|The Belize Butterfly House
Located in the Cayo district, between limestone hills
covered with lush vegetation you will find "Green
Hills", the Belize Butterfly Ranch and Botanical
Collections. Flocks of
, from brilliant blue to gorgeous orange,
dazzling yellow to intriguing gray, fly freely in a
2,700 sq. ft., beautifully landscaped flight
: The largest live butterfly display in Belize.
native butterfly species are being reared at Green
Hills (see list).
Green Hills has a small gift shop and Guests are welcome
to use our covered picnic
spot furnished with tables and seats.
|The Research Facilities
Green Hills is research orientated. The main flight
area makes it possible to study interactions between
different butterfly species. A checklist to the butterflies
of Belize was produced here and a fieldguide to the
butterflies of Belize is in preparation. In addition,
there is ongoing research in other known in Belize for
their environmental and ecological studies. Much attention
is also devoted to conservation activities.
One species new to science that was discovered at Green Hills
meermani Reichling & West, 2000. Is a medium sized tarantula spider (completely
harmless). So far, this species is known only from the northern edge of the Maya Mountains and adjacent Guatemala.
More research is always in progress. You can check out Biodiversity related projects by Jan Meerman at: http://biological-diversity.info/projects.htm or go to the Biological and Environmental Research Data System for Belize (BERDS) for species information and publications.
The Botanical Collection
Green Hills maintains living collections of several groups
of plants, most of these are important to our butterflies.
Either as nectar plant or caterpillar foodplant. Special
collections include Passionflowers,
and orchids. The collection is currently being renovated but ultimately, more than 120 plant specimens will (again) be identified with signs. An illustrated guide is in preparation.
Green Hills is renowned for its Bird Diversity. Over the past decade, no less than 230 bird species have been recorded on our 100 acres! Hummingbirds visiting the feeders near the caterpillar building of course take center stage. And for the last few years an alternative Christmas Birdcount is being carried out under very strict conditions. On average 70-90 species of birds are annually being recorded this way. An amazingly large number! Results can be downloaded. Visit the special Green Hills Birding page.
Private Conservation Management Area
Green Hills is member of the Belize Association of Private Protected Areas and manages 100 acres under a private conservation management plan. Learn more.
The butterfly house is open daily from 8 AM - 4 PM. Last
tour of the day starts at 3.30 PM. Entrance fee plus guided
tour is 1-2 persons: B$ 20.00 (US$ 10.00) per person. Children under 10 years of age half price. Special group rates are available on request. Groups over
15 people, please make reservations: (501) 834-4017. You
can contact us at meerman(at)biological-diversity.info
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