June 25, 2001
Turtles are protected, as are their nests and eggs by both local and international law. The turtles I found while diving are called Hawksbill, but others include Loggerhead, Green and Leatherback. If you spot a turtle while diving you are requested to report the sighting to a dive shop or the Marine Park. The Sea Turtle Club of Bonaire link can provide information, pictures, and statistics.
Corals are protected by both local and international law and included hard corals, soft corals and sea fans, regardless of whether are alive or dead. (Little sand is found on any beaches, it is all chunks of coral) Coral reefs can be destroyed by stirred up sand (watch your fins), trash, and touching. Some varieties can take as long as ten years to grow an inch and they provide homes to many little fish. More information can be found at link.
Plants are protected by domestic laws such as the orchids, lilies, cactus, bromeliads and others. Bonaire was once a forest (incredible to fathom) but the hardwood tree was harvested to near extinction. I discovered mostly brush and cactus, which are home to iguanas and lizards that are also protected. Turtle grass in Lac Bay is not to be touched or disturbed due their importance to fish larvae from the sea and conch.
Birds too are protected. I did see two of the local parrots as well as the sugar thief (which is actually attracted to bowls of sugar water and syrup on your table.) There are also the terns, snowy white egrets, herons and the great white egret that is starting to increase in numbers again.
Last, I will mention the donkey and flamingo preserves. Neither of which is to be harassed or otherwise annoyed. Both are protected and being taken care of. More information for the wild donkeys can be found at link and donations are accepted.
From journal Caribbean Paradise