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  • Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE)The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) was founded in 1997 to meet the growing environmental and development needs of the Toledo District, the southernmost district of Belize. TIDE was conceived as a grassroots initiative in response to the negative environmental effects from activities such as manatee poaching, illegal fishing, illegal logging, destructive farming methods, and other types of unsustainable development. Initially started by volunteers, TIDE has now grown to include 20 paid staff.

    TIDEs mission is to research, monitor, and help manage Toledos natural resources. The Maya Mountain Marine Area Corridor stretches from the lush pristine forests of the Maya Mountains to the white sand beaches and spectacular array of colors of the Belize

    Barrier Reef System World Heritage Site. In addition, TIDE assists planning responsible tourism and other environmentally sustainable economic alternatives by providing training and support to local residents.

    Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) also leads ecotourism expeditions throughout Belize, in addition to other wildlife conservation and monitoring activities.

    Contact Information:Celia Mahung, Executive Director

    Toledo Institute forDevelopment and Environment,

    Punta Gorda Town,

    The Programme for Belize (PfB) is a Belizean, nonprofitorganization, established in 1988, to conserve the natural heritage of Belize and to promote wise use of its natural resources. The Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) is its flagship project where Programme for Belize demonstrates the practical application of its principles.

    Since its inception, PfB has secured 260,000 acres of forest in northwestern Belize that was otherwise destined for clearance. The RBCMA represents approximately 4 percent of Belizes total land area and is home to a rich sample of biodiversity including: 400 species of birds, 200 species of trees, 70 species of mammals and 12 endangered animal species. On

    the RBCMA, PfB conducts research, conservation education, professional training and promotes environmental awareness among visitors. In addition, the forests of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area are important sites for a carbon sequestration project. Here, four million tons of carbon will be sequestered for generations to come.

    Contact Information:Edilberto Romero, Executive Director

    Programme for Belize, Belize City,

    Photos thanks to B. Rodriguez, S. Weinreb, D. Larson, R. Laubach, K. ONeill, M. Vokey.

    Belize Conservation Fund

    newsletter January 2011

    Help for the Yellow-headed ParrotFound only in Mexico and Northern Central America, the Yellow-headed Parrot (Amazona oratrix) is listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because the survival is threatened by habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. In the last two decades the population of this gorgeous parrot has decreased from 70,000 to 7,000 individuals. Both TIDE and the Programme for Belize have initiated programs to protect and rebuild the population of the Yellow-headed Parrot. Thanks to funds raised by the Belize Conservation Fund and the Minnasota Zoo, the Programme for Belize has implemented a recovery program to protect these parrots in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA). By strengthening its efforts and increasing the numbers of rangers

    during the breeding season PfB can prevent poachers from removing baby parrots from their nesting cavities. Rangers will now be present onsite to monitor and protect the birds and their habitat and stop poachers from cutting down and destroying the trees and taking the parrots. Rangers are also collecting data on the Rio Bravo Yellow-headed Parrots, reporting an increase in nesting success in 2010.As part of the initiative, PfB has produced an education flyer with information about the Yellow-headed Parrots importance for distribution in the local communities. Conservation awareness is a key component of this and other wildlife protection projects carried out by Programme for Belize. Workshops and education seminars are offered in the villages surrounding Rio Bravo. For videos and other resources visit

    to help:Please send contributions to Belize Conservation Fund

    c/o Massachusetts Audubon Society208 South Great Road,

    Lincoln, MA 01773Or call Bancroft Poor/Karen ONeill

    at 800-289-9504

    Make A DonationTo make a donation to support the work of Programme for Belize (PfB) or to The Toledo Institute for Developmental and Environment (TIDE), please complete this form and return to:

