Belize is the home to many fascinating, rare animals. There are 124 species of mammals, including the jaguar
; 139 species of reptiles and amphibians, some yet undiscovered; and 543 species of birds, including the Keel-Billed Toucan, which is Belize's national bird.
The birds of Belize are greatly diverse. They range from wading birds, such as the Caribbean Flamingo and the 5-foot-tall Jabiru
Stork, to colorful tree-dwellers, such as the Scarlet Macaw
. Belize is also home to fiercer birds such as the Harpy Eagle
and the King Vulture
. Bird watching is a rewarding pastime in Belize, as there are many interesting species of birds hiding in the rainforests.
Reptiles and amphibians thrive in the climate of Belize. The humidity of the rainforest makes it a perfect habitat for many species of tree frogs, including the iconic Red-Eyed Tree Frog. The Red-Eyed Tree Frog begins its life brown, but becomes bright green to match its leafy habitat. Belize is also home to Morelet's Crocodile, a smaller species of crocodile that rarely exceeds 10 feet long, and the very poisonous Coral Snake.West Indian Manatees
, Black Howler Monkeys
, the Baird's Tapir and the Kinkajou
are just a few of the mammals living in Belize. Many of these mammals are nocturnal tree-dwellers, but a few, such as the Tapir, prefer the ground. Belize is also home to the world's only jaguar preserve. The large cats' range has decreased exponentially over the years, but they can still find a home in the forests and along the coast.
Belize is a place of astounding biodiversity. Its lush forests and coasts are the perfect habitat for many species of exceptionally beautiful animals.