BioNews 30 – November 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.

Decades of fieldwork conducted throughout the Caribbean, including work by the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, has been collated for the first time by Bjorndal et al and data indicates that growth rates amongst hawksbill turtles has declined rapidly in recent years. The growth rate decline, which appears to correlate closely to climate change is particularly troubling since hawksbill turtle populations are already critically endangered.

Information on shark populations in the Dutch Caribbean is accumulating rapidly thanks to work funded through DCNA’s Save our Sharks project coupled with research conducted by the University of Wageningen. Stereo Baited Remote Underwater Videos (sBRUV) are being used to look at the presence and size of sharks and rays in the waters around Saba, St Eustatius, St Maarten, on the Saba Bank and most recently also around Curaçao and Bonaire, whilst acoustic telemetry is yielding the first information on shark movement patterns.

The annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) conference is an invaluable opportunity for researchers, conservationists and fishermen throughout the Caribbean region to exchange information on marine resources use and management. This year the conference included new sessions on the important issue of marine debris as well as the impact of Sargassum on the region.

The Florida Keys Sea turtle Rehabilitation programme, which has trained animal care specialists and veterinarians in turtle care and management from 22 Caribbean countries, this year also provided training for Curaçao veterinarian and CARMABI Board member, Odette Doest.

For 50 years Dr. Bud Gillan has been investigating box jellies around Bonaire. Read more about this highly toxic species, his research and outreach activities and latest findings how to treat a sting.

Echo Foundation organized the very first Caribbean Birding Trail workshop in the Dutch Caribbean to train local guides in bird identification skills and environmental interpretation. We are proud to have some (newly) highly trained and knowledgeable guides on our islands.

Happy reading!

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

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