Originally founded in September 2016 on the island of Caye Caulker in collaboration with FAMRACC and Ocean Academy, Next Gen Croc is a student led crocodile monitoring program to assess the stability of crocodile populations via nocturnal eyeshine surveys, as well as conduct community outreach to further the young student’s role as conservation leaders and wildlife advocates in Belize. Through Next Gen Croc, we anticipate our student’s to build a strong foundation in leadership, communication, and scientific skills, while simultaneously providing the students’ mentorship in the field of science, wildlife research and management. Additionally, through external funding the CRC seeks to provide Next Gen Croc Students with opportunities to network and participate in national, regional and international scientific meetings.
Next Gen Croc Caye Caulker (est. 2016) conducted 3-day nocturnal eyeshine surveys, while also building their knowledge on the basic biology of American Crocodiles around their island, astronomy, and local Maya folklore. At the end of the school year, CRC sat down with students and analyzed data with Next Gen Croc students, and helped students write-up an annual report for the Belize Forest Department (absolutely impressive for 16 and 17 year-old students!). The information gathered during their monthly surveys will be kept in an ongoing database and used to monitor the stability of the population, and assist the CRC and the Belize Forest Department to manage the crocodiles and mitigate human-crocodile conflict, especially as Caye Caulker continues to rapidly develop.
Next Gen Croc Placencia (est. 2017) includes youth from various local schools. These students participate in a wide range of field research, including conducting biodiversity surveys and nocturnal eyeshine surveys under the mentorship of CRC, as well as participating and assisting CRC in community outreach events. Next Gen Croc Placencia is set up to provide one-on-one mentorship to participating students to assist them in obtaining the experience needed to give them a strong base for their future career scientific career.
Interested in helping the CRC foster the next generation of wildlife and environmental leaders? Your financial contribution or time volunteering with these students will further the success of this wildlife youth program. Contact us for further information, and check out our social media pages for the latest update of what's crocin' with Next Gen Croc!
A huge thank you to The Phoenix Zoo, Miami Zoo, and the Marine Conservation Action Fund for supporting this wildlife youth program over the years!
Next Gen Croc Seine Bight: “ Wi love it, suh wi protect it”
The CRC has been consistently working with the local community of Seine Bight when it comes to the local children and their involvement with the environment. Every month, the CRC hosts an environmental club where we share information about how we can coexist with crocodiles and how plastic affects both human and wildlife well-being. The club ends with a beach cleanup.
We bought a special guest speaker, Melvin Alvarelo, a local birder from Belize, to talk to the children about the birds that are native to Belize and the most frequent ones that can be observed in our backyard for our last NGC Seine Bight Environmental Club session.
Next Gen Croc Placencia
This group of future leaders headed out with some of the CRC interns and international students to conduct croc surveys. As usual, they spotted for crocs and helped collect abiotic data.