Central Belize Corridor Project
To date we have conducted camera–trap and sign surveys for jaguars and key prey animals, and begun live–trapping of terrestrial mammals to fit radio collars. We have successfully captured three pacas (Agouti paca), two males (one of which was too young to collar), and one female. Since their capture, the pacas have been tracked day and night to discover how far they range, the habitats that they use, and where they rest. This was made possible with the help of interns from the Natural Resource Management Program from the University of Belize and English students from the University of Southampton.
During the wet season, heavy rainfall hindered live–trapping, and fieldwork was brought to a standstill by effects of hurricane Richard on October 24, 2010. The corridor felt the full force of the storm, leveling trees to the ground and reducing canopy cover to less than 40% in some areas. An initial assessment of the area has provided an idea of the extent of the damage. Fortunately there wasn't any loss of equipment and wildlife sightings have been reported in the wake of storm. We hope to resume live–trapping soon, and will also use camera traps to assess the impact of the hurricane on wildlife presence in the area. The next update shall yield the results of this effort.