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Whale Sharks in Belize

Belize whale shark whale sharks in belize The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, and one of the largest creature of any kind alive today. It is classified in the order of Orectolobiformes (five gill slits, anal fin, two dorsal fins, no spines on the fins and the mouth in front of the eyes). In Belize they are most often seen from Placencia or Hopkins, and out by the Silk Cayes.

Since whale sharks are night feeders, there really are no guarantees as to when they show up. They are usually visible three days after the full moon at the end of May but sometimes they do not show up until a week later. Although 3 or 4 days before and after the full and new moons in April and May are the best times to interact with the sharks, they are often sighted through the summer months as well.

Despite their size, whale sharks are remarkably gentle and curious. The whale shark’s gentle natures makes swimming with them a special treat for divers and snorkelers. The whale shark’s curiosity even pulls fishing parties into its thrall. We have sometimes had whale sharks seem to be asking to be petted as they glide alongside fishing boats.

Visit Belize to see these magnificent creatures.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Tourism | Leave a comment

THE GREAT BLUE HOLE

Believed to be the world’s largest feature of its kind, the Great Blue Hole is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Great Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, over 300 metres (984 ft) across and 125 metres (410 ft) deep.
Great Blue Hole This site was made famous by Jacques-Yves Cousteau who declared it one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world. The diameter of the circular reef area stretches for about 1,000 feet and provides an ideal habitat for corals to attach and flourish. The coral actually breaks the surface in many sections at low tide. Except for two narrow channels, the reef surrounds the hole. The hole itself is the opening to a system of caves and passageway that penetrate this undersea mountain. In various places, massive limestone stalactites hang down from what was once the ceiling of air-filled caves before the end of the last Ice Age. When the ice melted the sea level rose, flooding the caves. The temperature in the Blue Hole at 130ft is about 76F with hardly any change throughout the year at that depth.

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Tourism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baboon Sanctuary in Belize

Belize Animal Sanctuary
The Baboon Sanctuary was established to protect the local population of Black Howler Monkeys through community participation in appropriate land management. The Community Baboon Sanctuary on the banks of the Belize River is located some thirty miles west of Belize City off the Northern Highway in the Belize District. Consisting of some eighteen square miles of basically subsistence farms, the sanctuary exhibits the spirit of coexistence that Belizeans have with nature. The Black Howler Monkey is the main species of interest in the reserve. A total of 28 troops were identified in the area in 1985. The Howler population has grown from 840 at this point to over 1000 by 1988. Territories are occupied by anything from a single animal to groups of 10. With increasing habitat destruction, this primate is becoming increasingly threatened.
The Sanctuary was established and visited by primate researchers in 1981, whose follow up studies highlighted the higher densities of Black Howler Monkey associated with riparian rather than other types of forest . After initial consultation with the villagers in 1984, an application was made to WWF USA in 1985 for funds to set up the reserve.
Local landowners and the Bermudian Landing Village Council signed a voluntary management agreement in 1985, with technical support provided by R- Horwich of Community Conservation Consultants (TJSA). The reserve has expanded since, to 11520 acres in 1986 (about 60 land owners) as more landowners have joined the project and committed themselves to the land management practices winch accommodate the Howler monkey (known as baboons in Creole).
By March 1987, 6 other villages in the area were party to the agreement and there are now 70 land owners who have signed the voluntary pledge, and 30 others who cooperate with it In addition to Bermudian Landing, the other settlements involved are Flowers Bank, Isabella Bank, Big Falls/St Pauls Bank, Willows Bank, Double Head Cabbage, and Scotland Halfmoon.
A variety of other mammals are found in the reserve or nearby, including Bird’s Tapir and the Jaguarundi. Reptiles include Morelet’s Crocodile, Iguana and the Central American River Turtle. Local people report that deer are beginning to re-appear and that birds are becoming more abundant Whilst 59 species of birds were recorded by Zisman in 1989, the number identified with increased investigation has risen to 250.

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Tourism | , , , , | 3 Comments