The ecosystems on the island include coral reefs, coastal waters, shrubland, dry forest and rainforest. Across these, Statia supports one of the last genetically pure populations of the endangered Lesser Antillean Iguana as well as regionally endemic reptiles like the Orange-faced Ameiva lizard and the Red-bellied Racer snake. The endangered Lesser Antillean Iguana is a focus of our Statia Conservation Volunteer Programme. Green, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles also nest on Zeelandia Beach. Twice a year, turtles clamber on the black volcanic sands of the Quill to lay eggs while giant crabs hunt on the beaches every night. During the nesting season, volunteers in St. Eustatius get involved with helping with night turtle patrols. You can also find the Lesser Antillean Whip Scorpion or the Rare Orange Soapberry Bug. Marine life includes barracudas, snappers, high hats, enormous lobsters, jack knife fish, stingrays, whale sharks and eagle rays. Endemic plants include the Statia Morning Glory and the newly discovered vine Gonolobus aloiensis. The place is a paradise for bird watchers with an array of species including the Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Black-faced Grassquit, Bridled Quail Dove, Caribbean Martin, Red-billed Tropic Bird and many more.
There are national parks both on land and in the ocean given the need to protect the numerous valuable ecosystems. The St. Eustatius Marine National Park covers the coastal waters around the island and includes two coastal reserves (prohibiting fishing and anchoring) and the terrestrial national parks go by the names of Quill and Boven, and include a Botanical Garden. Trail Building in the first two parks and maintenance of the Botanical Garden are key parts of the project offered. The total protected area covers 33 square kilometres, almost twice the size of the island itself.
Volunteer in the Caribbean on the stunning island of St. Eustatius, in the Dutch Antilles, overlooking St. Kitts in the Caribbean Sea
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