Biodiversity Synthesis Report

Gartzia, Olatz and Maarten , Hofman (2013) Biodiversity Synthesis Report. Technical Report.

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    Abstract

    Ya’axché Conservation Trust is a Belizean community-based NGO that works to protect the forests of the Maya Golden Landscape, which includes several public and private protected lands and surrounding communities. Ya’axché manages The Golden Stream Corridor Preserve (15,000 acres) and co-manages The Bladen Nature Reserve (100,000 acres) in collaboration with the Government of Belize. Since 2006, Ya’axché has been monitoring biodiversity to observe possible changes of the environment and track the effect of unsustainable activities, and of our conservation actions. The Biodiversity Monitoring Program only included bird and mammal transects at first, but over the years we have added other taxa and methods such as freshwater invertebrates, bats, land-snails, vegetation, weather monitoring, road traffic density and road crossings, and finally land-use change monitoring. In 2013, we have maintained last year’s transect efforts. We found that overall, in both bird and mammal transects the savanna had more target species observations. GSCP was the area that showed greater disturbance among the forests we monitor. Camera trap results showed a good diversity of mammal species in all forests. The most significant finding in 2013 was the first group of Black Howler Monkeys in GSCP since Hurricane Iris in 2001, a sighting which provides useful data on the rates of post-disturbance re-colonization of this species, and proves the importance of Ya’axché’s work to conserve this important biological corridor. This year we have increased by four times bat monitoring efforts, but the amount of species found did not increase greatly. As in previous years, the savanna showed much greater diversity than the forest. We concluded that the bat monitoring methodology may not be the most adequate to monitor our target habitats. On the other hand, snail monitoring area has been extended with the addition of one further plot in Golden Stream Corridor Preserve’s foothills, but snail identification skills are still lacking and further training is needed. However, snail specialists working with Ya’axché rangers have found three species new to science. Data collection from the weather stations in both Golden Stream field station and Bladen ranger base has been consistent throughout the year and a strong drought was recorded in Golden Stream, which resulted in an increase of fires in the MGL. This year we have not included road traffic monitoring and road-crossings, but while it is a bi-annual survey, we will again next year. The two one-hectare vegetation plots in BNR remain a work in progress and data collection will be complete by the end of April 2014. The results will be included on the 2014 Biodiversity Synthesis Report.

    Item Type: Technical Reports (Technical Report)
    Related URLs:
      Publisher: Ya'axche Conservation Trust
      Subjects: (H) Protected Areas > (HG) Nature Reserve
      (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3B) NGOs
      Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2015 10:26
      Last Modified: 13 Aug 2015 10:26
      URI: http://eprints.uberibz.org/id/eprint/1489

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