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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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This little island WAS famous for its multiple species of birds and also for having the 3 types of mangroves found in Belize that provided a perfect sanctuary to a variety of indigenous bird species, including Pelicans, Brown Booby birds, and the magnificent Frigate birds.

Photograph documents a thriving bird sanctuary just 8 years ago when the island was a must visit for tour guides and nature lovers visiting Southern Belize near the Tobacco Caye Range.

Living in the area for over 35 years, Captain Gerald attributes the destruction to be from Climate Change and Hurricanes leading to the island's demise in such a short time. When asked, he confirms that there is no way the island will recover to the once vibrant bird sanctuary displacing all its inhabitants above and below the mangrove system.

4 1/2 minute video:

Chef Sean Kuylen

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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[Linked Image]

Petition: Install a seawall to prevent further island erosion at Man-O-War Caye (Bird Island)

In the last decade alone Bird Island (Man-O-War Caye) has been eroding away at an alarming rate. This island is a key nesting area for the Magnificent Frigate Birds, Brown Boobies, Brown Pelicans and Double Crested Cormorants. Without action this island will disappear within the next year or hurricane season and a significant part of the local beauty of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve will disappear too. Help us raise awareness that this island and bird habitat is worth saving to the Belize Fisheries Department.

Bird Island also acts as a popular tourist destination receiving many daily visits from study abroad students, tourists and bird enthusiasts.

Bird Island is within a Preservation Zone of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve the Preservation Zone covers approximately 190 acres (76.6 hectares) - 0.16% of the protected area, and has been established to protect the bird nesting colony of Man-O War Caye - one of Belize's original crown reserves. Currently nothing is being done to protect this island and with your help we can make the Fisheries Department act by installing a seawall to prevent further island erosion and then once this has been stabilised then look at land reclamation and replanting of mangroves.

Tobacco Caye Marine Station started this petition to Belize Fisheries Department

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Boat captain and tour guide Richie Williams has become passionate about the marine environment after working on the sea for 21 years. He has witnessed many changes during his tenure but the downfall of Man-o-War Caye is definitely one of the most disappointing, he says. Not only for locals and tour guides like himself but for visitors who had previously seen the island in its glory days as well!

Big thanks to @tonyrath for providing images of the island before it started eroding!

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Article in Earth Island Journal:
The Demise of Belize's Bird Island and Efforts to Save it

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