Endangered Animals that can be Found in Belize, Central America

Endangered Animals that can be Found in Belize

Development has always come at a cost: the destruction of animal habitat. That is a heavy price to pay, because it usually pushes the animals to the brink of extinction. Over the centuries we have seen the animal kingdom shrink as entire species have gone extinct.

There is the other side of the coin as well, however, the brighter side: there are countless people across the world who love animals and for whom animals are part of their daily life. There are organizations that work to prevent animals from going extinct, and they use endangered animals in different ways to create and heighten awareness about environmental issues.

That is not all; focus on animals is also apparent in the number of animal-themed online slots that you get to play. NoDepositHero has listed the top 5 animal no deposit slots that you can play at online casinos.

The above story holds good for every country in the world, and Belize is no exception. Belize is the ultimate holiday destination for those that love the sea and pristine beaches. It is also the home of some of the most diverse variety of animals and plants. The sheer numbers are something to think about when it comes to the animal population here: 145 species of mammals, 139 species of amphibians and reptiles along with more than 56 different species of snakes.

Development has been one of the emerging stories in Belize and the rapid pace at which it has happened has led to a number of animals being placed on the endangered species list. The following are some of the endangered animals that can be found in Belize.

The Brown Pelican    

belize pelicans

The Brown Pelican is a smaller variety of pelican that is native to the regions of Central and South America, the West Indies and also the USA, specifically, North and South Carolina, Texas, Oregon, Washington and California. In Belize this bird is usually found by the beaches across the coastal regions.

The scientific name of this exotic bird is Pelecanus Occidentalis and it is only one of 2 species of pelicans that picks its prey from inside the water by diving into the water body. This is one member of the animal kingdom in this country that is on the endangered list because of exposure to pesticides like dieldrin and DDT. As a result of this exposure, the egg shells become thin and are not able to support the embryo within to maturity and hatching

The Cubera Snapper

belize fishes

The Cuban Snapper is native to Central America, South America and North America. Known by the scientific name of Lutjanus Eyanopterus, this fish is usually found living near reefs and other areas near to the shore.  You will find younger members near the seagrass beds, which are ideal places to hide themselves from natural predators.

The reason is clear, dumb people

The Cubera Snapper looks tough and hangs tough. And that is one of the reasons why it is so much sought after. This gamefish is known for its ability to put up a fight, and the fact that it is delicious to eat makes it that much more eligible for fishing.

Ocellated Turkey

belize flora and fauna

Everybody loves turkey, especially when it is so bright and easily noticeable like the Ocellated Turkey. This bird bears the scientific name Agriocharis Ocellata and is found mostly in Belize, Mexico and also Guatemala. It is bigger than other species of turkey and more colorful.

The Ocellated Turkey is a big bird, and therein lies one of the major reasons for its being on the endangered list: it is easy to hunt and so people hunt it for food and also for sport. Another big reason for its being on the endangered species watch-list is the loss of habitat it has been experiencing because of the rapid rate of deforestation and urbanization across Central America.

The Bromelian Tree Frog

belize frogs

Another beautifully exotic little being to grace the jungles of Belize is the Bromelian Tree Frog. Found usually in Belize, the Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, this little creature has an interesting story to it. The frog lays its eggs in the rosettes of the bromeliads or in nooks and crevices that temporarily hold water in them, such as the leaf sheath of a banana leaf. The eggs hatch here and the tadpoles grow to maturity in the pools of water in these surfaces.

One of the biggest reasons for this little creature being on the endangered species list is the rapid pace of urbanization that the regions where it is found is experiencing. The immediate cause is massive levels of deforestation in the name of development, giving the little one minimal chances of survival.

Mesoamerican River Turtle

belize turtles

Turtles are cute, and this is especially about one of the native inhabitants of Belize, the Mesoamerican River Turtle. This animal goes by the scientific name of Dermatemys mawii. It is commonly referred to as Tortuga blanca or hickatee. This is a nocturnal creature and is found in Belize and Central America. It is commonly found in the lakes and rivers here.

The Mesoamerican River Turtle is on the watch-list for critically endangered species that is collated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The reason for its being on this list is directly related to the human need to hunt this creature. The hunting is primarily for the turtle’s meat, but that is not all; its eggs and shells are popular too.

As a result of such rampant exploitation, this animal is almost completely extinct from most of the spaces where it would normally live in Southern Mexico.

In Belize, thanks to constant conservation efforts, the situation has improved marginally. Organizations like Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) and Belize Bird Rescue are doing their bit in making things better. There is still a whole lot of work to be done, though.


Get a copy of The Ultimate Belize Bucket List! Written by Larry Waight, a local with more than twenty years of experience in the travel industry, the book is packed with tips, information, and recommendations about all of the best things to see and do in Belize.
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