How many turtle nests are there on Bonaire and St Eustatius?
Linking various ecosystems, turtles play a vital role in the health of the oceans, from beaches to seagrass beds and coral reefs. To understand how the turtle population is doing, turtle nest counts are conducted on multiple beaches of St Eustatius and Bonaire. On Saba, no data is collected on turtle nests, since there are very few beaches and these areas are difficult to access.
|Year||Hawksbill||Green turtle||Loggerhead||Hybrid (Loggerhead x Hawksbill)|
Bonaire and St Eustatius are both home to two sea turtle species: hawksbill and green turtle. These turtle species can be seen all year round. During the nesting season, Bonaire beaches are also visited by the loggerhead turtle. Recently, Bonaire has also seen hybrid turtle nests, which in this case are a cross between the hawksbill and the loggerhead turtle. Apart from the hawksbill and green turtle, nests of the leatherback turtle are also infrequently encountered on St. Eustatius.
The turtle nesting population on Bonaire has seen a moderate increase since the start of data collection in 2003. At the same time, the green turtle nesting population has increased.
On St Eustatius, the turtle nesting population has been fluctuating. Bonaire has counted more hawksbill nests than green turtle nests, whereas it is the other way around on St Eustatius with the majority being green turtle nests. Although the leatherback turtle comes to St Eustatius to lay eggs, it is an infrequent visitor.
More information about turtle nests on Bonaire and St Eustatius