Sea turtles spend most of their time in the water, but every couple of years the adult females come onto Bonaire's beaches to lay their nests. Bonaire has a number of nesting beaches and one of them is Te Amo Beach, located opposite the airport.
Te Amo Beach is as popular to humans as it is to turtles - and this can sometimes be a problem!
Sea turtles are very sensitive to light. On Te Amo Beach there is lots of unnatural light, like the airport, car headlights, and all the other sources of light humans bring onto the beach when
someone has a party. Sadly, this can disturb the turtles and stop them from nesting altogether! If the female turtle does manage to lay her nest, that nest is also in danger! STCB patrol Te Amo Beach every morning, and find lots of evidence of firepits, tyre tracks, and trash on the beach.
If a fire is lit on the beach, it could kill up to 150 baby turtles!
If a vehicle is driven on the beach, it could kill up to 150 baby turtles!
STCB doesn't want to stop people from having fun and enjoying Bonaire’s beautiful beaches, but everyone needs to be aware of the impact humans have on the survival of critically endangered species. STCB will be adding more informative signs around the beaches of Bonaire, and heightening the protection of the nests on Te Amo Beach.
Normally on Bonaire and Klein Bonaire nests are left to nature as they don’t need a helping hand. However, on Te Amo Beach due to the high amount of people and the numerous activities which could harm Bonaire's nesting turtles and their nests, STCB will be placing a barrier around any nest as soon as it's laid, and a cage over the nest closer to the time it's due to hatch. So if anyone sees a barrier or a cage on Te Amo Beach - do not worry! It's STCB protecting Bonaire's sea turtles from potential danger.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to be on the beach when a turtle comes up to nest please stay very still and extinguish all your lights. Turtles dig the dark and will be disorientated by lights and will be spooked by your movements. However, if you remain perfectly still you may get to witness one of the marvels of nature, a sea turtle laying her eggs. Be sure to ring STCB if you can though
+599 780 04 33, as they can gain invaluable research data from these sightings.