Title: STENAPA update
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100100/00007
 Material Information
Title: STENAPA update
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation
Place of Publication: Gallow Bay, St Eustatius, N.A.
Publication Date: March 2005
Copyright Date: 2010
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00100100
Volume ID: VID00007
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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March 2005

SNewsletter 1/2005


Sea Turtle Conservation Programme

The plight of the Sea Turtles
world wide has been of concern
to scientists, conservationists and
nature lovers. Despite their pro-
tection under international trea-
ties and local regulations, Sea
Turtles have become an endan-
gered species. Their decline is
due to human exploitation as
well as the pollution of the seas
and coastal areas. In days gone
past millions of turtles inhabited
the seas and seven species lived
around these islands. Today a
few hundred thousand survive
globally and only four species
remain in our waters.

Three organizations (Nature
Foundation St Maarten, Saba
Conservation Foundation and
STENAPA) recently launched a
structured education and conser-
vation program, focusing on the
Sea Turtles. The project, entitled
MISS OUT" is funded by the
Truus and Gerrit van RiemsdLjk
Foundation through the Dutch
Caribbean Nature Alliance. The
Education Officer is Dominique
Vissenberg, a behavioral biologist

from Holland.

Ground work included com-
piling and distributing ques-
tionnaires on all three islands,
in order to establish the differ-
ing levels of "Turtle Aware-
ness" among children and
young people as well as the
general public. Analysis of the
survey will serve as a bench
mark for the construction of
activities aimed at the various
groups and in identifying
concrete ways in which the
entire community can help to
save Sea Turtles from extinc-

Initial response to this project
is most encouraging, as
schools, service clubs and
churches, among others,
have already asked for guest
speakers to come to their
venues. During February,
Dominique gave talks to all
grade 5,6,7 and 8 classes on

The friendly little turtle named
Scout, used as the project
logo, is of great help in pro-

moting the cause of the Sea
Turtles. He appears in the
press, namely the "Kids Her-
ald" on a regular basis and
will grace posters, pamphlets
and educational stationery
as well as T-shirts in future.

A Turtle Song has been com-
posed and produced as a CD
and it is hoped that the
lovely lyrics and catchy Reg-
gae tune will become the
"Song of Joy" for our remain-
ing Sea Turtles.


In January, a teacher (Mr
Etienne de Vries) and stu-
dent (Genilio Hassell) of
Gwendolyn van Putten
school accompanied
STENAPA's turtle coordina-
tor (Rozenn le Scao) to the
Annual Sea Turtle Sympo-
sium in Savannah, USA. Look
out for Genilio's report in the
next edition of this newslet-
ter. Their trip was funded by

Inside this Publication

Sea Turtle Conservation I
Turtle Song

Interns and Volunteers 2

Sea Turtle Report 2004
Humpback Whales 3

Junior Rangers
New Appointments 4

Special points of

Botanical Garden
Guided Tours: 7AM -
Noon every weekday

Turtle Song To lay your eggs you al- King Turtle so pretty in Chorus:
ways come back, our bay, King Turtle my friend in the sea
ing Turtle of the sea, The Loggerhead and the I won't catch or disturb To see you makes me happy
A million years of history, Leatherback, you no way, KingTurtle we named you Scout
Under our sand you're born King Turtle my dreams you King Turtle don't you I love you with no doubt
in soft eggs, fill, doubt, Lyrics by Keith Rhea
To the sea you go with little The Green Turtle and the I'll care for you so we Music by Connis Vanterpool
paddle legs. Singer/Co-producer Percy Rankin
pa l Hawksbill. don't miss out. Producer Connis Vanterpool

St Euttis Naioa an Marin Pak n-tncladn


Volunteers and Interns at STENAPA

Once again STENAPA wishes to welcome
and introduce new Volunteers and In-
terns to St. Eustatius. This time we have a
small group, in fact, one Volunteer from
Germany, one Intern from England and
one Intern from Germany arrived in Feb-
ruary and March. A group of 7 volunteers
will arrive in April.

Emily Richardson will take over from RJ
van Oosten, when he leaves us in April,
after his six months tenure as an Intern
for the Quill National Park. Daniel von
Drach will be with us for the usual 8
weeks as a Volunteer. Corine Berger
takes over from Adam Levy as Botanical
Garden Intern. STENAPA hosts 6 Interns
and I Volunteer at present.

Their tasks, as always are diverse, includ-
ing work in all sections of the Quill Na-
tional Park, Botanical Gardens and the
Marine Park.

The Trails to the Quill and inside the cra-
ter are maintained on a regular basis.
Due to long periods of rain, the crater
trail has eroded in places and needs to be
repaired. For safer use, sections of the
trail have been completely overhauled
and even redirected to more suitable
spots on the route. Only materials found
on site are used, e.g. wood and stone

Gradually all existing signs in the Park
have been replaced with new ones. The
Interns and volunteer are busy with pre-

paring boards and with sign writing.
Brown lettering on natural varnished
wood will guide the visitor and blend
in well with the surrounding environ-

The Botanical Garden needs constant
attention. With good rains these past
months not only have the cultivated
plants grown well, the weeds and
especially our old foe, the Corallita,
are thriving. Weeding and clearing
the gardens and also the Bird Obser-
vation Trail are ongoing jobs. The Bird
trail is now linked to the Round the
Mountain Trail, the access gate is now
in place. The Bird Trail is a very easy
route to follow and is recommended, as
the vegetation along the way is lush and
diverse due to the fact that no goats
have been able to browse in that area.

