. bring an extra layer as it often gets
windy on the beach Shoes, not sandals or bare feet, are recommended, as there are obstacles
on the sand that can injure your fect
You are advised to bring water, and possibly snacks, for rest periods between patrols Please
note that alcohol is NOT permitted
During hatchlings season be aware that haichlirgs are emerging from nests and you will be
asked to walk right behind researchers so that you do not disturb them. Note that haRchlings
will only be handled if they are trapped or have flipped over on their back; this will be
performed by Marine Park personnel
We ask that vou closely follow any requests by Marine Park researchers, For instance, vou will
be asked to stand behind a nesting turtle and there will be no contact with the turtle until after
she has finished laying her eggs.
Anyone who disregards the wishes of Marine Park researchers during a patrol will be asked to
leave the beach
Finally, we would like to thank you in advance for observing these guidelines Remember, Zeelandia
beach hosts a low number of nesting sea turtles and you may not see ar turtles while on patrol,

I would like to participate in the beach patrol on the night of
I hav read and acknowledge these guideines and / il respect these regulations
Name:
Signature:
Date

Pubhc awarens turtic %alchs are nier co nra cialitadi (coducttd for prof) nor eloitcd for cormmrciaul eidet.
E'a nei acicxp resnaitions made by :onmmrc iil cnicripres hiia nma charge 1fee lor their scrirts
Thern is no ice in place Ito joir patrols, houc cr donauton are axepd I Thank -u Maar. Staia Marine PUrk








Appendix 4

Flyer information to inform the community about the Sea Turtle Conservation
Programme


STENAPA SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION
PROGRAM


EIVER SEEN A SEA TURTLE LAYING EGGS?


EVER SEEM BABY TURTLES
HATCHING FROM A NEST?


E'.R STAYED UP ALL L G-IT Wj.' K3' THE
EACH L OOKI.NGI -OR -iR "H *LE RA.CKs?


IF THE ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS 1 NO, BUT YOU WANT
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SEA TURTLES, WHY NOT COME
ALONG AND JOIN US OUT ON PATROL?

VOLUNTEERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME, JUST COME DOWN
TO THE STEHAPA OFFICE IN GALLOWS BAY AND SPEAK TO
THE TURTLE CO-ORDINATOR (EWOA), OR CALL HER ON 315-
284 TO FIND CUT MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN HELP US
CONSERVE STATIA'S TURTLES,

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SOON!!


I'
r








Appendix 5

Excavation data for leatherback nests


Nest Hatchlings y Unhatched Eggs Yolkless Tol Depth / cm
FNes Empty Pipped kless total
Code Alive Dead Shells Emo Embryo Ful Eggs Eggs Eggs Hatched Emerged Top Bottom
Embryo Embryo
DC61 0 1 33 16 0 1 0 20 50 66.0 64. 60 73
DC062 7 13 32 14 7 3 18 29 74 43.2 16.2 35 50
DC064 0 1 8 16 60 0 0 41 84 9.5 8.3 59 78
DC65 1 3 5 22 67 0 29 94 5.3 1.1 54 80
DC067 0 0 2 24 55 0 0 38 81 2.5 2.5 62 N/A
DC069R 0 0 0 72 2 0 0 48 74 0.0 0.0 46 62

Excavation data for hawksbill nests


Em Eggs2 Pipped Predated Deformed kless otal Depth
Nest Hatchlings Empty UnhPead Do e Yolkless Total gsDepthl
Code Shells Eggs Eggs Hatched Emerged
C e Alive | Dead NO E I FE Top Bottom
EI065R 0 25 0 106 16 9 28 0 0 131 0.0 0.0 30 48.2






1 Depth from surface of sand to first egg (Top) and bottom of egg chamber.
2 NO = No Embryo; E = Embryo; FE = Full Embryo.







Appendix 5 Continued

Excavation data for green turtle nests

Unhatched
Nest Hatchlings Empty Unhatched Yolkless Total %Depth2
Eggs Pipped Predated Deformed Te ta D 2/
Code Shells Eggs Eggs Hatched Emerged
Alive Dead FNO E FE Top Bottom
CM061 12 1 103 3 1 3 2 0 0 0 112 92.0 80.4 53 67
CMO62R 0 0 94 3 5 0 11 1 0 0 114 82.5 82.5 48 59
CM063 11 5 85 14 11 0 11 0 0 0 1 21 70.2 57.0 56 72
CM069 0 2 123 1 O2 0 3 0 0 0 129 95.3 93.8 51 62
CM0612 0 0 67 17 21 0 0 0 0 105 63.8 63.8 65 80
CM0616R 0 0 1 8 1 2 0 1 0 14 0.0 0.0 N/A N/A
CM0618 2 5 17 7 98 2 3 0 1 0 127 13.4 7.9 47 68
CM0620 0 7 1 27 17 0 25 0 1 0 70 0.0 0.0 N/A N/A
CM0627 6 1 27 39 16 18 4 0 1 0 104 26.0 19.2 50 69
CM0632 6 0 36 42 33 3 2 0 2 0 116 31.0 25.9 66 74
CM0634R 1 0 35 23 6 0 27 0 0I 0 101 34.7 33.7 53 68
CM0633 2 0 2 110 18 9 2 0 0 0 139 1.4 0.0 54.5 62.4






1 NO = No Embryo; E = Embryo; FE = Full Embryo.
2 Depth from surface of sand to first egg (Top) and bottom of egg chamber.









