soaring success for harpies

The following is an excerpt from the January 2011 Newsletter of The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center:

While it was tough for The Belize Zoo’s famous Harpy Eagle, “Panama” to accept the fact that his 8th birthday celebration had to be postponed due to a windy visitor called Hurricane Richard, many exciting events are currently flying high for the Harpies of Belize. And this is good news for these regal eagles! The more the word is out and about, the more information flying forward about the Harpy, the better their chances are for a guaranteed future in the wild.

What’s the current scoop on the Harpy Eagle? To begin, our superb Belize Philatelic Society re-issued the ENDANGERED BIRDS OF BELIZE stamp issue, which features the Harpy Eagle on the 60 cent stamp. Lots of Harpies fly beyond the borders of Belize, thanks to this beautiful eagle-stamp.

A professor from the University of North Carolina, Dr. James Rotenberg frequently brings his University students to study natural history in the Bladen Nature Reserve, basing his work at Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE) Dr. Rotenberg is an ornithologist. His past years have been spent gathering data about the Harpy Eagle, both from the Bladen NR, and also from the Belize Harpy Eagle Restoration Program, BHERP. This Data has been transformed into a beautifully written scientific address, and submitted to the Journal of Raptor Biology.

Many people in the academic world will now learn about the unique situation in Belize involving our Harpy Eagle residents. Noted local ornithologist, Roni Martinez, has in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. Roni’s important sighting underscores the fact that the Harpy Eagle is utilizing the various forest habitats of Belize, and our country’s largest raptor continues to draw attention and keen interest.

Back at The Belize Zoo, a puppet show has been developed. The show stars “Hope” the Harpy Eagle, and his Jaguar companion, “Lucky”. They both teach kids about the important role top predators play in maintaining a healthy biological diversity within the forests of our country. The show will be taken to schools and communities in the upcoming 2011 school year.

These combined efforts will work to ensure that the Harpy Eagle will be a beloved citizen in Belize for years to come. We soar!!

Remember to visit The Belize Zoo website at: www.belizezoo.org.

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