|Location||Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands), Bonaire|
|Central coordinates||68o 16.00' West 12o 3.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, B4i|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Site description The flat low-elevation southern end of the island contains the Pekelmeer, once a series of natural shallow lagoons, that have been modified over hundreds of years for salt production. For the last 50-60 years, the area has been more greatly modified for large-scale industrial salt production so that water levels are tightly controlled within a series of condenser lagoons for maximum salt production through evapotranspiration. Most of the area (perhaps over 90% is now under active management for salt production) but within the managed area is a 55 hectare area designated as Flamingo Breeding Reserve where the bulk of the Greater Flamingos nest on the island. Low bushes grow along the shores of some of the lagoons but the area is largely open with only low vegetation.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|American Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber||resident||2007||5,000 individuals||poor||A4i||Least Concern|
|Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus||breeding||1999-2002||170-174 adults only||poor||B4i||Least Concern|
|Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis||resident||1999||340 individuals||poor||B4i||Least Concern|
|Common Tern Sterna hirundo||breeding||2007||60 individuals||poor||A4i||Least Concern|
|Least Tern Sternula antillarum||breeding||2002||582 individuals||poor||B4i||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats||-|
|Shrubland||Arid lowland scrub||minor|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Protection status Much or most of the IBA is government-owned but is leased to the commercial saltworks company. However, a 55 ha area has been set-aside since 1969 as a flamingo reserve where the birds nest. A section along the southwest side has been proposed as a “Strict Reserve” and the remainder (excluding the crystallizer basins for the saltworks on the western side) as an “Island Park” in the Bonaire Nature Management Plan 1999-2004. Pekelmeer and the flamingo reserve are designated as a Ramsar site.
References Ligon (2005);De Freitas et al.(2005);Debrot (2006);Rooth (1965);Voous (1983);Wells, J. V. and A. C. Wells (2006).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Pelkermeer Saltworks, Bonaire. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/08/2014
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