The biodiversity of Hidden Valley Reserve is vast. The terrain includes steep ravines, five major waterfalls, jungle, pine and rainforest...all unique habitats teeming with life. It is impossible to know all of the species of plants and animals contained within, but enough research has been done to declare the Reserve protected under the IUCN (International Union For Conservation of Nature).
The property draws researchers from all over the globe to study our ecosystem. Currently the Peregrine Fund is conducting research here, monitoring rare species such as the Orange Breasted Falcons found at King Vulture Falls, the Black and White Hawk Eagles, and other rare species of raptors. In addition, a number of threatened animal species are thriving in the Hidden Valley Reserve. Virginia Tech University currently runs a grid of camera traps throughout the area, monitoring the abundance, health and habits of our animal wildlife. See some of the footage in our gallery.
Over 145 species of vascular and two species of non-vascular plants have been identified in the Hidden Valley Reserve, but researchers believe this is only a small sampling of the plant life thriving here, as the study was limited in time and scope. One of the most impressive studies conducted on property was by Peter Durhager, former manager of Hidden Valley, who produced a photographic record of some 81 species of orchids, including 11 rare orchid species.
It is believed that Hidden Valley contains a large number of Belize's endemic species because of the Reserve's many unique ecological areas, including the upland pine forest, which is genetically isolated. Whether you appreciate the science, the beauty, the conservation or all, Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve is a lush and impressive land of natural beauty.
For detailed information on the flora, fauna and conservation planning effort, click here.
Overall, Hidden Valley Reserve is rich in fauna species with 239 confirmed vertebrate species and a total of 419 species nearby. Of these animals, at least seven are globally threatened or near threatened vertebrate including Morelet's Treefrog, Yucatan Black Baird's Tapir, Sabrinas Rain Frog, the Keel-billed Motmot and Cerulean Warbler. Also found on property and near threatened are the Puma, Jaguar, Morelet's Crocodile, Caromistle, Great Curassow and the Maya Mountain Frog.
The diversity of birdlife at Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve, particularly our abundance of raptors, attracts conservationists and enthusiasts to the area. While only 29% of Belize's birdlife has been confirmed in the Hidden Valley Reserve, based on nearby records and research it is most likely half of the bird species population.
More than 40% of Belize's non-marine mammals make their home in Hidden Valley, including all five of Belize's cat species. These top predators are in great abundance, indicating there is a healthy prey base.