The third annual SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour to Belize was a blast! From July 9th to the 18th, twenty-two frog-saving supporters trekked through rainforests, explored limestone caverns, relaxed on pristine beaches, and observed many species of amphibians! See the adventure for yourself and check out these amazing photos from the 2015 SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour to Belize.
On the 9th of July, the SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour landed in beautiful Belize. After such a long day of traveling, we arrived at our first destination: The Tropical Education Center (TEC)! After settling in, we set out to find some frogs. It was the beginning of the wet season in Belize and the frogs were out! The first frog we found was a Red-eyed Tree Frog, Agalychnis callidryas! Isn’t it gorgeous?
There were some aspiring herpetologists who joined us for this exciting adventure and they were quite good at spotting elusive amphibians in the undergrowth. This Marine Toad, Rhinella marina, was a great find!
While staying at the TEC, we took a day to experience the incredible archaeological site Xunantunich! Located just outside of San Ignacio, this beautiful site is thousands of years old. We were also quite privileged to receive a guided tour of the local plants and their uses as we explored the ancient Mayan city.
The SAVE THE FROGS! Belize Eco-tour left the Tropical Education Center and traveled far south to the small, Mayan town of Blue Creek. Situated in pristine, intact rainforest, Blue Creek is a haven for wildlife and the diversity of flora and fauna is incredible! At Blue Creek there are so many activities to experience. We were guided through the forest by extremely knowledgeable Mayan ethnobotanists and we learned how the forest provides so many uses for the Mayan people. We also trekked up mountains, hiked through the rainforest, forged rivers, and explored intricate cave systems.
We were able to see the rare Limestone Rainfrog, Craugastor psephosypharus, and a Mexican Climbing Salamander, Bolitoglossa mexicana!
The diversity of amphibian life is quite high in Blue Creek because of the substantial rain that falls each wet season. During our stay it was the beginning of the wet season in Belize and the frogs were out! Each night we went out looking for frogs we were never disappointed.
The trip continued to get better as we headed north toward the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (TREES)! Home of the endemic Maya Mountain Frog, TREES is located on 200 acres of prime amphibian habitat and it borders the Sibun Forest Reserve.
Here’s SAVE THE FROGS! Education Coordinator Kathlyn Franco with a beautiful Mexican Tree Frog, Smilisca baudinii.
This frog was contently lounging about by a light looking for insects to eat.
We also found other amazing animals on our trip, including this Parrot Snake!
It was not long before were found the endemic and threatened Maya Mountain Frog, Lithobates juliani. This species is unfortunately becoming quite rare in Belize, so it is a treat to be able to see a healthy population at TREES!
We also found some amazing species that live on the forest floor! This is the endangered Long-legged Stream Frog, Craugastor sabrinus. This species is heavily impacted by habitat destruction and pesticides.
After a froggy week in the jungle it was time to dry out and head to the island! Our group spent the remainder of the trip at South Water Caye, which is a 14 acre island that is just a 45 minute boat ride east of Dangriga. This was a great place to relax, snorkel, and bird watch. What a great way to end such an exciting adventure in Belize!
Here is a list of the amazing amphibians we saw while in Belize:
Marine Toad, Rhinella marina
Gulf Coast Toad, Incilius valliceps
Vaillant’s Frog, Lithobates vaillanti
Maya Mountain Frog, Lithobates juliani
Red-eyed Tree Frog, Agalychnis callidryas
Mexican Tree Frog, Smilisca baudinii
Stauffer’s Treefrog, Scinax staufferi
Yellow Treefrog, Dendropsophus microcephalus
Limestone Rainfrog, Craugastor psephosypharus
Veined Tree Frog, Trachycephalus venulosus
Long-legged Streamfrog, Craugastor sabrinus
Mexican Climbing Salamander, Bolitoglossa Mexicana
Want to experience this adventure for yourself? Then send an email of interest to SAVE THE FROGS! Ecologist Michael Starkey at Starkey@savethefrogs.com. We’d love to have you join us in Belize next year! Learn more here: www.savethefrogs.com/belize2015