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Location Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands), Bonaire
Central coordinates 68o 18.05' West  12o 9.21' North
IBA criteria A2, A3, B4i
Area 1,810 ha
Altitude 0 - 7m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Klein Bonaire, a 690 ha, low coral-limestone island, lies approximately one km offshore from Kralendijk on mainland Bonaire. The island is dominated by low shrubby vegetation that has been severely impacted from a long history of the felling of trees and overgrazing by introduced goats. The island’s shoreline includes three salinas, five freshwater springs or wells, beach areas that are important sea turtle nesting grounds, and coral rubble strands with low shrubby vegetation. The island is uninhabited but has been used in the past for camping by residents as well as for a small quarantine building facility.

Key Biodiversity Tern breeding surveys in 2002 estimated at least 100 breeding Least Terns which would constitute approximately 2% of regional population. The island is also host to breeding Wilson’s Plover (eight birds documented in 2001) and Snowy Plover (six birds documented in 2001). There are historical breeding records on the island for Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Snowy Egret, and White-tailed Hawk (now very rare or perhaps extirpated on mainland Bonaire). During tern and plover surveys in July 2001, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Green Heron, Snowy Egret, Black-necked Stilt, and Black-bellied Plover were among the waterbirds noted. Landbirds seen included several flocks of Bare-eyed Pigeon flying in from mainland Bonaire, Eared Dove, Common Ground Dove, a single Brown-throated Parakeet, Gray Kingbird, Tropical Mockingbird, Yellow Warbler, Bananaquit and relatively high densities of ruby-topaz hummingbirds.

Non-bird biodiversity: Three land snails endemic to Bonaire and seven endemic to the ABC islands have been documented from Klein Bonaire. One species of lizard endemic to Bonaire, two endemic to the ABC islands and on subspecies endemic to Bonaire have been documented from Klein Bonaire. The island is the most important sea turtle nesting locations on Bonaire with, for example, 29 hawksbill sea turtle nests and 14 loggerhead sea turtle nests, documented on Klein Bonaire in 2005. These species as well as the green sea turtle have also been regularly documented feeding in the waters surrounding Klein Bonaire.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Least Tern Sternula antillarum breeding  2002  100 individuals  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Bare-eyed Pigeon Patagioenas corensis resident  2007  8 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2007  6 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bonaire National Marine Park 2,700 protected area contains site 1,810  
Klein Bonaire Island and adjacent sea Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 600 protected area contained by site 1,810  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats  -
Shrubland Arid lowland scrub  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation minor

Protection status The island and surround reef is protected within the Bonaire National Marine Park. The island is a designated RAMSAR site.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Debrot, A.O. (1997);Wells, J. V. and A. C. Wells. (2006)

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Klein Bonaire, Bonaire. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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