Washikemba - Fontein - Onima, Bonaire

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

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3, B4i (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 5,959 ha

Site description (2007 baseline)
Area extending along coast inland to escarpments from Washikemba in the south to Playa Grandi in the north and including the natural springs and cliffs of Fontein and the cliffs and intermittent ponds at Washikemba, Onima dam, and inland from Playa Grandi. There is very limited human settlement in this area as it is generally on the more barren northeastern side of the island but it does include a number of sites of cultural and historic significance with ancient inscriptions of the original pre-European aboriginal inhabitants of Bonaire.

Key biodiversity
likely meets 1% global threshold for Yellow-shouldered Amazon, possibly Caribbean Coot occasionally • meets 1% regional threshold for Least Tern • breeding area for Pearly-eyed Thrasher and suite of thorn scrub species Surveys of Least Terns in 2002 documented 452 birds (>10% of regional population) within this IBA along the eastern coast from near Boca Onima south to near Washikemba. Caribbean Coot, has been documented as an intermittent breeder largely at three reservoir/water impoundment sites all within this IBA—Onima Reservoir, Playi Grandi Reservoir, and Washikemba Reservoir. Records from the period 1974-2001 indicate that at Onima Reservoir has had as many as 200 birds with confirmed breeding, Playa Grandi Reservoir as many as 26 birds with confirmed breeding, and Washikemba Reservoir as many as 20 birds with confirmed breeding. There are no estimates of global population size available against which to evaluate the significance of these numbers. Yellow-shouldered Amazon are also known to nest within the cliffs that extend from Onima to Fontein and have long-frequented Fontein for its permanent freshwater and the (introduced) fruit trees as well as a roosting site. Winter roost counts estimate over 100 birds (Williams and Martin, personal comments).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Washikemba - Fontein - Onima, Bonaire. Downloaded from on 03/12/2023.