Wings of Hope lands on YouTube, Hicatee Hatchlings update, Canadian Conference, and BFREE Field Course - Part II
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Wings of Hope lands on YouTube

BFREE’s new film, Wings of Hope, was released on YouTube in August. The 20-minute documentary chronicles the re-discovery of a population of wild Harpy Eagles in the Maya Mountains of southern Belize. The film showcases the history of the BFREE and University of North Carolina, Wilmington initiative born from this discovery – the Integrated Community-based Harpy Eagle and Avian Conservation Program. Created by Emmy-award winning filmmakers, Richard and Carol Foster of Wildlife Film Productions, and narrated by Jacob Marlin, this film is rich with breath-taking footage of adult and juvenile Harpy eagles and other wildlife and vistas found in the pristine tropical forests of the Bladen Nature Reserve. Over the seven year duration of the project, the Fosters followed project trainees William Garcia, Liberato Pop, Alejandro Cholum and Thomas Pop as they work to learn about and attempt to save this rare bird and its diminishing habitat.

“The story captures the essence of BFREE’s mission. I think of it as a model for integrating science, education and conservation.” Jacob Marlin, Executive Director of BFREE.

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Over the eight years of the project, BFREE trained 14 avian technicians 
Richard Foster, Alejandro Cholum and William Garcia monitor and document the Harpy eagle

Hicatee Hatchlings -
Three Months Old & Growing!!!



The seven Hicatee hatchlings (Dermatemys mawii) born to the HCRC in June 2015 are extremely healthy and growing rapidly. In just three short months each has more than doubled their size and weight.

During this period, Thomas Pop, HCRC Manager, has been conducting feeding trials to determine preferred diet and activity periods. Food items offered have included leaves and grasses - wild fig leaf, cecropia leaf, Paspalum grass, banana leaf, bri bri leaf, mango leaf, mangrove leaf and fruits – fig, mango, hogplum, and papaya. Most items are taken by the tiny turtles with fervor. Additionally, fish was attempted on one occasion but the hatchlings showed no interest.  We will continue to offer new food items in the coming weeks and months, focused exclusively on native wild plants found in natural Hicatee habitat. Feeding occurs most intensely at night although they also eat during the day.

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2015 Field Courses - Part II

BFREE groups came from the U.S. and from within Belize to engage in topics ranging from Architecture to Agriculture to Protected Areas to Biology. Take a look at pictures of Field Courses that took place in April and May 2015. 
Students from Otterbein University prepare small mammal traps with BFREE Tour Guide and Ranger, Sipriano Canti
Students from Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College took personal initiative and visited BFREE for the day
Dr. Rotenberg presents Bird Research at Canadian Conference

This July, Dr. James Rotenberg of University of North Carolina, Wilmington presented his research at The Association of Field Ornithologists, the Society of Canadian Ornithologists / Société des ornithologistes du Canada, and the Wilson Ornithological Society joint annual meetings at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. His presentation "Passive point counts of wintering Neotropical migratory songbirds in Belize yield high abundance and low availability – What does this mean for conservation?," was co-authored by Evan M. Adams, Biodiversity Research Institute, Portland, Maine. Rotenberg and Adams plan to publish this research in the near future.

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Copyright © 2015 US for BFREE, All rights reserved.


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