September 2010

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For the past year, International Expeditions has partnered with the Alabama Wildlife Center to release several birds into the NWF-certified wildlife habitat around the office, and to rebuild and restore nearby nests. So it was a treat for IE staffers to join the wildlife center's Director of Education to release two rehabilitated broad-winged hawks!

See photos of the hawk release.

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Notes on the back of a 400-year-old letter have revealed a previously unknown language once spoken by indigenous peoples of northern Peru, an archaeologist says.

Penned by an unknown Spanish author and lost for four centuries, the battered piece of paper was pulled from the ruins of an ancient Spanish colonial church in 2008.

But a team of scientists and linguists has only recently revealed the importance of the words written on the flip side of the letter.

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James Cameron is returning to Brazil to film a 3D movie highlighting the plight of the indigenous people who will be uprooted by the construction of a dam on the Amazon river.

The director has been fighting to ban the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant from being built on the Xingu River, an Amazon tributary, but his protests failed to keep President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from approving plans last week.

Now Cameron is planning to show his support for the local tribes by shooting a movie about their lives.

September 09, 2010

You Drank the Water...Now What?

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This tip on safe and savvy travel is brought to you by the experts at MedjetAssist.

Traveler's Diarrhea (TD) the most common illness affecting travelers. In fact, each year between 20%-50% of international travelers, an estimated 10 million persons, develop diarrhea. So what can we do to prevent TD? Using a common sense approach with regard to eating and drinking is paramount.

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International Expeditions CFO Elaine Woolsey just accompanied guests on our Wings Over the Nile journey. Follow the adventures of Elaine and her daughter Stephanie as they explore Egypt and Jordan. Catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 of their Egypt vacation.

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It’s truly International Expeditions’ enthusiastic local guides that make our Panama tours so special, and no one is more passionate about his work than Panama Expedition Leader and Naturalist Ivan Hoyos! We recently asked Ivan five quick questions.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

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Earlier this week on the International Expeditions Facebook page, a guest joining our Amazon cruise asked for advice on packing. As always, our expert expedition leader, Jorge Salas, came through with a great list of essentials. Check out Jorge's Amazon packing list below, and let us know if you have other suggestions.

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A new species of armoured catfish that eats wood with spoon-shaped teeth has been discovered in a remote area of the Amazonian jungle in Peru.

Scientists from the US National Science Foundation made the discovery during an expedition last month to a national park in the Alto Purus area of northeastern Peru.

The fish, which reaches 70cm long (2ft 3 ins), have evolved "spoon-shaped teeth" specialised in scraping tree logs that fall into the river waters.

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IE’s pioneering voyage on the Amazon River is truly an in-depth adventure…but it’s also tons of fun! Amazon Expedition Leader Hernando shares scenes of wonder, enchantment and excitement in this video from an August journey aboard our Amazon River cruiser.

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Ecuador signed a recent deal with the United Nations not to exploit its oil-rich Amazon reserves. This deal sets up a trust fund by wealthy countries that will be worth half the expected earnings from the potential sale of oil. This should help to protect some 675 sq miles of the Amazon. This is an area that is home to indigenous tribes, thousands of species of trees and, of course, nearly 1 billion barrels of crude oil.

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Researchers from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Instititute have used genetic testing to determine that the frigatebirds in the Galapagos Islands have been genetically different from frigatebirds found elsewhere for more than half a million years. This has prompted calls for increased protection and a new conservation status for the approximately 2,000 frigatebirds that nesting the Galapagos.