Title: Toledo Howler
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094063/00013
 Material Information
Title: Toledo Howler
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: Marta Hirons; Rob Hirons
Publisher: Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association
Place of Publication: Punta Gorda,Toledo District, Belize
Publication Date: August 2010
Edition: Rev.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094063
Volume ID: VID00013
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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The Toledo Howler


Newspaper of the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association


AUG-SEPT 2010


YEAR 4, ISSUE 1


The National Tourism Awards


INSIDE THIS ISSUI


National Tour-
ism Awards

Destinations:
Nim Li Punit

Calendar of
Events
Toledo Cacao
Fest Update

Restaurant
Guide

Wat's Cookin?

Map of PG

Queen Conch

Tour Operator:
Garbutt's Ma-
rine

BTIA Members
List

Accommoda-
tion: Tranquility
Lodge
PG Humane So-
ciety
Transport
Schedules
Arzu on Medici-
nal Plants
Southern Voices
Interview: Ar-
mando Choco
Birding with Lee
Jones

Map of Toledo

Classified Ads


This was the tenth year of the the Cultural Award of the
National Tourism Awards. Year losing out to The Three
E While the awards are nor- Kings who were boosted by
mally announced in
January for the previous
year there was a delay
this year as the Belize
2 tourism industry wel-
comed Seleni Matus the
new Director of the Be-
3 lize Tourism Board.
Changes were made to
the selection process
3 and this year's award
winners were voted on
4 by past guests, custom-
ers, travel company
partners and online so-
4 cial networks; in fact
anybody with a knowl-
edge and interest in
6 Belize's tourism product.


censed small hotel that cap-
tures the essence of warmth
and homeliness, displays
customer ser-
vice excellence,
0 utilizes environ-
6 mental best prac-
tices and sound
management".
E The lodge was
represented at
5 the awards cere-
o mony at The Be-
0 lize Biltmore Ho-
0
U tel by owner, Rob
o Hirons who was
accompanied by
0 their guide Ste-
ven Choco and
2 Steven's partner
Cordelia Choco
I who has de-
i hted -ts at


6 The awards have ten the lodge with
categories and Toledo he lodge with
her cooking for
7 had four finalists in Staff of The Lodge at Big Falls receive their award. the past six years.
three of these. Both the From Left: Rob Hirons, Cordelia Choco and Steven Everyone at the lodge
Maya Ant and Bee Group Choco was thrilled that their
and Cotton Tree Choco- hard work received
8 from Punta Gorda were the documentary film of the this recognition.
finalists for the Small Vendor
Same name. Of course, two of
of The Year award with Cot- hose three kings Florencio The lodge opened in 2003
those three kings Florencio
9 ton Tree Chocolate eventually with six thatched cabanas
Mes and Paul Nabor are also
placing as runner up to Tutti natives of Toledo. The winner and plans to expand its ca-
Frutti, the excellent Italian pacity this autumn with the
gelataria in Placencia. Like- f he Be st o addition of a further two units
9 Year was The Lodge at Big
wise the Battle of the Drums Falls. The award is for "a i- so that more guests can en-
was one of four finalists for joy the hospitality of Big Falls.
10

Howler Monkey Research Team in Toledo
11


The Black Howler monkey is
12 an endangered species, with
its population limited to Belize
and small areas of Guatemala
and Mexico. However, Toledo
15 District, with large areas of
rainforest and national parks,
16 is home to a healthy, large
population of howler mon-
16 keys. Although something of a
privilege, it's not uncommon
for visitors to hear the New
World's loudest animal during


their stay. It is estimated the
howlers' roar can be heard for
up to three miles!
In June a team from George
Mason University in Virginia
visited Toledo to conduct the
first ever Howler Monkey re-
search in the forest areas
surrounding Punta Gorda. Led
by Dr Sylvia Vitazkova and her
assistant, PG-born Ray Castel-
lanos, the team conducted a


preliminary population survey
of the monkeys, and collected
faecal samples to further as-
sess the general health of the
various troops.
Sylvia explained "We wanted
to study howler monkeys living
close to an urban population
and assess the effects this has
on the monkeys, but also how
Continued on page 8


BTIA's distinctive octagonal Informa-
tion Center on Front street in Punta
Gorda All you need to know about
Toledo is inside
Join BTIA and displayyour promotional
materials in the information center
Join BTIA and make a difference


Contact Toledo BTIA at the Tourism Information Center,
Front St., Punta Gorda Tel. 722-2531
E-mail btiatoledo@btl.net Chair: Rob Hirons
Secretary. Yvonne Villoria Treasurer: Dona Scafe

Contact The Howler Editorial Team
Tel. 722-2531 E-mail btiatoledo@btl.net. Features Editor: Marta
Hirons 671-7172 or marta@thelodgeaatbigfalls.com.
Advertising and Production Manager: Rob Hirons 671-7172 or
,O L,, 'tI ,lo 3, t L, i F 11-.. ,'O r


FREE








Destinations: Nim Li Punit


Now that the Southern Highway has
been completed the site at Nim Li
Punit is more accessible than ever.
It is located just north of the village
of Indian Creek with its entrance off
to the right when approaching from
the north. It is one of the more
modest archaeological sites in
terms of the size of the standing
structures but the site is most well
known for the abundance of carved
stelae discovered there.
The visitors' centre houses a num-
ber of these including one 9 metres
in length. It is the largest carved
stela in Belize and the second larg-
est in the Mayan world. This stela
depicts some of the history of the
region and one of its rulers whose
elaborate head-dress gives the site
its modern name which translates
as "Big Hat".
Within the excavated areas of the
site further stelae have been left in
their original locations and are pro-
tected by palm thatched roofs. The
Mat stela is part of the south group
and is depicted on the face of the
Belize two dollar note although its
location is not identified there.
The archaeological reserve covers
121 acres in total of which just a
few have been cleared and exca-
vated. One can only wonder about
how much more awaits discovery.
The same is true at Lubaantun and
throughout much of Belize leading
to the conclusion that so far just a
small proportion of Belize's ar-
chaeological secrets have been un-
earthed.
The warden is Adriano Mas from
Indian Creek village. Mr Mas has
worked here for the past nine years.
At weekends he tends his own plan-
tation. He is presently serving as
alcalde (local magistrate) for the
village so his evenings are pretty
busy too. Walking through the site
with Adriano it is easy to see why
this location was inhabited. Present


