Us for Belize Foundation

A nonprofit organization

2 donors

The Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE), Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), and other global partners are working together to save the critically endangered turtle, the Central American River Turtle, known in its home country of Belize as the Hicatee. 

The Hicatee (Dermatemys mawii) is the only living species in an ancient family dating back 65 million years. Once widespread they now exist as remnant populations in parts of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. The species is undergoing rapid and severe decline due to overhunting for human consumption. The hicatee is now critically endangered and in need of greater protection and innovative conservation actions. Belize offers the highest chance for its survival. 

“Hope for Belize’s Hicatee,” highlights the significance of hicatee as a traditional food and describes the environmental pressures including hunting and habitat loss that are propelling it toward extinction. Viewers are exposed to the current work being done to save the species and are encouraged to become active participants in the protection and conservation of this unique turtle, one of Belize’s national treasures. 

The Hicatee Conservation and Research Center (HCRC), located at the BFREE Field Station in southern Belize, is the only facility in Belize maintaining the Hicatee in captivity for the purpose of studying aspects of its biology and behavior.  

During its first three years hosting adult turtles, the HCRC has created a successful breeding environment resulting in the hatching of 91 turtles. The next steps for long-term conservation is to develop and implement a species conservation plan that includes reintroduction of juvenile turtles into the wild.

We are asking for financial support to ensure the survival of this rare and important turtle species. 

The Hicatee is disappearing, but together we can save it!

US for Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (US for BFREE) is registered in the United States as a 501(c)3 non-profit with a biological field station in southern Belize and a US office in Gainesville, Florida. Our mission is to conserve the biodiversity and cultural heritage of Belize.

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Us for Belize Foundation

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