Over the course of my 9 years living in Belize, I have crossed paths with many interesting people from afar. This post is about one of them. A crocodile research intern who was in Belize last year.
ACES and the helping hand
I met Miriam in September 2014. I had offered to host a small pool party for a visiting biologist and her interns that were down working with Chris at American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES). They were a smart funny group. Glad they cooled down after a hot day of taking toxicity samples and dissecting crabs and fish. To see pictures of them working in Tamara’s yard check out Crocodile health on Ambergris Caye is alarming says initial research findings – San Pedro Sun. To find out results of their samples read Environment around Ambergris Caye is contaminated – also San Pedro Sun News paper.
Miriam recently emailed me and asking if I remembered her. If I was willing to help get the word out about her crowdfunding efforts to raise money. This money was to help her research and Belize Conservation, more specifically, the American Crocodile.
Her chosen area of study is crocodile communication. Until now, there has been little research on crocodile communication and it’s potential to be applied to new conservation techniques.
Miriam’s Amazing Vision
Miriam came up with this project in response to crocodile sickness and injury. Even though crocodiles are moved out of polluted environments, many return because that’s the area they are familiar with. It is not feasible to set up physical barriers to keep them away from things, so she started thinking about sonic barriers and came up with the idea of using deterrent devices.
Miriam will research their communication and behavioral response to different sounds to determine a type of frequency crocodiles dislike. Based on her findings, she will work on developing an acoustic device. This device will repel crocodiles away from residential, polluted and dangerous areas.
No project similar to this has ever been implemented on American crocodiles. Her work will raise the bar and create a new ongoing area of study in American crocodile ecology.
Miriam is thinking outside the box and working hard to get this important crocodile communication research project up and running in Belize. She is currently seeking help through a crowdfund conservation campaign – so far Miriam has raised $1,280 USD of her $6,330 goal. Any donation you make will go a long way towards her work, and Miriam is offering perks to those who support her project.
If you are a fan of crocodiles, care about the wildlife on Ambergris Caye and are in a position to help, please help make this important work happen.
Visit the Crowds for Crocs page to find out what the cool croc donation incentives are. You will also learn more about Miriam’s interesting life and work. She wears one of the marks of many a great researcher, she knew Crocodiles were in her future from a very young age.
Miriam is taking a non-conventional approach to crocodile conservation and believes sonic deterrents can work. I hope she is right as there is a real need for a solution.
Hopefully part of it will be her acoustic device that will keep crocodiles away from residential, polluted and dangerous areas as shown in the pictures below.
Sadly many Crocodiles, wildlife and human habitats are being polluted and overdeveloped.