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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Least Tern Artificial Island A Resounding Success

The Least Tern breeding season was a special occasion this year.  Cargill, in cooperation with STINAPA Bonaire, IMARES and DROB, constructed an artificial island in an area to the south of Bonaire which is very important for the migratory birds that visit Bonaire. The artificial island had wooden decoys placed to attract the terns and also rocks and pipe shelters for the chicks to hide from predators. 

The annual breeding season is from May to the end of August. The Least Terns made very good use of the newly built island. STINAPA researchers registered a total of 243 nests on the island which produced 219 chicks. Around the rest of the Cargill area, another 991 nests of a variety of terns that breed on our island were registered, 561 of which were Least Tern nests.

A big challenge for nesting Least Terns are the predators that eat the eggs and hunt the chicks. There are many predators of which the birds must be wary, such as feral cats, crabs, hermit crabs, laughing gulls, lizards and other sea- and water- birds. The Least Terns on the artificial island were better protected from most of these predators thanks to the water surrounding the nesting island. It was noted that the survival rate of the chicks on the artificial island was much higher than the rest of the colonies in the area.

On August 29th one last Least Tern chick that was still learning to fly was spotted. The bird decoys, specially built by Cargill staff, to attract the Least Terns to the artificial island, were removed and stored away until next year’s breeding season.  (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 16, 2014 at 2:49pm AST
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Flamingo Airport (Bonaire International Airport) to Conduct Emergency Drill

Flamingo Airport (Bonaire International Airport, or “BIA") will conduct a full-scale, airport emergency drill on Thursday, September 18, 2014.  This drill will include rescue firefighting services, law enforcements (KPCN, KMAR, Defence), health department (GHOR), the island’s social department, and KLM as the participating airline.  Other local agencies will stage an emergency scene to test their ability to respond. 

As a requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to test the BIA Aerodrome Emergency Plan and government emergency response agencies, a Full Scale Emergency Exercise (FSEE) is organized with an interval not exceeding two (2) to three (3) years.  Therefore, on Thursday, September 18th, Flamingo Airport will be closed from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM for all air traffic services, but the Flamingo Airport operation will remain open to process passengers.

The access roads to and from the airport will also remain open for all traffic, but there will be movement from the ambulances with sirens from Fundashon Mariadal, the Police, and other agencies to the airport to assist in the emergency drill. All those utilizing the roads in the vicinity of the airport are advised to please drive with care during the time of this planned emergency drill.

BIA recommends that passengers flying in the morning hours on this date arrive at the airport a bit earlier than normal, so as to take into consideration the possible congested traffic on the roads to and from the airport.  (Source:  Bonaire International Airport)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 15, 2014 at 3:34pm AST
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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

There’s Another Opportunity to Enjoy a Guided Sunset Hike to the Top of Bonaire

Last May a select few individuals, who got their reservations in quickly, enjoyed a rare moment--sitting at the top of Brandaris, Bonaire’s highest point, at sunset.  Normally, Washington Slagbaai National Park closes at 5:00 PM each day, so being able to hike in the late afternoon, and enjoy the sunset from Brandaris, was a rare opportunity.  Now, there is another chance for those who missed the hikes in May, as STINAPA is planning another sunset hike to Brandaris on Saturday, September 27th, 2014.

There is only space for twenty participants, and the entry fee is $10.00 per person.  Prior registration is required to participate in the hike, and those who secure their reservations must arrange their own transport to and within the park.

Participants must be present at the entrance of the park no later than 4:00 PM. Everyone hiking should be in good physical condition, and children 10 years and up may participate if accompanied by their parents or an adult. Be sure to wear hiking shoes and bring your own water bottle and a snack and also a flashlight.  On the second part of the hike, there will be some climbing to get to the top.  Part of the descent will be after sunset in the dark. Everyone will be back at the entrance of the park around 8:00 PM.

Secure your reservation by either calling 786-5229 or send an email to washingtonpark@stinapa.org. (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 09, 2014 at 3:12pm AST
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Thursday, September 04, 2014

Celebrate Bonaire’s Flag Day This Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 6th is always Dia di Boneiru, or Bonaire’s Flag Day.  It’s a legal holiday and it’s always celebrated with a full schedule of activities from the early morning through midnight.  This year’s festivities will take place in Wilhelmina Park in Kralendijk.

The events focus upon Bonaire’s government, its culture, and of course, its music and food.  A schedule of events is available (available in PDF, in Papiamentu) by clicking here.  Be sure to stop by and enjoy another Bonaire first-class celebration!  (Source:  Bonaire Island Government)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 04, 2014 at 4:16pm AST
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