Posts Tagged ‘Jaguar’

Ranger for a day, huh?
It sounded easy enough for me, just like when I was a kid. Thinking we’d show up, put on a ranger hat, walk a little through the rainforest and return back to base camp, we’d be done before lunch we thought. Nope, nadda, nyet, what were we thinking? We soon realized after the first 20 minutes, of busting our butts slipping and sliding through knee-deep mud, that we had totally underestimated the depth and scope of what it takes for a forest ranger to effectively do his job. And we had another hour or two to patrol. We should have read the description of what was to be expected a little more in-depth. I mean it’s posted right on their website !


From their website:
Ranger for a Day

Calling all naturalists, eco-tourists and adventurers! If you are looking for an unparalleled experience of the Belizean jungle alongside a local Mayan ranger, then consider joining Ya’axché Conservation Trust’s Ranger for a Day patrol, you will join an official Ya’axché patrol of the 15,000-acre Golden Stream Corridor Preserve (GSCP) areas. This unique experience will give you the opportunity to play an important role in the protection of this vital forest corridor.

As an honorary ranger, you will contribute to the daily wildlife logs; record key species of mammals and birds along the riverside trail and learn how our rangers detect signs of hunting. You will hone your own detective skills as you learn to identify jaguar, puma and tapir tracks, identify the unique call of the Montezumas oropendola and spot hummingbirds, toucans and curasow.

Your boots will get muddy and you should prepare to get sweaty but after a morning of adventure, you are invited to enjoy a refreshing dip in the Golden Stream River, the lifeblood of the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve.

To be a ranger for the day, you will need to be of medium level fitness as you will be walking for up to two hours in hot and sometimes wet conditions. You should wear light long pants/trousers (that will dry quickly), sturdy shoes for walking (hiking boots are not required), a hat, insect repellent, water, snacks and a packed lunch.”

See, it was all there! So we can’t complain, we were warned. But honestly at the end of the day this has been one of the most rewarding, adventurous and educational experiences we’ve had in all of Belize. We gained a new level of respect, admiration and appreciation for what the Ya’axché Conservation Trust and it’s Rangers do. Thank you Maximiliano Caal, Rosendo Coy and your entire staff for what you do and allowing us the opportunity to participate in this program.

For more information on how to participate, contact  Maximiliano Caal via email or call (+501) 722-0108.

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How’s that Howling working for you ?

Posted: May 9, 2013 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel
Tags: ,

“Oh my, what the heck is that ?” The hair on the back of our necks stood up as we sat there in amazement trying to figure out was it a Howler Monkey or a Jaguar. I mean they (Howler Monkey’s) really sound pretty menacing. But, here we were, we had finally made it down this bumpy, rutted six mile trail from the Southern Highway to the visitors center of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve.



See, since turning off Southern Highway and onto the trailhead that leads to the entrance of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve, I instinctively locked the doors, turned off the radio and sat straight up in the driver’s seat. I didn’t know what to expect and got myself ready for any surprises that may come . Would a Jaguar pounce on our vehicle and rip his claw through one of our tires disabling us , or a gang of Howler Monkeys jump on the roof rack and hood, and demand food as we drove slowly down the dusty, rutted six-mile road to the base camp. As we drove deeper into the jungle, and began to cross small streams, kicking up a trail of mud and dust, I had to turn on the vehicle headlights as the canopy of the jungle turned a pleasantly bright day into darkness. Now things were getting spooky! “You hear that?” I asked Tammy. I knew what I was hearing was the distinctive sound of a Howler Monkey in full roar. It’s nothing like you’ve ever heard before, the roar of a Howler Monkey, it will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Quickly I halted the vehicle, cut off the engine, and we sat there in disbelief at how loud and deafening the roar was from a creature so small. This was just the beginning and we had not reached the parks official boundary line yet. After driving which seemed like an eternity we reached the parks visitor center and had a sigh of relief. The visitors center was just like a jungle lodge right out of an African safari movie. With a thatched roof museum and interpretive center that houses all things Jaguar, we made our way in and decided whether or not if we wanted a guided tour or to take one of the many well-marked trails through the Jungle. After being assured we would not encounter any wild creatures that may size us up for lunch, we took the trail leading to a waterfall. This trail we were told was rigorous. Great we agreed, we had been training back home doing stair climbing at the gym, running and sprints, and knew we were up to the task. We were told by team members of Central America Overland Expeditions that we would want to be in good shape for the expedition that we wanted to do in Belize. Climbing ruins, kayaking, hiking and many other activities requires good physical stamina. As we hiked several miles through the jungle, it was surprising how cool it was, as the jungle canopy kept the temperature lower than being out in direct sun. As we climbed the trail we crossed streams, rocky outcroppings and traversed a rope bridge. Stopping occasionally to drink plenty of water, we’d pull out the binoculars and try to identify some of the many birds we saw. Finally arriving to the waterfall, it was refreshing and oh so cold. Although we did not see any Jaguars because they are nocturnal, it was fun to think they were watching us. If you’re planning a trip to Belize the Cosckscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve is a must do.