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Belizze
Research

Sibun River Monitoring Project

Water samplingGoal:  To monitor the water quality of the Sibun River in order to inform local communities about the health of the river.

Water is the essential element that all life depends upon.  InvertebratesAs the Earth’s supply of fresh water continues to decrease it is becoming increasingly more important to monitor the quality of this precious resource.  Many people in developing nations will drink, bathe and wash their clothes directly in local rivers and streams.  We face the challenge of helping people to realize the importance and delicate nature of this resource.  It is our intent to monitor the Sibun watershed region in order to alert the local communities about any changes that may be occurring and to help protect this natural treasure against the onslaught of irresponsible and careless development practices.

Orchid Conservation

Goal:  To collect and conserve as many of the orchids from the citrus farms near Saint Margaret's village before they are destroyed.

OrchidsOrchids are the world's most diverse plant family with the number of species estimated to be between 30,000 to 40,000 in over 800 genera.  In Belize, exceptional populations of epiphytic orchids and bromeliads are growing on the citrus trees in the groves near Saint Margaret’s village.  As part of the natural cycle of citrus farming hundreds of acres of citrus are being cut down and burned in order to plant new trees.  Consequently the orchids and bromeliads living on these citrus are being destroyed as well.  We are working with Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Botanical garden to preserve this amazing biodiversity before it is destroyed.  Initial efforts have been to collect orchids and relocate them to the Caves Branch Botanical Gardens.   With space running out in the Botanical Gardens we have also started relocating the orchids to the grounds of the Sibun Education and Adventure Lodge.  Groups staying at Sibun will be able to participate in the orchid rescue program as well as the ongoing studies about orchid and bromeliad diversity.

Interested in Contributing?

Are you interested in contributing to existing or developing unique research?  If so, please contact me at:Orchids burning

Dave Cox
Dave.Cox@llcc.edu
217.786.4909