Payne’s Creek National Park (PCNP) covers 37,680 acres in the Toledo District. It is co-managed by TIDE and the Belize Forest Department.
PCNP protects hypersaline, saline, brackish and freshwater habitats, mangroves, broadleaf forest and savannah and provides direct protection for a great diversity of species of which twenty are endangered or vulnerable. These include the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara), black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) and Yellow-headed parrot (Amazona oratrix belizensis) as well as Belize's five species of cat.
The main purpose of PCNP is the preservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of the resources through non-extractive activity. This is achieved through a set of programs and activities that ensure the continuation of the health of natural resources in the park. Activities includes regular enforcement patrols by staff in order to prevent illegal activities in the park. Tourism is also incredibly important to the park including regular use of the Punta Y'cacos Lagoon for fly-fishing.
Wild fires are the one of the major threats faced by PCNP. TIDE's fire team uses prescribed burns in strategic places in order to control the location and size of fires.
This is allowing the pine savannah to regenerate. We are on target to restore natural uneven-aged stands of Caribbean pine by 2020. This is helping to enhance the nesting environment for endangered yellow-headed parrot.
From 2012, the Payne’s Creek rangers began to install artificial nest boxes for yellow-headed parrot. The birds took to them immediately. In the first year, three of the ten boxes contained actual nests with six eggs being laid in total. Of those eggs, three chicks successfully fledged. In 2013, nine of the 19 nest boxes present were occupied and 15 eggs laid.
In 2014 TIDE also invested in large bird cages in PCNP to temporarily house parrots for rehabilitation. TIDE receive parrots that have previously been rescued by the Belize Bird Rescue organisation to release in the wild.
Management of PCNP by TIDE actively includes the buffer communities of Monkey River, Punta Negra, and Punta Gorda and is a national model of participatory administration.