Saba National Marine Park

Note: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.

Chapter 3. SITE DESCRIPTION

Flora

Brief description of the main plant assemblages significant or particular in the area:


A number of different plant species live on the reef and sandy habitats, the most common being Encrusting fan-leaf algae (Lobophora variegata), and Dictyota sp. Other species found include calcareous algae (with calcium in their structure) such as Pink Coralline algae and Leaf Algae (Halamida sp.). Mats of Red Algae grow in some areas. Seaweeds such as Sargassum and Green Feather Algae (Caulerpa sertulanoides) provide habitat and food for other animals.

List of plant species within the site that are in SPAW Annex I

List of species in SPAW annex I Estimate of population size Comments if any

List of plant species within the site that are in SPAW Annex III

List of species in SPAW annex III Estimate of population size Comments if any
Hydrocharitaceae: Thalassia testudinum not given
Hydrocharitaceae: Halophila baillonis not given
Hydrocharitaceae: Halophila decipiens not given
Hydrocharitaceae: Halophila engelmannii not given

List of plant species within the site that are in the IUCN Red List. UICN red list : http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search You will specify the IUCN Status (CR:critically endangered; EN:endangered; VU:vulnerable).

List of species in IUCN red list that are present in your site IUCN Status Estimate of population size Comments if any
Clover Grass: Halophila baillonii VU - Vulnerable not given
Star grass: Halophila engelmanni EN - Endangered not given

List of plant species within the site that are in the national list of protected species

List of species in the national list of protected species that are present in your site Estimate of population size Comments if any
Turtle grass: Thalassia testudinum not given

Fauna

Brief descript° of the main fauna populations and/or those of particular importance present (resident or migratory) in the area:


All four Caribbean species of turtle can be found in Saba National Marine Parks water: Hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricate), Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), Leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea) and Loggerheads (Caretta caretta) are a very occasional visitor. A number of Cetaceans are regular visitors both to the reefs and the waters around Saba, including; Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), , Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris), Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncates) (Attachment 13). Caribbean Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks and Black Tip Sharks are the most common shark specied in Saba National Marine Park, with occasional sightings of Hammerhead Sharks, Bull Sharks and Tiger Sharks. Manta Rays and Whale Sharks are also seen on occasion (Attachment 14).

The coral reefs are home to many fish species including Fairy baslets (Gramma loreto), Angel fish (Holocanthus sp. and many others) Groupers, Triggerfish, Scorpion fish, Moray eels (e.g. Gymnothorax moringa), Wrasse and Chromis, Parrot fish and roaming shoals of Blue Tangs (Acanthurus coeruleus). In sandy areas Garden eels (Heteroconger halis), Peacock Flounder (Bothus lunatus), Stingrays (Dasyatis Americana) and  Flying Gurnard (Dactylopterus volitans) can all be seen. Near to the reefs in the blue water, Crevalle Jacks (Caranx hippos), Bar jacks (Caranx rubber), Shoals of Barracuda (Sphyraena sp.)  Horse-eye jacks (Caranx latus) and Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) meander looking to feed off the smaller reef fish.

Eleven coral species are common around Saba; Agaricia spp., Colpophyllia spp., Diploria labyrinthiformis, Diploria strigosa, Madracis decactis, Millepora spp., Montastraea annularis, Montastraea cavernosa, Porites astreoides, Porites porites, and Stephanocoenia michelinii. Of these, Montastraea annularis was most dominant overall, followed by Agaricia spp., Millepora spp. and Diploria strigosa.

In deeper areas, the coral communities are dominated by plate corals (Agaricia sp.), soft corals such as seafans and Wire Corals (Ellisella sp.). The main hard corals on shallower reefs include Mustard Hill Coral (Porites astreoides), Brain coral (Diploria sp.), various forms of Star coral (Montastreasp.), Flower Coral (Eusmilia fastiagata), Maze Coral (Meandrina meandrites), Pillar Coral(Dendrogyra cylindrica) and the blade form of Fire Coral (Millepora complanata). Other coral species often found include Seafans, Seaplumes, gorgonians and Black coral (Antipathes sp.) at depths in excess of 20m, particularly at the drop off.