day Indian Creek village lies at the
bottom of the hill and then to the
east lies the vast expanse of the
coastal jungle plain. This extends
right up to the water's edge in Port
Honduras. The sea and cayes, ten
miles distant, are all clearly visible
from the site.
Ancient Nim Li Punit would have
had easy access to the sea and the
ancient salt works at Punta Negra.
Westwards they would have had
trade access with modern day Gua-
temala through the valley occupied
by the modern villages of San Anto-
nio, Santa Cruz and Pueblo Viejo.
Inscriptions on stelae point to politi-
cal and social links with Copan in
Honduras about two hundred miles
to the south.
Like so many archaeological sites in
Belize Nim Li Punit is carefully
tended by the warden and his assis-
tant and large forest trees grow
among the ruins.
Nim Li Punit is a wonderful place for
birding either early in the morning
or towards dusk. Groups of a dozen
or more keel-billed toucans have
been seen. A parrot and a pale-
billed woodpecker may fight over a
nesting hole excavated by the wood-
pecker but coveted by the parrot. It
is a great spot to see many of the
species that live below the canopy
of the rainforest.
Nim Li Punit was opened to the pub-
lic in 1976. In 1986 Richard Leven-
thal, Professor of Anthropology at
the University of Pennsylvania,
opened up Tomb 1. The last major
excavation and consolidation took
place in 1998 but there will be
some work going on at the site from
May to July this year.
Information
Nim Li Punit is open 365 days a year.
Opening hours: 7am to 5pm
Entrance Fee BZ$10
Telephone 665-6126


The mat stela at Nim Li Punit as reproduced
on the Belize $2 note


The South Group with stelae and tombs protected from the ele-
ments by thatched palapas


The ball court at Nim Li Punit







Calendar of Events


Date Event Venue / Time Other Info

28 August Launch of September celebrations Central Park / 7pm
4 September Queen of the Bay beauty contest Sports complex/ 7pm Tickets on sale before and
at the door.
9 September Fire engine Parade Through the main streets of
Karaoke competition Punta Gorda/ 7pm
Central Park/ 9pm
10 September St George's Caye Day
16 September Tribute to a Belizean Patriot Parish Hall/7pm
18 Sept Basketball Game Sports Complex / 7-10:30pm Tickets at door
19 Sept Ecumenical Service Central Park/ 7-8am
Football Marathon Union Field / lOam-6pm Entrance fees payable for
football and fishing
Fishing Tournament Benancio Petillo Park/ 10am-
6pm
20 Sept Family Entertainment Concert Central Park/ 7-10pm
Flag Raising Ceremony Central Park/ 11:45pm
7th Nov Wanaragua (John Canoe) Dance Contest For more information
Showcase of talent from which judges will decide who Venue to be confirmed / 7pm about all Battle of the
performs at Battle of the Drums start Drums events, phone 621-
performs at Battle of the Drums 0140
11th Nov Ms. Yurumein Contest Adults $5
Garifuna women display their creative talents Parish Hall/ 7pm Children $3
12th Nov Battle of the Drums Anniversary Food & Rooftop, PG Sports Bar/ $25 per person
Fete Celebration of Garifuna food and music 7pm-2am
13 Nov Toledo Tourism Expo TOLTEX Displays of crafts, Central Park, Punta Gorda/ Free event
food, music and other tourism related products and 9am-5pm
services in Toledo
13 Nov Battle of the Drums Adults: $12 in advance,
Punta Gorda Football Field/ $15 at the door. Students:
Exciting evening of entertainment as drumming 7 r $ Rerv atin $0
groups from around the region compete for top prizes 730pm start $7. Reserve seating: $20
14th Nov Paranda Top 10 Live radio broadcast focusing
on local Paranda music with live performances Sunset Terrace, Beya Suites, PG


Toledo Cacao Festival 2011

i Next year's Cacao Festival will be held from 20th to 22nd May, with its winning blend of cacao and culture, including inland l
and marine tours, arts and crafts, archaeology and music. The Festival opens with its signature Wine & Chocolate evening,
I featuring chocolate delights from Belizean chocolatiers. Mark your diary now, and check outwww.ToledoChocolate for infor-
i mation, or contact the Toledo Tourism Information Centre. CacaoFest is callingyou! The Cacao Festival Committee in- l
cludes volunteers from BTIA Toledo, Ya'axche Conservation Trust, the Toledo Cacao Growers Association, and other com-
iN munity groups and individuals. If you would like to be a part of Cacao Festival 2011, volunteering time and skills, please "
im contact Sulma Hernandez at the Toledo Tourism Information Centre. 722-2531



The Lodgje at Big Falls

Winner 'Best Small Hotel of the Year'

Fall Specials now available!
Phone: 671-7172
Email: info4?thelodgeatdbifa Is.com
Relax Refresh Rediscover Renew


'I








Restaurant Guide

Name Address Cuisine Phone Opening Hours
Coleman's Cafe Big Falls Village, near the Belizean 720-2017 Daily: 11:30- 4pm & 6- 9pm [ Res-
rice mill ervations Preferred ]
Earth Runnins' Caf6 and Main Middle Street, PG Belizean/ 702-2007 Wed-Sun: 7am-2pm & 5-11pm
Bukut Bar International 600-9026
Fajina Firehearth Food Front St, PG Local Mayan Food 666-6144 Mon-Sat: 7am-7:30pm. Closed on
Sunday
Gomier's Restaurant and Alejandro Vernon St, near Local & international 722-2929 Mon-Sat: 8am-2pm & 6-9pm.
Soy Centre PG welcome sign vegetarian / Seafood Closed Sundays
Grace's Restaurant Main St. PG Belizean/ Interna- 702-2414 Daily: 6am-10pm, including holidays
tional
HangCheong Main St, PG Chinese 722-2064 Daily: 10am-2pm & 5pm-midnight
Restaurant
The Lodge at Big Falls Big Falls Village, near the International/ Beliz- 671-7172 Daily: 11:30am 2pm & 6:30 -
rice mill ean/ Middle Eastern 9pm [ Reservations Required ]
Machaca Hill Lodge Wilson's Road Pan Central Ameri- 722-0050 Lunch: noon-2:30pm. Dinner: 7:30-
can and International 10pm. [Reservations preferred]
Mangrove Restaurant Cattle Landing, by the Belizean/ Interna- 722-2270 Daily: 5pm-10pm. [Reservations
curve tional preferred]
Marenco's Restaurant& Ice 57 Main St, PG Belizean/Seafood/ 702-2572 Mon-Sat: 9am-2pm & 5-10pm. Sun-
Cream Parlor Ice Cream/ Snacks & days: 5-10pm
pastries
Marian's Bay View Restau- Front St, south of the mar- East Indian/ Belizean 722-0129 Mon-Sat: 11am 2pm & 6 10pm
rant ket by the sea Sun & Hols: noon 2pm & 7 9pm
Martina's Kitchen BTL parking lot, PG Belizean 623-3330 Mon-Sat: 7am-3pm. Closed on Sun-
days
Mom's Restaurant Queen St, PG, by the park Belizean 620-1607 Mon-Sat: 6 am-2 pm &
661-1359 4-9 pm Closed Sundays
Rainbow Cafe Queen St, PG, by the park Belizean 631-2309 Mon-Sat: 7am-2pm. Closed on
Sunday
Rainforest Cafe Big Falls Village, just south Belizean 669-0080 Daily: lOam-lOpm
of the bridge
Reef Bar & Restaurant Front St, upstairs by the International/ 625-8652 Daily: 10am-2pm & 4pm-midnight.
market Belizean Closed on Tuesdays
Sho's Local Restaurant Entrance to Blue Creek Belizean/ Catering 668-6540 Mon-Sat: 7am-8pm. Closed Sun-
Village days. Group reservations required
The Snack Shack BTL parking lot, PG Breakfast & lunch/ 702-0020 Mon-Sat: 7am 3pm. Closed Sun-
Snacks, shakes, days
juices & pastries
Waluco's Opposite TIDE pier in Belizean/East In- 670-3672 Mon-Thurs: 7am-2pm & 5-10pm.
Hopeville dian/Seafood/ Weekends: 7am-late
Catering


