Title: STENAPA update
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100100/00008
 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: June 2005
Copyright Date: 2010
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00100100
Volume ID: VID00008
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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June 2005

P Newsletter2/2005


Sea Turtle Nesting Season Well Under Way

March saw the beginning of
another turtle nesting season
here on Statia, with the dis-
covery of leatherback tracks
on Zeelandia beach. This
female arrived very early in
the season; she nested before
the turtle program co-
ordinator had set foot on the
island to start work!! Night-
time beach monitoring
started in April and since then
marine park staff and Work-
ing Abroad volunteers have
been out on patrol every
night from 9.00pm to 4.00am,
searching for females coming
ashore to nest. Unfortu-
nately, after the excitement of
the "early visitor" the season
got off to quite a slow start.

The first turtle was encoun-
tered on 22 April, and despite
coming ashore in a violent
storm, the rain, thunder and
lightening did not deter her
and she nested successfully.
In fact that same turtle has
been observed on eight sepa-
rate occasions in the last 2
months; as regular as clock-
work she has returned to the
beach every 8 days, a rela-
tively short interval between
nests because normally leath-
erbacks wait 9-11 days be-
fore nesting again. She has
laid a total of 6 nests, proba-
bly between 450 600 eggs,
and all of them have been in
the same general area at the
northern end of Zeelandia
beach. Fortunately this turtle
hasn't been the only one to

nest; another leatherback
came up on the ls"June, al-
though she chose to nest at
the opposite end of the beach.
Interestingly, both of these
females had suffered similar
injuries to their front right flip-
pers, possibly from shark at-
tacks or boat strikes, though
luckily they didn't seem to in-
terfere with the nesting proc-
ess! It is unlikely that the first
turtle will come back to lay a
seventh nest, but it is hoped
that the second turtle will re-
turn several more times before
the end of the season. The last
week of patrols for the first
group of volunteers saw the
arrival of our third leatherback,
this one with all flippers intact.
Now we are waiting to see
when she will return to lay
more eggs.

Due to the early start to the
season there has already been
one nest hatch. When re-
searchers excavated to deter-
mine hatching success they
discovered that not only was it
a very small clutch (just 32
eggs), but also that only 3 eggs
had hatched, and of those only
one hatchling had made it to
the sea! This is definitely not a
promising start though it does
highlight why each female lays
more than once during the
season; she can have one nest
that is unsuccessful due to
natural causes or disturbance
but still have others that can
hatch successfully. Fingers
crossed that the rest of the

nests that have been laid so
far will produce more hatch-
lings; it is only a matter of
days before the next one is
due to emerge.

Three species of turtle are
known to nest on Statia's
beaches and they usually
arrive around the same time
each year; the leatherbacks
appear in April and they are
followed in June/July by the
greens and hawksbills. This
year, however, things seem
to be happening earlier than
in previous years; in May the
first hawksbill tracks were
spotted on Cay Bay by local
residents and reported to
STENAPA staff. The turtle
was not actually seen as this
beach is not patrolled at
night, but the species was
determined from the size of
the track and it was pre-
sumed to have nested from
the appearance of the nest
site. It will be almost two
months before researchers
know for sure if this assump-
tion was correct or not!

Hopefully 2005 will tui n ,:,ut
to be a good season fc'r (.in:
species, as well as the r --rn:
that should return to rie:
later in the year.
Should anyone like to -_.-,r o:i
pate in a night time p~'rr ':I
please contact Turtle Fr :-
gramme Coordinator Eva,-, i
Harrison at STENAPA in :,,1-

Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Reef Check 2
Eco-bag Logo Contest
Puppet Show

New Park Rangers 3
New website
DCNA meeting

Volunteers around the 4

Points of interest:

* The Botanical Gardens are
open from sunrise to sunset.
For guided tours visit be-
tween 8am- I pm every

* Visit the library exhibit on
sea turtles from 5 July--15

* You are invited tojoin turtle
patrols on Zeelandia. Con-
tact the office to let us know
when you wish to come.

St Eustatius: National and Marine Parks and Botanical Gardens


Marine Park starts Reef Check

STENAPA hosted a well attended training
workshop during the weekend of
June Oth to the 12th. Interested local
divers and STENAPA staff and volunteers
were presented with information on the
ecological importance, the health and
the threats to coral reefs as well as how
to assist in the Reef Check monitoring
The 2002 report "Status of Coral Reefs of
the World" states that 20% of all coral
reefs are so damaged, that they are be-
yond all hope of repair. 70% of all Coral
Reefs are threatened or destroyed. How-
ever, the Coral Reefs of the Dutch Antil-
les, including Statia, are still relatively
healthy. It is very important to document
their current status as a baseline, so that
any changes can be measured effectively.
Reef Check is a simple survey protocol
which was developed in 1996 as a volun-
teer and community monitoring system.

