Klein Bonaire

The small offshore island of Klein Bonaire is located approximately 750 metres (2500 feet) off the central west coast of Bonaire. It is a low coral-limestone island surrounded by fringing reefs that support an extremely rich marine fauna. The total land area is approximately 6 km² (600 hectares) and includes three saliñas, five freshwater springs or wells and sandy beach areas. The sandy beaches are vital nesting areas for sea turtles, notably the critically endangered Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricate) and the endangered Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtles. While sparse shrubland and cacti dominate the island, the eradication of goats since the 1980s is allowing recovery of the island’s vegetation. Klein Bonaire actually has some of the last remaining natural vegetation including Acacia, Prosopis, Capparis, Haematoxylon, Lantana and Croton species. The island also harbours the only major population of West-indian Satinwood (Zanthoxylum flavum), which is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The island is uninhabited but people visit the island daily. Klein Bonaire and its surrounding reefs are protected within the Bonaire National Marine Park. Klein Bonaire has been designated as a wetland of international importance and is listed as Ramsar Site no. 201.

Birdlife International has designated Klein Bonaire as an Important Bird Area for Bonaire. The area has been denominated as IBA AN012. The island is a stop-over point for countless species of migratory wetland birds, and an important breeding site for terns, notably regionally important Least Terns (Sterna antillarum). Klein Bonaire is also significant for the restricted-range species Caribbean Elaenia (Elaenia martinica) and the Northern South America biome species Bare-eyed Pigeon (Patagioenas corensis).

Source: BirdLife International. (2008). Important Bird Areas in the Caribbean: Key sites for Conservation. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 15).
Bonaire Special Areas, Coral reefs - Areas, Dry forest - Areas, Salinas - Areas, Special Conservation Areas