What's Cookin? combined with additional ingre- Mix the recardo with the olive
dients, makes a great marinade oil to make a paste, and then
Annatto Fish and rub for fish, shrimp, work in the remainder of the
chicken and pork. ingredients. Smear the paste on

Annatto is commonly grown 2 tsp red recardo to the fish steaks or fillets and
throughout the tropics for use 2 tbsp olive oil leave to marinate for 30 min-
as both a culinary flavoring as 2 tsp minced utes. Then drizzle with a little
well as a coloring agent- 1 h extra marinade just prior to
1/4 tsp chili flakes
including in cosmetics, giving cooking.
2 tsp paprika
rise to its popular name of the Cook in a foil covered dish on a
lipstick tree! Visitors to San Mi- cumin fairly low heat until the fish is
guel village can easily see the 1/2 tsp oregano tender and flakes easily but is
annatto bushes growing in 1 tbsp beer or tequila still moist.
fields along the roadside, as Juice of 1 orange (or 2 tsp
well as throughout the Toledo orange squash) Recipe kindly donated by Kate
district. 2 tsp finely chopped cilantro Morton of Hickatee Cottages.

The annatto seeds are the main 1/4 tsp cinnamon
ingredient in recardo-a paste 1/4 tsp nutmeg
used in Belizean cooking which,














































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Punta Gorda


Services
A Texaco filling station
B James Bus Line
C Police Station 722-2022
D BTL office Public phones
E Post Office
F Customs & Immigration
G Belize Bank
H Tropic Air
I Maya Island Air
3 Hospital 722-2026 or 722-2161
K Toledo Travel Centre



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BTIA Members in Punta Gorda
1. Beya Suites
2. Garbutts Marine Investment
3. The Sea Front Inn
4. Toledo Ecotourism Association
5. Requenas Charter Service
6. Maya Bags, Belize Crafts Ltd.
7. Blue Belize Guest House & Tours
8. Coral House Inn
9. Hlckatee Cottages im suth of PG
oa Ex-Servcement Road
10. Scotia Bank
11. TIDE Tours


>*


Natural History of Toledo: Queen Conch


The Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) is
a species of large, edible sea snail that
can be found within the Port Honduras
Marine Reserve (PHMR).
The Queen Conch is a gastropod, a
soft-bodied type of mollusc, which is
protected by a hard outer shell cov-
ered in spines, to deter predators.
The shell is made from calcium car-
bonate which the conch extracts
from the sea water, and the shell of
an adult conch can range in size
from 15-31cm long (5.9-11.8
inches).
Adult conchs live in seagrass mead-
ows and on sandy areas of the sea
bed, while juveniles are found in
shallow, inshore seagrass meadows.
Queen Conchs are herbivorous,
which means they eat only plants,
and they can be found feeding on
seagrass and seaweed species.
Conchs are dioecious, which means
that each individual is either a male or
a female. After internal fertilization,
females lay eggs in gelatinous strings
on bare sand or within seagrass beds,
which then coil up to form egg masses.


Females can produce 5 to 10 egg
masses per season, each containing
up to 400,000 eggs, depending on
environmental conditions and food


availability.
Eggs hatch as swimming larvae which
live in the water column and are trans-
ported by currents. After 28 days the
larvae settle amongst shallow sea-
grasses and seaweeds and shell devel-


opment begins. After 2-3 years, when
the shell reaches 15-20cm (5.9-7.8
inches) long they move to deeper sea-
grass beds. After 3.5 years, Queen
Conchs reach maturity, stop grow-
ing and begin to reproduce.
Queen Conch is an important com-
mercial species in Belize, yet num-
bers have declined in recent years.
In order to protect populations,
and sustain the fishery, a number
of conservation measures have
been introduced, including a
closed season and size limits.
The closed season for Queen
Conch runs from July 1st to Sep-
tember 30th every year. During this
time, it is illegal to catch Queen
Conch throughout Belize. Queen
Conch reproduces between March
and October each year, with the
peak being from July to Septem-
ber, and the closed season is in place
to ensure that mating occurs. Size lim-
its are also in place and it is illegal to
catch Queen Conch with a shell length
smaller than 7 inches (17.8cm).
Continued on page 13


BTIA Toledo Welcomes

New Members in 2010
Membership in BTIA
Toledo has grown in the
past year and during that
time we have welcomed:


* The American Croco-
dile Education Centre
(ACES)
* The Maya Ant and Bee
craft group
* The Fajina Craft Centre
* Seiko Vieira and
* Chrisbel Perez as indi-
vidual members


How Do I Join BTIA?
Visit www.btia.org to read
about BTIA and all the
other membership bene-
fits and to download an
application form. Com-
plete the form and hand it
in to Sulma Hernandez at
the Tourism Information
Center on Front St.
BTIA meets monthly on
Wednesday at the Tour-
ism Information Center on
Front Street. Be a part of
BTIA and make a practical
contribution to the eco-
nomic development of
Toledo District.


, *'l',"


O









Tour operator: Garbutt's Marine


Garbutt's Marine is a tour operator of-
fering all manner of sea based tours
and activities including diving, snorkel-
ing, fly fishing, sea kayaking, nature
spotting and island hopping. The com-
pany supplies all the necessary equip-
ment for each tour.

Garbutt's Marine is truly a family run
business. The family includes Sandra
(Mom) Dennis, Scully, Oliver, Elizabeth
and Ewort. The Garbutts have been
looking
after visi-
tors to the
district for
many years
out on Lime "
Caye, for i 1
which they
have a long
term lease.
They ex- Scully, Sandra anc
tended the
business in 2005 to include a conven-
ient base at Joe Taylor Creek in PG.
This is where most tours and transfers
originate and equipment for the tour
operation is stored. Dennis plans to set
up a dive shop out on Lime Caye before
the winter season but the Joe Taylor
Creek office will remain the hub for the
business.

