The Nature Reserve of Saint-Bartholomew is following all species in the reserve areas and beyond. The team monitors the populations of fish and birds, corals, seagrasses and organizes geological followed.
In addition to the observations made throughout the year, the Nature Reserve organizes scientific monitoring. Researchers and postgraduate students studying the flora and fauna of Saint Bartholomew. These studies lead to the writing of a report, which presents the protocol, findings and conclusions of scientists.
Monitoring of birds
A lot of birds are nesting on twenty islets surrounding Saint Barthélemy. They are also found in more than twenty cliffs.
Two surveys were conducted by Gilles Leblond (in 2001 and 2008), which led to the publication of an atlas of seabirds.
Scientific Interest Group for Seabirds launched a national census of seabirds. Conducted every 10 years, it will now include the northern islands of the Caribbean and Guadeloupe.
These islets have not been yet managing by the Reserve, but their protection has been strengthened. Gilles Leblond’s studies, during a mission conducted by Birdlife, led to the creation of four areas of Important Bird Aera (IBA). IBAs of Saint Bartholomew establish continuity with those of the neighboring islands.
Guards of the Nature Reserve continue to banded birds with Gilles ornithologist Leblond (from the office BIOS) on the site of Petit Jean and the cliffs of the Gouverneur. This monitoring is part of a research project of the scientific, to better understand the dynamics of this bird in the Caribbean. Pelicans are also monitored very regular. Emblems of the island, they are also good indicators of the environment as they attend the whole island during their migration. They feed especially at the pond of Saint-Jean. 134 individuals were observed in May 2010, and an average of 20 in late 2011. These are worrying signs. This is pond is an environment to be monitored.
Geologists coordinated by Vincent Caron of the University of Amiens, came to Saint Bartholomew in March 2011. They had 4 different specialties. They were interested in islets Coco and Sugar Loaf. Particular attention was paid to the beach rocks and deposits of coral skeletons in Grand Fond. Their study will allows to learn more about the history of Saint Bartholomew, its seismicity, tsunamis and cyclones. This collaboration with the Nature Reserve will be repeated regularly.
Management of invasive species
For the management of invasive species, the population has naturally turned to the Reserve. This activity was not part of these objectives, but these species can have a significant impact on the Reserve.
The Reserve fights against the common iguana (Iguana iguana), against the lionfish (Pterois volitans), and acacia of Santo Domingo (Dichrostachys cinerea). Grubbing campaign in 2008 led the fight against the proliferation in Fort Carl.
Monitoring of the fauna and flora of the islets
Saint Bartholomew has 13 islets interesting by their distance from anthropogenic pressures, and in biological point of view (species there may have evolved differently from those on Saint Barthelemy). Many of these islands are already protected areas. In order to better understand the interactions between species and this habitat, a wildlife inventory began to assess the presence or absence of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians… whose character could be native, invasive exotic or rare.
Dr. Anne Breuil studied the vegetation of islets Fourchue and Frégate in 2011 for the reintroduction of the Lesser Antilles iguanas.
Monitoring of algal proliferation
In 1999 Pr. Claude Bouchon notices a brown algae (Dictyota sp. among others). These algae competes with corals, both coveting the same soil (substrate). It represents a threat to the coral reef. In 2004, a postgraduate student (worked in partnership with the University of the West Indies and Guiana) has developed a mapping of the health of coral reefs and seagrass beds, and a summary of potential sources of pollution. This study showed that the proliferation touched then the whole island. Brown algae occupy 40% of the substrate.
Monitoring of sea water's temperatures
Reserve decided to monitor the temperature of the water to complete the observations of coral bleaching. Corals in the Caribbean resent a water over 29°C.
From 2002 to 2004, two probes were installed at Pain de Sucre (one in surface, on at 10m deep). They have not experienced unusually high temperatures in 2005. According to Pr. Claude Bouchon water has reached 32°C in Grand Cul de Sac. A new probe is now placed.
Monitoring the water temperature by several Reserves in the Caribbean showed that the average annual temperature is 27.5°C (with extremes ranging between 24.9 and 30).
You can find the list of reports of scientific research coordinated by the Natural Reserve of Saint Bartholomew on this page. Some are available online, other documents are available upon request by sending an email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org