Wildlife

February 08, 2012

Night Visions in the Pantanal

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The flora and fauna of Brazil's Pantanal is enough to fill a day, but the most rare and unique sights may be seen at night.

On a night game drive during nature travel in the Northern Pantanal, travelers on a Pantanal tour may be able to spot elusive mammals such as tapirs and ocelots.

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Tanzania is an ideal destination for animal lovers and nature travel enthusiasts, as there are plenty of wild beasts roaming the lands. If you want to scout out a herd of elephants, International Expeditions’ Kenya and Tanzania Safaris could be just the ticket to making your dream a reality. However, these majestic African creatures are threatened by poachers, and their numbers have been dropping dramatically in recent years.

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While most people on a custom Kenya safari are there for a chance to spot the “Big Five” – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard – birders are flocking to Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park for something a little smaller. The park boasts nearly 500 species of winged wildlife!

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While most wildlife enthusiasts are already familiar with chimpanzees and gorillas, a West Africa cruise along The Gambia allows visitors to become acquainted with a more unique type of primate — red colobus monkeys.

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International Expeditions’ Borneo tour is ideal for those fascinated by the natural world. One of the world's oldest rainforests is located on this Pacific island, and World Wildlife Fund reports that there are at least 100 endemic species of mammals, birds and fish that call Borneo home, including the extremely rare Miller's grizzled langurs.

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One of the best parts about Amazon River cruises is the ability to experience the river while acting as a part of it. Cruising upstream during an Amazon River tour, guests aboard the Aquamarina discover the wealth of wildlife both on and off-shore — like gray and pink river dolphins.

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Birds, amphibians and reptiles are all exciting aspects of nature travel, but larger mammals like the three-toed sloth make for an especially memorable sight, especially for families traveling with children.

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Venturing into Caro Lake on International Expeditions’ Amazon River tour, visitors are likely to spot some of the 13 species of primates that call this region home. Looking closely after the monkeys, however, offers an interesting opportunity for birders. Trailing behind are often flocks of greater ani, a distinctive black bird.

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Colorful, spindly-legged and elusive is how many scientists might describe the Sambas stream toad, or Borneo rainbow toad. Although its existence was recorded through an illustration nearly 90 years ago, the toad has managed to evade photographers, artists - virtually all humans - since 1924. Until recently. In June, conservationists managed to take the first photographs of this amphibian, the Belfast Telegraph reports. The endangered toad was found during a "global search for lost amphibians" by Conservation International.

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Perhaps the fact that the Paedophryne genus is made up of four of the 10 smallest frog species in the world is the reason it took scientists so long to discover two of them. The Paedrophryne amauensis and swiftorum, both found in Papua New Guinea, are the making headlines as the smallest frogs in the world. Discovery News reports that the amauensis is a mere 7.7 millimeters long and the swiftorum comes in at just over 8 mm.

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