This is the latest Newsletter I received from the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire and I thought I'd share. The contents of this newsletter may be reprinted with a reference to the source and a link to Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire
Activity at Boka Onima
Good and Bad News
There is both good and bad news to report concerning Boka Onima. As you will remember, in June, we announced the completion of the restoration of the beach after it had been cleared of all of it’s sand in August 2005. On August 9, 2006, exactly one year to the day from when Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP) Rangers stopped the sand removal activities at Onima, turtle crawl tracks were reported at the beach.
STCB’s Mabel Nava and Gielmon ‘Funchi’ Egbreghts went to check the activity and to confirm the nest, but discovered that the female Green turtle had never made it back to the sea. Clues, both turtle and vehicle tracks, indicated that it had been poached. A search of the beach was unable to locate the nest and it was feared that the eggs had also been taken. The incident was reported to BNMP and in spite of their strenuous efforts the culprit(s) was never apprehended.
As with other nesting beaches on Bonaire, Onima is patrolled on regular basis to check for activity. This past Tuesday, September 27, Funchi, along with Injemar ‘Shaba’ Meyers, came upon a nest hatching at Onima. A subsequent check of the nest confirmed that 96 hatchlings had emerged and made their way to the sea.
This is a very happy and sad event. We are very pleased that the restoration of Boka Onima has proven to be a success and that it is once again a viable nesting site. But the poaching of the breeding female is very troubling. Had she not been slaughtered, the female Green would have probably returned to Onima three to five more times to lay nests before departing for her home foraging grounds. Now we have not only lost those nests but all the nests she would have laid when she returned to Bonaire in the future. Bonaire does not have a large enough population of breeding turtles to accept the lose of one by such a callous, illegal and selfish act.
It is estimated that the population of adult Green turtles in the Caribbean was over 30 million 400 years ago. Today, the estimate of adult Green’s in the Caribbean is approximately 60 thousand. Green turtles, along with all the other turtles that either visit or live around Bonaire are severely threatened. Sea turtles are protected by law on Bonaire and it is illegal to take, kill or have a turtle in your possession. It is also illegal to damage or destroy turtle nests or to take turtle eggs.
If anyone has any information about the person or persons who poached the turtle at Boka Onima, please contact STCB or STINAPA. If anyone sees a violation of Bonaire law or the Marine Park ordinances, please report it.
Protehá nos turtuganan!
Andy Uhr and Mabel Nava
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire
PO Box 492
phone (599) 717 2225
cellular (599) 780 0433