Morelet'sIn collaboration with a new, developing non-profit organization (full name will be announced shortly) that will focus on the conservation, research and education of crocodilian researchers, and organizations and governments of Central America and the Caribbean, I am currently working on finding funds to implement a Nationwide Morelet’s Population Survey.

The Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) is one of two crocodile species that inhabits Belize. This species primarily inhabits freshwater lakes, rivers, and wetlands, and is recovering from near extirpation in Belize as a result of over-harvesting in the early 1900s. It is currently listed as “Least Concern” under the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) Red List, and is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) given the population increase throughout Belize.

In conjunction with the tri-country agreement made between Mexico, Belize and Guatemala in 2011 to ensure the stability and conservation status of the Morelet’s crocodile in the region initiated by CONABIO, I intend to conduct a nationwide survey of the Morelet’s crocodile in Belize to order to apply accurate management tactics that can help in the conservation of this species. The following project proposal aims to gather data via traditional techniques of crocodilian surveys, in addition to gathering other scientific data. Thus, this project will include: 1) population surveys, 2) examine the health of crocodiles via parasitism, blood analyses and heavy metal concentrations, 3) analyze behavior, and 4) equip and train BFD rangers as well as other national wildlife organizations on capture techniques as well as performing crocodile population surveys. It is integral to include the BFD, as well as other interested wildlife organizations in the country to participate, in order to build a foundation and collaboration among conservation enthusiasts. Larger participation among interested parties will be more time and cost-effective in completing this project. It is anticipated the data from this study will assist the BFD in its efforts to conserve C. moreletii, as well as provide further knowledge about their ecology and behavior that could help alleviate present and future human-crocodile conflict throughout the country.

Thus far, I have organizations and donors interested in the funding of this survey.  However, the more funding the better!  So, here is the wish list for the survey:

Supplies Quantity Cost
Headlamps (mainly for BFD Rangers)


20 x $32.77 $655.40
Candlepower Q-beam spotlight (mainly for BFD Rangers)


10 x $46.71 $467.10
GPS tracker (mainly for BFD Rangers) ( 10 x $109.99 $1099.90
Eyeshine Survey forms (paper/writing utensils) NA ~$150.00
Equipment (catch pole materials, electric tape, etc) NA ~$1000.00
Travel expenses for CSG members (flight, accommodation, in-country travel) $2,500/person x 3 $7,500.00
Boat Rental/Boat Captain ~ 20 nights $4000.00
Boat Fuel ~ 20 nights $4000.00
Cooler (for heavy metal samples)


5 x 13.99 $69.95
Supplies for parasite and blood sampling NA ~$1,000.00
Partial accommodation for workshop participants NA ~$4,000.00
  TOTAL $23,942.35

Interested in helping this survey to be performed?  For donation or funding information, please email [email protected] or [email protected]