Welcome! We would like to introduce you to our new STCB staff member, Kaj Schut, and the new STCB intern Coralie Lässig. As STCB Communications and Fundraising Officer, Kaj is responsible for the development and implementation of communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) plans that serve STCB's entire program. Coralie is a Bachelor's Coastal and Marine Management student, and will be graduating from Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences, in 2019. As a diver, she has a great interest and love for marine life, and especially for sea turtles. Coralie will be supporting the STCB team until January 2017.
We'd like to give a big shout-out to all of you! Thanks to you, we raised $2661 with our first ever crowdfunding campaign, which means that we have already received and put into use two brand-new GPS trackers! With your help we have also constructed six new nest barriers and have saved one turtle in trouble (it had a hook in its mouth).
In-Water Surveys at Lac
Four times a year, STCB staff and volunteers conduct in-water surveys at Lac Bay. These capture and release efforts provide valuable data over time to help us determine growth rates of sea turtles and estimate abundance. The in-water surveys moreover enable us to learn more about the movement patterns and the health status of Bonaire's resident turtles.
Monday, September 12, was the start of a new week of in-water surveys at Lac, and it turned out to be very successful! We captured, tagged and released 40 Green turtles, 3 Hawksbill turtles, and one juvenile Loggerhead!! The latter was a great surprise; never before, in 14 years of netting efforts, did we capture a Loggerhead!
So, all in all, it was once again a great week! It goes without saying that we couldn't have done this without the help of our amazing group of volunteers! Thank you!!
In 2015, STCB launched a pilot project called 'Adopt-A-Nest', offering local companies the opportunity to adopt a sea turtle nest. The project was a great success: 7 nests were adopted, saving 693 hatchlings!
In 2016, to celebrate our 25th anniversary, local companies adopted 25 sea turtle nests on Klein Bonaire and Te Amo Beach. The first nest of this season was laid in May, and this year's Adopt-A-Nest came to a successful end on September 16th, when the last adopted nest hatched.
We can now inform you that a total of 2446 hatchlings made it to the ocean from these special adopted nests!!
We would like to thank each company that adopted a nest for supporting our mission, and helping us to ensure that Bonaire's sea turtles have a secure future!
Ecological Restoration Bonaire
August marked the beginning of STCB's involvement in the Ecological Restoration of Lac and the South of Bonaire, a project that is coordinated by the Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire and funded with the so called ‘natuurgelden’ made available by the Dutch government. The main aim of this project is to increase the accessibility and biodiversity of these areas. As part of this project, STCB partnered with the OLB and WILDCONSCIENCE BV to carry out a variety of activities on Te Amo and Donkey Beaches. First of all, we replaced the old and decayed fence. STCB staff and volunteers subsequently attached palm leaves to the new fence, thereby creating a natural barrier that moreover limits light pollution. The new fence has already proven to be a great success: so far, twice our nesting turtles were prevented from going to the road because of the fence! In addition to the fence, we placed boulders and information signs to discourage people from driving on the beach, making firepits and taking dogs in this area. In the future we will also plant more vegetation and will increase the trash collection facilities on the beach.
Did you know that only 1 in a 1000 hatchlings makes it to adulthood?
You can help save our endangered sea turtles with the following 'Hands-Off' approach:
Please keep your distance and leave hatchlings undisturbed. To prevent disorientation, turn off all artificial lights. In addition, do NOT take flash photos! The flash not onlydisorientates baby turtles, it also damages their eyes. And last but not least, call the STCB Hotline on (+599) 780 0433.
Just keep these simple rules in mind when encountering baby turtles, and make sure to spread the word!
Join our free public presentation! Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, at Yellow Submarine Rooftop, 8 PM - 9 PM! We hope to see you there!