Lime Caye is a three acre jewel at the
southernmost end of the Sapodilla
Cayes, which are themselves at the
southern tip of the barrier reef. Lime
Caye is actually closer to the coasts of
Honduras and Guatemala than Belize.
There is an immigration post on Hunt-
ing Caye (a half mile north of Lime)
which handles visitors arriving from
other countries. The area is popular
with all the surrounding countries for
it's pristine beauty as well as its abun-
dant fishing grounds.

Dennis Garbutt is a dive master, li-
censed tour guide and general man-


Scully prepares for a bit of fly fishing


ager of Garbutt's Marine. He offers
PADI certified dive training for novices.
For experienced divers, Dennis offers
two-tank dives to the most exciting
parts of the southern reef; wall diving
and exploring unusual coral formations
along the reef. There are spawning ar-
eas for the great schools of Nassau
Grouper which arrive at certain times of
the year. The magnificent whale sharks
are sometimes seen here during the
spring spawning season. Dennis has
worked with various conservation or-
ganizations, including Earth Watch, and


ID


Idyllic Lime Cay


has an enormous store of knowledge
about the natural history of the area.

The Garbutt
family have
eight boats of
different sizes
'. available for day
t. He hs trips. Scully, a
ia t licensed tour
guide, is the fly
fishing expert
and one boat is
ennis Garbutt modified espe-
cially for this ac-
tivity. He has a core of loyal fly fishing
fans who come down from North Amer-
ica to Toledo each year specifically to
fish with him. While visiting Lime Caye
recently, Scully showed Howler staff a
large shoal of bone fish close to the
beach. Tarpon and Permit are the other
catch and release sports fish which
attract fishermen to Toledo district


Laid back Island accommodation
each year. The Garbutts' two largest
boats are moored in Placencia and
bring visitors directly to Lime Caye from
the peninsula. From either Placencia or
Punta Gorda, the trip to Lime Caye
takes 75 90 minutes.

Sandra is the chef on Lime Caye and
also looks after the four cabins used for
overnight guests. Some guests are only
based on the island for the day but
other groups will stay from 3 to 7
nights. Everything is provided for guests
while on the island. Sandra prepares
mouth watering meals morning, noon
and evening as well as between-meal
fruits and snacks. Of course being a
small island surrounded by the Carib-
bean, it's not surprising that fresh fish
is often on the menu. It doesn't come
any fresher than this! All meals are
home cooked with local ingredients and
include things like fresh conch stewed
with yellow ginger, steamed vegetables
with coconut rice and fresh fry jack &
johnny cakes with bacon and eggs.

There are four guest cabins on Lime
Caye. One sleeps five, one four and two
are for couples. One has an en-suite
bathroom while the others have shared


,e.. o u t d o o r
facilities.
This is best
described





TV or a cell phone signal (they use ra-
dios and GPS plus there is a phone for
emergencies on nearby Hunting Caye).


Cozy treehouse cabin built for two

Electricity is produced by a generator
and the Garbutts have two fresh water
wells. There is a sense of having found
that desert island where Robinson Cru-
soe lived. The two couples cabins sit
high on posts by the sea and feel al-
most like tree houses. When you walk
out onto your verandah in the morning,
you are greeted by sand, sea and sky.
This is truly about getting away from it
all; relaxing and laid back. Shoes are
optional.

Dennis says the original idea was to
concentrate on fly fishing but they soon
branched out to include snorkeling and
diving. The Sapodilla Cayes sit in a pro-
tected reserve and there is a wealth of
natural history to learn about here.

For example, Loggerhead and Hawks-
bill turtles lay eggs at night along the
sandy beaches of these cayes. Sandra
points out markers placed near current
nesting sites on Lime Caye, to protect
them until the eggs hatch in about sixty
days.

Snorkeling is the most popular activity
these days, with fishing next and diving
the third. However, with more market-
ing, Dennis expects the dive operation
to be a big growth area in the future.

A website is in the works but not yet
completed. To find out more about
tours offered by Garbutt's Marine and
to make reservations, email Dennis at:
garbuttsmarine@yahoo.com or call on
722-0070 (calling from the US please
add the prefix 011-501 before the local
number). If you are already in the dis-
trict, ask your hotel about booking tours
with Garbutt's Marine.







BTIA TOLEDO MEMBERS 2010


Business Name Email Phone Contact Person

American Crocodile acesnpo@hughes.net 665-2762 Vince & Cherie Rose
Education Sanctuary
Belize Crafts Ltd, Maya Bags belizeexecutivedirector@mayabags.org 722-2175 Desiree Arnold

Beya Suites info@beyasuites.com 722-2188 Lisa Avila
Blue Belize Guest House & Tours info@bluebelize.com 722-2678 Dan Castellanos & Rachel Graham
Coral House Inn coralhousebelize@yahoo.com 722-2878 Rick & Darla Mallory
Cotton Tree Lodge chris@cottontreelodge.com 670-0557 Chris Crowell
Chrisbel Perez cuxlinha@live.com 630-7673 Chris Perez

Cuxlin Ha Retirement Village cuxlinha@hotmail.com 501-614-2518 Dona Lee Scafe

Dem Dats Doin demdatsdoin@btl.net 501-722-2470 Yvonne Villoria

Fajina Craft Center of Belize fajina.craft.center@gmail.com 666-6141 Candelaria Pop

Garbutt's Marine Investment Co. garbuttsmarine@yahoo.com 604-3548 Dennis Garbutt

Hickatee Cottages cottages@hickatee.com 662-4475 lan & Kate Morton

The Lodge at Big Falls info@thelodgeatbigfalls.com 671-7172 / 614-2888 Marta & Rob Hirons
Machaca Hill Lodge info@machacahill.com 722-0050 Brian Gardiner

Maya Ant and Bee Group mayaantandbee@gmail.com 662-1139 Ofelia Cal

Requena's Charter Service watertaxi@btl.net 722-2070 Julio Requena
Romero's Charter Service rcharters@btl.net 722-2625/2924 Francis Romero
Scotia Bank elvis.perez@scotiabank.com 722-0098/0099 Elvis Perez
The Sea Front Inn larry@seafrontinn.com 722-2300 Larry & Carol Smith

Seiko Vieira seikovieira7@gmail.com 665-5394 Seiko Vieira
Sun Creek Lodge suncreek@hughes.net 600-8773/614-2080 Bruno & Melissa Kuppinger
TIDE Tours info@tidetours.org 722-2129 Karel Kuran
Toledo Eco-Tourism Association teabelize@googlemail.com 702-2119 Vicente Sackul / Reyes Chun

