Resource Details

Modification of tropical forest patches for wildlife protection and community conservation in Belize

Literature: Books or Book Chapters Available at NO COST

Lyon, J., & Horwich, R. H. 1996, "Modification of tropical forest patches for wildlife protection and community conservation in Belize" in Forest Patches in Tropical Landscapes, eds. J. Schelhas & R. Greenberg, Island Press, Washington D.C., pp. 205-230.


Community Baboon Sanctuary, Belize


Chapter available for free at


  • This chapter highlights the forest management practices that are practiced in a fragmented tropical forest in Belize: the Community Baboon Sanctuary, a community conservation project for the black howler monkey, based on private lands.
  • The project began in 1985 and includes 8 villages composing ~ 450 people. The forested area is very fragmented, but the howler monkeys are not hunted and have coexisted at the site with humans for many years. The project area includes 45 km² in total, but approximately half is cleared, and remaining forest is centered in the riparian areas.
  • Local landowners and project staff collect tree phenology data to determine food source availability for the monkeys; authors note this as a positive research method to inexpensively collect data while at the same time involve and train local people. Results found a high number of trees dependent on animal dispersal.
  • Landowners retain private ownership of lands in the sanctuary, but are encouraged to retain forest corridors in riparian zones and along property boundaries. Conservation of remnant pasture trees is also promoted to ensure connectivity and seed dispersal, in addition to opportunities for strangler fig establishment, a common food source for the howler monkeys.
  • More active management techniques include construction of feeding sites, removal of nonnative trees, living fence posts, enrichment tree planting, and aerial bridges.


  • Belize
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