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Jamal Galves

Jamal Galves

Jamal Galves globally known as the Manatee man has been passionate about protecting wildlife since childhood. He started his work with manatees in 1998 at age 11, volunteering with renowned manatee scientists Dr. James Powell and Dr. Robert Bonde participating in manatee health assessments in Gales Point Manatee—his home village. Jamal’s volunteerism in the field of manatee conservation continued throughout his formative years and he eventually gained full-time employment with Nicole Auil Gomez and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute formally Wildlife Trust as a Field Assistant. Jamal worked his way through the ranks and now functions in the capacity of Program Coordinator and Research Biologist for the Belize Manatee Conservation Program.

For his work in manatee conservation, Mr. Galves has received many awards and accoladed, including the prestigious Belize National Hero Award—a meritorious award from the Government of Belize, and Oceana’s Ocean Hero Award. Additionally, he has been named a National Geographic Explorer and Natgeo PhotoArk Edge Fellow. He was named World Wildlife Hero by the World Wildlife Fund.  Galves was also named a Dodo Hero for his efforts rescuing injured and orphan manatees. Jamal’s work has been published locally and internationally in magazines and documentaries. In 2021 he was awarded the Wildlife Conservation Society Christensen Conservation Leaders Scholarship and is completing his Masters in Coastal Science and Policy Degree at the University of California Santa Cruz. His research looks at utilizing the endangered Antillean manatees of Belize as a flagship species to safeguard critical coastal habitats.

Language spoke: English


Photo credit: Mark Thiessen National Geographic

You will soon be able to travel alongside Jamal Galves