Clean-up effort removes TONS of trash from our mangroves

When a group of concerned citizens gathered with boats, snorkel gear and lots of energy, it was in an effort to clean up the lagoon waters of Ambergris Caye. Around 40 people, from all walks of life, made sure they did an excellent job of cleaning our all-important mangroves. 5000 pounds (yes, FIVE THOUSAND!) of trash later, and the mangroves are breathing easier, ready to become proper nurseries for young marine life. Awesome job everyone, and thank you for helping to clean our environment!!

Two new pre-spawn sites discovered in Northern Belize

Photo by Patrick Williams

Led by Addiel U. Perez, a Ph.D. student of El Colegio de la Frontera Sur and a BTT research associate, a research team recently identified bonefish pre-spawning activity in two sites in Northern Belize. This discovery represents a major step forward in bonefish research along the Belize-Mexico border, as it is the first time pre-spawning behavior has been documented in the region.

Photo by Patrick Williams

Since 2015, Perez alongside Roberto Herrera and Belizean guides Omar Arceo and Jose “Chepe” Polanco have tagged over 8,550 bonefish, recovering 650 in southern Mexico and northern Belize. By working with local, traditional fishermen, seasonality as well as local movement/migration could be tracked. However, Arceo’s veteran years in the fishing industry led him to personally witness pre-spawning activity in two new sites in northern Belize. The findings will be published in Environmental Biology of Fishes 2018, and the team hopes more sites will be reported and monitored so that better management can lead to conservation of bonefish and their habitat.

Already reaping benefits of the newly designated North East Corridor!

Photo by Rudy Castellanos

Wildtracks Belize was super excited to share some exciting news about the newly designated North East Corridor – in particular, Fireburn. Fireburn is 1,818 acres of protected forests and mangrove savannas managed through an agreement between Wildtracks and the Fireburn Community. The protected area supports wide-ranging species such as white-lipped peccary and jaguar that cannot exist when forests become patchy and fragmented. Birds of prey are also lucky to count on Fireburn, and one was caught nesting high in the canopy. A young Ornate Hawk Eagle was photographed by Rudy Castellanos as he and his post-release tracking team was out keeping an eye on reintroduced howler monkeys in Fireburn. Just another awesome reminder that when we protect our forests, they give back in abundance! (Follow Wildtracks on their Facebook page for more cool photos and stories like this @wildtracksbelize)

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About the Author: Mary Gonzalez

Mary Gonzalez writes under the pseudonym 'Tia Chocolate'. Tia Chocolate enjoys writing short stories that focus on her life growing up in the small Maya village of San Antonio, Cayo District, Belize.
Tia loves (and we mean LOVE) eating and writing about her food experiences, often times trying out new recipes to try and recreate the foods of her memories. She also loves to travel, indulging in the culture wherever she is privy to visit.
She is slave to a giant cat named Kitty Boo Boo, and her cooking exploits are enjoyed by her significant other, Pookie.

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