Bonaire National Marine Park

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c - Biological features


Brief description of dominant and particular habitats (marine and terrestrial)*: List here the habitats and ecosystems that are representative and/or of importance for the WCR (i.e. mangroves, coral reefs, etc):

A wide range of habitats are represented on Bonaire and Klein Bonaire and within the surrounding waters. These range from the xerotrophic (drought resistant) forest covering the northern part of the Island, through sand dunes, salt pans, mangroves, seagrass beds to a number of different coral reef communities. The following descriptions focus on the marine and terrestrial habitats and species which are associated directly or indirectly with the Bonaire National Marine Park (species lists can be found in Appendix 4).

The northern part of the island is hilly consisting of fine grained volcanic rock and limestone. The southern part is flat and consists of fossil coral reef deposits enclosing some lagoonal areas which are either open (Lac) or enclosed (Pekelmeer).

Detail for each habitat/ecosystem the area it covers:

Marine / coastal ecosystem categories
Detail for each habitat / ecosystem the area covers
Size (estimate) Description and comments
unit Area covered
Mangroves ha 1000 Around Bonaire, four species of mangroves can be found; Red mangrove, Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) and Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). Lac has the most significant stand of mangroves with about 2.5km2 of a total of 7.5km2 supporting mangrove species.
Terrestrial ecosystems
Size (estimate)
unit Area covered
Wetlands 60 Terrestrial surface, excl. wetlands (ha): 6000
Other terrestrial ecosystems
Beaches 2 - Length of sandy beaches: 1.8 Km - Length of pebble or stony beaches: Approx 15 Km