Appendix 6


Photos and Satellite information for Lisa. the hawksbill turtle


Photographs of the attachment of a satellite transmitter to a hawksbill turtle on 7-8 September 2006.
Dr Emma Harrison, Programme Coordinator, in the holding box with 'Lisa' during the application of
the transmitter satellite.













Release of Lisa in the early hours of 8 September, 2006. Shortly after this photo, she headed
immediately to the sea.









Appendix 6- Continued
Map showing some of the location points received from the hawksbill turtle "Lisa" from St Eustatius;
points show the route taken by the hawksbill after her release from Zeelandia Beach. Map produced
by Dr Robert van Dam.









Appendix 7


Photos and Satellite tracking for Grace, the green turtle


Photographs of the green turtle "Grace" attached with a transmitter on 18 September, 2006.
Grace being cleaned before the application of the transmitter satellite












Appendix 7 Continued
Map of the migration route of green turtle "Grace" from Zeelandia nesting beach. Map produced by
Dr Robert van Dam.


SABA
The Bottomrn'
The Boom ancho [rausquin
Airport
Carii
ST-EU STATIUE


Glass Bot


29-Sep-06
bean ea '-8-Sep-06

hefrn$


I .J.- I .. ..


T


Mount Misery L156 m


tain Piece 2\Sep-06

Bay Town 25-Sep-06
t Me r &cl e


ialleng ,.-P fT 5

17-No
"'.a'.r zc
18-Oct-06 '-P .
Pinneys.
Beach IS F
Fig Tr


Montp(


Kilon1eters


I I7~ 2O


wS--- .-
wvs


leak


She riffs


620 30'














Appendix 8


2006 Education Outreach/Environmental Education




News article featuring the puppet show performed by Dominique Vissenburg and STENAPA

members on the environmental education topic of marine life.


WHE DWY HeRW, W nenady SqurM "20,


















C61*r4ehmldr Mi N C; 'cA* &*D.cwh aspfafl rpuerIWa rOMm
OAAims tnEd4 i4raui n*Sfemebarhaen ies nmmk

Puppet show introduces

children to marine lif
IS FAJSTAUTTU-f r fUW a in r IhcI se m f tld iIM df ihe p-
Evalim hlimJ Pirkt Wat m ai r nte s Mt hd Aidr. Fit
TFurdaim SIPnspt). &c bhil Iair bal r lehl od hitib iaaid
SC*.u Vwamin st- C4fltfi, .nkilgi .> .ia&* btguf. E.a df
d*t a(S nl.ar w Nftm al ary wihrcr tw -he ir. nn i =lun rig i
iTun aim Si. Mn~tuf iut heu a. ja si if I= Elrfid.ina
re din[" tr th s-w r I tkcr cl t U 1 In a. ol.
fwlI~.r1prtetf qj i ap Rmil i IA pi*. Umbphi W hi p uder-
w*Ut parminijiv da- ac. The pnas lu- at w, f llafi t alin
lio~al pr pnn fmr Wis FWm. urvhint pd. lqs had l~ unkhml s nC-
wboh lyrar dilffnnii s hb lt isiu of wr tlr e u tt cCek. ud
Thk pgral n. h hkb n. l tlndi .and brd rAigoa.
i funrd bdrhr Ft crqictdryvbF*irw Tdr TIcpr0FlnarltmidakiIh
&nd Ciftu Rair mI wiliadismr di ia uiJ & c phitti l
aviend Ia aildrTU In I Thr mor M wOa tonrs nii.rak d *Wr,.
Sia tby travtllina pit F" iT a lim W., -iat h =s &Axasn -1d *k-
siw. rm AhwllhI iaplTw .= Ican.la In de cr4
The pmq mwilin n fman 1lcr, b inq hiw S,' is fnd hPa Ie
wimu neutral* b chi, ml lu ma ld e k& nlir ma i = 1 am I
al of slimiluma s tudec l 'l1airrwy At ld id lad i a ,, ItaSd a
imWrotnmimtli. 1 unr*erMnmrS of wht Mi. hbMain Lh.k in.
AJI Ce* Om mad me csuin I in a rl t cttebad ir pn-iplin
pUphrltbafuhuritapri- Zl[ma r=tflr- shoi Coiml in h Kni
rary Kbihc p.miIcI d liclows..i n FIndaIliR i a42-fT2 4
il On ul1Bmar.tiwnwill rIl urdqr Ih w d nlqdbpamiuurtrarlian.
he pE al Saits Swtr&d rcd, rd bL 6iA. acs nm
Hfrtl Schjil, SF*od wi
Si. Mnprlun INa rqohi-yd
IhIt oujll. f th* T-
FrnInm and &a benfi in-
kI'l Ic" uun h p



















Appendix 9


Media Articles for the 2006 Year featuring the Sea Turtle Satellite Trackine Proiect


Daily Herald article of 9 October, 2006



THE DAILY HERALD, Monday, October 9, 2006


DMUL q i E Di ULu ii


Tlacks showing the travels of hawksbill turtle Lisa (left) and green turtle Grace (right).