Aside from corals and fish, many other creatures inhabit the reef and other underwater habitats. These include a variety of sponges such as Giant Barrel Sponges (Xestospongia muta), Stove-pipe sponges (Aplysina archeri), Azure Vase Sponges (Callyspongia plicifera), Ball Sponges (Cinachyra sp.) and Elephant Ear Sponges (Agelas clathrodes). Countless other invertebrates inhabits the reefs such as Conch, Brittle stars, Magnificent Sea Urchin (Astropyga magnifica), Zooanthids, Crinoids,  Brittle stars, Cork Screw Anemones (Bartholomea annulata), Giant anemones (Condylactis gigantea), Spiny Lobsters (Panulirus argus), Pederson shrimp, Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis), Decorator Crabs (Microphrys bicomuta) and nudibranchs such as the Lettuce Sea Slug (Tridachia crispate).

Saba's shore line is an important home to endangered bird species and the Saba National Marine Park is an important feeding ground. For more details see attachment 12 and 17).

List of animal species within the site that are in SPAW Annex II

List of species in SPAW annex II Estimate of population size Comments if any
Reptiles: Caretta caretta not given
Reptiles: Chelonia mydas not given
Reptiles: Eretmochelys imbricata not given
Reptiles: Dermochelys coriacea not given
Birds: Puffinus lherminieri not given
Birds: Sterna antillarum antillarum not given
Birds: Sterna dougallii dougallii not given
Mammals: Balaenoptera musculus not given
Mammals: Balaenoptera physalus not given
Mammals: Balaenoptera borealis not given
Mammals: Balaenoptera edeni not given
Mammals: Megaptera novaeangliae not given
Mammals: Eubalaena glacialis not given
Mammals: Physeter macrocephalus not given
Mammals: Kogia breviceps not given
Mammals: Kogia simus not given
Mammals: Ziphius cavirostris not given
Mammals: Mesoplodon europeaus not given
Mammals: Orcinus orca not given
Mammals: Pseudorca crassidens not given
Mammals: Globicephala macrorhynchus not given
Mammals: Peponocephala electra not given
Mammals: Lagenodelphis hosei not given
Mammals: Stenella attenuata not given
Mammals: Stenella frontalis not given
Mammals: Stenella longirostris not given
Mammals: Stenella clymene not given
Mammals: Tursiops truncatus not given
Mammals: Stenella coeruleoalba not given
Mammals: Grampus griseus not given

List of animal species within the site that are in SPAW Annex III

List of species in SPAW annex III Estimate of population size Comments if any
Hydrozoa: Milleporidae not given
Hydrozoa: Stylasteridae not given
Anthozoa : Antipatharia not given
Anthozoa : Gorgonacea not given
Anthozoa : Scleractinia not given
Molluscs: Strombus gigas not given
Crustaceans: Panulirus argus not given
Reptiles: Iguana iguana not given In collaboration with the Accueil Réserve Naturelle St. Barth, a study is on it's way to scientifically establish the Saba Black Iguana as a distinct subspecies of the Green Iguana (Iguana Iguana), only found on Saba

List of animal species within the site that are in the IUCN Red List. IUCN Red List : http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search You will specify the IUCN Status (CR:critically endangered; EN:endangered; VU:vulnerable).