Toledo Tour Guides Association ttgabze@gmail.com 660-3974 Dennis Garbutt

Tranquility Lodge info@tranquility-lodge.com 677-9921 Sheila & Rusty Nale
Tumul K'in Center of Learning tumulkin_tourism@yahoo.com 608-1070 Rosemary Salam


Howler Monkey Research

Continued from Page 1
monkeys can be affected by farming
and particularly whether there is dis-
ease transmission between domestic
animals and monkeys."
The research was conducted primarily
along Ex-Servicemen/Boom Creek Road
(heading south-west from Punta Gorda
towards the tiny Boom Creek village on
the banks of the Moho River) and visu-
ally identified eleven troops in the forest
on both sides of the road. Further
troops were noted at ACES Crocodile
Sanctuary and a small troop between
Punta Gorda and the former Voice of
America site.
Sylvia extolled the virtues of citizen sci-
ence, and how we can all help with sci-
entific research. "Guests at Hickatee
Cottages monitored the howler mon-
keys for three months ahead of our
visit, noting any physical sightings and
the size of troops, as well as recording
the times and approximate location of
any howling activity. They collected over
500 records, giving us a good idea of
the monkeys' home ranges in advance,
saving us what might have been several
days trekking in the area to locate the
various troops. Local residents can also


participate by making a note of the
time, direction and volume of howling
when they are at home."
She said "On the positive side, the mon-
keys we observed in the area looked
significantly larger than those found in
the north of Belize which suggests they
have access to good habitat and ade-
quate food, although some early faecal
analysis indicate the potential transmis-
sion of parasites from cattle to the
Howlers. Of most concern though is the
rate of habitat destruction through log-
ging and clearing of forest for cattle
farming incidentally, this clearing also
causes soil erosion and flooding of the
road, and the formation of puddles,
which are perfect breeding grounds for
mosquitoes. The high level of nocturnal
howling was something of a surprise to
us howlers are usually diurnal, and,
although howling can be heard at night,
this level of nocturnal vocalization could
be an early indication that habitat loss
is reducing the size of their territories
and that home ranges may be starting
to overlap, so that the howlers have to
delineate their territories more fre-
quently.
"Habitat destruction is probably the
biggest threat facing Black Howlers:
they use trees as food sources, as
travel routes, and for sleeping, and


even selective logging will reduce the
usability of their home range. We know
that the Forestry and Police Depart-
ments have only limited resources to
monitor logging, but grass roots enthu-
siasm for the development of the area
as a nature trail and educational re-
source could dramatically help reduce
the level of habitat destruction by deter-
ring illegal loggers."
Sylvia, Ray and the research team will
be returning to Punta Gorda next year
to continue their field work. In the
meantime, anyone interested in partici-
pating in the 'citizen science' monitor-
ing of howler monkeys in their local
area should contact lan Morton of
Hickatee Cottages on 662-4475








Accommodation: Tranquility Lodge


The new owners of Tranquility
Lodge are no strangers to Belize
having lived here for the past
eighteen years. Sheila and Rusty
Nale have lived in Belize City as
well as in the Orange Walk district
where they gained their first ex-
perience within the tourism in-
dustry as assistant managers at
Lamanai Outpost Lodge. From
there they moved to San Pedro
where they managed the Mayan
Princess hotel for twelve years. So
they bring a wealth of great experi-
ence of the Belize tourism industry
with them to Toledo.
In Ambergris Caye Sheila was the
general manager running the front
of house and marketing while Rusty
stayed in the background as facili-
ties and maintenance manager
keeping everything working and run-
ning smoothly. Down in Toledo they
have slipped into those same roles
so that Sheila is the public face of
Tranquility Lodge while Rusty has
been employing his skills renovating
their existing facilities and construct-
ing three new thatched casitas. Two
are complete and accommodating


Thatched casita


guests while
struction.


a third is under con-


Tranquility Lodge


They were attracted to Toledo by the
opportunity to own and develop a
place of their own and Tran-
quility Lodge in Jacintoville
seemed ideal. They began by
re-modelling the place from
top to bottom. The four
ground floor rooms below the
restaurant all got new furni-
ture and upgraded showers
in their en-suite bathrooms
and now include air-
conditioning, cable television
and i-pod dockers. The com-
fortable new casitas with E
their cohune thatch roofs
have a more rustic feel to them
but all include ceiling
fans, screened windows
and en-suite hot show-
ers.
The lodge is set in three
Hp acres of tropical gardens
and there are a further
seventeen acres of forest
with trails and an abun-
dance of birds and or-
chids. Jacinto Creek
winds through the prop-
erty and the lodge is
lucky to have a natural
swimming hole on a bend of
the creek just a short walk from the
lodge itself.


The lodge's nightly rates include
breakfast and they also offer
lunch and dinner to their over-
night guests. They can accommo-
date meetings and workshops.
Sheila says that she is still con-
stantly impressed by how much
greener and wilder Toledo is than
many other parts of the country.
She is still working her way
through all the tours that visitors
to Toledo enjoy and as she does
so is struck by how each feels one
step more interesting than similar
offerings in other parts of Belize. So
Sheila is in no doubt about the po-


Re-modelled room with king bed

tential for tourism development in
Toledo and would like to see all tour-
ism businesses working to develop
one or two attractions or activities
that may be unique to themselves
but which can then be openly of-
fered to guests staying elsewhere
within the district. In that way,
Sheila says, we would be able "to
put our destination's best foot for-
ward" and offer a richer guest ex-
perience.
Contact
Tel: 677-9921
E-mail: info@tranquility-lodge.com
Web site: www.tranquility-lodge.com


PG Humane Society
Punta Gorda will soon have a registered Hu-
mane Society. A small group of animal lovers
is getting the organization started and creating
a website (www.puntagordahs.org) and Face-
book page (search for Punta Gorda Humane
Society).
The first clinic in Punta Gorda is being
planned. At this event services like spaying,
neutering and general health care for pets,
including worming and immunization, will be
available at affordable prices.
At this time we seek donations to cover the
costs of getting the organization registered.
For a $50 donation you will get one year's
(individual) membership. For a $100 donation,
you will receive a family (or individual) mem-
bership for 2-6 people. A donation of $200 (or


more), will make you a patron of the organiza-
tion (for an individual or family) while a busi-
ness will receive one year's corporate mem-
bership. As a corporate member, you can have
your logo and website link added to the Hu-
mane Society's website. Any size donation is
greatly appreciated and all donors will have
their name added to our website in recognition
of their support.
We hope that animal lovers will offer their sup-
port. We are also seekingvolunteers to help
assist with the preparations of the first clinic.
To make a donation or for further information
please email puntagordahs@gmail.com, or
telephone:
Anne Brorsen- 663 4061, Joanna Monk 607
2241, Karel Kuran or Nicola Foster 628
2138


THE MISSION of tho Nut.
Gria HNmam S"socty Ib to
Imprnw the N"M of Ilmals,
specially p.M. t dhroumh didcauoe
814 afrda"e medical gevkces
ad.nliisereJ by quMu health
ar profesui le.
e aim to hp poupls frmvid a
ruepotsibfs lIJ kalthy
rlvieromst fwr 0*lr pet, and to
resoleaile to ul J.