Two turtles tagged in Statia

complete nesting for 2006


ST EUSTATIUS--The two
sea turtles nicknamed Lisa
and Grace, which were fit-
ted with satellite transmit-
ters by STENAPA, the St.
Eustatius National Parks
Foundation, in September,
appear to have finished
nesting for 2006.
Information from their
transmitters indicates that
they are heading in opposite
directions on their migra-
tions to foraging grounds.
The small hawksbill turtle,
Lisa, has travelled the fur-
thest. She first visited St.
Barths, St. Maarten and
Anguilla. She is currently
close to St. Croix in the U.S.
Virgin Islands on a journey
that has taken her more
than 220 km (straight-line


distance) from St. Eusta-
tius. Whether this is her
final destination or simply
another stop along the way
remains to be seen.
Grace, the green turtle,
hasn't gone nearly so far.
She has swum only about
50 km straight-line distance
from the release site. Ini-
tially, she headed around
the northern end of Statia
before spending several
days close to St. Kitts. Last
week, it looked as if she
was heading back towards
Statia and lTrtle Project
personnel wondered if she
would return to the beach
to make another nest.
Their assumptions were
confirmed on Friday, Sep-
tember 29. The night pa-


trol on Zeelandia Beach
radioed around 10:15pm
that they had just seen
Grace heading back to the
sea! They had checked her
transmitter and everything
appeared to be in good con-
dition. Since then, she has
moved south again and as
the map indicates, her lat-
est signal places her in the
channel between St. Kitts
and Nevis.
It is unlikely that she will
remain in that location, but
where she may go remains
uncertain.
Both turtles can be fol-
lowed on-line via a link
from the STENAPA Web-
site, www.statiapark.org.























Appendix 9 Continued


Daily Herald article of 22 September, 2006


Daily Herald article of 24 October, 2006




THE DAILY HEBMD, Tumd%, ONMib MG.200B


Statia turtles roam

neighbouring islands





m Mble buchmndaim't kow-
SI.. af. Antfh ieora mi
of re oer t=c% or c ao

WO OBusixrLu-ui "s.pa *Al we baF hb he b1
~. d be au .a a ilr iam k cow.
Sp f oim a i imhe ha fi





he z I s -I= tbh. -
uw wuI 4 I bc A'ra


gs' bar .onam kvtr



.a a, Aq .ge ac 0 md $4 Br K 1 thug s ee
f nauni cs i tlKin at iE end




_bI s mu uer ... H9rr et Is on of m bib h. imtW
puykulatvhhane chtdw ah pus tintle thaf =do
9UL UKkt adO ha buslaP

a tM* SKMB*MAn t a c ri BIHAid S t QUO riA SM a&=

ieL ftrm Ocambl oi
tL 5eU. InUS-Duie n btlht .'l.o' thte- In ic m heo chtnel be-
this m tirt b a om- M ers oed I en re ea At o aS. Kitm ed Nwl
SL. Eu iB Nedaml Zneeldi BOc.adgon ep- Ti t ea he toh o rtbe
PMra fobmdihB (SA- iMra,.dle iiace -u oe i d Mdiuer mlw
pl)~tnPmij t rntilindl a pm e rI~o l e Al byi. Sui u.Mn
td wM milln e l Im mmm Swima m. hadin.m p.,mi, Mn it-





Ur am i m& a to A h eO Ined hh e e4- &ae urihaeti imf
w- iue U ld Use e mwShe" ammrm 100M i-
lieiShLBnelhdanHclbe Im iteinae n UL ei.wM





uws tine land Aai, eh, tnm uBe tslHe iar
I let iWomiao i n Sic I Kmtn Umta "it PrM








amn axe s inic. tint ldinejtylac .iBe.i
WaltutMtcwhadaci-d the Sten icrtIte.& Ws
Btaaladpkuid-tBarl dc fm SL BLU-
-ef W- -EB =3 ticsi M M 1hcllK two btrt
bid hII &.i..b d Nh] Wad I iilnn-
tems:ig o s ot hef hWhdhl hYeCIdo notBp-
wiewin g. p larobe diqiwpby M lVml
On Onter M U n I aw mkpatln belhalr.- I&-
an 2a mm aoKialfg ew urt& tham tweffleg
h-kMWBr&Aq3ML7T u pw.qdj added miiig
lam kfiinili im Dth into lhat ai'tqifl'If
bammitter, lhich is stiD tbEf l d fmethcaipi x
IndiB igrm&iii i Bet s ft"k anbe &d-
"h afee& kIdkwms datl lilheliiliift
heli3u1t02*tiaUtEAnRt(he Sftteaapl wlfte. wwm.
NlUllL 1091 li"1n.


a *J4I fl _
-<-.S,^i j -. 1- _L 3 __,

.. T Yu^^-'i-~~~ rtT-i*" '
U.L 4 p h--oId s,




,paw i Mi,.& 1h
ir ElJm 4 r ^ v+ n
A-V Nb-YU-* l




IS='.M.nwYw Mn-.



14..,41.. T Ia -2
*'Lp4-Ma4Y Ira i~" --.






-*.* ri: tU- .1 rk x ii -i nn A- i 3 I I i
E,-~

*'4-rt flnPi -- Ma,,
r*'' h-Fnll ^S *^ m't-rfiq C

* N 7-i^L -Sni ai lf '
- I-i &-. -n C. m-1
-' l krb*TLK~ rmL KK^Lj. -- *"^^^B/^ar Lblb Lcir
1^:'.- i L bjk -^ ^A k. I~I
^-h---:^0_ L^ .. -p f
*hkLLW id~avnj h^'1 -
'1 l*^ -- &r h b h niHr -*J m -S=-

r ui ib rkV "SCrLYS "^ -MI- ft
*^I"mlL-r I v^W-*fAcrJ ^-a yl I
lrr-^1Wlr^:H luk~ lklqh:

IIITIY-" "t '-^s

hlYJ -m~nelllk'a- i lfti
ntmCl~ uc -~
Inrwm~u 3 ~ ~ 'A




t~~Cu-~mr
tu~ mom



























Appendix 9 Continued



Daily Herald article of 11 September, 2006.





















