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The Boven sub-sector comprises five hills in the Northern Hills of St Eustatius: the Boven, Venus, Gilboa Hill, Signal Hill and Bergje.

Geology

Statia is located on the zone of subduction where the edge of the Caribbean plate is tilted over the Atlantic Plate. Volcanic mountains have formed as the rocks in the subsiding plate melt and mix with the magma at the base of the crust. The northwestern part of Statia consists of a very old volcanic ruin eroded by continuous weathering and hardly to be recognized as a former strato-volcano.

Bergje (main cone pipe at 223 metre), Boven (289 metre), Gilboa Hill (175 metre), Signal Hill (234 metre) are weathered remains of the cone, originally built-up 600 metres high by accumulation of volcanic material 1.6 million years ago during the Quaternary Period. The Northern Hills contain numerous layers of volcanic deposits, weathered into a red colour due to oxidation of the Ferro-magnesium mineral in the andesite rock. [go up]

Flora and Fauna

The Northern Hills have a maximum height of 200-300 metres and receive much less rainfall than Quill volcano. Arid conditions therefore give rise to much more sparse vegetation than that of the Quill.

The vegetation of the Northern Hills has been seriously disturbed in the past by agriculture and cattle breeding, however, at present these activities are very limited, and vegetation is recovering.

The Boven National Park provides habitat for a number of endangered species. Most of them are protected by local laws and some by international treaties. Species include:

  • Antillean iguana (Iguana delicatissima) is a rare and threatened species distinguished from the Central American relative, the Green iguana, by its uniform colour. Young and females vary from bright green to dull grayish. Iguanas are hard to find but are seen in many of the trees of the Boven.
  • Ground lizard (Ameiva erythrocephala) is one of the most common animals of Statia and is recognizable due to light yellowish lines along their flanks and red heads. They live in holes and are seen along the trail.
  • 15 species of orchid are found around Statia and some are found in trunks and main branches of big trees. Orchids are commonly found at the top of the Boven in and around the large cracks of the rocks.
  • The Statia Morning Glory (Ipomoea sphenophylla) is a creeper of the family Convolvulaceae and is found around Bergje Hill.

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Hiking

Currently the Boven trails are being maintained. They are worth visiting and are reached from the end of the road at Zeelandia. There are 5 main hikes:

  • Venus Bay (60mins): is the next bay after Zeelandia Bay
  • Jenkins Bay: A short trail that leads to the cliff above Jenkins bay. Although this is a short trail the views are worth a look.
  • Boven Trail (60mins): starts from Venus Bay plain and cuts north to the top of the Boven passing remains of a sisal plantation
  • Bergje Trail (120mins) branches from the Boven trail to the west around Bergje (location of endangered Statia Morning Glory), along Jenkins Bay and back
  • Gilboa Hill Trail (90mins) branches from half way to Venus Bay and east up the hill past old buildings and along old plantation walls.
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Regulations

Visitors are requested not to remove or damage any plants, trees or animals in the National Park and removal of any flora or fauna or artifacts is against the law. Please stick to the trails where possible and also take litter with you. [go up]

 

The Quill volcano seen from Boven sub-sector

 

Venus Bay

 

Punk Head Cactus

 

Undisturbed Pelicans fly over Venus Bay

 

Blooming Aloe plants