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Location Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands), Bonaire
Central coordinates 68o 24.00' West  12o 17.06' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i, B4i
Area 6,906 ha
Altitude 0 - 243m
Year of IBA assessment 2014





Site description Established in 1969, Washington-Slagbaai National Park, at 6,900 hectares, encompasses approximately a quarter of Bonaire at the northern end of the island. The park encompasses the area of the island with the greatest geographic relief including the highest point of the island, Mount Brandaris, a 243 m ancient eroded volcano. The park was once a large privately-owned agricultural ranch (exporting animals, and producing charcoal and aloe resin) and it still has free-roaming goats and donkeys (now accompanied by pigs) such that much of the habitat still bears the signatures of disturbance. The park has a generally well-maintained but narrow and sometimes steep road network for visitor access and is open daily with a minimal fee.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
American Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber resident  2007  500 individuals  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis resident  2007  360 individuals  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2007  20 individuals  poor  A4i  Least Concern 
Least Tern Sternula antillarum breeding  2007  412 individuals  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Bare-eyed Pigeon Patagioenas corensis resident  2007  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-shouldered Amazon Amazona barbadensis resident  2007  250 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus resident  2007  20 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Washington-Slagbaai (Bonaire) National Park 5,900 protected area contained by site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major

Other biodiversity One endemic plant species, one lizard endemic to island, at least seven endemic to ABCs, one subspecies of lizard endemic to island. A number of land snails endemic to either Bonaire or to the ABC islands are reported: Tudora aurantia, Tudora maculata, Leptinaria harterti, Brachypodella gibbonsi, Stoastomops walkeri (Moolenbeek 2006). The endemic freshwater fish Poecilia vandepolli is present in the freshwater streams and ponds (Vonk et al. 2007).

Protection status Washington-Slagbaai National Park is a protected area since establishment in 1969. Both Goto Lake and Boca Slagbaai (within the park boundaries) are designated Ramsar sites.

Further web sources of information 

Site profile from Important Bird Areas in the Caribbean: key sites for conservation (BirdLife International 2008)

References Ligon, J. (2005);De Freitas et al. (2005);Debrot et al.(2006);Moolenbeek, R. (2006); Prins, T.G. & Nijman, V. (2005); Prins, T.G (2005);Vonk R. et al. (2007); Voous, K. H. (1983);Wells, J. V. and A. C.Wells (2006).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife