Biological DiversityJan Meerman‘s fantastic site on Belize’s Biodiversity. A comprehensive collection of species lists, scientific papers, maps etc

You can also learn more about Jan’s other project the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch & Botanical Collections at:

The Biodiversity & Environmental Resource Data System of Belize (BERDS)

Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD)

FCD is a non-profit, non-governmental organization co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park (with the Forestry Department), Belize’s largest terrestrial protected area representing 17 ecosystems and 7.7% of the national territory. The National Park forms part of a tri-national bioregion (La Selva Maya / Maya Forest) forming the largest contiguous block of tropical forest north of the Amazon. A total of 662 floral species and 796 faunal species are listed for the Chiquibul, but this list is incomplete and needs further research.

Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE)

TIDE is based in the Toledo District of Southern Belize and co-manages the 160 square mile Port Honduras Marine Reserve  (with the Department of Fisheries) and the 36,420 acre Payne’s Creek National Park (with the Forestry Department). In addition TIDE manages approximately 30,000 acres of private lands that are strategically located within the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor (MMMC).

Ya’axhe Conservation Trust

Founded in 1998 Ya’axche Conservation Trust co-manages the 100,000 acre Bladen Nature Reserve (with the Forestry Department). It is the largest and most diverse Nature Reserve in Belize. Ya’ache also manages the 15,000 acre Golden Stream Corridor Reserve. The Reserve is comprised of a corridor of natural forest leading from the Maya Mountains to the coastal and barrier reef. Ya’axche is actively engaged in promoting alternative livelihoods through a comprehensive community outreach programme.

Belize Foundation for Research & Environmental Education  (BFREE)

BFREE supports and manages a private research and educational facility, located on 1,153 acres of tropical rainforest nestled in the foothills of the Maya Mountains of southern Belize along the crystal clear Bladen River. Four protected areas adjoin the BFREE reserve, including the Bladen Nature Reserve, Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve, Deep River Forest Reserve and the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve.

Programme for Belize  (PfB)

Programme for Belize manages the country’s largest private reserve located in the north-west of Belize. The 260,000 acre Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) represents about 4% of Belize’s total land area. The reserve is home to 200 species of trees, 390 species of birds (25 migratory species), 70 species of mammals and 39 species of concern  including jaguar, puma, margay, ocelot, Howler and Spider Monkeys. The reserve connects with the Maya Biosphere Reserve (Peten, Guatemala) and the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (Campeche, Mexico) that together cover 4.4 million acres forming the largest protected area complex in Central America.

Southern Environmental Association (SEA Belize)

SEA is a newly formed NGO and is the result of a merger between Placencia based Friends of Nature (FON) and Punta Gorda based Toledo Association for Sustainable Tourism (TASTE). SEA’s mission is to improve the stewardship and environmental integrity of key marine areas in southern Belize through effective, collaborative protected areas management, community involvement, and strategic partnerships for the benefit of all stakeholders. SEA co-manages (with the Fisheries Department) three important marine protected areas: The Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve and the Laughing Bird Caye National park. The Laughing Bird Caye NP and the Sapodilla Cayes MR are part of the UNESCO ‘Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System’ world heritage site.

Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development (PCSD)

PCSD was formed in 2006 by concerned residents from all communities on the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize – Maya Beach, Seine Bight and Placencia.  Their concern was the rapid, unplanned, poorly executed and unsustainable tourism development of the Peninsula.  

Belize Raptor Research Institute (BRRI)

BRRI is a non-profit organization started in 2008 by raptor biologist Ryan Phillips with the aim to increase the knowledge and understanding on Neotropical raptor species. Currently BRRI is studying all three hawk-eagle species, the Solitary Eagle and the Stygian Owl. BRRI recently obtained 501(c)3 tax-exempt status and by 2015 hopes to establish a research base on 15-acres of land within the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of western Belize (Cayo District).

The Belize Zoo

The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center was started in 1983 by Sharon Matola as a last ditch effort to provide a home for a collection of wild animals which had been used in making films about tropical forests.  Located a short drive west of Belize City on 29 acres of tropical savanna it exhibits over 125 animals all native to Belize. Over 15,000 school children every year visit the zoo as part of the zoo’s progressive education programme. The Belize Zoo was heavily damaged during the 2010 hurricane season and is due to re-open in December 2010. Support for this amazing exhibit and educational outreach facility is desperately needed. For more information on how you can help e-mail Sharon Matola on

To view the zoo’s blog go to:

Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is an environmental education center that offers experiential learning programs and training opportunities while serving as a model of conservation land stewardship.

Belize Audubon Society (BAS)

The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) is the oldest conservation organization in Belize managing 9 protected areas designated under the the National Parks System Act of 1981 – Actun Tunichil Mucnal Natural Monument, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Guanacaste National Park, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, Victoria Peak Natural Monument.

BAS cares for public lands and national parks covering 192,000 acres. Half Moon Caye National Monument is the oldest protected area in Central America.

Ecomar Belize

Ecomar Belize runs a number of research and conservation projects along the Belize Barrier Reef ecosystem. They participate in the “Belize Coral Watch” program and are working with Exeter University on the ‘Belize Turtle Watch’ program.

Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT)

PACT was established in 1995 as a statutory body after several years of consultation and meetings with various non-governmental organizations, governmental departments, private sector and international conservation organizations.

PACT aims to provide financial assistance for activities within protected areas that foster conservation, sustainable development and management of the areas.

More can be read about PACT at

Mountain Pine Ridge Environmental Coalition (MPREC)

Established in 2011 through a growing need by local stakeholders to monitor and protect the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and its infrastructure. This fledgeling NGO draws members from the lodging providers, tour guide association and local businesses. MPREC is a collaborator with Charles Britt’s pioneering work with Scarlet Macaws.

More can be learned about MPREC at

Charles Britt – Scarlet Macaw Researcher

Charles along with a small number of supporters and collaborators is helping make a real difference in studying, monitoring and protecting Belize’s Scarlet Macaws.

To learn more about Charles’s work visit his excellent blog “A Scarlet Macaw Adventure” at


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