Cataloging Insect and Bat Diversity in Belize

David Wyatt | Fran Keller

UC Davis

This project was funded on:
20 April 2014
This project intends to create a major entomology collection housed in Belize and to conduct bat inventories while in Belize. The Maya Mountains of Belize are a biological hotspot located in one of the fastest growing regions of our planet (Central America). Yet, even with this growth, Belize has chosen to protect over one-quarter of their country as parks and preserves! Biological inventories help to better understand these protected areas.


Budget Overview

This project asks for funding to purchase the entomology collection materials that will establish the insect collections and to purchase four bat mist-nets for the capture of bats in the bat inventory. In addition, funding is requested to cover the field station costs of the seven biologists that will be conducting the inventory and establishing the entomology collections. The Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society field station will be the base of our operations with the collection to be housed and maintained at Toucan Ridge.

The researchers are donating all of their time for the project (nearly 1,000 hours of work in total) and are also covering all of the travel costs (both airline and in-country travel) as well as all incidental expenses while in Belize or while traveling. All other equipment that is not covered in this request will be provided by the researchers and through partnership with the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California Davis.

In addition to the Bohart Museum of Entomology, another collaborator on the project will be the Biodiversity Center of Belize (associated with the City University of New York). They will be conducting DNA barcoding of the specimens at their research institute in Dangriga (insects as well as the bats). We are thrilled with this opportunity to work with The Biodiversity Center of Belize to add DNA into the catalog of the species we encounter.

Meet the Researcher


David Wyatt is a biology professor in the Field Ecology program at Sacramento City College and has been leading trips to Belize since 2003. He is a past president of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society and has been working with bats and insects in Belize and elsewhere. David has been involved with entomology since 1986 and has been working with bats since 1996. He is currently co-chair of the California White-nose Syndrome Steering Committee and continues to be a consulting wildlife biologist for agencies and private industry.

Endorsed by

Vanessa Kilburn

We are really excited to have Dave and his gang join us as at our field station in Belize! We are located in a very...See more

Director and Program Manager of Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society


This project is an excellent example of supporting important baseline biodiversity research about healthy intact...See more

Biology Professor - American River College


Dave has a tremendous track record of engaging students in undergraduate research. This project continues his...See more

Dean of Science and Allied Health

For some pictures of insects and bats from Belize, check out this website:

Be sure to check out the webpage for the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society at:

And, the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California Davis has a webpage at:

A new collaborator on this project is the Biodiversity Center of Belize (City University of New York) who will be doing DNA barcoding of specimens collected for the entomology collection -

Project Backers

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