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XVIII Congress Merging Cultures and Biodiversity

What does being a Belizean have to do with the number of jaguars or scarlet macaws in our forests? And in turn what does that have to do with the rest of Mesoamerica? Well, the Mesoamerican Society for Biology & Conservation (MSBC) or Sociedad Mesoamericana para la Biologia y la Conservacion (SMBC), in Spanish, gathered its regional team at its XVIII congress from October 13th to the 17th 2014 in Copan, Honduras to find out.

The MSBC is a non-profit international organization founded with the purpose of exchange and diffusion of ideas on the biological and cultural conservation of Mesoamerica. It connects individuals and institutions that have similar objectives within the Mesoamerican region, along with supporting countries. A team from the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute gave several presentations during this year’s congress.

The theme was “Entrelazando culturas y biodiversidad; patrimonios de Mesoamerica” meaning “Merging cultures and biodiversity; Mesoamerican patrimony.”

On October 13th under the category ‘Species Biodiversity and Ecosystems’, UB ERI’s Wildlife Fellow, Dr. Bart Harmsen gave his presentation on “Camera trapping large carnivores: lessons learned from a 10 year study in the Cockscomb Basin, Belize. *Bart Harmsen, Emma Sanchez, et al.” Thereafter on October 14th our Wildlife Biologists; Yahaira Urbina gave her presentation on “Predators’ presence in a human-influenced landscape, Belize. *Yahaira L, Urbina, Rebecca J. Foster, et al.” followed by Emma Sanchez presenting on “Long term spatial dynamics of ocelots in Cockscomb Basin, Belize. *Emma Sanchez, Bart Harmsen, et al.”

Joining our team was Panthera- Belize’s Director, Rebecca Foster, Ph.D who gave a presentation entitled “An overview of human-jaguar conflict In Belize. Foster, R. J., Urbina, Y., et al.”