Mountain Pine Ridge

Mountain Pine RidgeMountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve is a nature reserve in the Cayo District of southern central Belize. It was established in 1944 to protect and manage the native pine forest. Its boundaries are poorly defined, but it is estimated to cover an area of 106,352.5 acres (430 km²), although much of the reserve has been leased.

The reserve is predominantly pine forest , primarily Caribbean Pine, Pinus caribaea, but with significant broadleaf forest. There are small areas of grassland and wetland.

The majority of the reserve is situated on a granite massif, with some areas of limestone in the west of the reserve (remnants of a limestone plateau laid during the Jurassic). Sinkholes and caves are common in the limestone areas. The underlying soils are predominantly sandy. The elevation of the reserve averages between 400 and 700 m (1,312 to 2,296 ft) with the highest point being Baldy Beacon at 1,017 m (3,336 ft), and dropping to 120 m (394 ft) at the lowest point of the Macal River.

The Macal River forms the boundaries of the reserve to the west and south and is fed tributaries including Rio Frio, Rio On, Privassion Creek and Piviol Creek. To the north-east some small streams feed into Barton Creek.

The reserve is home to various large mammals: the Cougar, the Jaguar, the Ocelot, the Coatimundi, and Baird’s Tapir. There is a small population of Morelet’s Crocodile.

Native species of bird include the Rufous-capped Warbler, Crossbill, Pine Siskin, Eastern Bluebird, Stygian Owl, King Vulture, Ocellated Turkey, Acorn Woodpecker, Blue-crowned Motmot, Plumbeous Vireo, Keel-billed toucan and Red-lored Parrot. Winter visitors include the Hepatic Tanager and Chipping Sparrow. Orange-breasted Falcons are more common in the area than elsewhere in Belize.

The pine forest has been seriously damaged by the Pine Bark Beetle, Dendroctomus frontalis, with 80% of the trees showing signs of attack.

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Contact Information

K'Atun Ahaw Culture & Eco Adventure Tours Office is located in the Casa Blanca Guesthouse on 10 Burns Avenue San Igancio, Cayo District, Belize

tikaldaytrip@yahoo.com

International: 501-610-6474 or 501-824-2661
Local: 610-6474 or 824-2661