2015 (4 months)
2016 (3 weeks)

Belize – 2015

I was lucky enough to get accepted for a volunteer position with Panthera Belize/ERI (Environmental Research Institute) after I finished in Mexico (summer 2015). Although they were doing research on a lot of different topics, jaguar and puma research was their main interest. They focused on human-wildlife conflicts and population research. I was mainly involved in the research in Cockcomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS), which is known for a high density of jaguars. My tasks were split in 2 (fieldwork and office work).

The fieldwork consisted of collecting camera-traps and I was lucky enough to be there when they were going to try and trap jaguars (and pumas). It was a great experience to see how traps were set and the protocol to follow, unluckily we had no success.

Although in the office my main job was making sure all the camera-trap pictures got organised and analysed, I got a lot of freedom to play around with the data and created some ideas about activity patterns and such. There was still so much I could learn here, but time was running out, and by the end of December I made my way home again.

Belize – 2016

In 2016 however, after the project in Honduras, I made my way back to Belize to help with some fieldwork. It was a very short visit to investigate some hurricane damage, check some cameras and to do some puma scrape surveys.
During this time I was lucky to see my first proper jaguar, and they were 2 of them.


Check out more travel tips and general info about Belize.



Fieldwork with Panthera Belize: Part 2 [2016]

I went from Honduras to Belize to join Panthera Belize again for a bit of fieldwork. I joined them as a volunteer last year, and I had a great experience (read more about it here). I had an amazing time there, so I was eager to meet up with them once again. This time I just stayed for a short period time. A short description of what you can expect in this blog post:

Volunteering with Panthera Belize: Part 1 [2015]

How it all began… From my blog post from South Africa:
…While I was wondering around I got into a second-hand book store where I got lost in the ‘nature’ section. Suddenly I came across a very old book of (at that time) my wildlife conservation hero ‘Alan Rabinowitz’. It was the book “JAGUAR: One Man’s Struggle to Save Jaguars in the Wild” from 1987…”. One day I was going to get to Belize and join Panthera Belize, and it seems like …