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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: Wildlife corridors for large mammals in Belize

Currently Active: 
Yes

This project has a three-fold purpose: (i) to plan a workable natural corridor to connect protected areas in Belize; (ii) to implement this into the framework of existing protected areas and zoning plans of Belize; (iii) to establish an in-country tradition of training skills for Belizeans to study their own wildlife.

Jaguar paw prints, Belize

The project is a collaboration between the University of Southampton, the Panthera Organisation, the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Belize, and the Belize Forest Department. We aim to establish a working wildlife corridor joining the two largest tracts of protected land in Belize, and to initiate a practice of monitoring wildlife resources. The project focuses on species whose population viability most depends on large areas of contiguous wilderness. In Belize these are best represented by the medium to large mammals living at naturally low densities. We are enumerating population abundances for a range of mammals (including jaguar, puma, peccaries, deer, coati, paca, armadillo), using large-scale camera trapping, sign surveys, telemetry and mark-recapture. We are assessing current population viability and dispersal routes within potential corridor regions.

Funding

The work is funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with a Darwin Initiative project grant (2009-2012) and a Darwin Fellowship (2012-2013).

 

What's related

Impact of Preserving the integrity of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor in Belize

Related research groups

Environmental Biosciences

Key Publications

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