Turtl nUOt -n Saffor

filled with trramluuutt
n~F rflt3..A -r I-I~ m~m s- d e~
kq~i 'Tbah'~ b. amwp. Nalbp AC p~a Pmt h~.i
~tLb ~~ bs 41usd eim q~tnib 1lb~d5P. 'Pmsd Isb
lbisd .~, rl~ltp cml mow eC a ri w ~q ~i qd SI ~ sI~
54%.. b1~N..dSccw .bos MM d fitf WtmW* ~ lb ~ c
6M.1 e r '" "r L a isht .l m1 p .'l IrY-
zw15y *- .,.& I- O-b. XF toa* sbed U uL
fthesc. S Efua- S 4%- ...d- .N~ -y. tkus sssa pa p14aitfb lb.V.
Se 5.b stI. 0. H4. 0 I W U 5. Iw 4 RN a. I.I.dpm
bn. iO *rli .0 7% .L4w Me WA b hh. -.* lbs. ts ls w FIlogW.


1%r dl. l Lude ~ .wgis '.5.5t ~ lmdd. 14 s lb Ij:hl ~
ltf 4S- 5..m C-kb 45 bps, L.-ip.
N mip b .. .du. u Nlb H tw &-W iit Mq. Fnribm
15NT. -tk is v.*4.h I4.d h4*'. E~ -. lnd pd t.WOpUl lbikt b.
O L s a la 1 m l t1 04. 't o. -U mW U M. Wu u ba. L & m
-tk" Oookntwed Lvwh --ph 1-6-- f ir bw 41m, Ss8 s VA*"
NO.pabbd.m fgt k, 4 -- ub 85 -6 -.L ImkMi -
q- l ihpktfr z .rr hr -W WO 1.4 b~
--U Ou- nmmrrM &P 4w O be r s M ca dal r p tb ol&


rLbP.." Ck = -wb.4vw#4
r- bp. lb. P'mk chw a
ih. rwwdh4 PP L m awdmbd wAb


= n .95559 591 UL9 III
-"W -hMOp Mew tP WK6Ob


wpr~h lbw rnrq p.4
4*' A to~ b unt w
1Wsep w atem MR. 4
1-Se 15*^ 65*4.159
h* tr5510 op aw elm-


11511 Ur* lii G..m
Ing f f rS4d rtd. T-n
k~imt *LU hb&e L
L. bP k- III


*Mrt Qkfbb~
Li--' 6YEbw ftovA a vti

A 5 t P5t4 al Gww
do -Ch~ff SibbaL Bk
k-* ... L--Ab
wbow b"dwrx do



















Appendix 10



2006 Media Articles




Copy of newspaper articles from the Daily Herald which features some of the topics covered during

the 2006 year.
J

n ALI AMP~R
= rre d^^^ p if r 1 */ All k- IP



fOL4 16-p Ln* aS
"e-r L W t iL.. l l















^^^E^^^^B far_ kd-^ij WkuM *:-.rw
12 a tu A wr* It -tn
as.a T r~ -f I I *4 r- .
___________- _m h *. miT 1k tibm tni e^
tot^ u ii *i tf-0n n~kj lMIw
~~.oy*50.itW. I%.-qtn..*~ "ins

N j..hnwa .nr- f.Hi..i o
Ni iu r 4L- w iut .W a vu It" rU ku Kr i N
MindUM iiit tt miiw4. *M a^fl nd -r WrtLi fxduJ'JwLu 9 8* Jtet HmM irp wr k d-n n^Jwl I h-
aflaOr tian < r 1 i fuic it wig t i- bw Y 1-
tot ftwn- J....- *A r~~~ - oIJ r-i. J >Ifn
z~ t.r -e 6.... 6.b- - I~. y
t Tit:R kS4i Is isi r t air







--4.~------
t d1.1 i ibcn r 't xo x i.






''*f^B t^ bat ^:H iii '0"rKutfIC-Z ibi






.^.'*'q.n i,.n i...nb ^itt is 40- IMr'if*
i*r 2 *t* i11ti ibbsii,


tic rufcl J ib i L'tin*. ts~ tcj voiito'l~lJ.rr *
f 1*i 1 aT, wr^i'^i- p^^ kkil t
c. .* -hk-lu* *rb' i a p^*
r~~4Jlrir Lf ^ iL'.l-b hll ilUj l^j|^*
'*' w~t{ B -T li mlu rcH r :nb
wanIC..M *, .*^ ~ j,


THE DALY HERALD, Thurfay, September 7, 20M









1Th- ra vancry for-
one coorb narar of he ~s Twt Prowm
N St. e s mto r-
Sza Eutufl*Wnalpnj Puns Fbmfaf aetnE.N.AcPA.
flfl jBb -K~lm ha b-n s n: uuOtUd

- Apigean mursh a Ssionce GmGrdua.t

* PUrcOkig. WtatnQ and enesa rnf tao ttrtlS.
* No bwfto- r=M o 1"iin WO mSOWPO
* Cowpute lteraey and a oa OW der'e lfnse.
* PhysIebty abiltl wOwtk 'tdameI sn work 3 nlghlir
we"
Far nmor aThrrnpuon, visit i NaI mnal Plrk' pgnuo at
GOw Bay Or phOaa (s 031 18.l App In writing
with Cop ks "of artufcala to ic~e Estbetan Deadline:
Septvter 1514. 200.

