Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, Environment, People & Places » Alan Rabinowitz: Remembering the Life of a Hero
Aug 11, 2023

Alan Rabinowitz: Remembering the Life of a Hero

This morning, family and friends of prominent conservationist Doctor Alan Rabinowitz made their way to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary where a research center was dedicated in his honor.  Doctor Rabinowitz was instrumental in urging government to establish the wildlife preserve in the mid-eighties, following a study of the local jaguar population in that area of southern Belize.  Earlier today, fellow conservationists gathered to pay homage to the late co-founder of Panthera Corporation.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The world’s first jaguar sanctuary was established in Belize in 1986 with help from renowned American zoologist, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz.  Thirty-seven years after the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary was founded, the conservation community recognizes his contribution to preserving Belize’s native big cat, as well as the nature reserve in South Stann Creek.


Greg Manocherian

Greg Manocherian, Friend of Alan Rabinowitz

“As we gather at Cockscomb, which he cherished, we remember the impact he made and the legacy he leaves behind.  Alan’s love for wildlife was evident from a very young age.  His passion studying biology led him to discover his life’s purpose [to] protect and preserve the natural world.”


That intense enthusiasm for the science of life also led Dr. Rabinowitz to Belize.  When he got here he, found that logging operations in the Cockscomb Basin were winding down.  Until then, cedar and mahogany had been extracted in large volumes from the area.


Earl Green

Earl Green, Board President, Belize Audubon Society

“Prior to its designation as a protected area, the Cockscomb Basin had a long history of timber exploitation.  One of the earlier British expeditions was in 1927 when the intent was to assess the timber resources in the area.  We all know the role of logging in Belize’s history and development.  Logging occurred in the basin occasionally, from the late 1920s until about 1984.”


Almost four decades ago, Dr. Rabinowitz and an associate persuaded the Government of Belize to establish a no hunting area in a portion of the Cockscomb Basin after he found that the location was an important habitat for the jaguar.


Earl Green

“At about the same time the exploitation of timber resources in the basin was dwindling, a nationwide study of the jaguar was being initiated.  Concerned for the viability of Belize‘s jaguar population arose in the early 1980s when wildlife conservationists and government officials compared notes on the frequency of jaguar references found in hunting magazines.  A graduate student was hired to estimate the jaguar population in the country and he concluded that the highest density of jaguars ever recorded was here in the Cockscomb Basin.”


In 2006, Dr. Rabinowitz co-founded the Panthera Corporation, a charitable organization dedicated to preserving wild cats and their ecosystems around the world.  Today, a research center was inaugurated in his honor.


Amanda Acosta

Amanda Acosta, Executive Director, Belize Audubon Society

“What we have is that the building is obviously the pinnacle of the donations and funds that have been shared.  In total, we are talking close to a million dollars Belize that has been expended between all of the contributors.  We also had to leverage additional funds.  So, if you notice, it is not furnished, however, that is in the plans and we have secured funding and we are doubling our solar capacity which is also going to happen by the end of this year. We have a visitors center that has a lovely tribute to all of the work that Alan has done and really educating visitors on what jaguar conservation looks like here.”


Isani Cayetano for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed