BioNews 26 – June / July 2016

BioNews 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.

In June the Save Our Sharks Project organized the second Dutch Caribbean Shark Week which was celebrated throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Many exciting shark-related activities were organised to raise awareness about the importance of sharks and shark conservation. We are proud to share with you the great work of our colleagues who worked very hard to make this a huge success!

In this issue, we are paying special attention to research and monitoring projects where citizen science is an important component. The engagement of non-professional scientists can be invaluable both for data collection and the interpretation of results. Fortunately many passionate nature lovers are helping our nature conservation organizations as well as visiting researchers in their efforts to protect and maintain our beautiful nature. We are highlighting two projects which are requesting your assistance to collect the information needed to answer their research questions. We hope to  reveal their future findings in future editions of BioNews!

Our first article is about a long-term project looking at what motivates people to protect nature on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. This important research aims to develop tools to get people involved in protection our natural environment. An online survey can be filled to help to collect the necessary data.

The second focuses on the long-spined sea urchin Diadema antillarum. In the early 80’s a mass die-off of these important herbivores resulted in coral reef degradation and researchers are investigating the current status of urchins on reefs throughout the Caribbean. Observations from citizen scientists are being collected online to create a new map and to understand underlying recovery process and reef health in general.

Last, we present an article on the encouraging results for controlling the invasive Giant African Land Snail on St. Eustatius.

We would like to thank our partners, conservationists and scientists for their invaluable input and support. We hope you will enjoy reading BioNews!

Download the PDF version of this BioNews issue (~ 5 MB).

If you would like us to showcase your project in BioNews, please let us know and we will share it for you.

Your feedback and comments on BioNews are most welcome! Leave a comment.