Wildtracks: Conservation, Research and Education


Researchers from a variety of universities and institutions around the world have worked at Fireburn Reserve, including the University of Belize, universities from Britain and the United States, the Belize Audubon Society, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK, expedition groups such as Raleigh International and Trekforce, and local college groups – particularly Corozal Junior College.

Past research projects have helped build knowledge of the Reserve, contributing to management effectiveness. These include species surveys, ecosystem and habitat mapping, botanical collections, and ecological studies focusing on key species such as the cats. More detailed studies have also been completed on bat diversity, jaguar density medicinal plants, fer-de-lance and leaf cutter ants.

University of Belize students 
working in the forest at Fireburn.

Education is an important activity at Fireburn, and school groups visit the reserve to learn about the rainforest as part of the science syllabus. This gives students the opportunity to leave the classroom and explore the natural world through direct experience, fostering an understanding of the ecology of the forest and an interest in its conservation.

Volunteers and expedition groups have made a huge contribution to the work at Fireburn reserve. Belizean and international volunteers have contributed towards much of the maintenance work at the reserve, as well as being involved in research and construction projects. Expedition groups from Raleigh International, Trekforce, the Hampshire Venture Scouts and World Challenge have built many of the reserve buildings and carried out research and mapping projects.