Belize Wildlife and Economy
Animals and Plants
What animals live in Belize?
The largest predator in Belize is the jaguar. Its relatives such as the jaguarundi, the puma and the ocelot are smaller. Other predators are the gray fox, the coyote, the Central American cat frett, the long-tailed weasel and the tayra.
The Eastern Spotted Skunk is just as indigenous to Belize as the Central American tapir, also known as the Baird tapir. The tapir is the largest mammal in Belize and is considered a national animal. It grows up to 1.20 meters tall and up to two meters long. Belize monkeys include the Geoffroy spider monkey and the Guatemala howler monkey. The pygmy anteater looks funny, doesn’t it? The Northern Tamandua is also an anteater. And how do you like the nine-banded armadillo? Below is a photo of him and other animals that live in Belize. You will discover many colorful birds in Belize, for example the fishing toucan or the scarlet macaw, a parrot. The Jaribu
is a stork that can grow up to 1.40 m tall. You have probably never seen red-footed booby, great tinamu, Caribbean caracara (!), Peacock turkey and the magnificent frigate bird with us. The Cuban flamingo is also pretty.
Of course there are also lots of frogs, geckos, snakes and crocodiles.
There is a huge coral reef off the coast of Belize. Whales and dolphins swim in the Caribbean Sea. A species of manatee, namely the Caribbean manatee, also feels at home here. Several species of sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs in Belize.
And which plants grow in Belize?
In the north there are bushes and trees such as cedars, pines, sapote, cocoa and several types of mahogany trees. The coast is swampy with mangrove forests. Here, for example, the red, black and white mangrove as well as the button mangrove grow. There are seaweeds such as thalassia and manatee seaweed on the shore. The Brazilian fern tree, the coconut palm and the kapok tree also grow close to the coast.
In the south there is a dense tropical rainforest, full of trees, lianas, ferns and orchids. The American mahogany tree is considered the national tree of Belize and can grow up to 30 meters high here. With its sweeping crown it towers over the forest. 200 species of orchid
grow in Belize alone. To the Art Encycliaalso includes the black orchid, which is considered the national flower of Belize. The fan palm Schippia concolor only grows in Belize and Guatemala.
The 500 tree species also include the paradise tree and pterocarpus trees, the mountain palm, the palm Acoelorrhaphe wrightii and gliricidia. The Caribbean pine or the Mexican Weymouth pine grow in the dry pine savannas. From a height of 500 meters you will find stone discs, virola trees and astrocaryum palm trees in the more mountainous areas.
The economy in Belize
Belize ranks 103rd out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index. After a steady improvement in the last few years it fell again and is now stable. Nevertheless, the national debt is high, as is unemployment at 9 percent.
The infrastructure is not well developed. Only about a sixth of all roads are paved. The gap between rich and poor is huge.
According to usaers, Belize’s economy is largely based on the service sector. A total of 68 percent is generated here. Just as many people work in this area of the economy.
This also includes tourism. Around 850,000 people now come to Belize every year to lie on the beautiful beaches, dive, surf, see the nature reserves and visit the ancient Mayan sites. Most tourists come from the USA, and many cruise ships also dock here.
Agriculture in Belize
Agriculture contributes 10.3 percent to economic output. 10.2 percent of the employed work here.
Many smallholders grow corn, rice, cassava, plantains and beans for their own needs. What is left is sold in the market. Sugar cane, bananas, cocoa, coconuts and citrus fruits are grown on a large scale on plantations and are therefore intended for sale.
Precious woods are felled in the tropical rainforest. They are sold to Europe or the USA. That’s one reason the tropical rainforest is in danger of disappearing. Also, rubber (rubber) and Chicle (for the preparation of chewing gum) are harvested in the rainforest.
The industry is hardly developed. Reasons for this are also that the domestic market is small and the energy costs are high. 21.6 percent of economic output comes from this area, which has increased in recent years. Oil production has become the most important area. Another industry is the manufacture of clothing and the processing of food, for example sugar cane.