January will always be an exciting month for the CRC as it is the month of our anniversary! Many are surprised that we have only been around for 2 years given the amount of research we have accomplished, and the support and positive perception our local community has of crocodiles. Even though members of the community may say they are scared of crocs or don’t like them, they will still tell you that they are important to the environment and deserve to live here as much as they do… for us that is a positive step forward!
So, what WAS the second year like for the CRC? Well, here’s a summary of our highlights…
– Leading the countrywide Morelet’s crocodile population survey (all data will be used to assist Forest Department to create the 1st conservation and management program for the species)
– Continuing our 20 year long-term biodiversity monitoring program of the Placencia Lagoon, home to both the American and Morelet’s crocodile.
– Assisting 6 graduate students in their PhD or Master’s projects
– Mentoring 10 interns (including our 1st University of Belize Scholar), as well as receiving ~100 volunteers to assist us in our various research and educational projects
– Reaching out to 4,000 people in Belize due to our intensive educational program at schools, community meetings, community events, and media sources
– Responding to over 30 local wildlife calls in regards to injured or displaced wildlife, or “problematic” croc calls… and we are happy to say only 2 crocs had to be relocated as after 1-2hrs of educating people about crocs, they realized there was no need to remove them!
– 9 scientific manuscripts were published, 2 co-authored by interns! And 3 more are currently under review!
– Participating in a beach clean-up every month, leading 6 of the clean-ups
Needless to say the CRC has had a busy and successful 2nd year, and we thank all of our supporters and donors for believing in the CRC mission and our goals. Our 3rd year is only going to get bigger and better, so stay tuned for the excitement and our progress in building that bridge of co-existence between crocs and communities!