s&HA.,PA-. mortM Prf Offsoe., GCwt BOa
St. uesssm. M 1AeMnes AeUMIe.
(MWSt 078,2g (phonrjORK
asmnpuaoinam msal)


a4 HIsla.nds Oets 2aC

Islands


m pralr -- mmaatm -m sa n smmr w


hunlr Rogers learn alut

consmr tle of msee urtle
siU1-B.hl*tlt0AL s9a"etimaWbIame sagastu lasio nts
aurs fladnal lied pmdmr4tagm M l -ej fn
t uinu.ll. ( linflals J aa. ub Ic et fy A t -i Bi
a l ~is In p. O ldr-. ut Bitadl bnt
blamed .lwwk.btutua timghamt wtblud tya. 11 Um e, deem
tmra cp i pm i adieml w p mIr. i.ae t e t t
dUM ils .t l. in tt lt. . i. m IFAm. bMr y
m,- e SoUL a s it: da lol .sidcmlui'i~st
dia.pdtipcesarnutui Saot ithm e mtic to ,nee mi.ap '''lh t
W %dtIIIIim l"r a $=t -Se mh- PIW edISW bI (it uiqe
dinEB0lakabUedk tipto l.Thyt wqibmltt. cr .
dbuofl nh lditdrm ai 1 at ey &* a iish er t iw mk e "nt"
tanf t Sd l fi- ftli-aiale te t brI &.h. IdmB
aitlaetdI.. tS .l It.dr7pa. in tl o tlmaintaditLSo

diaestllwbdeao spuk e li ach Ibs pno. t- alte trned b te IftL
mleeelbe.S os Iti t leSt a Eited adl ibciaa rtusdou
in b &M$ I @ai O .pw ftm hs gedkd timek ia

Aqawl q uid a i.re inih

eit etubtl_ qi _e a oya
Visors .... *.I.g ItnM rta
Ve a I aHM eO."eM ateho0IMOM
il i bb 1 B- gMribrigellonW -t -alm














Appendix 10 Continued

Copy of newspaper articles from the Daily Herald which features some of the topics covered during

the 2006 year.





THE DAIY RWKD. Weadineal La 24Ma ,


STHE DAIlI HntHALD, .SlraY, Fcnrtay 15,. ~(f ,nnil.r


Illegal mad mining


on Zeekndil Bel
ST ERtLTATllI.jal dalsWl l r minra, ma.
problem L4 .1 linrd ~hnI can cOmpa [ht
-m onlZ~ o2.imdufin h am d n mOp I0 1 nst
hb ineeamd eificannf IprOifnl harilLtiap from
W Ith le. aa- dbafl ihb leaii lire mt caatbea
theim Gf bm lch lcutd liT he kils or
* m s ari hoe ie R tJSlld bOizid dlisk- 11in a
abel. iMama In iMe Oma cat
Thehakibeothae diwerd uile metinW 1nd -n
lr w"t unit nmi SL .' aL*"
Easnmria N.UaI Pts 'ftiHll later annou wa
Fldanl.& in( ( pe. w owef 35 maures ia biMa
tunnel Imar t IaianmP l S d an rt i mratflnq t
"a anla ii Wr aII IgO "IWm ll rnlm lIIIaae aMd
a a Xrdae l jm i rC1 ai flh IM '"l wflM La
ra d been cmnat.r Ihu'aL* 11l 3m01 lu t
Isalm rnly h tti. lI9 e O UrMin "ea Wla,
indhlrir ilhltj ea iJlg mIull hibdliU4N CW d
anih i aiMln h lea aia thi C.uiiCle cz rlmrd
rim l ud NAJ. 41,i i ID r p rCL
luu ran v ry aMrlim a W ll mln I srheruitin
%quiiEta ThBi irm where "A" 0menn0l 'kit p1
,b"p &4.11lar awLeia. <ma atanthe u hm i %w L
litst aal fn ia ug i i hi 5 rh c Smie Lur
l.AiidaiiuhaBbmecMad ymri. II M id iLrm Em:h
ri1 Ml page lCCI Ilil Frim lt i |' uiil[nd, gplI.il
hiarid ft hlasih Relnarl CiCe IhlliiyP the gpli-
nt inn iluiM rinks en 'ka atil mInted r Id
inurta Eif n Cn I i hi. biumi simn Sr n irrvl hi
kia ibee o die .Al pirc. IimaLnualionf thilia mp
al IiirO mrcr u0 laeirn ber be L emi tn.l 1bM richl 's
en iMu r Iie th ak1 hir ii eaiherrirk i reaiirnin I..
*Itehplricralbewmiill. "ertac. Zelanl.i tim.n
noiiuit lii Fpreasl i frmni Arril u tnn Tli illaI
riding. im d lrg Ia i mun miiinlog IiliLer. Cu
aram df rs hiidi g l hn he b ILt IlruLurUnd to
ad in Ete rutrring beacIh repra Ibe ilmrmi ImD ti
derprkel]B palide Ful Sunirir Inkir-
Zeilndiua lcah aIb. I main iiiilml sri ruinls Mr
ihe pEam-y am Hwnl mlal- Ibh Slneapi Ictie irma
il rtch iUn Smin. Sad nartin piiiiuimme an ca
InningeD atainlm e pW Uri %UItu i NtiMIAIl nka
ir)l ihrrmo In anie r. m lie inC iRalan lr
The egc arn hr pricair


