Visit the Howler Monkeys
Community Baboon Sanctuary
The Center was formed by a grass-roots effort of the local residents. Concerned about the diminishing habitat for the resident Yucatan Black Howler Monkeys (or Baboon) banded together into a voluntary community wildlife management project. Almost all of the landowners in the 18 square mile sanctuary have pledged to make their farming practices compatible with the needs of the monkeys and other wildlife that are present. They have initiated conservation practices that leave food trees when clearing land, protect riverbank forest and foliage, and maintaining forest corridors so that the monkeys can move from area to area. Eight villages and dozens of landowners who make up the sanctuary are active conservation partners in the sanctuary effort.
The black howler monkey is an endangered species which has a very limited range in Belize, southern Mexico and a few areas of Guatemala. It is one of the six howler monkey species found in Central and South America. One of the most remarkable traits of the howler monkey is its loud, rasping howl which can be heard carrying across the forest for well over a mile.
Howlers typically live in troops of 4 to 8 with a male heading the troop. During the day, the monkeys travel leisurely from tree canopy to tree canopy feeding and resting, rarely coming to the ground. The black howlers are strict vegetarians eating a wide variety of leaves, flowers, and fruits. Like other monkeys, howlers nurse their young, defend their territory, use their hands in feeding and communicate with facial expressions similar to humans.
Your guide will likely be able to ‘talk’ to the Howlers, coaxing them down to your eye level with bananas and other delicacies.
Birding at the Baboon Sanctuary
Nearly 200 bird species live in the sanctuary along with iguanas, hicatee, anteaters, armadillos, coati, paca, agouti, deer, peccary and many other species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Many of the guides are bird knowledgeable and know where to find them. Birders will want to bring their lists.