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Cats Cruisin' the Corridor

Jaguar pawprints at the ZooThere has been lots of attention recently about the important role the lands, lying to the north and to the south of The Belize Zoo, play in maintaining a healthy and balanced environment.  Referred to as “The Central Belize Wildlife Corridor, numerous natural history treasures call these lands home-sweet-home. Wilber Martinez, an official with  Birds Without Borders, will be quick to note that this stretch of habitat provides a safe nesting and hunting grounds for our tall and elegant Jabiru stork.  Important?  With less than 200 Jabirus remaining in the entire region of Central America, our Central Wildlife Biological Corridor is a significant home-stay for Belize’s Jabiru population.

Another very exciting “Corridor Compadre” appeared recently, shown by very visible paw prints, and directly behind The Belize Zoo.  Zookeeper Tim Sho brought the news to our staff:  A jaguar was cruising just behind the zoo!  Left lots of paw prints!”  Without a doubt, the mighty prints were that of a Jaguar, and the curious animal, accompanied, it appears, by a young cub, had a serene stroll around  the outside of the Zoo compound, and then a happy drink in the nearby pond.

Jaguars require long expanses of undisturbed lands in order to maintain their ever-decreasing populations.  Many of the lands which these predator cats find perfect for their well-being, are viewed as marginal lands by people. The lands can support the Jaguar’s favourite foods, such as armadillo and peccary, but for large scale agriculture programs, or even a comfortable tourist facility, more suitable locations are in other areas. We, as a nation, noting the important role that some of the country’s territory plays in the maintenance of our natural resources, proving to be such a critical element in the continued successful profile of Belize, are proud to keep forward with ideas, strategies and co-management development plans which will serve to see that the nation of Belize will always retain a well-respected, environmentally and people-friendly profile. May those Jabiru storks keep flying over our Central “Critter-Corridor”, and, yes, may our big cats be cruising the corridor for years to come!Central Belize Jaguar Corridor

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