I






TRANSPORT SCHEDULES

Schedule of Flights from Punta Gorda To Belize City and from Belize City To Punta Gorda

Flights stop at Placencia & Dangriga
Depart Punta Gorda Arrive In Belize City Service Provider Depart Belize City Arrive In Punta Gorda Service Provider
6:45am 7:45am Maya Island Air 8:00am 9:00am Maya Island Air
7:00am 8:10am Tropic Air 8:30am 9:30am Tropic Air
9:30am 10:30am Maya Island Air 10:00am 11:00am Maya Island Air

9:40am 10:50am Tropic Air 10:30am 11:30am Tropic Air
11:30am 12:30pm Maya Island Air 12:30pm 1:30pm Tropic Air

11:35am 12:40pm Tropic Air 2:30pm 3:30pm Tropic Air

1:35pm 2:45pm Tropic Air 2:30pm 3:50pm Maya Island Air

4:00pm 5:00pm Maya Island Air 4:30pm 5:30pm Maya Island Air

4:00pm 5:00pm Tropic Air 4:50am 6:00pm Tropic Air

Schedule of Buses leaving Punta Gorda
Departs from Punta Gorda Arrives in Belize City Service Provider Type of Service
3:50am 10:30am James Bus Line Regular
4:50am 11:30am James Bus Une Regular

5:50am 12:30pm James Bus Line Regular
6:00am 10:45am James Bus Une Express
7:50am 2:30pm James Bus Une Regular
9:50am 4:30pm James Bus Line Regular
11:50am 6:30pm James Bus line Regular
1:50pm 8:30pm James Bus Line Regular

2:50pm 9:30pm James Bus Une Regular
3:50pm 9:15pm James Bus Line Regular

Boats To & From Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
Service Provider Dep. Punta Gorda Arrive in Puerto Barrios Dep. Puerto Barrios Arrive in Punta Gorda

Requena's Charter Service 9:30am 10:30am 2:00pm 3:00pm

Pichilingo 2:00pm 3:00pm 10:00am 11LOOam

Marisol 4:00pm 5:00pm 1:00pm 3:00pm

Memo's 1:00pm 2:00pm 3:15pm 4:15pm

Boats to Livingston depart on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.


Coral House Inn
BED, BREAKFAST AND BICYCLES

Step off of Main Street in Punta Gorda and
experience the intimate atmosphere of the
Coral House Inn, with spacious verandas
overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Amenities include Swimming pool, conti-

nental breakfast, wireless internet, poolside

bar and use of bicycles.

www.coralhouseinn.net 722-2878








Arzu on Medicinal Plants: Apazote


Many Belizeans who attended grade
school duringthe late thirties and early
sixties still recall drinking mysterious
aromatic and pungent tasting green
concoction at the start of every school
year; and they vividly remember the
effect it had on their bodies. What they
drank was oil of Chenopodium, an in-


testinal worm killer that was so fierce; it
was listed for this use in the US phar-
macopeia. Few were aware that they
were being naturally de-wormed of in-
testinal parasites with their own home-
grown herbal remedy of Apazote
(Chenopodium ambrosioides).
Apazote, Chenopodium ambrosioides,
is an aromatic herb that grows from
two to three feet in height. The whole
plant gives off a strong and distinctive
odor, making it easier for the mind to
remember. It has multi-branched stems
covered with small, sharply toothed
oblong leaves. It bears numerous small
green flowers in long clusters along its
stems, and produces thousands of tiny
seeds. Among its other unique features
is that Apazote is annual and perennial,
very easily spread, and even easier to
propagate from the numerous seeds it
produces.
Apazote is native to Belize and the
tropical regions of Central and South
America; where it is commonly used as
a culinary herb, and much appreciated
as a medicinal plant. It has been widely


naturalized throughout the world and
known as wormseed in Europe and the
United States. The Creoles, Maya, and
Garifuna within the circum-Caribbean,
all use Apazote as an intestinal
cleanser for adults and children. Many
Garifuna remember being given
Apazote by their parents for worms and


stomach problems in their youth. It is
used in local cuisine as a leaf vegeta-
ble and a flavoring in beans and soups
to guard against flatulence.
Garifuna people include Apazote in
their ritual baths to remove hauntings,
attachments, and evil spirits. Local
farmers have long used it for repelling
insects as they chop grass. They wrap a
sprig of the herb around their wrist and
wear it as a bracelet before going in the
bush. The dried herb is also burnt for
smoke to drive mosquitoes and insects
away. It is so effective, that extract of
Apazote remains the active ingredient
in many agricultural pesticides.
Medicinally, Apazote is called Worm-
seed, an herbal remedy revered for its
actions against intestinal worms, and a
master of parasite removal amongst
traditional healers. This herb comes
endowed with the inherent intelligence
to kill and expel intestinal parasites,
and functions as a mild laxative to help
expel dead worms and parasite car-
casses from the body. Whereas most
herbal parasite remedies either kill the


parasites or expel them, Apazote has
the unique ability to do both.
Herbal worm treatments are more ef-
fective when taken during the phase of
a waxing moon. Intestinal parasites are
weaker and easier to dislodge from the
intestines during this time. Apparently,


it is the timing of the Apazote taking
that determines its affectivity.
Deworming with Waxing Moon Protocol
For enhanced effects, wait for a waxing
moon. (Just three days before a full
moon) and do the following: Take equal
parts of Apazote, Mint (one half ounce
each), and add to a liter of boiling wa-
ter. Cook for five minutes and let sit for
an additional ten minutes, and then
strain. Drink one cup before bedtime
and one cup before eating in the morn-
ing. Do this for seven days. On the sev-
enth day, take a mild laxative (like cas-
tor oil, bizi nut, or cascara sagrada) to
help evacuate the bowel of the dead
worms and eggs. Repeat this protocol
28 days later, (on the next waxing
moon) to address any worm eggs that
may have survived and hatched.
Ana Arzu Mountain Spirit
Master Herbalist Wellness Consultant
and Traditional Naturopathic Healer
(501) 600-3873
arzu@arzumountainspirit.com


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Sunday 9-3
7 Main Street (Corner North & Main)
Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District

Tel 501-702-0113/Cell 607-0033

email dreamlightpg@yahoo con


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1








Southern

Voices
Armando Choco

Armando Choco is Gen-
eral Manager of the
Toledo Cacao Growers
Association where he
has worked since his
graduation from the Uni-
versity of Belize. He stud-
ied Business Administra-
tion with a view to a ca- .
reer in economics

