|Agua Caliente Management Team|
Organization:Aguacaliente Management Team is a community based non-governmental organization comprised of representatives from each of the stakeholder communities. AMT was established in 1996 by the 10 communities that surround and use the area that was then called the Aguacaliente Swamp. AMT has 30 members who are elected by the 10 communities to represent them. These communities include: Big Falls, Blue Creek, Dump, Jordan, Laguna, Mafredi, San Antonio, San Marcos, Silver Creek, and Yemeri Grove.
AMT successfully lobbied the Government of Belize for the creation of the Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary in 1998. Since that time AMT has worked closely with the 10 communities to facilitate a sustainable relationship between them and the Sanctuary. As one of only two legally recognized community-based organizations in Toledo District, AMT is one of the strongest local voices for its stakeholder communities, and has worked consistently to represent their interests through a variety of projects.
Featured Protected Area:
Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Toledo District on the southern coastal plain, and covers 5,468 acres of wetlands, swamp forest and karstic hills. The Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary is critical for the preservation of biodiversity in Belize and the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. It encompasses a central wetland area, which consists of three freshwater lagoons, two hot springs, and several streams running in and out of the lagoons. It is important as a wetland floodwater sink in times of storm events, as a natural resource for local fishermen, and for wetland birds. Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1998 in recognition of its importance to water birds, for its importance as a wetland floodwater sink in times of storm events, and as a traditional natural resource use area for local fishermen.
The lagoons are a feeding area for hundreds of waterfowl including wood storks, endangered jabiru storks, black-bellied whistling ducks, sandpipers, and others. Some of these birds live year-round in the Sanctuary and others use it as a transmigration point on their seasonal journeys through the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.The forest and savanna areas of the AWS provide habitat for a wide variety of rare animals, including gibnuts, black howler monkeys, white-tailed deer, kinkajous, and endangered tapirs and jaguars.