Wildlife

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No one travels to Costa Rica to see the same species they encounter in their backyard…which is good since Costa Rica is one of Earth’s richest displays of biodiversity!

“We were so impressed by the beauty of the lush plants, beautiful birds, flowers and the friendliness within the hearts of those who served us, much respect was shown to their country and to us as tourists,” said Costa Rica tour guest John Tracht of Huron, Ohio.

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For 32 years, International Expeditions has been focused on preserving Earth’s wild regions…along with the creatures that call these environments home. So we’re thrilled to share news from Brazil’s Pantanal, where IE is heavily involved in trying to restore the native populations of macaws.

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Many visitors to eastern Africa see massive elephants on Kenya and Tanzania safaris, but those seeking nature travel, including guests on one of International Expeditions’ Borneo tours, have an opportunity to enjoy an even more unique sighting.

Pygmy elephants, a type of Asian elephant, are genetically distinct from other Asian elephants, according to a 2003 study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Columbia University. They are therefore a subspecies, but scientists are still trying to determine whether they are endemic to Borneo.

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Like many species of the Galapagos Islands, marine and land iguanas are colorful, eccentric and can vary noticeably depending on the island you happen to be visiting.

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Andean condors offer the ultimate in viewings for avid birders and amateurs alike. The massive birds are some of the largest flying creatures in the world, and are a highlight of nature travel through the Andes. A particularly good place to spot these awesome animals is at Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.

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Panama is full of fascinating sights, both man made and natural. And while exploring the historical and engineering wonders of the canal is a highlight for many first-time visitors to Panama, nature travel enthusiasts will want to check out Soberanía National Park for a different kind of excitement.

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Of the myriad species spotted on Galapagos Islands cruises, most travelers expect to see rare and exotic species of sea turtles. Now it seems that the days when vacationers could see the ancient Pinta tortoise could be numbered, as the species has dwindled down to a single representative.

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Vivid violet fish, round-nosed dolphins and lizards with turquoise spots were some of the 1,060 news species discovered on Papua New Guinea between 1998 and 2008, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

October 11, 2011

Get to Galapagos!

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Dear Traveler,

The Galapagos Islands are truly unique in the world. The opportunity to walk among curious and unafraid wildlife is just extraordinary. I have been fortunate to have been to the Galapagos many times, but the experience of being with wildlife that is so accessible, wildlife that is unafraid and non-threatening, is always joyous and amazing.

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Paddling along the Clarinho River in Brazil's northern Pantanal will offer many fantastic wildlife sightings, but the capybara may be one of the most interesting for those seeking a rich nature travel experience.

Resembling both a guinea pig and a beaver, the 100-pound mammal is the largest rodent in the world. Found in several South American countries, the capybara lives in the dense vegetation that surrounds lakes, rivers, marshes and ponds, which is why visitors to the Pantanal — a spectacular wilderness of wetlands — are likely to see one.

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