7 News Belize

Belize's Manatees Numbers Improving
posted (May 3, 2012)
An aerial survey of Belize's coastline conducted a month ago has confirmed that Belize's manatee population is on the increase.

A total of 507 manatees were sighted; 10% of them were calves. According to a release from the Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute, "this is the highest count recorded for Belize, still known globally to have the greatest number of the endangered Antillean manatee." The Southern Lagoon at Gales Point had an impressive 52 manatee.

An aerial survey was also conducted for dolphins and whales in mid April. They searched an area between 17 and 50 miles from the coast, looking for rough-tooth dolphins, killer whales, pilot whales, and sperm whales which have been sighted in Belize's waters. The observers made two rare sightings of sperm whale sightings at the southern end of the barrier reef, swimming southward towards Honduras. Other species spotted during the surveys were 33 dolphins, 11 turtles, and four crocodiles.

In other, related news, Manatee Researcher Jamal Galves has been recognized for his work with manatees in Belize. Galves was selected for the inaugural 2012-2013 class of "Caribbean Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders." He now gets to participate in a two-year training programme.

And that's not all, the talented Galves received an award of $30,000 Belize dollars from the Conservation Leadership Programme for a project called "Ameliorating Threats to the Manatee in the Heart of Belize."

The project will see a threat assessment carried out in the Belize River mouth area, where most of the manatee deaths and injuries are observed.

Home | Archives | Downloads/Podcasts | Advertise | Contact Us

7 News Belize