The Bird Islands of Ambergris Cayo Pajaros and Rosario Caye 65 million years ago the Atlantic and Indian Oceans began and much of the chalky sea bottom from Cretaceous times began to rise up to be land in the form of Paleocene Rock. The great reptiles died out; mammals and birds began their dominance. About 39 million years ago the first Ibidopsis (Ibis)and the first Heron formes fished the tropical shallows of the Americas. The Linnaean name for the order of Ibis and heron is Ciconiiformes. The order of Cioniiformes has given a start to a wide variety of interesting Heron and Ibis species. Millions of years before Ambergris Caye was born juts of the paleocene rock broke the surface of the shallow sea off the coast of Belize. Trees began to grow on them creating an ideal sanctuary for these new birds to nest and raise their young. Rosario caye and Cayo Pajaros on the west side of Ambergris Caye are natural sanctuaries formed exactly like this. Belizean Tour guides visiting the Bird Cayes point out at Cayo Pajaros Paleocene rock protruding from the shallow waters around it. Today just like their ancestors from millions of years ago colonies of Ibis, and Heron use these two islands as refuge from predators. Herons, egrets, storks and other large waterbirds nest communally in what are called heronries. Colony and Heronry nesting is considered as a response to shortage of safe nesting sites and abundance or predictable food sources which are not far away from the nest sites. Rosario and Cayo Pajaros are heronries for Reddish Egret, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, Little Blue Heron and Rosette Spoonbill because of their particular typography and proximity to the shallow flats west of ambergris that provides good fishing at depths reachable according to the birds’ leg length. The interior of Rosario is a fresh water lagoon lined in mangrove that gives security to the nests approach and potable drinking water, making it an environmental jewel. Reproductive success and habitat selection is studied by ornithologist and this is where I might quote a scientific paper or two but in laymen terms let me say this; Young birds learn from older experienced birds and the mortality rate for birds raised in older colonies is low and the success of the Heronry produces most of the local population. In a nut shell this is the importance of these two islands. If we want and enjoy the birds on Ambergris we need to preserve and protect where they come from.
You just did. Noticing and discussing it is what we need. There is a dredge parked 1/2 mile away and a crew has been stopped once already. I feel 'they', the persons wanting to develop it, are just waiting until no one is watching to fill the interior lagoon and then it will then be a moot point. The land was illegally sold buy bad guys in the previous government and the new administration is giving a lot of lip service to preventing development and correcting the problem but no one has officially done anything to preserve this national treasure. Thanks.
Bless you Elbert My daughter wrote me from California very concerned because a friend of a friend came down here with a group of 40 people looking to invest. Guess where they went? Yep! Something has to be done now. Who can we write to? Will Heridia Jr. help?
He would definitely be the man to spearhead the action. Just remember its easy to give soothing answers to the public if your a politician. The real work that makes things happen is the difference between a good one and a bad one.
I think that Audobon Societyand the Heritage Foundation have great leverage in these issues.They put on Internatonal pressure and it helps. Chocolate and Annie used another group , whose name slips my mind, to stop a giant project affecting the manatees. I would call them on Caye Caulker but I am in the states. The most effective pressure comes from multiple sources. It would be interesting to have the developers name and go to their local paper to let their friends and neighbors be aware of the behavior they exibit outside their own country.
An abstract of the titles was done by a reliable para legal and its full of wrong doings and illegal acts , but there done by Belizeans not the developer hopefuls. The criminals that sold these are 100% Belizeans. The people who have bought them will be the ones who suffer the most. I don't think any prosecution will happen and Eminent Domain really isn't something you do with someone who doesn't have a good title. If government doesn't act soon its all moot.