A Natural History of Belize: Inside the Maya Forest

Hardcover | January 18, 2012

bySamuel Bridgewater

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Belize's Chiquibul Forest is one of the largest remaining expanses of tropical moist forest in Central America. It forms part of what is popularly known as the Maya Forest. Battered by hurricanes over millions of years, occupied by the Maya for thousands of years, and logged for hundreds of years, this ecosystem has demonstrated its remarkable ecological resilience through its continued existence into the twenty-first century. Despite its history of disturbance, or maybe in part because of it, the Maya Forest is ranked as an important regional biodiversity hot spot and provides some of the last regional habitats for endangered species such as the jaguar, the scarlet macaw, Baird's tapir, and Morelet's crocodile.

A Natural History of Belize presents for the first time a detailed portrait of the habitats, biodiversity, and ecology of the Maya Forest, and Belize more broadly, in a format accessible to a popular audience. It is based in part on the research findings of scientists studying at Las Cuevas Research Station in the Chiquibul Forest. The book is unique in demystifying many of the big scientific debates related to rainforests. These include "Why are tropical forests so diverse?"; "How do flora and fauna evolve?"; and "How do species interact?" By focusing on the ecotourism paradise of Belize, this book illustrates how science has solved some of the riddles that once perplexed the likes of Charles Darwin, and also shows how it can assist us in managing our planet and forest resources wisely in the future.

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From the Publisher

Belize's Chiquibul Forest is one of the largest remaining expanses of tropical moist forest in Central America. It forms part of what is popularly known as the Maya Forest. Battered by hurricanes over millions of years, occupied by the Maya for thousands of years, and logged for hundreds of years, this ecosystem has demonstrated its re...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 10.17 × 7.28 × 1.28 inPublished:January 18, 2012Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292726716

ISBN - 13:9780292726710

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Stephen BlackmoreAcknowledgmentsIntroductionChapter 1. Out of the Ocean: The Origins of Belizean LifeChapter 2. The Chiquibul Forest and Belize's Terrestrial EcosystemsChapter 3. From the Ancient Maya to the New Millennium: A History of Forest Use in the Chiquibul and BelizeChapter 4. The Fauna of the ChiquibulChapter 5. Rhythm and Recovery: Ecological Associations, Seasonality, Hurricanes, and Forest DynamicsAppendix A. Provisional Amphibian Species Checklist of the ChiquibulAppendix B. Provisional Reptile Species Checklist of the ChiquibulAppendix C. Provisional Mammal Species Checklist of the ChiquibulAppendix D. Provisional Bird Species Checklist of the ChiquibulNotesBibliographyIndex