List of species in IUCN red list that are present in your site IUCN Status Estimate of population size Comments if any
Elkhorn coral: Acropora palmata CR - Critically endangered not given
Staghorn coral: Acropora cervicornis CR - Critically endangered not given
Warsaw grouper: Hyporthodus nigritus CR - Critically endangered not given
Hawksbill turtle: Eretmochelys imbricata CR - Critically endangered not given
Leatherback turtle: Dermochelys coriacea CR - Critically endangered not given
Black-capped Petrel: Pterodroma hasitata EN - Endangered not given
Mountainous Star Coral: Montastrea annularis EN - Endangered not given
Boulder star coral: Montastrea faveolata EN - Endangered not given
Bladed Box Fire Coral: Millepora striata EN - Endangered not given
Nassau Grouper: Epinephelus striatus EN - Endangered not given
Barndoor Skate: Dipturus laevis EN - Endangered not given
Winter Skate: Leucoraja ocellata EN - Endangered not given
Fin Whale: Balaenoptera physalis EN - Endangered not given
Coalfish Whale: Balaenoptera borealis EN - Endangered not given
Blue Whale: Balaenoptera musculus EN - Endangered not given
North Atlantic Right Whale: Eubalaena glacialis EN - Endangered not given
Green Turtle: Chelonia mydas EN - Endangered not given
Leaf Coral: Agaricia lamarcki VU - Vulnerable not given
Pillar Coral: Dendrogyra cylindrus VU - Vulnerable not given
Elliptical Star Coral: Dichocoenia stokesii VU - Vulnerable not given
Rough cactus coral: Mycetophyllia ferox VU - Vulnerable not given
Bumpy Star Coral: Montastrea franksi VU - Vulnerable not given
Lined Seahorse: Hippocampus erectus VU - Vulnerable not given
Yellowfin Grouper: Epinephelus flavolimbatus VU - Vulnerable not given
Masked Hamlet: Hypoplectrus providencianus VU - Vulnerable not given
Poey's Grouper, Grouper, White Grouper: Hyporthodus flavolimbatus VU - Vulnerable not given
Seabass, Snowy Grouper, Spotted Grouper: Hyporthodus niveatus VU - Vulnerable not given
Hogfish: Lachnolaimus maximus VU - Vulnerable not given
Cubera Snapper: Lujanus cyanopterus VU - Vulnerable not given
Mutton Snapper: Lutjanus analis VU - Vulnerable not given
Yellowmouth Grouper: Mycteroperca interstitialis VU - Vulnerable not given
Bigeye Tuna: Thunnus obesus VU - Vulnerable not given
Queen Triggerfish: Balistes vetula VU - Vulnerable not given
Marble Grouper: Dermatolepis inermis VU - Vulnerable not given
Giant Manta Ray: Manta birostris VU - Vulnerable not given
Grey Nurse Shark: Carcharias taurus VU - Vulnerable not given
Small-tooth Sand Tiger Shark, : Odontaspis ferox VU - Vulnerable not given
Bigeye Thresher Shark: Alopias superciliosus VU - Vulnerable not given
Dusky Shark: Carcharhinus obscurus VU - Vulnerable not given
Sandbar Shark: Carcharhinus plumbeus VU - Vulnerable not given
Night Shark: Carcharhinus signatus VU - Vulnerable not given
Gulper Shark: Centrophorus granulosus VU - Vulnerable not given
Longfin Mako: Isurus paucus VU - Vulnerable not given
Whale Shark: Rhincodon typus VU - Vulnerable not given
Great White Shark: Carcharodon carcharias VU - Vulnerable not given
Clubnose Guitarfish: Glaucostegus thouin VU - Vulnerable not given
Butterfly ray: Gymnura altavela VU - Vulnerable not given
Great Sperm Whale: Physeter catodon VU - Vulnerable not given
Sperm Whale: Physeter macrocephalus VU - Vulnerable not given
Humpback Whale: Megaptera novaeangliae VU - Vulnerable not given

List of animal species within the site that are in the national list of protected species

List of species in the national list of protected species that are present in your site Estimate of population size Comments if any
Various: Various not given The fisheries ordinance covers; (a) crustaceans, shellfish and other mollusks, seaweeds, corals, sea mammals, tortoises, star fish and sea urchins; (b) fish roe and hatch (c) hatch and seed of crustaceans and shellfish. The marine environment ordinance covers: Milleporina, Stylasterina, Gorgonacea, Scleractinia and Antipatharia (fire corals, lace corals, soft corals, stony corals and black corals respectively). Marine snails of the species Strombus gigas Turtles: marine reptiles of the species Chelonia mydas (Green turtle, Greenback), Eretmochylys imbricata (Hawksbill turtle) and Caretta caretta (Loggerhead turtle).