Photo description: Flamingo’s in het wild op Bonaire.

What is the state of some bird species on Bonaire and St Eustatius?

The flamingo population on Bonaire has remained stable throughout the years. Unfortunately, the large population of bridled quail-doves on St Eustatius declined rapidly in 2017.

Observing bird populations is a way to monitor the state of nature on Bonaire and St Eustatius. A well-known bird on Bonaire is the Caribbean flamingo. The pink bird is not only a tourist attraction that lives at the salt lakes (saliñas)noot1, but also shows how nature is doing on the island.

In the past, the flamingo could be found on numerous Caribbean islands, but many of those locations have rapidly declined due to habitat destruction. Luckily, the flamingo population on Bonaire has remained stable throughout the years.

Flamingos on Bonaire*
Year Flamingos
1981 4532
1982 2661
1983 1708
1984 2944
1985 2725
1986 2964
1987 3259
1988 5941
1989 .
1990 2381
1991 1870
1992 3147
1993 3132
1994 3026
1995 4185
1996 1822
1997 3911
1998 2731
1999 4125
2000 4547
2001 3039
2002 3347
2003 3391
2004 3170
2005 3641
2006 3342
2007 2932
2008 3085
2009 2711
2010 2520
2011 3026
2012 1946
2013 2083
2014 2429
2015 3081
2016 2646
2017 4702
2018 3381
2019 2560
2020 2855
2021 2631
2022 1726
Source: Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire
* No observations in 1989

Hurricanes chased away bridled quail-dovenoot2

The bridled quail-dove is another bird species native to the Caribbean islands, including St Eustatius. In contrast to the flamingo, the bridled quail-dove is not often sighted as it prefers undisturbed closed forests. On St Eustatius, there was a large population of the bird, until hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the island in 2017. The bird species is sensitive to disturbances in its environment and the population has declined rapidly after the hurricanes.

Bridled quail-doves on St Eustatius*
Year Bridled quail-doves
2016 2932
2017 670
2018 131
2019 260
2020 .
2021 123
Source: St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) and Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database
*No observations in 2020

More information on nature


Data provided by Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire.

Data provided by St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA).


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(between two numbers) inclusive
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