BFREE and TSA Celebrate Hicatee Awareness Month!

By Heather Barrett

Independence Junior College students visit BFREE each year and are consistent supporters of Hicatee conservation efforts.

The Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE), Turtle Survival Alliance, and our partners are thrilled to celebrate the 3rd Annual Hicatee Awareness Month this October! Throughout the month, activities and events will celebrate the beloved Central American River Turtle (Dermatemys mawii) – locally known as the hicatee. We have lots in store for the month including links to resources, facts, fun photos, and much more. We are kicking off the month with our first ever Hica-Tuesday post.

Sacred Heart Junior College students led by Ingrid Rodriguez offered five outreach programs to schools in the Cayo District during 2017.

In 2017, Tyler Sanville stitched together a banner that quickly became a petition for visitors to the HCRC to sign as a show of solidarity. It’s one way to say that you care about the hicatee turtle and you want to see it conserved. The banner is overflowing with signatures and has become a beacon of hope and positivity – it unites us and reminds us of our mantra.

UNC Wilmington students were thrilled to show Hicatee pride during their 2019 field course. 

The Central American River Turtle is the only living species in an ancient family dating back 65 million years. Once widespread, the hicatee is now critically endangered due to over-hunting and in desperate need of greater protection and innovative conservation actions.

#teamhicatee took the banner to the International Herpetological Symposium in Belize City this June. We were thrilled to receive more signatures and lots of support!

The hicatee is disappearing but together we can save it.