Volunteers donated 3,875 hours to Bonaire’s sea turtle conservation 2020

Kralendijk – With 2020 coming to an end, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) would like to extend their gratitude to all their volunteers, supporters, funders and donors for their ongoing and very generous support. Thank you!

3,875 is the number of hours that volunteers of STCB have dedicated to the protection of sea turtles in 2020. Twenty-seven transect-count survey days on the west coast, five weeks of net-capture surveys in Lac Bay, 540 nest monitoring patrols on Bonaire’s nesting beaches, clean-ups, presentations and educational activities: none of this would have been possible without the ongoing support of STCB’s enthusiastic and passionate volunteers.

In addition to the volunteers, STCB would also like to extend their gratitude to their supporters: the companies and families that adopted thirty-three nests during the 2020 nesting season, the local vendors – VIP Diving, Dive Friends Bonaire, Mangrove Center and Harbour Village – who sold STCB’s merchandise and donated their retail services so that 100% of the profits go directly to sea turtle conservation, main funders including WWF-NL, Stichting DierenLot and the government, and all the individual donors who supported the organization. Thank you!

One of the highlights of this year was the deployment of the 26th satellite transmitter. With the support of ContourGlobal Bonaire, STCB fitted a transmitter on an adult female hawksbill turtle, named ‘Flappie’, and STCB has been able to track her to her foraging home in the Miskito Cays, Nicaragua. The transmitter, which was deployed in August, is still working and STCB will continue to provide updates on ‘Flappie’s’ whereabouts via their social media.

But it wasn’t all great… Due to the pandemic, STCB had to cancel several (volunteer) activities, including Fishing Line Clean-ups at the North & South Pier and research on the east coast. With very few tourists visiting the island, merchandise sales and donations also dropped drastically. On the positive side, Stichting DierenLot provided a generous loan to cover the gap and with the help of their volunteers, STCB was able to complete their most important monitoring work: the nest monitoring patrols and in-water research on the west coast and in Lac Bay. 

And there is more positive news… In 2021, STCB will be celebrating their 30th anniversary! In January, staff and volunteers will start the new survey season on the west coast, going out three days a week to get a better insight in the number of foraging turtles in this area. In May, the first nesting females are expected to lay nests on Klein Bonaire, and in June STCB will return to Lac Bay to continue their net-capture surveys. All of this will be made possible by STCB’s volunteers & supporters: sea turtle superheroes!

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