Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
Despite the known diversity of arachnids in neotropical ecozones there has been little considerable movement towards creating a collective means for identification of arachnids in Belize. Previous studies on ecotourism indicate positive trends between biodiversity education and conservation concern. This study was conducted to engage in a field-based study of arachnids in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary to determine the most frequently encountered arachnid species. For this study, four separate locations were surveyed within the Sanctuary: three trail sites and the main camp area. Each site was surveyed during two alternate time periods to account for diurnal and nocturnal species. While surveying the site, arachnids were visually identified along with microhabitat description to observe any habitat preference. Specimens were collected for subsequent identification and validation of the visual identifications performed on site. The preliminary data suggest that the most frequently encountered arachnids collectively among the surveyed sites included members of Araneae families: Theraphosidae, Lycosidae, Salticidae, and Hersilidae. In addition, species of the orders Scorpiones and Amblypygi were frequently encountered. The data will be incorporated to create a user friendly identification resource for the native guides and future visitors to the sanctuary. By creating and providing this resource to the Cockscomb Sanctuary it will contribute to the greater scope of environmental education by achieving increased awareness of the area’s biodiversity.
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Auer, Lauren, "The Identification of Arachnid Species in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary" (2012). Honors Theses. 17.