Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Belize Forest Department logo

6th August 2016

The Belize Forest Department has received multiple reports and complaints of illegal hunting and killing of wildlife in the Belize River Valley Area as a result of the flooding situation.

Concerned residents in the Belize River Valley communities have reported to authorities numerous cases of game violations within a relatively short period of time. They report that several persons have been conducting illegal and excessive hunting since the rising floods, especially indiscriminate hunting of wildlife stranded in highland areas. Residents are concerned that these actions will threaten their local wildlife populations of game species such as: deer, white lipped peccaries, gibnut and other game species.

The Forest Department recognizes that in the wake of Hurricane Earl, rising floodwaters are displacing many wildlife species from their natural habitat, and some indiscriminate individuals have seen this as an opportunity to capture or kill wildlife. When natural disaster strikes, it is often easy to prey on wildlife during their displacement but this reaction can jeopardize not only the survival of wildlife species recovering from the natural disaster, but entire wildlife ecosystems, local communities and people’s livelihoods as well.

Many times we do not take into account the wildlife loss as a result of disasters, but the wildlife displacement and opportunistic overhunting can severely affect our communities’ ability to maintain healthy species population, which is part of the food source for local residents or their source of income. Abiding by wildlife laws is critical now more than ever, as it can allow the survival of these already fragile wildlife populations and enable the re-growth and recovery of game species for the following seasons.

The Department has dispatched a team of Forestry personnel to patrol and work with at risk communities to address any violations of the Wildlife Protection Act. The Department kindly asks that residents, the general public and restaurateurs to desist from purchasing game meat during this time and to continue to assist them in reporting of any wildlife violation to the Forest Department at 822-2079 or at [email protected]



Please help support Local Journalism in Belize

For the first time in the history of the island's community newspaper, The San Pedro Sun is appealing to their thousands of readers to help support the paper during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1991 we have tirelessly provided vital local and national news. Now, more than ever, our community depends on us for trustworthy reporting, but our hard work comes with a cost. We need your support to keep delivering the news you rely on each and every day. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Please support us by making a contribution.

Click to Donate

Follow The San Pedro Sun News on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook. Stay updated via RSS

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed on this post.