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Botanical collection being renovated

Birding at Green Hills

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for the Butterflies 

of Belize



The complex relationship between the "Holstein" butterfly (Heliconius sapho), its food plant and its pollen source Award

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Green Hills Butterfly Ranch

and Botanical Collections

The Belize Butterfly House
Located in the Cayo district, between limestone hills covered with lush vegetation you will find "Green Hills", the Belize Butterfly Ranch and Botanical Collections. Flocks of butterflies, from brilliant blue to gorgeous orange, dazzling yellow to intriguing gray, fly freely in a 2,700 sq. ft., beautifully landscaped flight area: The largest live butterfly display in Belize.
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Heliconius sapho: The "Holstein"

The Rearing Facilities

Dozens of native butterfly species are being reared at Green Hills (see list).

Visitors facilities
Green Hills has a small gift shop and Guests are welcome to use our covered picnic spot furnished with tables and seats.

The Research Facilities
Green Hills is research orientated. The main flight area makes it possible to study interactions between different butterfly species. A checklist to the butterflies of Belize was produced here and a fieldguide to the butterflies of Belize is in preparation. In addition, there is ongoing research in other known in Belize for their environmental and ecological studies. Much attention is also devoted to conservation activities.

Heliconius erato: The "postman"

One species new to science that was discovered at Green Hills is Citharacanthus meermani Reichling & West, 2000. Is a medium sized tarantula spider (completely harmless). So far, this species is known only from the northern edge of the Maya Mountains and adjacent Guatemala.

More research is always in progress. You can check out Biodiversity related projects by Jan Meerman at: or go to the Biological and Environmental Research Data System for Belize (BERDS) for species information and publications.

The Botanical Collection
Green Hills maintains living collections of several groups of plants, most of these are important to our butterflies. Either as nectar plant or caterpillar foodplant. Special collections include Passionflowers, Bromeliads, Cycads, Heliconia's, Aristolochia's and orchids. The collection is currently being renovated but ultimately, more than 120 plant specimens will (again) be identified with signs. An illustrated guide is in preparation.

Green Hills is renowned for its Bird Diversity. Over the past decade, no less than 230 bird species have been recorded on our 100 acres! And for the last few years an alternative Christmas Birdcount is being carried out under very strict conditions. On average 70-80 species of birds are annually being recorded this way. An amazingly large number! Results can be downloaded. Visit the special Green Hills Birding page.

Private Conservation Management Area
Green Hills is member of the Belize Association of Private Protected Areas and manages 100 acres under a private conservation management plan. Learn more.

Visiting Hours
The butterfly house is open daily from 8 AM - 4 PM. Last tour of the day starts at 3.30 PM. Entrance fee plus guided tour is 1-2 persons: B$ 20.00 (US$ 10.00) per person. Additional persons B$ 20.-- (US$ 10.00). Children under 10 years of age half price. Special group rates are available on request. Groups over 15 people, please make reservations: (501) 834-4017. You can contact us at meerman(at)


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Last modified: November 30, 2010