Have you always lived in Toledo, Armando? Yes, I was born
and raised in San Pedro Columbia. It is a peaceful and for the
most part a very secure place to bring up a family and it is so
rich in resources. I studied in secondary school in Punta
Gorda and in UB in both Belmopan and PG. My present job
represents a change of direction from my intended path but I
have met so many hard working farmers committed to creat-
ing a better livelihood for themselves and their families and
have been inspired by them.
What are the most significant changes you have seen in
Toledo in your lifetime? I think the way that more and more
young people are struggling to improve themselves and
reaching tertiary education. This is especially true among the
Mayan communities where it is something new and now
most people working in businesses and NGOs are local which
is very positive.
Are you optimistic about the development of tourism in
Toledo? I am. I think of the owners of tourism businesses as
stewards and they have established a mindset that we are
going to establish sustainable tourism. These stewards as I
call them will have an influence on the young and future de-
velopment and help ensure that we can make good incomes
without depleting resources.
What could the government do to promote tourism in
Toledo? They need to give greater emphasis to improving
infrastructure like paving the road to Guatemala or more lo-
cally improving access to Lubaantun which has a very poor
road in and needs improved parking. The vendors also need
to be better organized and have their own stalls for displays.
What can PG Town Council do to support tourism? The Coun-
cil needs to participate more and recognize the role that the
Belize Tourism Board, BTIA and the Tour Guides Association
are already taking. If they participated more they would be
able to generate even more ideas of their own.
Reef or rainforest, Armando? That is not easy. My backyard
is the rainforest and I have only recently begun to go to the


cayes with some friends for the first time and developed a
great affection for the reef. When I put on my snorkel it is
like a rainforest on the bottom of the ocean. But in the end I
have to come down on the side of the rainforest.
And if a tourist can only visit one place in Toledo which would
it be? Well, despite my last answer I would tell them to go
and visit the reef and take a fishing trip with Scully Garbutt
who has so much experience to share. When I went I was like
that first time visitor and it was an unforgettable experience.
Which is your favourite month or season? May. It is the
month when we buy a lot of cocoa beans and I am very happy
when the amount of beans we buy increases. It feels good to
be buying ten to fifteen thousand pounds of cocoa beans per
month. And of course we now have the CacaoFest in May
when we celebrate chocolate.
What is your most memorable experience with a wild animal?
When I was five years old my two girl cousins and I went with
my grandma to harvest beans and bring them home. We left
home at five and should have been back by ten in the morn-
ing. On the way back we started arguing and having fun and
at a fork I decided to take a parallel trail home. After a short
while I stepped on a log. It felt cold and wet and when I
looked down I saw it was a snake which was stretched
across the path. It was about six inches in diameter. I
stayed there with my foot on the snake and shouted and
waited for my grandma to come and rescue me. I cried all the
way home. My cousins and I still laugh about it.
What is your favourite Belizean dish? I really like hudut
which is a Garifuna dish. We buy the fish and plantain and
coconut and make it at home. Also "boyos" which are like
tamales. The tortillas are baked and we use meat from a
pig's head.
What are your plans and hopes for TCGA in the future? Well
we now produce 50 metric tons a year and aim to triple that
to 150 tons.
That sounds ambitious. Not really. The 50 tons we harvest
now come from just 30% of the acreage. The trees are al-
ready in the ground and we just have to wait three or four
years before we reach that target.
We want TCGA to be a sustainable and vibrant industry in the
south by increasing both membership and also productivity.
Between 2003 and 2006 membership increased from 230
to 900 members and since then acreage has increased from
400 to around 3800 acres at present
TCGA improves the income and livelihood of subsistence
farmers and we are well on our way to achieving these aims.
Our ultimate aim is to provide high quality beans to both the
international and domestic markets. Right now our focus is
on improving productivity and our education programme cov-
ers cacao biology, high yielding tree selection, grafting, or-
chard maintenance and post-harvest methodologies like fer-
mentation and drying.
Thanks, Armando Any time, Howler


Where to get your copy of The

Toledo Howler

+ BTIA Tourist Information Center, Front St in Punta
Gorda
+ Tropic Air and Maya Island Air terminals throughout
Belize
+ Business premises of BTIA members in Toledo (see
list page 8).
+ Tropic Air office in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.
* Requena's Charters office in Puerto Barrios, Guate-
mala.
+ Placencia Tourist information Center, Placencia Vil-
lage
+ Gas stations on Southern and Western Highway
+ Online at: www.belizefirst.com;
www.ecoclub.com;
www.ambergriscaye.com
www.expatbelize.com
www.thelodgeatbigfalls.com
www.tidetours.org
www.guidetobelize.info/howler


Aerial view
of a bend in
the Rio
Grande near
Machaca Hill
Lodge.

Photo cour-
tesy of Karel
Kuran.

karelkuran-
photography.
com


........................................







King's Texaco Service Stations
Punta Gorda & Big Falls

Proudly serving Toledo for 25 years
King's welcomes all visitors to the beautiful
south


Fuels, lubricatiis, tyres, batteries &c.
Tyre repair, oil ..h nges, vehicle & engine wash
Snacks & bevei a.es
Maps & tourist information
Clean rest rooms

Punta Gorda 24-hour service
All night sictf-scrvc cash only
Marina with fuel service & do king facilities





Td 722.2 1:6 `or722.2)26
Fa: 722-21 FIr bE


Queen Conch Continued from page 6
This is to ensure that conchs reach maturity and repro-
duce at least once before they are caught.
If you are snorkelling or diving in PHMR in the next few
months keep your eyes open for Queen Conchs, you
may see egg masses amongst the seagrasses and sea-
weeds and if you are really lucky you may spot a small
juvenile conch in the seagrass. In order to help protect
the population of Queen Conch in PHMR there are a
few rules we can follow. Please remember: don't take
conch during the closed season, don't take undersized
conch (less than 7 inch shell length) and don't take fe-
males that are laying eggs.
If you would like more information about Queen Conch
please call into the TIDE offices or contact us by email
or phone.


we re

all



belize












The Alilna of Dghm


RESERVATIONS
T: 226-2012
E; esw.raltionsOropicar.conm
www.lIropk~iair.Lcm


PHOTO OP

West Snake Caye,
Port Honduras Marine Reserve, Toledo
District.

-- C Photo courtesy of Karel Kuran

- www.karelkuranphotography.com


Article by:
Dr. Nicola L. Foster, Senior Marine Biologist.
Toledo Institute for Development and Environment
(TIDE),
nfoster@tidebelize.org, Tel: +501 722-2274.


. .


