Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire

Hatchlings make their way to the sea - photo STCB

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire staff and volunteers are now busy educating the public, patrolling beaches, and monitoring sea turtles during nesting season this year in Bonaire, which began in May and continues through December.

During this season, females make repeated crawls onto beaches where they lay their nests. Each turtle will lay on average 3 to 6 clutches of eggs, depositing 100 to 180 eggs per nest, depending on species. Once a nest is laid, the female returns to the sea, leaving the eggs on their own, to hatch in about 60 days. The entire nest of eggs hatches at the same time and the baby turtles scramble together to the sea. These hatchlings face many predators on land and in the sea, such as ghost crabs, fish and birds.

Most turtle nests are laid on the beaches that lie along the northeast coast of Klein Bonaire—a small uninhabited island off the west coast of Bonaire—and on and around “No Name” beach. The importance of this area for turtle nesting helped the effort to purchase the island from its private owners in 1999, spearheaded by the Foundation Preservation Klein Bonaire. Klein Bonaire now belongs to the people of Bonaire, and is a protected area.

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) is a non-governmental research and conservation organization that has been protecting sea turtles since 1991. The small Caribbean island of Bonaire is headquarters and home to three of the world’s six endangered or critically endangered species of marine turtles: the hawksbill, green, and loggerhead turtle.

STCB is a member of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) and a project partner of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA). STCB uses best practices in science and conservation to build knowledge and protection of Bonaire’s sea turtles. They share their knowledge to raise awareness, affect policy and build support for biodiversity protection.

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