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Doyle's Delight Photo album of Bruce Holst

Special chapters:

Botany,

Botany trainee report,

Birds,

Birds trainee report,

Diurnal Lepidoptera (Butterflies),

Nocturnal Lepidoptera (Saturniidae and Sphingidae)

Insects excluding Lepidoptera,

Mycology,

Ecosystems

BERDS: Biodiversity and Environmental Resource Data System of Belize

Harpy Eagle re-introduction report 10

National Protected Areas Policy and Systems Plan

 

Doyle's Delight Expedition 2007

Expedition to the Belize's Highest Point

Colpothrinax Doyle's Delight

Doyle’s Delight, with UTM coordinates 1,824,500 North and 281,600 East (North American Datum 1927. Zone 16N), lies on the Maya Mountain Divide, approximately 6.5 kilometers north of the eastern margin of Little Quartz Ridge, and 32 kilometers west-southwest of Richardson Peak. With its elevation of 1124 meters, Doyle’s Delight is the highest point in Belize. It is generally assumed that the highest peak in Belize is Victoria Peak but this peak is apparently slighty lower with only 1120 m. Victoria peak which is located east of the Maya Mountain Divide in the Stann Creek District, is with clear weather quite visible from the coast and shows a dramatic peak while Doyle’s Delight is located on a less visible location and is part of a more gently sloping range, not showing such a dramatic peak.

The name Doyle’s Delight was first coined in by Sharon Matola in 1989 and based on Arthur Conan Doyle book "The Lost World" (1912), which contains the quote "there must be something wild and wonderful in a country such as this, and we're the men to find it out!".

Belize Map

This name has meanwhile achieved widespread acceptation. The official Government of Belize Website lists Doyle's Delight as the Highest Point for Belize and Belmopan, the capital of Belize has a “Doyle’s Delight Street”. Recently there has been an attempt to rename the peak to “Kaan Witz” which is Maya for “Sky Mountain”. But until now, this name has not found common acceptance.

A number of scientific expeditions have aimed at Doyle's Delight. The latest one being an expedition led by Sharon Matola in 2004 (Draft report from this expedition can be downloaded here). The latest expedition is the August 2007 one, again led by Sharon Matola. As in the 2004 expedition, the focus was on mycology but other disciplines were not forgotten. Below is a group picture of all 15 participants also listing their respective disciplines.

Doyle's delight team

The Doyle's Delight 2007 team from left to right: Timothy J. Baroni - Mycology, Gregorio Sho - Support Team, Sharon Matola - Team Leader, Paul Labus - Lepidoptera, Peter Kovorik - Invertebrates general, Celso Cawich - High Altitude Passilidae Coleoptera, Cathie Aime - Mycology, Juan Sho - Birds, D. Jean Lodge - Mycology, John Shuey - Lepidoptera, Shannon Kenney - Birds, Raul Balona - Support Team, Colin Young - Botany, Jan Meerman - Ecology, Ecosystems, Bruce Holst - Botany.

While the focus of the expedition was Doyle's Delight, research and collecting took place in a total area of approximately 15 sq km2 (See map below). Largely, the same trails were used as in 2004. While Doyle's Delight is situated on the Maya Mountain Divide and is thus situated on the boundary of the Cayo and Toledo Districts, by a curious coincidence, virtually al the research took place in the Cayo district (and therefore in the Chiquibul National Park). This choice was partly by design (similar habitats (Little Quartz Ridge) have been researched in the Toledo District, but largely because the access from Doyle's Delight into the Toledo District was much more difficult due to the generally much steeper slopes.

Doyle's Delight Elevation Map

 

Colpothrinax Doyle's Delight
Hurricane Dean
Typical View of Doyle's Delight and surrounding area. The ridges are dominated by the palm Colpothrinax cookii.
Ghostly Colpothrinax palm bending in the wind during the passage of Hurricane Dean on August 21.

 

Doyle's Delight Jan Meerman
A view from Doyle's Delight into the Snake Creek Valley towards the South (into the Toledo District). Jan Meerman investigating a Bamboo that survived the flowering event and subsequent die-off.

 

Doyle's Delight Helicopter Supply
Transportation logistics were provided by British Forces Belize; BATSUB 25 flight. With special thanks to Col. Peter German.


Go to special pages:

Botany,

Botany trainee report,

Birds,

Birds trainee report,

Diurnal Lepidoptera (Butterflies),

Nocturnal Lepidoptera (Saturniidae and Sphingidae)

Insects excluding Lepidoptera,

Mycology,

Ecosystems

 

 

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Last modified: October 12, 2008