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Curaçao

Thrasher
Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus ©Dick Daniels Website

Curaçao is a transcontinental island that is geographically part of South America but is also considered to be part of West Indies and one of the Leeward Antilles. Curaçao, in terms of climate, geology, flora and fauna are more akin to nearby Paraguaná Peninsula, Guajira Peninsula, Isla Margarita, Araya and the nearby Venezuelan areas of the Coro region and Falcón State. The flora of Curaçao differs from the typical tropical island vegetation. Xeric scrublands are common, with various forms of cacti, thorny shrubs, evergreens, and the island's national tree, divi-divis.

Curaçao's highest point is the 375 metre (1,230 ft) Christoffelberg in the northwestern part of the island. This lies in the reserved wildlife park, Curaçao Christoffelpark, and can be explored by car, bike, horse or on foot. Several trails have been laid out. Curaçao has many places where one can hike. There are Saliñas, salt marshes where flamingos fly out to rest and feed. 24km (15 miles) off the coast of Curaçao, to the southeast, lies the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao (Little Curaçao).

Curaçao is known for its coral reefs, used for scuba diving. The beaches on the south side contain many popular diving spots. An unusual feature of Curaçao diving is that the sea floor drops steeply within a few hundred feet of the shore, and the reef can easily be reached without a boat. This drop-off is known as the "blue edge." Strong currents and lack of beaches make the rocky northern coast dangerous for swimming and diving, but experienced divers sometimes dive there from boats when conditions permit. The southern coast is very different and offers remarkably calm waters. The coastline of Curaçao features many bays and inlets, many of them suitable for mooring.

Some of the coral reefs are affected by tourism. Porto Marie beach is experimenting with artificial coral reefs in order to improve the reef's condition. Hundreds of artificial coral blocks that have been placed are now home to a large array of tropical fish.

Climate Curaçao has a semiarid climate with a dry season from January to September and a wet season from October to December. The temperatures are relatively constant with small differences throughout the year. The trade winds bring cooling during the day and the same trade winds bring warming during the night. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) and the warmest month is September with an average temperature of 28.9 °C (84.0 °F). The year's average maximum temperature is 31.2 °C (88.2 °F). The year's average minimum temperature is 25.3 °C (78.1 °F). Curaçao lies outside the hurricane belt, but is still occasionally affected by hurricanes.

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Wikipedia®

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curaçao

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 178

Checklist

Useful Reading

Birds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire

By Bart De Boer, Eric Newton and Robin Restall | 176 pages | 70 colour plates | 5 colour photos | 4 colour maps | Softcover | A & C Black | 2012
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9781408137277

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of the West Indies

By Herbert Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando Garrido, Allan Keith & Janis Raffaele Helm Field Guides Sept 2003 Paperback RRP ?16.99p See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713654198

Buy this book from NHBS.com

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2006 [01 January] - John van der Woude

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2006 [08 August] - Sander Pieterse

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BirdLife International has the Netherlands Antilles assigned as a so-called ‘Secondary Area’. This is because of the presence of two restricted-range species: Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus and Yellow-shouldered Parrot Amazona barbadensis. The latter species is also labeled as ‘Vulnerable’ to extinction; it occurs on the adjacent mainland as well. Margarops fuscatus is represented on Bonaire by an endemic subspecies (ssp. bonairensis).

Other Links

Curacao Nature

Website

Welcome to this site which focuses completely on the nature found on the island of Curaçao. This island lies 150 kilometres north of Venezuela in the southern (Dutch) Caribbean…