Natural History News

A new program in Peru called The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program has installed more than 1600 solar panels in the impoverished Contumaza province, with plans to install about 12,500 solar (photovoltaic) systems which would serve approximately 500,000 households. The solar panels are free to the communities.

Winding through isolated villages and pristine landscapes, rivers provide the main highway — and only way to access — some of Earth’s most fascinating lands. For 2014, International Expeditions is expanding our travel options on the legendary waters of the Peruvian Amazon and Papua New Guinea’s Sepik River. IE will offer two Amazon River cruise options aboard the newly launched La Estrella Amazonica and a small-group Papua New Guinea tour using the nine-cabin Sepik Spirit as a base for excursions.

According to researchers at Princeton University, marmosets will engage one another for up to 30 minutes in cooperative vocalizations -- similar to the polite conversations that humans engage in on a daily basis.

Yesterday marked a huge milestone in the history of Galapagos Islands exploration. Thanks to a unique partnership between Google, the Charles Darwin Foudation, Galapagos National Park and Catlin Seaview Survey, one billion registered users of can now visit the islands and dip under the waves of the reserve without having to physically travel there through Google's Street View.

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A new Andean bird species — the Junin Tapaculo — was discovered in Peru by a University of Kansas graduate student working in Junin, a remote department north of Cusco. The new tapaculo’s range is limited to heavily vegetated band of Andean cloud forest between about 8,000 and 10,500 feet

Following up on leads from fellow birders and ornithologists, Peter Hosner tracked down this new species by following its distinctive vocalization.

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It is Endangered Species Day and we’re turning our focus to some of the critically engendered wildlife that you may spot on International Expeditions’ nature-focused journeys. We hope that by seeing wildlife in its precious habitat, you’ll be inspired to protect and improve the world we share.

January 29, 2013

Costa Rica's Best Volcanoes

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Many people frequently ask me: “Should I go to Belize or Costa Rica, and what is the difference”? Well, the two countries, though not separated by a tremendous number of miles, are as different as night and day. One of the major differences, are the presence of volcanoes in Costa Rica along the central spine of mountains running northwest to southeast from Nicaragua to Panama.

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Chewing on ginger root or mint leaves can ease an upset stomach, and hemp can be used as a source of fuel or to make clothing. These are just a few examples of the benefits plants can provide, and scientists are discovering more advantages of new plants in places like the Amazon rainforests every day.

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Along the Peruvian Amazon River near Iquitos, the fluctuation of water levels is one of the Neotropics’ most amazing natural history events. The ebbing and flooding of water dictates the way of life for so many species including plants, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and the local people — the ribereños. During high water times and low water extremes, the difference in water levels may change over 45 feet in one year in the Iquitos area.

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