The various arbours in the Sensory Gar-
den are getting their roofs on. At present

Intern Adam Levy and all his helpers are
busy with weaving palm fronds to cover
the Sense of Smell arbour. The shade
house will be fitted with extra shelving
and tables to provide more space for
seedlings and pot plants.

Katie DiCioccio and Lucy Savage are the
Interns for the Marine Park. They are cur-
rently analyzing the results of the fish
population survey, comprising twelve
sites. They are located in both the North-
ern and the Southern Reserves and also
off the Caribbean and Atlantic coasts.

There has been a steady increase of
tanker traffic in Statia's waters. The Ma-
rine Park, with help from Katie and Lucy,
is conducting a study to determine im-
pacts of anchoring vessels on the marine

STENAPA Sea Turtle Report 2004

The St. Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation
Programme began in 2002. Up to date,
three species of Sea Turtles have been
recorded nesting on Statia. Since the pro-
gramme's inception, regular beach pa-
trols and cleanup are conducted by
STENAPA staff and volunteers, starting
March through to November.

There are three nesting beaches on the
Atlantic side, Zeelandia- Turtle- and
Lynch Beach. On the Caribbean side of
the island are two nesting sites, Crooks
Castle and Kay Bay.

Clean-ups have to be done ahead of the
nesting season, giving the turtles safer
access to the beaches as well as making
sure the hatchlings have a clear path on

their way to the water.

Specially trained personnel are tasked
with tagging the turtles. Carapace meas-
urements are recorded as well as those
of dry runs, nests and tracks. Nest con-
tent, hatchlings and emergence data
were recorded following the WIDECAST

In 2004, a total of 16 Leatherback, 12
Hawksbill and 22 Green Turtle nests were

The first nest of the season was a Leather-
back nest on 17 April and the last nest
was a Hawksbill nest on 13 October.

Over 150 hatchlings were observed
reaching the sea successfully.

STENAPA personnel observed, that the
hatchlings emerge after :-
Leatherback Turtle nests: (left in situ) 50-
-57 days or (relocated nests) 64-66 days.

Green Turtle nests: 445 1 days.

In 2004, the Sea Turtle Programme was
funded by WIDECAST, World Turtle Trust

STENAPA extends a heartfelt thank you
to the sea turtle coordinator Rozenn le
Scao who left STENAPA in December.
Rozenn dedicated much time and effort
in the conservation of turtles on Statia.

We welcome Emma Harrison as the new
turtle coordinator from Ist April 2005.

Page 2

Newsletter 1/2005

Humpback Whales sighted in Statia's waters

Observant Statians were in for some
rare treats these last few weeks. Hump-
back Whales have been spotted by sev-
eral people at Zeelandia Beach, Venus
Bay and also at Lynch Beach. Nicole
Esteban, Manager of STENAPA watched
at least two Humpbacks close inshore,
about 400 meters from the beach at Zee-
landia. Whales were also spotted breach-
ing near the Terminals' barges. This spe-
cies, belonging to the large whales, is
well known for spectacular breaching,
lob tailing and flipper slapping, features
that help to identify it more easily. It's
long flippers and knobbly head are other
give-away signs.
Their food consists of Krill or other crusta-
ceans and fish.
The adult weight of a Humpback Whale
is between 25 and 30 tonnes and its
length is between 11.5-15 meters. New-
borns average between 4-5meters and
their weight is 1-2 tonnes.
Males at their breeding grounds are re-
nowned for singing the longest and most
complex songs in the animal kingdom.

Junior Rangers Club

February is the month when the Junior
Rangers Club begins activities again and
new members are enrolled. To qualify,
the youngsters have to be at least twelve
years old and have completed snorkel
Gershon Lopes, as always is in charge
and will guide them through the curricu-
lum for the next 22 weeks. Each child is
issued with a STENAPA Junior Rangers
T-shirt, snorkel, mask and flippers.
Phntn 1ilHi ni inrn

Through noise pollution in the oceans
the range of their sounds becomes stead-
ily shorter, depriving the whales of vital
communication with each other. Other
threats lurking in the seas are fishing
nets, general pollution and human distur-
Although the Humpback is widely distrib-
uted, from both poles to the tropics, its
status is "Rare". Worldwide the popula-
tion is between 12,000 and 15,000 indi-
It is estimated that over 100,000 Hump-
back Whales have been killed by whalers,
leaving a fraction of their former num-
bers to survive.
In order to breed and bear their young in
warmer waters, the whales have to mi-
grate annually from their chilly feeding
grounds to the tropics.
Statia and surrounding islands, as is
shown on the map, are located in the
middle of a major breeding area that
hosts migrating Humpbacks during the
winter months.

