Wildlife of Belize
The Wildlife of Belize – Lots of information
Although Belize is a relatively small country, it has an amazing variety of wildlife living in a wide range of habitats. The country’s savannas and lowlands are home to rare waterfowl, its forests provide a refuge for tapirs, pumas and numerous tropical birds, while the mountainous regions ensure a niche for elusive jaguars and other beautiful cats.
There are approximately 145 species of mammals living in Belize. There are 139 species of reptiles and amphibians that have so far been identified in Belize, including 56+ species of snakes. Belize is also a birder’s paradise, with over 500 species of rare and beautiful birds thriving in its many distinct habitats.
Habitats of Belize – Wikiepdia
While over 60% of Belize’s land surface is covered by forest, recent studies indicate that some ~20% of the country’s land is covered by cultivated land (agriculture) and human settlements. Savannah, scrubland and wetland constitute the remainder of Belize’s land cover. Important mangrove ecosystems are also represented across Belize’s landscape As a part of the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor which stretches from southern Mexico to Panama, Belize’s biodiversity – both marine and terrestrial – is rich, with abundant flora and fauna. Belize is also a leader where it comes to protecting its biodiversity and natural resources. Recent (July 2010) informatio from the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations of Belize (APAMO) indicates that some 36% of Belize’s land territory falls under some form of official protected status, giving Belize one of the most extensive systems of terrestrial protected areas in the Americas. Neighboring Costa Rica, by contrast, only has 25.8% of its land territory protected. Some 13% of Belize’s territorial waters – home to the Belize Barrier Reef System – are also protected. The Belize Barrier Reef System both constitutes a UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Site and the second largest barrier reef in the world, second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Belize’s animal and plant life are the stars of the country, thanks to the conservation of its forests and reefs. Getting to see the animals and to identify and understand the plant life is in large measure a matter of having a knowledgeable guide.
Birds of Belize
Scientists have confirmed the presence of a harpy eagle nest in the Maya Mountains of Belize. The discovery represents the most northerly breeding pair in the Americas, and signals a comeback for a species which has become locally extinct in much of Central America due to human activity.
Birds of Central America and Belize - Lots of information
With over 540 different, colorful species of birds in the country, Belize is a must for the professional or amateur bird-watcher. In the Orange Walk District alone, over 400 species of birds have been recorded. More so than anywhere else in the country, the Orange Walk District is the country’s leader as a birder’s paradise. With its unusually diverse habitats, the famous Maya Ruin area of Lamanai is a must for professional ornithologists or casual bird watchers. 366 bird species have been recorded at Lamanai, and this figure is expected to reach 409 shortly.
As many as 587 birds have been recorded in Belize, of these, approximately 20 percent are migrants from North America. Every year new species are being documented. Eight new records were accepted in 2007, including the Crested Caracara, Canada Goose, and Spot-breasted Oriole.
Reptiles of Belize
Dangerous Snakes Among 56+ species of snakes found in Belize, only 8 are considered dangerous to humans.