|Location||Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands), Bonaire|
|Central coordinates||68o 14.00' West 12o 6.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Ornithological information Numbers of Greater Flamingo at Lac Bay regularly but less frequently exceed (several times per year) the 200 threshold. meets 1% global threshold for Yellow-shouldered Amazon (important roost location) • meets or nearly meets 1% regional threshold for Greater Flamingo, Least Tern Snowy Plover 14 adults at Lac Bay in 2001. Wilson’s Plover - The largest concentration noted in 2001 survey was of 8-10 adults at Lac Bay. Least Tern – Lac Bay was estimated to hold at least 30 adults in July 2001. Area was known to host a roost of approximately 100 Yellow-shouldered Amazons in Sept/Oct 2001. Lac Bay has historically been known to host breeding herons and egrets including Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, and Snowy Egret and likely Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. It is also the location of a night roost of Magnificent Frigatebird that historically is said to have sometimes numbered over 100 birds. On at least one occasion 10-15 adult male Magnificent Frigatebirds were seen displaying and defending territories in mangroves at Lac but no confirmed breeding. Up to 500 Black-necked Stilts have been observed in mangroves at the southern side of Lac Bay and small numbers undoubtedly breed here as well. The area is an important feeding area for non-breeding shorebirds of a variety of species including Semipalmated Plover, Black-bellied Plover, Red Knot, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Hudsonian Godwit, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone and Willet.
Site description Lac Bay on the southeastern side of the island is a shallow bay protected from the open ocean by a fringing reef at its mouth. The only significant mangrove habitat (about 100 ha) on the island is located here. A small resort and two windsurfing centres are located on the south side of the bay and there is a small harbor for small fishing vessels (that fish outside of the bay) with a set of buildings and a bar/restaurant on the north side of the mouth of the bay. Scattered farms and homes ring the edge in the northwest corner of the IBA. The bay has become popular for a variety of recreational watersports (jet-skis and kite-surfing are banned) and for guided naturalist kayak trips among the mangroves.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Bare-eyed Pigeon Patagioenas corensis||resident||2007||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-shouldered Amazon Amazona barbadensis||resident||2001||100 individuals||poor||A1, A2, A3||Vulnerable|
|Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Shallow marine areas, coral reefs & keys||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The lagoon is important as nursery habitat for various reef fishes and the CITES listed queen conch and contains seagrass beds used by sea turtles. Several scientific papers available on reef fish, algae, sea turtles.
Management considerations Greatest potential threats probably from pollution and increased nutrient loading from septic leaching and increased sedimentation from, land clearing and poor construction practices, especially from hotel development. Lac Bay has also seen greatly increased recreational use of the area by windsurfers, kayakers, and snorkelers, activities which may cause disturbance of foraging flamingos and other birds though this has not been carefully documented. Roost sites for Yellow-shouldered Amazons and other birds should be carefully mapped out to ensure that they are within areas protected from cutting since this could be a threat if they lie outside such areas.
Protection status Underwater portion is protected with Bonaire National Marine Park with specific regulations related to activities within the area and use of natural resources including mangroves. Has been proposed to become formally part of National Park system. Lac Bay is a recognized RAMSAR site as well.
Conservation response Through STINAPA and the Marine Park, a multiyear management and education program for Lac Bay was undertaken with funding from WWF Holland, focused on addressing concerns including overexploitation of conch, continued exploitation of turtle, balancing of user interests in Lac, and ensuring the integrity of the seagrass and mangrove systems. There are significant reef monitoring programs, education programs for local school children around marine biology and conservation and issues like recycling, and sea turtle monitoring, research, and conservation programs.
References De Meyer(no date); Debrot (2006); Ligon (2005); Voous (1983); Wells, J. V. and A. Childs Wells (2006).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lac Bay, Bonaire. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013
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