The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which is the oldest and largest conservation organization in the US, was founded in NYC in the late 1800’s as the New York Zoological Society. Today they maintain an international presence all over the world with conservation areas, research centers, and NGO’s working with governments on various projects to promote wildlife conservation.
WCS owns Middle Caye, located 2.5 miles from Long Caye at Glover’s Reef, and maintains a marine biology research facility there year round. The facility is available for student groups and individuals who wish to conduct marine biology studies at Glover’s, and WCS provides housing, classrooms, labs, and transportation for these groups. Many long term studies are in progress at the research center, and scientists visit the island several times a season along with various student groups who contract time periods in which they hold classes and field studies in marine biology.
We at Slickrock visit Middle Caye each week with our groups to tour the island and facility, and we often get a tour from the island manager who is able to explain in detail what they do. In addition to the buildings, WCS has built a wonderful observation tower which offers a unique view of the surrounding atoll. The Belize Fisheries Dept, whose rangers patrol the Marine Reserve located at Glover’s Reef, are also based on Middle Caye and use this tower to help patrol the no-fishing zone in the southern half of the atoll.
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