Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba - iNaturalist World Tour

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are the 101st stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. There's some confusion about this entity which is also known as the Caribbean Netherlands. There used to be an entity known as the Netherlands Antilles which included these three islands and also Curaçao, Sint Maarten (the dutch half of the island), and Aruba. Aruba left in 1986 and in 2010 Sint Maarten and Curaçao left effectively dissolving the Netherlands Antilles. This new Caribbean Netherlands entity is a bit inconvenient for our purposes though since it includes two islands, Sint Eustatius and Saba, in the northern Caribbean near Sint Maarten and one island, Bonaire, in the southern Caribbean near Curaçao and Aruba, hence the odd looking map.

The top observer is @sea-kangaroo who has observations on all three islands. Interestingly, of all the top 10 observers who have observations on Sint Eustatius or Saba also have them on Bonaire (e.g. @zahnerphoto, @ehabes, @neild, and @seahorses_of_the_world). But all of these but the @seahorses_of_the_world account have their observations clustered to the Sint Eustatius or Saba side of the Caribbean. @ehabes is at Utrecht University in the Netherlands studying the invasive vine Antigonon leptopus on these islands. Several top observers such as @lovelyclemmy, @anudibranchmom, @sarka, @rogerritt and @vivienneo only have observations on Bonaire to the south. The iSeahorse project has a blog post about a seahorse sighting by @kbodle on Bonaire.

The graph of observations per month is still quite jagged, indicating that its dominated by visits by individual users such as this visit in Feb 2019 by underwater enthusiast @zahnerphoto. But the background number of observations does seem to have ticked up in recent years.

@maractwin is the top identifier and leads in fish. @kemper is another top fish identifier here. @kent_miller leads in marine (non-mollusk) invertebrates ('other animals') and @ehabes leads in plant IDs.
While @john8 leads in bird IDs, West Indies Ornithologist @chrisharpe is one of the top identifiers. @susanhewitt leads in mollusk IDs. On her profile, @susanhewitt describes a paper she wrote on marine mollusks of Saba (using iNat data!) and that she participated in an scientific expedition to Sint Eustatius in 2015.

What can we do to get more people in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@sea-kangaroo @zahnerphoto @lovelyclemmy @ehabes @anudibranchmom @maractwin @kent_miller @chrisharpe @susanhewitt @kemper

We’ll be back tomorrow in New Caledonia!

Posted by loarie loarie, October 03, 2019 20:43



Get the dive companies on Bonaire set customers up on iNat with incentive to put up dive photos. That way iNat will get ore fish observations too. I remember reading that more fish observations are desired on iNaturalist,

Need bioblitzes in the national park on Bonaire as well.

Posted by sarka 15 days ago (Flag)

I agree with sarka in trying to talk to the dive industry, not just here but all over the world. I would also suggest the schools. I believe there is a school on Bonaire that conducts research as well as training on the marine life of Bonaire. There are also some eco lodges and resorts as well as eco tour guides that I am sure could greatly contribute to this along with their clients.

Posted by neild 13 days ago (Flag)

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