Mi ii. k




















.'xI li -. r,
S3 N.-. ,








sl- n a I- t n u la 1- t 1-:-
.1:.

















triri it .r i l: (A tiinn liIV ..i iijiii f 1S 11 M r-nlir
a i si .1rlt? r aj iw h . it
PiA mi. aii 't. enm cii Mit- !i ul. ,.iin< .,.L 5^ t .ilr : .. ., ,-t ...t.
fL irt F niil.w r..Tau~s t it. "nr a.: %.ia~ni <,ufh u-s.t, Di N-Nii..,. i, .li lri,.







n i ..t s..i. n

S .t a i ri Ca h". iia ileiri :nhUlit. !.ru t. .i
.iil. ia l r- h I't. ". 1,m inl .. tint i Ii 1 t ila titiA l l l il
Hirmsirt Ca Si. i uIn Cau riib i n iaii~en. Iid ri *lI itli 'r o'-rr a, ISlat
U '"-r 1. I .*r u-l11 -t, .ti.-3y utr" ma inn ilr l
rrm *.,t. r. I-.lm s/.iijr. tan l 1- I ltir5
i lli. r nlsl ir .l I r ii! Ihr it flSaalns iru
La. -, .] ., . ? r i Il t ti .n iar f
' '' n~,rll-r*~lrv-trr nul~n(rnT













Appendix 10 Continued

Copy of newspaper articles from the Daily Herald which features some of the topics covered during
the 2006 year.

12 .aa WEyKENIEMNR


Sea Turtles on St. Maarten


.. h I t ..* t ,I i'n.%w
I .te-rs |* w i ^~ r.l ^ i, I

he--- a w m.isuhn lw aT Mz-

'*- pY ** ir- *.n rr






ari*m* L *t't hj -. LII. LT -. fh N' .
-r i t 3 t m t I J. -i : ----.M. --*. :








Ml-r 4lu m- cia~de hme.. -. .an


Atm T ru r. am m dp

SB frthfecmflrplaui culn UM aein fl^ mm

~ or~~ r n ~a~~ ul u W rplc It







Appendix 11
Example of flyer advertising monthly cleanup of Zeelandia Beach




VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!
The turtles may be almost ready to leave Statia, but
they aren't the only reason to keep our beaches clean.
We want people to enjoy the beach too!
We've planned another clean-up, but, we need
YOUR help to make the beach a nicer place to visit.








Please come along and lend a handle
When: Wednesday 19th October
What time: 3.00pm
Where to meet: Zeelandia Beach car park
What to bring: Garbage bags and gloves














Appendix 12

Copy of the April 2006 STENAPA NewIe.h'lter featuring an article about the Sea Turtle

Satellite Tracking Project.


October 2006


P Newsletter 3/2006


STENAPA Update


CM


Sea Turtle Satellite Tracking Project Update


The two sea turtles which were
fitted with satellite transmitters in
September appear to have fin-
ished nesting for 2006 and are
heading in opposite directions on
their migrations to their foraging
,-i.:r,.i: The small hawksbill has
'i.'clle the furthest she visited
St Barts first, then Anguilla. on a
journey that has taken her more
than 220km straight-line distance
from Statia. She was close to St
Croix in the US Virgin Islands
and has returned to St Barts;
whether this is her final destina-
tion. we will have to wait and
see!

* LI USA


40 .


The turtle was named "Lisa' by
Evan Hassell, Class 4 of the Gov-
ernor de Graaf School, one of the
winners of an art and craft com-
petition held by STENAPA last
year. She measured just 85cm


and laid 143 eggs. Once she
had finished nesting she was
held in a wooden box while
her carapace (shell) was
cleaned and the transmitter
was attached using fiberglass
resin. She was released after
about 2z hours when the
resin had set during that time
she was closely monitored to
make sure she didn't feel any
heat that is generated as the
fiberglass dries. Just prior to
her release she was tagged
with small metal ta s in each


of her
help to
returns
tion a
taken
will be
study o











--
*~


Z-r*,-.i p, 3-*D.:- sized eggs.
This turtle was quite a lot Inside this Publication
larger than the hawksbill
female, measuring 106cm in
length. She was much Sea Turtle Satellite
calmer throughout the 2- Tracking Project
hour long procedure, mak-
ing it a lot easier for the Annual Public Meeting 2
team to fit the transmitter
property. The turtle was
named -Grace" by Naomi
Smith, age I 1, who was an- Educational activities 3
other winner of the art and
craft competition.


.... .... Grace has only swum about
front flippers; these Reporton fish 4
identify her when she 50km straight-line distance populations
to nest again. In addi- from the release site. Initially
small skin sample was she headed around the
small skin sample was
from her neck which northern end of Statia before Specl point o
included in a genetic spending several days close i.! io
rf Caribbean hawksbills to St Kitts. On Friday 29 Sep-
tember. the night patrol on
Zeelandia Beach reported PI-ntSale Still on at the
they had seen Grace head- STENAPA office. Don't miss out!
Sw. ing back to the sea. They
S... checked her transmitter and Reotile Bok Copies have been
everything appeared in distributed to school classes.
good condition. Since then Youth organizations wanting a
*"" she has moved south again, copy may contact us
and the latest signal placed
her between St Kitts and Botanical Garden Guided tours
SNevis. It is unlikely she will availableforschool orchurch
.remain in that location, but groups
where she may go from
i there remains a mystery ro-bas How often do you


A second satellite tran
was attached to an
gered green turtle,
nested on 17 Septen
Zeelandia Beach. Ju
"Lisa", this female nest
cessfully before rese
fixed the small tracking
to her carapace; she I


This project is funded by the use yours? See below

Alliance (DCNAj and began
ismitter in 2005. Both turtles can be
encdan- followed online via a link on
which the STENAPA website
iber at www,.statiapark.org.
ist like
ed suc-
archers
device
aid 129


St Eustatius: National and Marine Parks and Botanical Gardens
11111110M .99














Appendix 13


Dominique Vissenburg and Dr Emma Harrison with the "Help Out or Sea Turtles

Miss Out" materials before leaving for Crete, Greece.