Peekaboo I see you! Photo by Alex Tilly
















Cell: +501-624-3734
Fax: +501-722-0303


For all your real estate
needs contact

Tony Monsanto
Century 21
Representative
in Southern Belize


Email: amonsanto@century21belize.com or
monsantony@yahoo.com


This 30 acres property currently has 20 acres cultivated. It
has 6,000 mature Cacao-bearing trees and 700 mature orange
trees. In addition, the Owner has planted a substantial num-
ber of Mahogany trees and a wide assortment of fruit trees
and crops. The property is on relative high grounds and is
accessible by an all weather feeder road, about 3 miles away
from the highway. To top it
off, it has a practically inex-
haustible source of well water
complete with hand pump.
This is an incredible bargain
that won't last for long! Price
reduced from
180,000.00BZD/90,000.00US
to
140,000.00BZD/70,000.00US


28.4 green & fertile
acres with a creek .
running through, 'j
making it great for
farming and raising
livestock. The prop-
erty is about six -
mile from the An-
cient Mayan Ruins
of Lubaantun. The
land has exotic indigenous hardwoods such as mahagony
and rosewood trees. The property is accessible by an all-
weather road, with all utilities available to the area. The
property is about 12 miles from Punta Gorda Town and the
seacoast. $100,000.OOBZ/$50,000.00 US


www.travelbelize.org


BELIZE TOURISM BOARD


Contact us for travel information,
or to find out more about Belize's vibrant tourism industry.


Make time
fr thea funofyowUr Life!


#64 Regent Street P.O. Box 325, Belize City
Toll Free: 1-800-624-0686 Tel: 227-2420 / 227-2417
Fax: 227-2423 E-mail: info',travelbelize org
www.travelbelize.org or www.belizetourism org







Toledo's Changing Birdscape Lee Jones


It should be apparent to anyone
over the age of ten that the Belizean
landscape is constantly changing-
the most recent change being the
completion of the Southern High-
way.
Associated with this and other de-
velopments-the latest resort, ac-
cess road, crop farm, shrimp farm,
logging enterprise, dam, or village
expansion-is the accompanying
loss of another piece of rainforest,
pineland, savanna, mangrove
swamp, or unspoiled beach.
But these losses do not occur in a
vacuum. Each is accompanied by an
increase in farmland, orchards,
plantations, manicured lawns, gar-
bage dumps, reservoirs, ponds, and
marshes. So, it is not surprising that
the types and numbers of birds in
Belize would be in constant flux. As
some get squeezed out others take
their place. The net result would
appear to be an increase in open-
country species and a decrease in
forest species, and to a large ex-
tent-but not always, this has been
the case.
Taking advantage of these new,
generally more open "habitats" over
the years have been such now ubiq-
uitous species as the Great-tailed
Grackle, Bronzed Cowbird, various
seedeaters, pigeons and doves, and
on a more local level, a variety of
shorebirds, waders, ducks, and
other waterfowl. At the other end of
the spectrum many of the larger
hawks and eagles, game birds,
terns, and most recently, the Scarlet
Macaw, are losing ground or have
been lost altogether as their habi-
tats have diminished or blinked out.
Locally, the most recent additions to
southern Toledo District have been
the White-tipped Dove and Eastern
Meadowlark. Only 5-6 years ago, the
closest to P.G. you could expect to
see a meadowlark was the savan-
nas north and east of Medina Bank.


Now a few can be
seen in the fields
around Big Falls, at
the old V.O.A., and
even in town
around the airstrip.
When I arrived in
Belize in late 1992,
the thought of a
White-tipped Dove
anywhere in Toledo
District was out of
the question. First
noted along the ac-
cess road to Aqua
Mar Shrimp Farm in
1999, and on the
Punta Gorda Christ-
mas Bird Count in
2004, it has now
spread throughout
the district wher- TheYellow-facedGra
ever regenerating 1986 and nowcomn
woodlands and citrus
groves are found.
If you have a copy of the Wood, Le-
berman, and Weyer checklist of the
Birds of Belize produced in 1986,
you will notice that the Yellow-faced
Grassquit is listed as "rare; 1 re-
cord". But these little green seed-
eaters with black and yellow facial
markings are now a common sight
along roadsides and in villages and
towns south of Belize City. Another,
more exotic open-country bird that
has spread northward through the
country from Guatemala and Hondu-
ras, beginning in the 1970s is the
White-winged Becard, a bird of the
forest edge. While not as common
as the Grassquit, it has spread
northward all the way to Orange
Walk.
Other species that have only re-
cently arrived in Belize but which
are likely to become widespread
within a decade or so are the
Crested Caracara, Shiny Cowbird,
and perhaps the Inca Dove. White-
winged Dove and Red-billed Pigeon,
two species unrecorded in Belize


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issquit (Tiaris olivacea) A rarity in Toledo in
ion.

prior to the 1960s, are now abun-
dant in the northern part of the
country and are beginning to turn up
regularly in Toledo District. The
Bronzed Cowbird, which was only a
winter visitor prior to the 1960s, is
now an abundant year-round resi-
dent nearly countrywide, including
most of Toledo District.
The Crested Caracara has recently
reached Belize from two directions,
first from the Yucatan in the north
and more recently from Guatemala
in the south. Three of these exotic
carrion-eating falcons have ap-
peared in Toledo in the past three
years. Reports from northern Belize,
however, have been trickling in
since the 1980s, and in 2008 a pair
first nested at Running W Farm near
San Ignacio, producing two young.


H. Lee Jones is based in Punta Gorda,
Toledo. He is the author of "Birds of
Belize" the definitive guide to birding in
Belize and the Annotated Checklist of
the Birds of Belize.


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I








TOLEDO DISTRICT


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SAPOJILIA CAFES
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uooio .aye Sapodilla I.. .,, I Ca
S._ a Cayes ,
SPORTHONOURAS Seai Cave ,o. F 'n0,1 Cave
MARINE RESERVE Nwnnlas L.a d .: d
Landmig BTIA Members HunhinPg CP. .
Gorda 1. The Lodge at Big Falls I, ae Cave
2. Sun Creek Lodge
3. Dem Dat's Doin', San Pedro Columbia
4. Tumul K'in, Blue Creek village
Water taxi to 5. Machaca Hill Lodge
Guatemala 6. Romero's Charters, Forest Home
7. Cotton Tree Lodge
8. Cuxlin Ha
9. Tranquility Lodge


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Tropical Plants for Sale variegated gingers, sago palms, heliconia and
many other varieties. Call 671-7172 or visit the nursery at The Lodge
at Big Falls.

Emergency Numbers

PG Police station: 722-2022
PG Hospital: 722-2026 / 722-2161/ 722-2145
PG Fire Department: 722-2032
National Emergencies (NEMO): 822-0153
Belize Tourism Board: 227-2420/ 227-2417
BTIA Main Office Belize City: 227-1144


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Phone: 702-2198

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Photo Courtesy Karel Kuran
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