Quill / Boven National 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

d - Human population and current activities

Inhabitants inside the area or in the zone of potential direct impact on the protected area:


Inside the area In the zone of potential direct impact
Permanent Seasonal Permanent Seasonal
Inhabitants not given not given 3200 not given

Comments about the previous table:


3200: data of 2009

Description of population, current human uses and development:


The island of St Eustatius is populated by 3200 permanent residents based in the town of Oranjestad with scattered settlements around the town and on main roads.

The Quill / Boven National Park is not subject to any commercial or agricultural development and there are limited extraction activities for subsistence:

  • The Black Land Crab (Gecarcinus ruricola) is caught at night time on a periodic basis by residents collected the crab for food. There are no data available but the activity appears to be very infrequent and by a limited number of individuals.
  • Subsistence fishermen collect some wood to construct fish traps on the main Quill trail below and around 250m park boundary. The impact on the forest is not apparent.
  • Goats roam freely around the island and stray into the Quill sector, and are resident in the Boven sector due to a former long lease for a farm in Venus Bay. Goat owners and poachers visit the park to shoot these goats for food. Tourism is the main activity in the National Park. A network of hiking trails has been established in the Quill sector since 1999 when park operations commenced. Hiking trails were mapped out and construction commenced in the Boven sector in 2008 once the lease arrangement with a farmer for grazing animals in Venus Bay was legally terminated. The National Park is visited by minimum 2000 hikers every year.
Activities Current human uses Possible development Description / comments, if any
Tourism significant unknown 2000 hikers p.a. Guided hikes given to approximately 200 hikers p.a. Mainly November - April
Fishing unknown unknown
Agriculture absent unknown
Industry absent unknown
Forestry limited unknown Subsistence timber local (for fish traps). Year round. Subsistence non-timber local (land crab collection). Year round.
Others not specified not specified

e - Other relevant features

Educational feature:


Guided hikes for school children and outings associated with monthly environmental school lessons (focusing on erosion, medicinal plants, fruit trees, butterflies, birds, geology).

Scientific feature:


There is very little published information about the fauna and flora of the National Park. A 2008 survey of flora in the Quill / Boven revealed a new species to science (Eremothecella microcephalica a lichen found in the Quill sector (Sipman, 2009)) and 2008 and 2009 orchid surveys confirmed three new orchid species for St Eustatius. A rapid entomological survey revealed 31 new species to St Eustatius in 2008. New areas of the endemic Ipomoeia sphenophylla were discovered in 2009. Visiting researchers plan additional site visits to finalise species inventories and establish further values for research. There is existing collaboration in the region with the University of Puerto Rico, as well as internationally with the New York Botanical Garden and Wageningen University Netherlands, amongst others.

Archaeological feature:


St Eustatius has a rich history, which is evident as there are outstanding archaeological sites in the National Park. These include two monuments (forts at Gilboa Hill and Signal Hill which are currently under process of being listed as national monuments), 1 battery, 10 slave villages, 3 plantation industrial areas (including Sugar Mill, Distillery), 1 plantation owner’s site, plantations and related roads and dozens of dry-laid stone walls with many artifact scatters from the 16th and 17th century. Map attached in annexe 3.