WILDLIFE CONSERVATION PARTNERS
Friends for Conservation & Development
Friends for Conservation and Development is a protected areas management, conservation and research organization which manages the Chiquibul Forest, comprising 5% of Belize’s territory. Among FCD’s many fantastic programs are the Scarlet Macaw Nest monitoring program in partnership with numerous organizations, including the Wildlife Institute and the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic. The Wildlife Institute pays for staff and interns from the Belize Wildlife & Referral clinic to conduct veterinary health checks on nesting chicks to give them a better chance of survival.
Founded in 1990, Wildtracks is working toward the sustainable future of the natural resources for the people of Belize through conservation, research, education and sustainable development. Wildtracks implements its activities through four Wildtracks programs: Conservation & Research; Education & Outreach; Sustainable Development; and the Support Program. Under the Conservation & Research Program is the Manatee and Howler Monkey rehabilitation centers. Wildtracks has an excellent volunteer program which requires a 6 month commitment. Contact Wildtracks founders and directors Paul and Zoe for more information about volunteering or supporting Wildtracks. The Wildlife Institute began sending student groups to Wildtracks in 2013. Dr. Isabelle, founder of the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic began working with Paul and Zoe of Wildtracks in 2009 through the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network. Wildtracks and the Wildlife Institute are now working in partnership with the Wildlife Benefactor’s Tour and the Wildlife Medicine and Conservation course offered at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic. The Wildlife Benefactor Tour donates $200BZ per person to Wildtracks.
Community Baboon Sanctuary
Founded in 1985, the Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS) is a pioneering project in voluntary grass-roots conservation. Their goal is to sustain the habitat of the Black Howler Monkey (Baboon in local Creole dialect) while prompting the economic development of local communities. Over 200 land owners and seven villages over 20 square miles have pledged to conserve their land for the Black Howler Monkey. CBS has four main goals; conservation, education, research, and tourism. In 1998, the Women’s Group was formed and currently manages CBS providing direct economic benefits to local families. CBS’s Community Development and Mobilization project aims to strengthen the Women’s Group through training and long-term planning. CBS has responded to community devastation wrought by Hurricane Richard in 2011 with its Greenhouse Project. CBS has a fantastic little museum on site. The women’s group can arrange meals and local accommodations for visitors. Contact CBS to arrange your visit. Dr. Isabelle has worked with CBS over the past decade, taking student groups and tourists to see Howler Monkeys in their native habitat. The Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic sends each of its interns and student groups on CBS tours, and the Wildlife Benefactor Tour will include CBS on its itinerary contributing $200BZ per person to CBS.
With only an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 wild American crocodiles left World-wide, ACES not only protects these magnificent reptiles, but conducts scientific research and educates communities to help save human lives as well. According to crocodile rescue statistics over the past seven years, Ambergris Caye, Belize’s number one tourist destination, has the highest incident rate of croc-human conflicts in the country. ACES expert team voluntarily relocates, or places in captivity, large American crocodiles living in dangerously close proximity of local residents and children. Crocodiles generally only become problematic and dangerous when they have been illegally fed by humans.
ARCAS is a non-profit Guatemalan NGO formed in 1989 by a group of Guatemalan citizens who became concerned as they saw their precious natural heritage – especially their wildlife – rapidly disappearing before their eyes. ARCAS was originally created for a very specific and urgent purpose: to build a rescue center to care for and rehabilitate wild animals that were being confiscated on the black market by the Guatemalan government. Since its establishment, the ARCAS Rescue Center has grown into one of the largest and most complex rescue centers in the world, receiving between 300 and 600 animals of more than 40 species per year.
Belize Bird Rescue
Founded in 2004, Belize Bird Rescue operates under licence and support from the Government of Belize Forest Department, and is Belize’s only avian rescue and rehabilitation centre. Belize Bird Rescue is a registered non-profit organisation with the mission of encouraging empathy for and awareness of the importance of the preservation of indigenous bird-life by means of education, conservation and rehabilitation
The Belize Herpetarium
Founded by conservation legend Tony Garrell, the Belize Herpetarium is a rescue and rehabilitation facility in Belize dedicated just to herps of all species. Currently with numerous snakes and a crocodile sanctuary, the herpetarium fills an important niche in wildlife rescue that few are interested in filling.
The Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center was started in 1983, as a last ditch effort to provide a home for a collection of wild animals which had been used in making documentary films about tropical forests. Shortly after the backyard “zoo” began, it was quickly realized that its Belizean visitors were unfamiliar with the different species of wildlife which shared their country. This very aspect fomented the commitment to develop the little zoo into a dynamic wildlife education center. Today, The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center is settled upon 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 150 animals, representing over 45 species, all native to Belize. The zoo keeps animals which were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as donations from other zoological institutions. The Belize Zoo has become the first nature destination in Belize that is fully accessible to visitors with physical disabilities.
The Zoological Foundation of El Salvador (FUNZEL) is a non-profit NGO founded in 1991. FUNZEL’s mission is to implement programs that contribute to the conservation of wildlife in El Salvador. Their purpose is to protect and conserve wildlife in El Salvador, developing research programs, rehabilitation of species, veterinary medical care, environmental education and awareness of various sectors of the population in order to avoid traffic and tenure of wild animals as pets and/or in captivity.
The Green Iguana Conservation Project
The Green Iguana Conservation Project is a continuous effort that aims to conserve and look after the endangered Green Iguana species in Belize. The Project uses interactive exhibits and programs to help educate visitors and create awareness among the general public. Here, visitors are given the opportunity mingle with these wonderful reptiles and also, learn the about the incubation, hatching, rearing, and releasing process. The Green Iguana Conservation Project offers the Adopt an Iguana Program and the Iguana Kids Club both of which raise funds to sustain the Project and fund scholarships. The Project has received much attention locally and internationally and is ranked as the Number 1 Activity in the San Ignacio area by TripAdvisor.
NINE Belize Eco-Cultural Tours
The Wildlife Institute’s local tourism partner for culturally emersive tourism experiences, no one does Cayo tourism like 9Belize.
UB Environmental Research Institute (ERI)
The University of Belize Environmental Research Institute (UB ERI), inaugurated in January 2010, was created primarily to address the large gap in local capacity for research and monitoring that exists within Belize. Belize has a wealth of natural resources, including the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, which supports the country’s most important industries, including tourism and agriculture. Recognizing this, the work of the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute is focused on producing results that are directly relevant and applicable to the sustainable management of Belize’s natural resources and building local capacity for this. At a finer but equally important scale for Belize’s development, the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute was created as a semi–autonomous department of the University of Belize (UB), with transparent and efficient management of projects at its core, in order to provide a much needed mechanism for research within the University.