Poster Presented by Dr Harrison at the 2006 International Sea Turtle Symposium in

Crete, Greece.


A Satellite 1












.. . .... ..: .
\ .- i i" 6.Lfl u






S rlliS, ^sn,*l*. i ,'^A. ,lE^-h
-^-i^4 <-*


cracking Project in the Windwaird islands

of the Netherlands Antilles
nillr Iul, N =i.Dat. I liniinr'lirwtta- r .4krr -.n Dlir
'.. 1 l Jnl i r -m ..ll .*a l ... %r ula ... r .,l ti+J: nIllll .
Ih. a...m l I. I. . 4 .i H %. I I .-r .. ... I


,. ..2t





I:





-J-- .







-..- ..4.. "-7 ..




., ^*TI: r i.. r.. .. ', .,. r. 1_<,,,' ^".


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t J ".''.&5""'" . +
-



r .. .... ...
--- r . ---a B -*n





..r.. .. .. ...... ...


S. *. ... . .
c-jf -* "^'




I.. -. J .... ... ...*. fll: ...


. - ....... J.. .. .jj*.. +. L ^i- ^^ H^ ^
U'. ;. .-- .. "* ,j-'j .. -" "I 2". ......^^^^
"'?' *.: "-:- _*' -.'-:--k-.% ... ?,-* "^.' %I-'1-".''7 "2 __ ".'. .....


7_ lfh *',-*t^st'^W ,










Appendix 14


Sand Mining Policy

POLICY- TO PROVIDE SAND FOR PLASTERING WALLS
Introduction
1. This one year policy will be introduced to solve a shortage of sand for construction on St Eustatius.
Construction suppliers have been unable to obtain sand since early 2006 due to regional export embargos
and barge size limitations, with negative consequence for economic development.
2. With consideration for nature conservation and, in particular, protection of habitat and nesting turtle
populations on Zeelandia Beach, and after taking legal advice, this policy is a temporary solution for the
construction crisis, and steps will be taken during the process of sand excavation to limit impact on nature
conservation. Sand will be excavated by DROB from a delineated fenced zone within the gut area of
Zeelandia Beach, only above the high tide level (the beach berm) and not extending either side of the
entrance of the gut.
3. As soon as sand is imported to St Eustatius, all excavation and sales of sand mixture by DROB will be
stopped. Re-excavation of sand and subsequent sale due to further shortage of sand will require the
permission of the Executive Council.
4. Beach sand excavated from Zeelandia Beach will be available for sale by DROB for plastering walls only
at a 2:1 mix ratio (2 washmole: 1 beach sand) based on calculations of plastering needed using plans
submitted to DROB for building permits. No sand mix will be sold without a building permit. Excavation of
sand and sale is only permitted to be conducted by DROB. All material needed for construction activities
other than plastering walls should only be washmole that is to be purchased from existing concrete
suppliers and contractors. All plastering sand needed for large construction projects (other than personal
dwelling homes) should be imported by the contractor.
5. The Phase 1 (preparation) procedures set out in this policy will be set in place so that sale of sand (only
for plastering walls) starts on Wednesday 11 October, 2006. The initial preparation of the excavation area
will take place before then.
6. Beach sand is to be sold just higher than market price of imported sand (fl.87/cub.yd at present and
increasing in line with the market) in order to ensure incentive exists to import sand.
7. Income from the beach sand proportion sold in mixture is to be placed in a special account to provide
financing for future solutions to the problem of sand supply.
8. Excavation of sand from Zeelandia Beach is only a temporary solution to aid the sand supply crisis. The
Executive Council will investigate ways to find a permanent solution to the problem, possibly with an
Environmental Assessment that will include consideration of impact of sand excavation from Zeelandia
Beach, alternative sources of local sand (e.g. dredging), alternative supply channels, economic sources of
locally or regionally available sand (e.g. local purchase from Saba and crushing to finer grade, dredging)
or manufacture of sand locally (e.g. glass crushing).

