Wildlife of Belize

As the least densely populated country in Central America, Belize is a wonderland of pristine landscapes, exotic wildlife, and gorgeous flowering plants. From misty mountains and vast forests in the west to the beaches and coastal plains in the east, Belize is one of the most ecologically diverse countries on the planet.

Here is just a small sample of the wildlife you can see in Belize:

The Birds of Belize

Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in Belize, and the Audubon Society is quite active in the country. Bird species found in Belize include:

  • Parrots.
  • Macaws.
  • Toucans.
  • Harpy eagles.
  • Storks.
  • Hummingbirds.

The Animals of Belize

The rainforests and jungles of Belize are home to an astonishing variety of animals, including five species of big cats. Some of the animals you can find in Belize include:

  • Jaguars.
  • Tapirs (the national animal of Belize).
  • Black Howler Monkeys.
  • Spider Monkeys.
  • Gibnuts (a large rodent).
  • Peccaries (wild pigs).

The Marine Life of Belize

Whether it’s on the hundreds of islands on the Belize Barrier Reef or the pristine rivers, mangrove-lined lagoons, and waterways of the mainland, the entire country of Belize is brimming with marine life, including:

  • Manatees – More than anywhere else outside the U.S., manatees love the warm waters of Belize, especially in and around Gales Point, the Southern Lagoon, and Swallow Caye.
  • Whale Sharks – The largest fish in the world’s oceans, whale sharks circumnavigate the globe annually. During the springtime, these enormous yet harmless creatures can be found in and around the Gladden Spit area of the reef.
  • Sharks – Nurse sharks, reef sharks, lemon tip sharks, and even the occasional hammerhead shark can be found in the waters of Belize. Due to their size, these sharks generally leave human beings alone.
  • Rays – Especially in the area of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on the reef, it’s easy to spot large groups of stingrays.
  • Sea Turtles – Three species of endangered sea turtles can be found in Belize – green turtles, hawksbill turtles, and loggerhead turtles.
  • Dolphins – Playful and inquisitive, dolphins are found throughout the coastal regions.
  • Reef Fish – Often described as a giant aquarium, the reef is a kaleidoscope of colorful species, including parrotfish, angelfish, butterfly fish, and clown fish.
  • Game Fish – Belize is an angler’s paradise for good reason. Top species include snook, bonefish, tarpon, and permit.

Black Orchid Resort organizes tours for travelers wishing to explore the bounty and majesty of wildlife in Belize.