We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and bring supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you'll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please read below to see what supplies are needed for our current projects. Read More
Archive for Blancaneaux Lodge
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!
Francis Ford Coppola’s famed resorts in Belize, Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn, have formalized two strategic alliances that further the company’s commitment and dedication to fostering best practices in ecotourism and sustainable travel. Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn have joined the Sustainable Tourism Program led by the Rainforest Alliance, the international nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to helping businesses develop and implement practices spanning sustainable forestry, agriculture, tourism, climate and education. The two Coppola properties have also joined forces with one of the early leaders in the sustainable travel movement, Sustainable Travel International’s global Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification Program (STEP), which represents the gold standard for companies striving to be environmentally innovative and socially responsible.
“The Coppolas see their role as that of a conservator,” said Serena Lightner, vice president of Coppola Resorts. Adding, “We’re grateful for the opportunities to work with the Rainforest Alliance and Sustainable Travel International. Each of these organizations is a world-renowned sustainable tourism specialist. We look forward to working with each organization to further our commitment to ecotourism and carry out the Coppolas’ dedication to Belize’s pristine environment.”
The Coppola Resorts in Belize are currently undertaking an aggressive array of sustainability initiatives. Turtle Inn and Blancaneaux Lodge are currently implementing a stainless steel bottle program aimed at reducing plastic water bottle consumption by guests. Additionally, Blancaneaux Lodge has actively begun implementing eco-friendly systems and procedures for recycling as well as preserving water and power on the property. Both properties feature expansive organic gardens that supply fresh produce used in the on-site restaurants, reducing their carbon footprint by using locally sourced ingredients. Read More
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.
H. Lee Jones, author of the “Birds of Belize” field guide, visited Blancaneaux Lodge in early March as part of the routine bird surveys he does along the entire length of the country. Roni Martinez, the Lodge's Conservation Officer, joined Jones for a day and managed to cover a span of approximately thirty miles, recording all birds found along this transect. A total of 102 species were recorded, including the Broad-winged Hawk, Scarlet Macaw, Collared Trogon, Plain Wren and King Vulture. Most importantly, the Orange-crowned Warbler was recorded during the survey, only the second such occurence ever in Belize. Read More
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.
Our three Central America resorts have all received new tour vehicles in a continuing effort to create an outstanding guest experiences across all our services, equipment and facilities.
Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn in Belize have each received two vans (Toyota Hiaces to Blancaneaux, Nissan Urvans to Turtle Inn), with one Hyundai van going to La Lancha in Guatemala. The delivery of the new vans will elevate the comfort and quality of our vehicle fleets, providing guests with an even better tour experience.
Above: One of Blancaneaux Lodge's new Toyota Hiaces.
Ryan Phillips of Belize Raptor Research Institute (BRRI), with support from Blancaneaux Lodge's Roni Martinez and Eddie Tzib, has successfully captured and radio tagged one female and one male Stygian Owl (pictured right) at two separate locations in the Mountain Pine Ridge.
The female, who was tagged first, was followed for two days. She moved around low branches and her movements indicated that she may have been scouting for a nest site. Her movements have been recorded by GPS in order to getter a better understanding of the use of roost and hunting sites.
Phillips will be posting an update on the capture and monitoring via the Belize Raptor Research Institute website now that he is on his way back to the United States. Learn more at http://www.belizeraptorresearch.org/.