As part of the Junior Rangers' orientation
within STENAPA, they are shown videos
relevant to all sections of the National
Parks. A code of conduct and introduc-
tion explaining the purpose and aim of a
Junior Ranger is presented by Gershon.
Their activities will be diverse within the
St. Eustatius National Parks.
Starting off in the Botanical Garden they
will learn, besides basic garden upkeep,
how to plant from seed, taking cuttings
and making compost. They will be taught
how to make and repair fences, do sign
writing and how to prepare the Botanical
Garden for a hurricane.
In the Marine Park they will learn about
boats, moorings and buoys and how to
operate and maintain them. Snorkeling
will be required for some of these activi-
ties. Coral Reefs, turtles, birds are the
subjects of learning about the marine
environment in general.
(Photo from left : A Hook, N. Berkel, F.
Dembrook, G. Lopes and R. Busby)

Sketch of a Humpback Whale

It is indeed a wonderful sight and a privilege
to observe these magnificent creatures.
While the Humpbacks feed and play on our
shores, let us wish them and their calves a
safe journey to the North and let us hope
that we will see them again next year.

The Quill National Park with its dormant
volcano, the crater and rain forest offers
a wide variety of projects for the young-
sters. Apart from outdoor botany lessons,
they will learn how to make and maintain
trails, bench making and constructing
drainage channels. They will do a fair
amount of hiking both around the moun-
tain and into the crater.
Not all of the Junior Rangers activities
are learning and work. During the course
of the year, there will be barbeques, bon-
fires, camping and games on the agenda.
An Activity Book, designed by Fran
Miller, a former Intern with STENAPA, is
used to monitor and test the aspir-
ing JR's progress. l, O

Page 3

St Eustatius: National and Marine
Parks and Botanical Gardens

National Parks Office
Gallows Bay
St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles

Email address:


STENAPA is an environmental not-for-profit foundation on
St Eustatius and was established in 1988. The objectives of
STENAPA are to upkeep the natural environment, to pre-
serve and protect endangered or endemic species (flora and
fauna) and to educate the community about the impor-
tance of the protection of the natural environment.

Areas of responsibility include management of the Marine
Park, the National Parks and the Miriam C Schmidt Botanical
Gardens. STENAPA is legally delegated by the Island Coun-
cil to manage these protected areas.

Vice President:

Ronnie Courtar
Irving Brown
Jana Mason
Jessica Berkel

New Staff for STENAPA

Resulting from the large work load in the
Marine Park, National Parks and Botanical
Garden, STENAPA finds it necessary to
expand the staff compliment. Applica-
tions have been invited for

* 3 National Park Rangers

* Coordinator of the Turtle Programme

* I Office Administrator

These appointments have been ap-
proved and are funded by outside or-

National Parks Rangers: will work for all
three Parks on St. Eustatius, focusing on
either the Marine Park or the National
Park, but will also have to spend time
training and working within other areas
of the Parks. The applicant should have a
general interest in Statia's environment.
Physical fitness, ability to swim, a valid
driving licence and team working skills
are a prerequisite. Training will be pro-
vided by STENAPA.

One post is financed byAMFO and two
are funded by Stichting DOEN, Holland.

Coordinator of the Sea Turtle Pro-
gramme: has the responsibility to coordi-
nate the entire programme, from organis-
ing patrols and data collecting, through
to assisting with educational pro-
grammes on the conservation of Sea Tur-
tles on Statia. The Coordinator needs
expertise in the following:

Tagging sea turtles (Metal flipper tags
and PIT tags)
Measuring sea turtles
Relocation of nests
Nest inventory
Monitoring of nests and hatchlings
Data entry and analysis.

This position is funded by the Prince
Bernhard Culture Fund. Biologist Dr
Emma Harrison from the UK has been
selected for this position due to her ex-
tensive experience working on a sea tur-
tle conservation programme in Costa
Rica. Emma will be arriving on Ist April
for the 2005 nesting season. We hope
that interested Statiansjoin the pro-
gramme as volunteers so that STENAPA

can train a local individual to take thejob
in the coming years.

Office Administrator: will be in charge of
daily activities in the National Parks office,
as well as providing information to tour-
ists and telephone callers, arranging
guided hikes and selling trail tags, provid-
ing information to divers and collecting-
dive fees.

The applicant will need good team work-
ing skills and should be able to commu-
nicate well with volunteers, both from
overseas and local. This position is
funded by IUCN in Holland with a grant
from the Netherlands Postcode Lottery.

STENAPA wishes to welcome Violet
Busby as the Office Administrator. Violet
starts work on 2 1st March and we look
forward to herjoining our small team.

Violet will also be in charge of coordinat-
ing the changes to the National Park
office as it will undergo extensive refur-
bishment in 2005 thanks to a grant from
Stichting Doen. This will include a build-
ing with public shower and WC.

F 77sttko r

,AV & . & . &

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