PHASE 1 PREPARATION
1. Close beach access: the two entry points to the beach are to be closed for vehicle entry other than DROB
vehicles. Initially to be done by DROB with wire fence and wooden gate, then for longer term duration -
to be done with net fence as wire won't last due to salt blast. See map for indicated area.
Actions: Obtain fence poles and wire from LVV RC
Put up fencing and (4'x4' 4m width) gate DROB
Source nylon net (1.5" mesh, H 4', L 200') STENAPA
Nylon net purchase (after ExCo agreement) STENAPA
Put up nylon net DROB










Appendix 14- Continued


Sand Mining Policy Continued


2. Fence area where sand will be extracted: exact area to be decided between DROB and STENAPA based
on meeting in next week. Fencing is to be done by DROB with wire fence and for longer term duration -
to be done with net fence. This fence will be removed whenever imported sand is available.
Actions: Obtain fence poles and wire from LVV RC
Put up fencing DROB

3. Prepare water catchment upstream to prevent beach erosion due to storm water. Two catchments to be
excavated in open area of about 5m depth one in front of each of the minor guts (see map). The front
side of the accessible catchment to be fenced to prevent vehicle entry. The sides of the catchments to be
planted with sea grapes to stabilize.
Actions: Excavate two catchments to 5m depth DROB
Put up fencing behind catchment DROB
Propogate and plant out sea grape trees STENAPA


PHASE 2 PROCEDURE TO PURCHASE SAND/WASHMOLE MIXTURE
4. If someone needs sand/washmole mixture for plastering walls they should:
a. Come to DROB to request mixture.
b. DROB will calculate quantity required based on plans in building permit.
c. DROB will fill in the standard rental/sale form for the purchaser.
d. Purchaser takes form to Receivers Office to purchase.
e. Purchaser returns to DROB with receipt and arranges for delivery.
f. DROB to deliver on Wednesday and Friday each week to construction site.


Actions: Notify STENAPA of excavation day before excavation of sand at beach (Wed&Fri am)
Sand/washmole mixed on DROB premises (for the moment washmole to be purchased from CBT until
system in place for excavation DROB would need additional equipment)


Developed by: Winston Tearr (DROB)
Audrey Sandries (Finance)
Rudy Courtar (Assistant Commissioner Hooker)
Nicole Esteban (STENAPA)


Date: 4 October 2006










Appendix 14- Continued


KEY
Green line fencing to prevent access to the beach
Shaded area catchment basin for water run off


Note: this diagram was prepared for a request by STENAPA to Statia Terminal for boulders to be placed
around sea grape trees so ignore blue lines.











Appendix 15

STENAPA letter written in opposition to Zeelandia Sand Mining written on 14th September, 2006










14th September, 2006

Executive Council
Government Guesthouse
Oranjestad
St Eustatius, N.A.

Dear Council Members,

Re. SANDMINING ON ZEELANDIA BEACH

As the Co-ordinator of the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation and Monitoring
Programme, managed by the St Eustatius National Parks Foundation, I feel obliged
to comment on the proposal by the Executive Council to commence sand mining
activities on Zeelandia Beach.

While this beach might not be frequently used by people, and hence viewed as of
little value to the island, it is, however, very important to the three species of
endangered and critically endangered turtles (green, leatherback and hawksbill) that
visit it each year to lay their eggs. Indeed, it is the primary nesting site for sea turtles
on St Eustatius.

The use of this beach by sea turtles was one of the reasons why the Executive
Council awarded it protected status in 2001, in accordance with National Laws.
Further to that, it is covered under the SPAW (Specially Protected Areas of Wildlife)
Protocol, and the Inter-American Convention on Sea Turtles; the Netherlands Antilles
are signatories on both these international agreements which are referred to in the
National Nature Ordinance that was adopted in 2000. This ordinance prohibits the
disturbance of sea turtle nesting areas, and prevents destruction of nesting habitats
to protect future generations of sea turtles.

I am aware that the Executive Council finds itself in a very difficult situation; without
sand for construction on the island, and under considerable pressure to alleviate this
problem. However, I believe that there are other solutions that could be investigated
further before resorting to sand mining on Zeelandia Beach. In a letter to the
Executive Council dated 12th September, 2006, the President of STENAPA Irving
Brown. and STENAPA Manager Nicole Esteban outlined these alternatives. With this
letter I wish to add my support to these other options and reconfirm the view held by
STENAPA in opposition to the proposed sand mining activities in this area.



STENAPA, National Parks Office, Gallows Bay, St Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
+599 318 2884 (phone/fax); e-mail) ; (web)











Appendix 15 Continued


If further evidence of the importance of this beach to sea turtles is required, I would
like to draw your attention to an article that appeared in the Daily Herald on 12th
September, 2006. STENAPA is currently undertaking a satellite tracking project of
nesting sea turtles; attaching transmitters to individuals that allow their movements to
be tracked to aid in the knowledge of their migratory behaviour and improve
conservation efforts in foraging and nesting areas. On 7th September, 2006 a
critically endangered hawksbill turtle was fitted with a transmitter; she was the first
female of this species that has been observed nesting on the island since 2004. This
turtle chose to nest at the northern end of Zeelandia Beach, less than 250m away
from the area that has been suggested for sand mining.

It is not only sea turtles that will be affected by the degradation of Zeelandia Beach,
the entire island will suffer the long term consequences of beach erosion, and
extensive sand mining will undoubtedly increase the erosion that is already obvious
on this beach.

With STENAPA staff and volunteers working so hard patrolling Zeelandia Beach
every morning and night to gain a greater understanding of these magnificent
creatures that are repeatedly suffering as a result of human interference, I see it as a
huge disappointment that the Executive Council appears to have so little regard for
the natural resources of St Eustatius to permit sand mining in this area.

I would like the opportunity to discuss this issue with you further, and I look forward to
your response.

Sincerely,



Dr Emma Harrison
Research Office and Co-ordinator of the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation and
Monitoring Programme
St Eustatius National Parks Foundation








STENAPA, National Parks Office, Gallows Bay, St Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
+599 318 2884 (phone/fax); semp@goldenrocknel corn (email); www siatiapwk (web)




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