It is applied in over 70 countries and
territories throughout the tropics.
Reef Check has evolved into an interna-
tional environmental organisation, with
the aim to monitor the reefs and to in-
form the public as well as governments
of its findings. With regular surveys, con-
ducted by scientists, divers and fishermen
as well as other volunteers, vital informa-
tion is gathered and thus the causes of
reef destruction can be addressed.
The workshop was conducted by Paul
Hoetjes, Marine Biologist, an expert on
coral reefs and Senior Policy Advisor for
the Department of Environment and
Nature (MINA) of the Ministry of Public
Health and Social Development. Mr.
Hoetjes is also the former curator of
fishes at the Curacao Sea Aquarium At
present he coordinates the Netherlands
Antilles Coral Reef Initiative (NACRI) and

is working on establishing an Antillean
Coral Reef Monitoring Node. Andy Cabal-
lero from the St Maarten Nature Founda-
tion also assisted as instructor.
Following the workshop, two days of
practical SCUBA training on the reef was
enjoyed by local divers and volunteers.
Results showed 35% coral cover at sites.
Photo by Lisbeth Hansen

Eco-bag Logo and Jingle Competition

Puppet Show

STENAPA is pleased to announce the
winners of their logo and jingle competi-
tions. After talks about the impact of plas-
tics on nature in May, all school children
were asked to design a logo and/orjin-
gle which supports the plastic wastes
Benjamin Boyce's (Grade 5, Seventh Day
Adventist School) entry was chosen for
the best logo. Wendy Collins, local artist,
was judging the competition and said
"This entry is well drawn and eye catch-
ing. It really projects the message that the
project is trying to convey"
Greida Gibbs' (Grade 5, Golden Rock
School) entry was chosen for the best
jingle. Her entry was concise and cleverly
structured. Zhivago Lopes (A.K.A Private)
is helping to make thejingle, which will
be aired on the radio soon. Both winners
received a fl 100.00 prize at presentations
at their school on 30th June 2005.
If members of the public would like to see
the competition entries please feel free to
come to the STENAPA office where they
are displayed.
STENAPA and the Island Government are
working to reduce the plastic waste on
Statia. Part of the campaign is to produce

and distribute fabric eco-bags to island
residents for free. These eco-bags will be
ideal for grocery shopping and so avoid
using plastic bags in future. The project is
funded by MINA small grants project.
(Department of Nature and Environment,
Ministry of Public Health).

X eek

Scout, the friendly Sea Turtle came to visit
Statia, accompanied by Dominique Vis-
senberg. They gave lectures with the aid
of puppets at the Golden Rock- Seventh
Day Adventist-and the Governor de
Graaf Schools from the 13th to the 15th
of June. Pupils up to age 11 took part in
the "Turtle Awareness" presentations.
Other schools on the island will be visited
in the near future.

So much of the worlds Marine
Life is threatened and the Sea .
Turtles are beleaguered creat-
ures as well. "Scout" and friends are work-
ing hard to ensure a safe future for all Sea
Turtles in the Caribbean.

In January, high school student Genillio
Hassell attended the International Sea
Turtle Symposium in the USA (funded by
AMFO) with Teacher de Vries.

After learning a lot in the five days of
meetings, Genillio concluded: 'Turtles are
just like humans. They have feelings just
like us. We should do everything in our
powers to try to protect them.'

Page 2

cL eon I


New Rangers for STENAPA
__ r-6-

April saw the appointment of two
new Park Rangers. STENAPA is -
happy to introduce John de Bruin _'"
from Holland and Nadio Spanner,
a Statia man. Nadiojoined the
Foundation on the 4th of April
and John arrived in the middle of
the month.
Nadio was appointed for duties in
STENAPA's Marine Park, while
John's domain will be the National
Park, Quill and Botanical Garden.
Nadio will focus on mooring main-
tenance, yacht fee collection, help-
ing with research and he will also
maintain STENAPA's vehicles.
John will involve himself with Trail building,
repair and upkeep, maintenance and up-
keep of the Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical
Garden. John will also be tasked with Coral-
lita Research and Goat control.
John and Nadio had a very active start to
their newjobs. They were literally thrown
in the deep end with swimming training
and completing their open water dive
Kirkby it



w 6 2-

Photo by Nicole Esteban

They assisted with the installation of
three yacht moorings as well. It is
planned to install nine more, bringing
the total to twelve yacht moorings
along the shore off Gallow's Bay.

STENAPA is looking forward to a long
and happy working relationship with
John and Nadio.

New Website

A former Intern at STENAPA, Robert Jan
van Oosten has updated the house style for
STENAPA and you will have noticed the
new Quill trail signs around town. RJ has
also made a start in redesigning and up-
dating our website. Readers who access
the site, will have noticed that the new
design portrays the historical aspect of St.
Eustatius in combination with STENAPA's
function on the island.

