Number of lora’s increased to 800þ


KRALENDIJK — During the annual lora-counting last Saturday, volunteers had counted more lora’s than previous years. The tentative result amounts to approx. 800 lora’s.


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This number could still change after a further analysis of the collected data. Until now, the number of endemic parrots on Bonaire had been estimated at 650 to 700. The increase is probably due to better protection and more information.

Fundashon Salba Nos Lora in cooperation with STINAPA and the Environment and Nature policy department from DROB had organized the fifteenth count since 1980. The count is important to obtain more information on the rare Bonairean parrot. Dozens of volunteers had been active during the early morning count. It had been a simultaneous count at 27 different locations, of which a part lies in the Washington Slag Bay, but for the larger part, outside that location. After the count, the participants had enjoyed an excellent breakfast by courtesy of STINAPA Bonaire at the entrance of Washington Slag Bay Park.

Persistent rainfalls during December and January had hampered the annual lora-count during the past two years. These rainfalls influence the behavior of the lora’s, and less lora’s had been counted. However, these months were actually dryer this year. Many lora’s had therefore moved from the northern part of the island to the built-up area in search of food in the neighborhood of residential area’s. By including these areas in the count, one had still come up with a fair indication on the number of lora’s.

The lora’s are actively protected on Bonaire since 2002, when the government had rung and registered more than 620 captive lora’s, and had involved a huge information campaign. Since then, Fundashon Salba Nos Lora holds an annual information campaign on the protected lora, with the result that less lora’s are held captive or killed.

Even though many Bonaireans are proud of the nature and the lora, they are not entirely happy with the increase of the rare parrot. Lora’s do not make any distinction between native fruit-trees in nature and those planted in kunuku’s or gardens. The owners of the latter are not happy when the lora’s eat their mangos. However, the lora’s are driven by hunger, as the nature on Bonaire cannot always produce sufficient nourishment. Furthermore, many trees had been felt on Bonaire in the distant past, amongst which fruit-trees such as Kalbas and Shimaruku. Nature never really recovered completely due to the damage caused by stray goats and donkeys. Nowadays, there are many shrubs and trees that the goats are not fond of, such as the Wabi, and those trees and shrubs do not provide the lora’s with any nourishment either.

That is why Fundashon Salba Nos Lora is looking for solutions. During the past year, the institute had planted more than 130 native fruit-trees in the nature on Arbor Day. Those trees are being protected against goats. If nature could provide more nourishment for the lora’s, they would be little disposed to eat from the fruit-trees as their source of nourishment. Salba Nos Lora will continue to plant native trees during the coming years and look for other solutions as well.