    Massachusetts Audubon SocietyBelize Conservation Fund

    208 South Great RoadLincoln, MA 01773




    State ZIP



    ___Yes, I would like to make a donation

    Donation InformationEnclosed check ____________

    Checks should be made payable toMass Audubon Belize Conservation Fund

    or please charge my credit card for the amount of______

    VISA___MC___ Card Exp:_________


    Belize Conservation Fund Newsletter January 2011

    Tody Motmot at La MilpaRio Bravo visitors have a golden opportunity to see one of the most sought-after and elusive deep-forest birds. This shy secretive species can be found in a few select locations at La Milpa Field Station: among the ruins at the Maya site, along the Mahogany Trail (where this photo was taken), and in a few other hidden spots on the grounds. During mating season, this colorful diminutive motmot pierces the dawn with its deep hoot while swinging its tail from side to side like a pendulum.

  • Belize Conservation Fund Newsletter January 2011

    The Toledo Institute for the Environment (TIDE), founded in 1997, is an award-winning nonprofit in the southernmost district of Belize with the mission to foster community participation in resource management and sustainable use of ecosystems within the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor of southern Belize for the benefit of present and future generations.With just 36 staff, they work to foster community participation in resource management and sustainable use of ecosystems within the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor. Innovative programs managed by TIDE prevent habitat and biodiversity loss and focus on providing alternative and environmentally friendly means for local residents to earn a living. TIDEs board of directors is committed to collaboration with local, national, and international partners.In addition to protecting the marine habitat, TIDE has a clear and compelling vision for the health of the Pine Savannas that are part of Paynes Creek National Park and part of the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor Conservation Action Strategy. The vision is simple eliminate anthropogenic wildfire, improve the stand structure of the Caribbean Pine, and stop poaching of the Yellow-headed Parrot. The plan uses the Yellow-headed Parrot (Amazona oratrix) as a symbol and indicator of health of the Pine Savannas.Paynes Creek National Park is a 37,680-acre preserve in Toledo with extensive pine savannas dominated by Caribbean pine, which supports a rich fauna including such rare birds as the Jabiru, Aplomado Falcon, and Yellow-headed Parrot. TIDE is preserving pine savanna habitat through wildfire prevention with a goal to restore normal stand structure and allow natural regeneration.

    Buffer communities Monkey River, Punta Negra, and Punta Gorda work with TIDE to manage the park, utilizing sustainable practices that preserve the wildlife and habitat. Local guides lead visitors on the nature trails and in the park to view the abundant and impressive wildlifefavorites are the howler monkeys, which are easy to see foraging and lounging in the tropical trees such as cecropia; and manatees, eating aquatic vegetation in the warm coastal waters.Patrolling natural areas to prevent illegal activities such as poaching Yellow-headed Parrot nests and educational outreach are two resource protection strategies are central to TIDEs efforts. This year village meetings were held in Trio and Bladen to inform inhabitants of the broader community about the negative impacts of wildfires and the importance of protecting the endangered Yellow-headed Parrot. TIDE also works to encourage sustainable farming practices and illegal logging to preserve the natural resources of southern Belize.

    Programme for Belize completed a major overhaul of its La Milpa Field Station in Spring 2010, thanks to a $85,000 grant to enhance its tourism support facilities, dormitory, and cabanas in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area.Four cabanas were repaired and upgraded, making them more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable for nature tourists. The state-of-the-art green student dormitory received a complete facelift of the interior and exterior, including a new zinc roof, replacement of porches, and realigned and rescreened windows. New fixtures were also installed.

    Additional buildings underwent extensive repair and construction including the staff quarters, and the garage and maintenance building. The gift shop was relocated and expanded to the lower floor near the dining room. Added space allows for easier movement so guests can browse through the many souvenirs and gift items. Lovely glass shelving, new wooden clothing racks, a post card stand, and tiled floors also enhance the gift shop.

    A brand-new office/reception area was built for the station manager. Its central location will improve guest relations, welcoming visitors with an attractive entryway to the field station. Here the station manager provides site management and oversight of all operations at La Milpa. The fu