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Nature

Saving the shark

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In July 2011 the Bahamas joined a small group of nations in becoming a shark sanctuary. With the global shark population in decline, conservationists are hoping others will follow suit. Continue Reading…

Latin America, Nature

The living museum

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Despite being taken of UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger in 2010, the endemic species of the Ecuadorian Galápagos Islands still face serious threats.

Some call it a ‘living museum’ and a ‘showcase of evolution’. Some 600 kilometres west of Ecuador, a cluster of more than 100 islands house what is perhaps the most endemic group of species on earth. It’s a place where marine iguanas and giant tortoises hang out on volcanic rocks and beaches, next to a rare melting pot of marine life. But it’s also much more than that. Continue Reading…

Europe, Nature

Swimming with predators

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Killer whales have come to Norway’s north-western coast to feed for the last 20 winters. For the brave, it is a chance to watch a natural predator at (very) close range. 

 

The scenario may make you uneasy. In an ice-cold fjord in northern Norway, surrounded by snow-covered mountains and trees, you float just below the surface, armed only with a wet suit and snorkelling gear. The only escape route is the rubber boat you just jumped off. Below, a six-metre, five-tonne killer whale – known for feasting on seals, sea lions and even whales – glides so closely you can almost touch it. Continue Reading…

Australasia, Destinations, Nature

The slow march

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Each year, millions of red crabs migrate to the shores of Christmas Island to mate, creating one of the world’s natural wonders.

It can almost resemble a moving red carpet, gliding slowly but firmly across rocks, hills and roads. Each ‘wet season’, usually between October and December, a large portion of Christmas Island’s 120 million red crabs – or Gecarcoidea natalis – leaves the forest for the shores, instigating a synchronised five-kilometre pilgrimage that virtually crosses everything in its way. As the island’s 1,500 residents know all too well, the crabs do not like shortcuts. Continue Reading…