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May 31, 2013

Commercial poaching in Chiquibul

With assistance from PACT, the Friends for Conservation conducted research from October to March on the effects of poaching of game species within the Chiquibil. The finding of the report shows that a large number of game meat as well as exotic birds including our national bird were being poached by illegal xateros and loggers. In fact, over a thousand animals were poached during the six month period and that includes the keel-billed toucan and the scarlet macaw. Executive Director of the FCD, Raphael Manzanero says that the hunting is not only being done for subsistence and it is taking place in the interior of the country.


Via Phone: Raphael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD

“It has been an ongoing matter for quite some years. However, the report that we submitted had to do more with a collection of data which is a more systematic manner of looking at the implications and the actual conditions in terms of poaching or illegal hunting. So I would say that it has been an ongoing activity; however, the report notes that the species that are much more closer to the border are certainly being impacted, but also more inside of the territory, we are having a similar problem of illegal hunting.   The species that are being impacted of course would be the game species which would include the picari, the turkey, gibnuts, armadillo; all the ones that are practically being consumed. But also the report indicates that there are other species that are non-traditionally used as game that are also being impacted such as feather of scarlet macaw, of kill-billed toucans which are species that people would not consume. However, we even see these ones being impacted in the area. Many of these individuals are also doing other illegal activities including the extraction of xate or illegal logging, which is the extraction of timber. So while they are into the Chiquibul, they would also do hunting. Although we might not be able to find them on the spot shooting a bird, what become about of the camps would be the game or after we apprehend them, we would be able to find them with the particular animal.  What is disturbing in the reports based on the recordings that we have done is that it is not only for subsistence. I think what is occurring now over a trend is that the local people coming in…there are two things that are becoming much more clear for us. Is that they are not only hunting for subsistence, but they are hunting for commercial purposes. In other words, they would not only kill one currasow. If they have the chance, they would hunt for more so that they can go back and sell it at the community level. The other issue is that we are coming about with more individuals with firearms in the area.”


Manzanero says that to alleviate the problem, there is need for more boots on the ground, enforcements and increased patrols in the area and support from the authorities in government departments and regulatory agencies to prosecute those responsible for the rape of Belize’s rich forests. 

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5 Responses for “Commercial poaching in Chiquibul”

  1. keel billed says:

    seriously, our minister d let we down, go an hunt da guat an see wat happen, mek we fence up d borderline, barro could but he d collect he lee pocket, tell me noh-mul da wa mountain gullible for road.. u kiddin

  2. mrnobody says:


  3. Bear says:

    Let’s wake up Sedi, we need to apologize and pay compensation to the Guats!

    I’ve recommended it before, and I still believe that the villages near the border should form their own self-defense patrols, catch the Guat invaders and document their crimes, and then make citizen arrests of them. It’s all legal. Mexican villages are using vigilante trials and punishment and citizen paqtrols, and it is working for them. Why not copy their success?

  4. Ocaso says:

    Shame and utter disgrace. At this rate all we’ll have for future generations will be photos of the magnificent wildlife that once called our forests home. What say you Mr. OAS?

  5. belizean first says:

    Is NOONE OUTRAGED our NATIONAL BIRD is being poached? Shouldn’t that be a crime with stiff penalties? Do the Guatemalans kill the Quetzal? I can bet that they have stiff penalties for anyone killing THEIR NATIONAL BIRD!! Only in Belize.

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