Turtle Season 2020 coming to an end

Kralendijk – The 2020 sea turtle nesting season is coming to an end. The season started on May 1st when Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) staff and volunteers recorded the first loggerhead nest on Klein Bonaire and the last nest, laid by a hawksbill, was found on November 13th. Although nesting has ended, STCB is still awaiting the hatching of nests laid in October and November.

STCB is very grateful for their amazing Beachkeeper volunteers, who were eager to continue working through the pandemic, taking measures to stay safe and allowing the organisation to successfully complete the field monitoring. Manager Kaj Schut: “We would like to thank all volunteers and supporters for enabling us to continue to work towards our mission of protecting Bonaire’s sea turtles during these uncertain times!”

This year, STCB counted a total of 113 nests around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. Sea turtles lay an average of four nests per individual, so approximately 28 nesting sea turtles of three different species (hawksbill, loggerhead and green) visited Bonaire in 2020. The total number of recorded nests increased by 27 per cent in 2020, compared to 2019. A complete analysis of data will be presented in the 2020 Year Report, to be published around April 2021.

The weather presented some challenges in terms of higher sea level and amount of precipitation. Kaj Schut: “With all the rain and wind reversals this year, we had to keep a close eye on nests laid in low-lying areas, such as the south. We lost three nests due to rain and high swells, but luckily most nests hatched successfully. Initial calculations actually show us that the overall hatching success may be a little higher than last year! In addition, fewer nests showed signs of bacteria and fungi, two factors that can cause high egg failure. Therefore, we’re pretty happy with the outcome of this season!”

Last but not least, adopters continued to support the work of STCB this year with the adoption of thirty-three nests laid by loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles on beaches in the south of Bonaire, on Playa Chikitu and on Klein Bonaire.

STCB is very grateful for the ongoing support of companies and families through their Adopt-A-Nest program. The organization would like to thank the 2020 adopters: Antoine Zeegers, Best Cellars Bonaire, Blue Jay Holding Bonaire, Boat Yard Bonaire, Administratiekantoor Brandaris, Brave Water Foundation, Buts Technical Consultancy, Cargill Salt Bonaire, Casa Presioso, Daniel Hefter & Heidi Malm, Dinska Dohmen, Dive Friends Bonaire, dNM Interim, Doris & Martin Elle, The Findling Family, Hamlet Oasis Resort, Harbour Village Beach Club, Harbourtown Real Estate, Illuseum Berlin, International Tax Advisors, Jim & Judy Kewley, Joan & Alan Zale, Labor Omnia Vincit, Nederlands-Belgische Schildpaddenvereniging, QVillas, RE/MAX Bonaire, Sand Dollar, Sunbelt Realty, Sundhevy & Stijn, The Laughing Seahorse, Villa Kiki and VIP Diving. 

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