St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park is a national park located just off the Hummingbird Highway in Cayo District of Belize, near Belmopan, the capital city. It is over 500 acres (2 km²) in area, and contains two cave systems (St. Hermans and Crystal), various natural trails, and the cool jungle pool from which the park gets its name. The park is managed by the Belize Audubon Society.
This inland "blue hole" is not to be confused with the offshore Great Blue Hole, also in Belize.
The Government of Belize acquired the land for the park in the 1960s and '70s. It was officially declared a national park on November 23, 1986. The park was originally named Blue Hole National Park, but its name was changed in 2005 in order to avoid confusion with Blue Hole National Monument.
The park has over 200 species of birds, including unusual tropical species such as the slaty antwren, piratic flycatcher and red-legged honeycreeper. Species considered local specialties are tody motmot and northern nightingale-wren.
The ocelot, jaguarundi, and jaguar have all been recorded in Blue Hole National Park.
John James Audubon was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. His combined interests in art and ornithology turned into a plan to make a complete pictoral record of all the bird species of North America. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon is also known for having identified 25 new species. He is the namesake of the National Audubon Society and his name adorns a large number of towns, neighborhoods, and streets in every part of the United States. Dozens of scientific names first published by Audubon are currently in use by the scientific community.
Cayo District is a district located in the west part of Belize. It is the most extensive, second-most populous and third-most densely populated of the six districts of Belize. The district's capital is the town of San Ignacio.
The great blue heron is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to coastal Spain, the Azores, and areas of far southern Europe. An all-white population found in south Florida and the Florida Keys is known as the great white heron. Debate exists about whether this represents a white color morph of the great blue heron, a subspecies of it, or an entirely separate species. The status of white individuals known to occur elsewhere in the Caribbean, and very rarely elsewhere in eastern North America, is unclear.
The great egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egret, large egret, or great white egret or great white heron is a large, widely distributed egret, with four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, it builds tree nests in colonies close to water.
The speculum is a patch, often distinctly coloured, on the secondary wing feathers, or remiges, of some birds.
The National Audubon Society (Audubon) is an American non-profit environmental organization dedicated to conservation of birds and their habitat. Located in the United States and incorporated in 1905, Audubon is one of the oldest of such organizations in the world. There are completely independent Audubon Societies in the United States, which were founded several years earlier such as the Massachusetts Audubon Society and Connecticut Audubon Society.
The hooded oriole is a medium-sized New World oriole. The male of this species ranges in color from a bright orange to a paler yellow, with a black back, face, tail and bib, with the wing containing two white bars. The female is more of an olive color with some yellow accents.
Guanacaste National Park is a 50-acre (20 ha) park in central Belize. It is named after a huge guanacaste tree that escaped being logged because its trunk divided into three bases, reducing its value as timber.
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The Massachusetts Audubon Society, founded in 1896 by Harriet Hemenway and Minna B. Hall, headquartered in Lincoln, Massachusetts, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "protecting the nature of Massachusetts". Mass Audubon is independent of the National Audubon Society (NAS), just as in the neighboring state of Connecticut, where Connecticut Audubon Society is independent of the NAS. Both Mass Audubon and Connecticut Audubon Society were founded earlier than the NAS. Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all with its wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers.
Since declaring independence in 1981, Belize has enacted many environmental protection laws aimed at the preservation of the country's natural and cultural heritage, as well as its wealth of natural resources. These acts have established a number of different types of protected areas, with each category having its own set of regulations dictating public access, resource extraction, land use and ownership.
Caracara is a genus in the family Falconidae and the subfamily Polyborinae. It contains one extant species, the crested caracara; and one extinct species, the Guadalupe caracara. The South American Classification Committee of the American Ornithological Society has voted to again merge the two, retaining C. plancus as crested caracara. The taxonomists of the International Ornithologists' Union have also merged them.
Tourism in Belize has grown considerably recently, and it is now the second largest industry in the nation. Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country. The growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural, commercial, and finance industries, as well as the construction industry. The results for Belize's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming almost one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in 2012.
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The Belize Audubon Society is a conservation group in Belize, formed in 1969. Like similar societies elsewhere, it is named in honor of ornithologist and naturalist John James Audubon.
Half Moon Caye is an island and natural monument of Belize located at the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll. This natural monument was the first nature reserve to have been established in Belize under the National Park Systems Act in 1981 and first marine protected area in Central America. This is also Belize's oldest site of wildlife protection since it was first designated as a bird sanctuary in 1924 to protect the habitat of the red-footed booby birds.
Vaux's swift is a small swift native to North America, Central America, and northern South America. It was named for the American scientist William Sansom Vaux.
The Mayflower Bocawina National Park is a national park in Belize that was established in 2001. This national park boasts a vast quantity of flora and fauna. The Mayflower Bocawina National Park is managed by the Friends of Mayflower Bocawina National Park and is listed as Category 2 on the IUCN list.
Five Blues Lake National Park is a 10-acre parcel of tropical forest in Belize, which is enclosed by over 4,000 acres of limestone hills. The lake obtained its name from the different shades of blue it reflects from the different water depths and the reflection of sunlight through the trees that frame the lake. The lake is maintained by an Association of Friends living in the Village of St. Margret's, a few minutes from the lakeside. Beside the lake is a shoreline of sunken limestone at the edge of the lake which leads to Orchid Island, where an abundance of wild orchids grows. In 2007, a drought was thought to have condemned the lake; studies were conducted to determine the cause.
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