This post is also available in: Dutch.
Anyone who likes reading about nature has probably encountered the word endemism. Endemic simply means that a plant or animal species occurs only in a particular area and nowhere else in the world. All over the world endemic species do occur. Interestingly enough, on islands, and especially older oceanic islands, often a higher percentage of endemic species and subspecies are found compared to the mainland. Isolation leads to unique endemic species.
Good examples are the giant turtles and the weird marine iguanas inhabiting the Galapagos Islands. This island group is so isolated that species that ended up there in one way or another adapted themselves to the local (relatively harsh) environment in exceptional ways. This process led to amazing species found nowhere else in the world.
Also Curacao, an island of oceanic origin, supports endemic species and subspecies. Some are endemic to only the island, others endemic to the neighboring Bonaire and/or Aruba as well. A beautiful example of a local endemic species is the Leptonycteris nivalis curasoae, the Long-nosed Bat, found on Curacao and Bonaire.