The website already contains maps of trails
and dive sites. The plan is to make the maps
more interactive for the visitors.

The address will remain the same, the
reader will find it on page four of this publi-

RJ will return to St. Eustatius in September
to design guides for hikers, divers and
yachts people.

He has already completed a guide to the
Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden which
will be distributed in July.

Board Members & Observers at DCNA meeting

-tKk.m -6

DCNA holds Board Meeting on St Eustatius

From the 14th to the 16th of June the
Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance held its
second board meeting of 2005 on Statia.
The DCNA was founded in February of
this year and is an umbrella organization
for Marine and Terrestrial Protected Ar-
eas (Parks) in St. Eustatius, Saba, St.
Maarten, Bonaire and Curacao. It is
hoped that Aruba willjoin the alliance
soon, and Mr. Egbert Boerstra from Par-
que Nacional Arikok Aruba came to the
meeting as an observer.

A new board member was elected to the
DCNA, resulting from nominations after
the Nature Forum meeting in February in
Bonaire. Uniek Curacao representative,
Frensel Mercelina was selected to come

aboard the alliance. The DCNA board
includes the Dutch Committee for IUCN
(World Conservation Union), which pro-
vides a crucial link to Dutch nature con-
servation organizations. IUCN sent Eric
van Zadelhof who represented the direc-
tor of IUCN,joined by Johann van der
Perk as the DCNA coordinator from

It was a very busy and constructive few
days for the DCNA, and many meetings
took place with influential members of
Statia's community. Executive Director
Kalli De Meyer and Nicole Esteban, Chair
person of the DCNA, together with Leti-
tia Buth, representative of the Central

Photo by Sharon Bol

Government's Department of Nature and
Environment, used the opportunity to meet
with the Executive Council to present the
work DCNA is doing.

Kalli De Meyer and Nicole Esteban had the
opportunity to meet with Governors
Goedgedrag of the Netherlands Antilles
and Refunjol of Aruba, as well as their advi-
sors, to discuss the leading role of DCNA
within the Caribbean.

Page 3

St Eustatius: National and Marine
Parks and Botanical Gardens

National Parks Office
Gallows Bay
St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles

Phone/fax: 599-318-2884
Email: semp@goldenrocknet.com

STENAPA is an environmental not-for-profit founda-
tion on St Eustatius and was established in 1988. The
objectives of STENAPA are to upkeep the natural envi-
ronment, to preserve and protect endangered or en-
demic species (flora and fauna) and to educate the
community about the importance 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 dele-
gated by the Island Government to manage these pro-
tected areas.

Vice President:

Ronnie Courtar
Irving Brown
Jana Mason
Jessica Berkel

Volunteers from around the World

Once again, STENAPA had to bid fare-
well to a lovely group of volunteers, who
had spent the customary eight weeks on
St. Eustatius.
This entirely European group left our
shores towards the end of June, and as
always, it is sad to wave these young
people off. Not only is STENAPA sorry to
see them go, the volunteers too were
genuinely upset at leaving Statia.
Not all volunteer groups are as large as
this one was, four girls and three boys,
and it is also unusual that they all came
from the same country. Except for one
chap, who was Swiss, they all hailed from
Their tasks on the island were diverse
and with the wonderful rains this region
enjoyed these last months, work was
never in short supply. Trails got washed
out, the beaches became littered with
rubbish, the weeds are thriving and the
Corallita is blooming. All this falls into the
volunteers' area of activities.
Round about the time of the group's
arrival, the first sea turtles made an ap-
pearance on Statia's beaches, so a once
a week turtle watch for each volunteer is
on the roster as well.

Because this group was rather large, they
were able to form teams to tackle special
projects, a goal they set for themselves. A
couple of hours a week were set aside to
accomplish the following;

Leslie, Rachel, Pauline and Annali planted
25 Papaya trees and Aloe Vera along the

Bird Trail, they built a stone wall around
the pond, cleaned it of weeds and
stocked it with fish to combat the mos-

quitoes and generally keep the water
clean. In the look-out area, shade was
created, the reclining man (statue) was
repaired and compost was made.
Calabashes were collected and pre-
pared for painting, now 14 brightly
coloured birdfeeders are placed
around the gardens.

Toby, Neil and Jamie made tables for
the picnic area and generally main-
tained and repaired all woodwork.
Behind the house, a "chill out area"
was created for people who did night
patrol on the beaches, so that they can
sleep undisturbed during the day. All
volunteers prepared and tarred sec-
tions of the road leading to the Botani-
cal Gardens.

All this was done besides the regular
tasks assigned to them within the Na-
tional Park and the Marine Park.

As always STENAPA's thanks and ap-
preciation go out to the volunteers and
wish them well wherever they go.


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