Archive for conservation

Francis Ford Coppola Resorts to Partner with Alexandra Cousteau and Blue Legacy on “Expedition Blue Planet: Belize”

Posted 10-13-11 at 3:57 PM

Francis Ford Coppola’s famed resorts in Belize, Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn, announced today that they have formalized a partnership with Alexandra Cousteau’s Blue Legacy, an environmental foundation that works to engage mainstream audiences on global water issues. Cousteau, the granddaughter of renowned environmentalist Jacques Yves-Cousteau, will travel to Belize in spring 2012 in order to explore and film critical environmental issues for a worldwide audience.

Committed and dedicated to fostering best practices in ecotourism and sustainable travel, the Coppola Resorts will host the Blue Legacy group during their stay in Belize. By leveraging Coppola Resorts' valuable relationships with the area's conservation partners and key influencers, Blue Legacy will gain a special insight into the management of Belize’s protected areas and will seek out views from a wide range of community stakeholders. Read More

Rare Solitary Eagle nest found in the Mountain Pine Ridge

Posted 07-28-11 at 12:05 AM

After many years of searching for a nest of the elusive Solitary Eagle by the Belize Raptor Research Institute (BRRI) and Blancaneaux Lodge, a stunning discovery was made on June 30th, 2011. Roni Martinez, Conservation Officer at Blancaneaux Lodge and member of the Belize Raptor Research Institute, assisted by Matt Allshouse, Stacia Novy and Audrey Martin of The Peregrine Fund, found an active Solitary Eagle nest in some of the steepest terrain in the Mountain Pine Ridge. The nest contained a single chick, which was at least two months old and getting ready to fledge the nest.  Bird Life International estimates the entire wild population of Solitary Eagles at fewer than 1000 individuals and currently the IUCN lists the species as Near Threatened, but may be up-listed based on further evidence of decreasing population size and trends.

The Solitary Eagle is a rare and local resident with a small population size within its broad, but patchy distribution from Mexico to Argentina.  All aspects of its natural history, breeding biology, and population demographics are unknown. Before the discovery of this nest, only two others had ever been found. Both findings were in the 1940’s and 1950’s in Mexico and sadly the eggs and adults were collected for museum specimens from both nests, and no nesting data was collected. The discovery of this nest is a big step forward in the conservation of the Solitary Eagle as we can now begin to understand this unknown species and its requirements, so that management strategies can be implemented and its conservation status can be better understood. The Belize Raptor Research Institute currently studying the nest, is setting plans into motion to protect the area where the nest was found and establish it as a Nature Reserve with access only for research or educational purposes. Stay tuned for updates, as BRRI raptor biologists are in the field studying the chick before it fledges the nest!

Blancaneaux Lodge Guides & Conservation Officer help with ongoing Scarlet Macaw research

Posted 06-02-11 at 12:10 PM

Eddie Tzib and Roni Martinez from Blancaneaux Lodge have been helping researcher Charles Britt and Marcial Cordova of Wildlife Conservation Society of Guatemala with the ongoing research of the Belize population of Scarlet Macaws. 

This year’s project included trapping individual Scarlet Macaws and placing Telonics satellite telemetry collars on them. Although this is a slow process covering a large area, the goal was accomplished over a two week period, and now three adult Macaws have been fitted with the satellite transmitters. These collars are already sending in data on the daily movements of the birds and will be key in finally deciphering the exact migration route of the Macaws over the Maya Mountains. Over the next two months, monitoring expeditions will continue as the breeding season draws to an end.

During the expedition, illegal poachers were documented climbing some nests, which prompted intervention by FCD (Friends for Conservation and Development) National Park Rangers. The threat to the survival of this isolated and declining species remains, and Blancaneaux Lodge is committed to helping the respective authorities and researchers in their constant battle to save it from extinction.

Blancaneaux Lodge participates in Earth Hour 2011

Posted 04-14-11 at 2:56 PM

On March 26th at 8:30 p.m. local time, Blancaneaux Lodge joined the global effort of five million supporters in more than 128 countries for Earth Hour 2011. The goal? To turn off all lights for 60 minutes as a sign of a commitment to a sustainable future. To smoothly accomplish this, Blancaneaux Lodge offered a candlelight dinner to all guests with local Marimba artists and invited local folktale author David Ruiz.

All lights were successfully shut down at precisely 8:30 p.m., just as Ruiz began a presentation on the evolution of Belizean literature. Ruiz also gave a reading from his new book, "Under the Yaax che Tree - Legends, Tales and Apparitions in Western Belize."


Guests at Blancaneaux Lodge attend an outdoor candlelight dinner and reading during Earth Hour on March 26, 2011.