[Coral-List] Wetlands

James M. Cervino cnidaria at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 28 09:54:41 EDT 2005

Dear Coral Listers this may be of interest to some of you as this 
addresses the protection of mangroves and estuarine systems in 
Central America.

To Earth Island Institute, Greenpeace, and Sirenian International:
  Action Alert!

The Belizean government is in the process of overlooking existing 
wetland protections of mangroves and coastal estuaries in an effort 
to "create" sellable lots for commercial interests. At issue is Big 
Lagoon in Placencia (Stann Creek District), which supports extensive 
mangrove forests, a vital fishery, important and viable populations 
of Antillean Manatees (highest density in Belize), Morelet's 
crocodile (endangered), several species of dolphin, and is an 
important migratory stopover for numerous species of wading birds.
We are in the early stages of mounting opposition to destruction of 
the mangrove forests and the filling of the lagoon. We will prepare a 
more comprehensive "action alert' and white paper soon; in the mean 
time, we are looking for support, ideas, and advice from 
organizations involved in the protection of mangroves and estuarine 
systems in Central America. Any advice or council you can provide 
would be greatly appreciated.
  Thank you,
Jules Evens, Principal
  Avocet Research Associates
  P.O. Box 839
  Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
  phone 415/663-1148
  fax 415/663-9235

  Some preliminary info:

  Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus, ), it is protected by 
CITES <javascript:openwindow('http://www.cites.org/')>  (The 
Convention on Trade of Endangered Species), and is listed as 
endangered under Belize's Wildlife Protection Act of 1981 
 (Auil 1998)

  Morelet's Crocodile is protected under Belize's Wildlife Protection 
Act of 1981 
 (Auil 1998) and is listed as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered 
Species Act, and included in Appendix I of the CITES Treaty. The IUCN 
rates the species as "Lower Risk", but this rating would revert to 
Threatened or Endangered if ongoing conservation efforts were ended. 
According to Beletsky (1998) this is one of the more endangered 
crocodilian species, listed by CITES Appendix I and USA ESA.

  A succinct summary of manatee ecology in Belize: 
<http://www.sirenian.org/ManateesInBelize.html> >

  Alfredo Quarto, Executive Director
  Mangrove Action Project
  PO Box 1854
  Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279
  phone/ fax (360) 452-5866
  <mangroveap at olympus.net>
mailto:mangroveap at olympus.net
  web site: http://www.earthisland.org/map/map.html
Professor James M. Cervino
Marine Pathology
Department of Biological & Health Sciences
Pace University New York NYC
Phone: (917)620-5287
Web site: http://www.globalcoral.org

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