The Meerman and Sabido (2001) Belize Ecosystems Map has
now been updated and improved:
This latest product follows the Meerman & Sabido (2001)
map, which was essentially an update of the 1995 Vegetation
map of Belize by Iremonger and Browkaw. This Iremonger and
Brokaw map borrowed heavily from the 1959 Natural Vegetation
Map of Belize by Wright et al.
For the marine part, there existed a draft marine habitat
map (Mumby & Harborne, 1999). The scale of the latter
map was much finer that that of the Belize Ecosystems Map.
Also, this map existed only in a draft stage and its accuracy
is assumed to be no greater than 60%. To overcome the inconsistencies
caused by the differences and reliability of both products,
the various groups of habitats in the Marine map were clustered
as to represent their main classifications and this result
was re-digitized into polygons with a minimum size of 1
The resulting product was further updated and enriched
using the following sources:
Fieldwork data gathered by J. C. Meerman from 2001 through
2004. See http://biological-diversity.info/projects.htm
Recent Landsat tm images: 1947_2004_02_28; 1948_2004_01_27
Brokaw & Sabido, 1998. Vegetation of the Rio Bravo
Conservation and Management Area.
Murray et all, 1999. Soil-plant relationships and revised
vegetation classification of Turneffe Atoll - Belize.,
Penn et all, 2004. Vegetation of the Greater Maya Mountains,
MET department: Climatological data
Cornec, 2003. Geology map of Belize
Territorial waters extend follows the Maritime Areas Act,
The final product being an all encompassing
Belize Ecosystems Map on a scale of 1:100,000 incorporating
the main terrestrial and marine habitats (including deep
sea habitats). In total 96 habitats were thus mapped:
The original ArcView shapefiles can be downloaded
as a zipped file (2,904 kb). The shapefile comes with
full metadata. Please read the use constraints section in
these metadata before using the data. Also available for
download from the Biodiversity
and Environmental Resource Data System of Belize.
The 2001 report has not been updated as yet but is still
valid except for the "new" ecosystems that were
not included in the 2001 version. The report is published
in (low resolution) pdf format as Volume
I (464 kb) and Volume
II (1,422 kb) and should be cited as:
Meerman, J. and W. Sabido. 2001. Central American
Ecosystems: Belize. Programme for Belize, Belize City. 2
volumes 50 + 88 pp.
2001 report on Belizean Ecosystems and vegetation types
was produced as part of the Central American Ecosystems
Map (Worldbank/CCAD) and recognized 86 different ecosystems
for Belize. The report described each of the ecosystems
including a list of plant species identified in these. Maps
give information on altitude, broad ecosystems, detailed
ecosystems and fire risk. The report is published in (low
resolution) pdf format as Volume
I (464 kb) and Volume
II (1,422 kb). The Original ArcView
files (zipped 1,048 kb) should now only be used when a comparison
between the 2001 and 2004 maps is required.
This 2001 project was part of the much larger Central
American Ecosystems Mapping Project.
In this project all of Central America's ecosystems
were mapped to a level of 1:250,000. A graphic
impression of the draft product is available
for viewing. A wall
poster (in Spanish) has also been produced.
Posters can be obtained at the Programme
for Belize office in Belize City.
The final report on this project was finished in 2002 (Vreugdenhil,
Daan, Jan Meerman, Alain Meyrat, Luis Diego Gómez,
and Douglas J. Graham. 2002. Map of the Ecosystems of Central
America: Final Report. World Bank, Washington, D.C.. And
again can be downloaded
in zipped pdf format (1,543 kb).
This and other files are also available for download from
Environmental Website. This includes “Ecosystems Map
of Central America” maps: files of all 43 map sheets, which
can be opened in PowerPoint. Arc-Info files, ecosystem descriptions
(200+ pages), and final report can also be downloaded from
the same site. A number of additional files can also
be downloaded from the WICE
website or from the USGS
To work with the Arc-Info, GIS (Global
Information System) software is required. You can download
free ArcExplorer software by going to the ESRI webpage
(click logo on the left). ArcExplorer is a lightweight
GIs data viewer developed by ESRI. This freely available
software offers an easy way to perform basic GIs functions.
is the map-server for Meso-America. Through
the internet, its purpose is to provide information
to many users that will assist the protection of natural
resources and biodiversity in Central America. From
maps of ecosystems throughout the Central American region,
the map-server can be used to provide information in
formats understandable to key decision-makers, as well
as the needs of project analysts and researchers.
Back to top