Mama Duck & Her Ducklings at London Wetlands Centre

Mama Duck & Her Ducklings

Exploring the London Wetland Centre

 

(The following is a guest post from Oakland-based environmental educator Paul Belz, who develops/teaches natural history classes for children, families and teachers. Check out Paul’s blog for more of his work, and email Bret Love at [email protected] for guest posting info.)

                                                         

Busy, bustling South London is an astonishing place to find a rich wetland habitat. But that’s precisely what you’ll see at the London Wetland Centre, complete with blue-footed ducks, grey herons, moor hens, swans, swifts, sand martins and much more.

 

Sir Peter Scott, who founded Britain’s Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in 1947, dreamed of an urban wetland that would be accessible to Londoners and travelers alike. The only child of Antarctic explorer Robert Scott and sculptor Kathleen Scott, Sir Peter wrote over 30 books, traveled the world, and was a champion skater and glider pilot. He was one of the co-founders of the World Wide Fund for Nature, which now better known in North American as World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

 

Sir Peter was also celebrated as a wildlife painter, especially of birds. He  helped develop the IUCN Red List, an ongoing list of endangered species worldwide, and created the scientific name Necittaras rhombobteryx (“the monster of Ness with the diamond shaped fin”) so the Loch Ness Monster could be included in that collection. The Daily Telegraph later pointed out that this name was an anagram for “Monster hoax by Sir Peter S.”

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Photo by Ami Vitale

Conservation Scientist Dr M Sanjayan on PBS’s

EARTH A New Wild

 

I’ve never seen a TV show that resonated with me on a deeper personal, philosophical and ideological level than PBS’s new nature documentary series, EARTH A New Wild (which airs Wednesday nights at 10PM EST, on the PBS site and iTunes).

 

The show follows host Dr M Sanjayan– former lead scientist for Nature Conservancy and current executive VP of Conservation International– as he travels the world, examining the connections between mankind to the ecosystems in which we live.

 

From the Plains of Kenya and the United States, to the forests of British Columbia and the Ecuadorian Amazon, to oceans spanning the globe, the show insists that we are all connected: As Nature fares, so does humanity. The regularly reinforced moral of the story is that, by taking care of the planet on which we all depend for food, water and shelter, we’re taking care of ourselves.

 

Sri Lanka-born Sanjayan, who earned a PhD in biology and was recently selected by the National Geographic Society for its Explorers Council, is the perfect host. With EARTH A New Wild, he shows numerous examples of how, through responsible ecotourism and conservation initiatives, it IS possible for man and nature to co-habitate peacefully and prosperously. I was honored to speak with Sanjayan for this extensive interview on how these concepts can help save the world.

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Spectacle_Lake_Bowron_Lake-canoe_circuit

The 10 Best Canoe Trips

For Your World Travel Bucket List

Mention the word “paddle” and you may get references to “being up the creek without one,” or memories of corporal punishment formerly handed out at Catholic schools.

 

But when I hear the word “paddle,” I conjure up different images– mist coming off the shore at dawn, the calls of a loon or a howler monkey reverberating throughout the surrounding wilderness, with the only human-made sound the “swish-plop” of a paddle as you propel your canoe or kayak along the river or across the lake.

 

Paddling introduced me to my first real travel adventure several decades ago in Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands, and I’ve been hooked on the hobby ever since. These are my picks for the Best Canoe Trips in the world, and I feel like I’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg…

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Mardi_Gras_Indians on Super Sunday in New_Orleans

New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indians

 

The iconic Mardi Gras Indians are as inexorably linked to the annual New Orleans carnival celebration as beads, boobs and booze.

 

But beyond their sensational suits laced with gorgeous gems, fabulous feathers and impressively intricate beadwork lies a rich cultural history dating back nearly 300 years.

 

And, until fairly recently, this fascinating story was unknown to virtually everyone who lived outside NOLA’s tightly-knit “Black Masking Indian” community.

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Green Iguana Conservation Project

at San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Belize

 

[Editor’s Note: We’ve shot a ton of video footage in the 3 years since GGT took off. But we don’t post as many videos as we’d like because, frankly, editing them is a time-consuming process and we’re not especially good at it. This video marks the debut of new team member Kartikay Kini, and you’ll immediately notice the slick editing skills he brings to the table. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Kartik’s work this year, as we plan to step up our video game considerably! Please help us welcome him to the team.]

 

If you’ve ever fantasized about having a gaggle of iguanas frolicking all over you as if you were their own personal jungle gym, the Green Iguana Conservation Project in Belize is a dream come true. And if that’s not on your bucket list? Well, I’m afraid you simply don’t know what you’re missing.

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Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Madagascar- Ring-tailed Lemurs at Anja Reserve
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

 
• ANTARCTICA
How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
 
• ASIA
Borneo- Sabah Ecotourism Attractions
India- Ranthambhore National Park
India- Tibetan Culture In Ladakh
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
 
• AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
Australia-Maria Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities

 

• NORTH AMERICA
CANADA
Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

UNITED STATES
America’s Best Volcanoes
AL- Fishing Mobile Bay
AL- Mobile Carnival Museum
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
FL- Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Lafayette Cajun Food Tour
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
LA- Voodoo Museum
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Asheville's Top Ecotourism Attractions
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
TX- Sea Turtle Rescue, South Padre Island
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

MEXICO
Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN