Photo description: A new born turtle crawls on the beach

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.

Turtle nesting populations, Bonaire
Year Hawksbill Green turtle Loggerhead Hybrid (Loggerhead x Hawksbill)
2021 33 19 37 0
59 24 23 4
2019 39 16 28 0
40 26 39 0
2017 83 21 24 0
67 10 22 0
2015 54 6 17 0
47 13 23 0
2013 88 2 31 0
67 4 30 0
2011 25 2 32 0
34 8 8 0
2009 35 3 20 0
47 2 20 0
2007 34 9 30 0
48 10 14 0
2005 29 0 14 0
50 0 24 0
2003 34 0 9 0

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.

89 turtle nests were counted on Bonaire in 2021 Buitenvorm Binnenvorm

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.

Turtle nesting populations, St Eustatius
Year Hawksbill Green turtle Leatherback Unknown
2021 21 37 1 0
8 50 0 0
2019 10 17 0 0
9 23 0 0
2017 3 41 1 0
13 23 3 0
2015 15 76 1 0
13 19 4 3
2013 17 55 8 4
34 75 4 0
2011 7 5 1 0
28 80 11 3
2009 11 11 17 0
4 15 25 0
2007 1 5 5 0
6 34 10 0
2005 2 15 11 0
1 10 16 2
2003 3 2 7 0

More information about turtle nests on Bonaire and St Eustatius


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