Klein Bonaire, Bonaire

Country/territory: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands)

IBA criteria met: A2, A3, B4i (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 1,810 ha

Site description (2007 baseline)
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.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Klein Bonaire, Bonaire. Downloaded from on 28/11/2023.