BioNews 10 – November 2013

BioNews-November-2013BioNews is a monthly newsletter by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), focusing on the biodiversity research and monitoring in the Dutch Caribbean. BioNews presents you with an overview of the on-going research and monitoring efforts and provides a regular update on what’s currently happening on our islands.

This month’s issue highlights the Saba Bank Expedition that took place from 19 to 27 October. As a follow up to the Saba Bank survey in 2011, an international team of experts investigated the ecological functionality of the Bank, focussing on corals, fish, genetics, nutrients and dissolved organic carbon. The first glance at the results appears promising with coral cover increasing and algae cover decreasing, but final results will be published by next year.

The publication of a study on the island of Saba shows that invasive predators, such as feral cats, can have a large impact on breeding colonies of Red-billed Tropicbirds. Cat densities were investigated and varied largely between elevation levels. In some parts of the island, overall cat health turned out to be very poor. This already influenced the decision to stop releasing spayed/neutered cats back into the wild. Hopefully this will aid in decreasing the overall feral cat population and save the beautiful Red- billed Tropicbird, which has become an iconic symbol for the island of Saba.

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