aimimg to conserve the natural & cultural resources of the western Chiquibul-Maya Mountains for the sustainable development of Belize.

The main breeding habitat for macaws is located in the Chalillo reservoir. To this date, it is not yet a tourism destination, however the industry has identified this as a ‘must see’ destination. FCD cannot possibly stop this development, but instead prepare to put an assertive presence and regulate the flow of visitors in the area. The field base instituted will provide for staff to be longer periods in the area and the training will enable staff to better respond and prevent visitor impacts.

The ATCF funding is being sought to construct a field base, upgrade the FCD research headquarters, equip the field teams, promote citizen science participation and train field technicians. The field base will be located at a strategic anchor point for FCD rangers, researchers, volunteers and other visitors. Upgrade of the research headquarters will occur at Las Cuevas Research Station which will support a presence of staff involved in hand rearing of scarlet macaws. Equipment would include headlamps, GPs, binoculars, cameras and field uniforms. Field personnel will be trained on rules and regulations, visitor satisfaction and wildlife care. In addition, funds will be used to develop guidelines and materials for volunteers in support of the citizen science program.

The ATCF and its members have awarded the Friends for Conservation and Development $20,000 to conserve the natural and cultural resources of the western Chiquibul-Maya Mountains for the sustainable development of Belize. FCD pioneers adaptive management of the Chiquibul Forest to improve the ecological and cultural integrity of the western Chiquibul-Maya Mountains.


THE Impact

  • A field base is operational at the Chalillo Lake.

  • FCD field staff accommodated seven months at the field base.

  • 100% of field staff understand the laws and rules that protect macaws.

  • Visitor impact monitoring guidelines approved and followed.


Coming soon….

MORE ABOUT Friends for Conservation & Development

Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in the Cayo District. FCD is the only non–governmental organization with an assertive management presence in the Chiquibul Forest, representing 7.7% of the national territory.

Day to day, the primary work of FCD, with its partners including the Forest Department, Institute of Archaeology, BDF and the Police, has been to maintain the integrity of natural and cultural resources of the Chiquibul Forest.

“For the last 6 years FCD has dedicated 7 months every year to monitor and protect the main breeding site of scarlet macaws in Belize. It is an effort that promises to increase the wild populations of macaws which at present are known to number no more than 125 pairs. Protecting this species from extinction is an honorable work and we are pleased to partner with ATCF in pursuit of securing the safety and survival of this emblematic species of the Chiquibul Forest.” ~Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director of FCD

adopt a project program


The FCD project was a part of our Adopt a Project Program and was funded by the generous support of World Nomads. World Nomads provides travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. You'd rather not think about all of the things that might go wrong on your trip, but these things can and do happen.

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