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Wildlife Team Fly Over Southern Belize Corridor


Have you ever experienced the beauties of Belize from the sky? Well our wildlife team has and it’s all a part of the job.

In early February, Dr. Bart Harmsen, Emma Sanchez and Yahaira Urbina along with Dr. Rebecca Foster of ERI’s partner organization, Panthera, took a break from the footwork and took to the skies over the south of Belize.

The Lighthawk sponsored flight, gave the team the opportunity to fly over the Maya Mountain Jaguar Conservation Unit (JCU) and the Southern Belize Corridor (SBC). A Jaguar Conservation Unit (JCU) is an area with a stable prey community and a large enough number of jaguars to be self-sustaining, or an area that has a smaller jaguar population but with adequate habitat and prey base such that the jaguar population could recover if threats would be alleviated. This Maya Mountain JCU includes Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s first jaguar reserve. Ten years of monitoring by Dr Harmsen and Dr Foster has shown that the Sanctuary supports a core jaguar population.

The flight allowed the team to familiarize themselves with the landscape of the Maya Mountain JCU and the lands connecting the jaguars of the Maya Mountains with those in southern Belize and into Guatemala. From the air, the team were able to see the forest cover, agriculture, settlements and the potential for wildlife connectivity across the landscape; and also conducted a visual assessment of the forest clearance along the southern and western borders between Belize and Guatemala.

Many thanks to Lighthawk for donating this second flight, last year they flew the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Development at Government of Belize, Hon. Lisel Alamilla and our Terrestrial Science Director, Dr. Elma Kay over the Central Belize Corridor. Read More here:

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