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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Laughing Bird Caye is an island off the coast of Placencia, Belize. On 21 December 1991, Laughing Bird Caye National Park was declared. It is spread over an area of 1.8 acres. The island is named after a population of laughing gulls which previously bred there. Narrow islet, part of a national park, featuring palm-fringed sandy beaches & coral reef snorkeling. The caye is a World Heritage Site and is protected accordingly. There are restroom facilities and a small gift shop.

Laughing Bird Caye is a beautiful Belizean isle situated on the western side of Victoria Channel, only 11 miles off the coast from Placencia Village in the Stann Creek District of Belize. The exact location of the island is 16°27' North latitude and 88°12' West longitude. Laughing Bird Caye is the southern most island in the central lagoon of the Belize Barrier Reef.

This long narrow isle stands on an elongated ridge of reef known as a faro. A faro is an angular atoll on a continental shelf, also known as a shelf atoll. Like an atoll, a faro is steep sided and encloses a central lagoon. The Laughing Bird Faro is separated from the mainland, the barrier reef and other cayes by deep channels on all sides.

The uniqueness of this structure contributes to both the abundance and variety of coral habitats and marine life. The Caye gets its name from the Laughing Gull (Larus artricilla). This bird once use to breed on the Caye, but due to a growing human presence, the colonies have moved to nearby undisturbed cayes for breeding.

Due to the uniqueness of the Caye, the Faro, and the abundant and diverse marine habitats and life, the Caye was declared a protected area in 1981 under the National Parks System Act. On 21 December, 1991, Laughing Bird Caye National Park was declared. Finally, in 1996 the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was inscribed on the World Heritage List with Laughing Bird Caye National Park designated as one of the premiere protected areas within the World Heritage Site.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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All tour guides & visitors to Laughing Bird Caye National Park are advised to take caution as the corals are spawning. You will see a floating blue tent on the surface for about 2 weeks so please avoid it, and do not touch it at all.


Attention all tour guides & visitors to Laughing Bird Caye National Park!

The corals are making babies right now, they are spawning. We are excited to partner with SECORE International this year trialling their methods to collect and babysit the lil corals. We are grateful to Perry Institute for Marine Science scientist Dr. Valeria Pizarro for guiding us through this first time.

You will see a floating blue tent on the surface for about 2 weeks: please avoid it, and do not touch it at all. It's called a crib and baby making is in progress.

We will post updates with what's going on. For now, here are some pictures of what we are doing and what is inside the crib.

Thanks to WWF Mesoamerica and Belize Sailing Vacations for sponsoring this activity. Thanks to Southern Environmental Association for providing space for us to work at Laughing Bird Caye and supporting our work.

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Dr. Valeria Pizarro and Andres Fletes about to work with the substrate that will potentially serve as settling grounds for the baby corals. They have to scrub each one as they've been on our coral nurseries for a few weeks.

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This is the cleaned substrate sitting in a crate that is sitting in the crib.

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This is the crib from SECORE International located Laughing Bird Caye. When we remove it we hope to find our substrate covered with baby corals. Please do not disturb it.

Fragments of Hope

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