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Found 10 results

  1. A new analysis commissioned by the United Nations uses a comprehensive combination of social, economic, political and environmental factors to identify areas around the world most at-risk for "hydro-political" strife. This river basins study was part of the U.N.'s Transboundary Waters Assessment Program. The study is worldwide , of the areas of most interest here , the problems are likely to come from in the next 15 to 30 years from dams and water diversion problems . Ethiopia building dams on the tributaries on the Nile river, and diverting water from countries upstream. Population growth and drought could make this worse the Orange and Limpopo rivers in Southern Africa climate models suggest that the Orinoco River Basin in northern Brazil and the Amazon Basin in upper South America may face drier conditions, which could problems During this period the number of proposed trans boundary dams or water diversions is Asia 807,South America, 354; Europe, 148; Africa, 99; and North America, 8. Africa has a higher level of hydro-political tension report continues https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717160048.htm the study Assessment of transboundary river basins for potential hydro-political tensions by L. De Stefano and others can be found at http://www.transboundarywaters.orst.edu/publications/publications/DeStefano et al. Global Env Change 2017.pdf a number of proposed water projects are affected by several political, environmental and socio-economic factors which could create tension one of the authors has entered it in full PDF form at his university site looking at the study Lake Turkana is regarded as having a very high risk of conflict well the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) under construction on the Blue Nile in northern Ethiopia, near the Sudan border is already being spoken of a cause for lower water flow into Egypt please see https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170313135006.htm
  2. Has anyone used a trip planner (similar to a safari planner) for Peru that they would recommend? I'm considering Machu Picchu later this year and would like to combine with either Amazon or Galapagos. I do not want a canned group tour, unless it's an extremely good tour with a very small group. Any advice is appreciated, even if it's things to avoid! Thank you!
  3. Brazil Birds, Beasts and Big Waters From watching the incomparable sight of thousands of wildebeest leaping headlong into the Mara River to approaching a majestic bull elephant on foot, from bhundu bashing at speed after wild dogs hunting impala to sitting quietly amidst a family of mountain gorillas, Africa undeniably offers some of the greatest wildlife experiences you can have anywhere. However for me even the finest black-maned lion cannot compare to the beauty and majesty of a wild tiger nor can any wildlife experience on mainland Africa compare to standing in an Asian forest listing to the wonderful duetting song of gibbons. So inevitably at some point the wildlife enthusiast has to venture away from the wild shores of Africa to enjoy some of the amazing wildlife experiences that the rest of the world has to offer. At first thoughts turn perhaps to Asia after experiencing some of the best that this continent has to offer the mind inevitably turns to the Americas and in particular the world’s third largest species of cat. To stand the best chance of tracking down a jaguar there is really only one place to go which is why last October I found myself on a TAM flight to São Paulo in Brazil. Although my primary reason for choosing to go to Brazil was to see jaguars as quite a keen birder it’s hard to ignore the fact that the country has over 1,800 species of birds so seeing a good number of these was another major reason for wanting to go to Brazil. It’s not too surprising there are so many birds given what a huge country Brazil is, though to put things in perspective thanks to the Andes Mountains Ecuador despite being just a fraction of the size has over 1,600 species. Having such a huge list of birds makes Brazil a great country for birdwatching but also a very challenging one certainly for the amateur birder. As is true of most of the rest of South America, to stand any chance of seeing a lot more than just the commonest most conspicuous species you really need to be accompanied by a good bird guide. Unless you’re an exceptional birder and really know your stuff you’ll most likely be lost without a really good bird guide. This is why I opted to do a serious Brazilian birding and jaguar trip with Tropical Birding and then follow that with a brief look at one of the greatest natural wonders in the world Iguaçu Falls. From past experience serious birding trips can be very good for seeing all kinds of interesting mammals as well so I had high hopes of adding quite a few new species after all Brazil has I believe more species of mammal than any other country in the world. Aside from jaguars and other cats I was particularly keen to see giant otters an animal I’d previously only glimpsed once in Ecuador and maybe with luck a giant anteater or two and some armadillos or perhaps a sloth to name just a few.
  4. I hope some prior Pantanal/Brazil travelers can help with this question. We are heading to the Pantanal in late August for jaguar and birding and then on to Alta Floresta for more birding. I am getting worried because I am reading that the domestic flights only allow 5 kg (11 lbs) carry-on. Of course my camera bag weights much more than that. There is no way I can get it under about 20 lbs, with two bodies, 200-400 lens, etc. My husband carries a similar weight bag. They are within size limits (GuraGear 22L and a Lowepro) but definitely overweight. We are flying on Delta to Sao Paolo, so that's no problem, but then GOL between Sao Paolo-Cuaiba. And then we are on Aero Azul to Alta Floresta. Am I going to have a problem?? I am reading on Flyertalk etc that they are really strict in Brazil with the weight. Starting to panic! We've been to the Pantanal once before but it was back in 2006 and I'm sure there weren't such tight restrictions. Thanks for any advice/reassurance!
  5. As usual, I'm a bit behind in my trip report and I thought the time to do it is now, before I leave on my next trip (India, in February.) As before, I don't keep a day by day journal and so this report will likely be a few anecdotes and lots of photos The Prologue: This was our 2nd trip to the Pantanal; the first, in 2006, was before the jaguar "tourist industry" really was in full force, and at that time we didn't even consider the possibility of seeing jaguar (although our guide for that trip, Paulo Boute, did tell us it was possible "further down the highway.") We had a great trip, and fell in love with the area, and the ease of bird photography! But back then, we didn't venture further along the Transpantaneira then about half-way. So for this trip, heading all the way to Porto Jofre, and finding jaguar was the primary goal! We attempted to hire Paulo Boute again, but he was already fully booked for our preferred time period. (Keep in mind, we were inquiring over one full year ahead--in July 2014!) We really wanted to go late August 2015, as late August into September is the prime period for jaguars. Looking around for another option, I contacted Pantanal Jaguar Safaris. http://www.pantanaljaguarsafaris.com/ I selected them based partly on the fact that they were locals, but also trained biologists, and they seemed to be well versed in birds as well as mammals. I was immediately very happy with their communication and didn't hesitate to go forward with them...it was a great decision. I'll say more about them at the end of the report; but the company consists of a husband and wife: Andre, who is a native Brazilian, and Leen, his wife, from Belgium. Both do the guiding, and Leen does the back-office work and organization. Since flights to Brazil are long and expensive for us, we'd also decided we wanted to visit a 2nd location. We'd been to Iguazu on our previous trip, and after much back and forth with Leen, looking into adding the southern Pantanal, or Emas National Park, or...we settled on ending our trip at Cristalino Jungle Lodge, in the Amazon. In the end our dates were determined by who had rooms available when---the Porto Jofre Hotel and Cristalino were already very booked for this time period and we only had very few dates we could choose from. This was our final itinerary: Arrive 8/24 in Cuiaba 1 night Curicaca Lodge 2 nights Pouso Alegre 4 nights Porto Jofre Hotel 1 night Piuval Lodge Fly Cuiaba to Alta Floresta 4 nights Cristalino Lodge Fly back to Cuiaba, overnight at Hits Pantanal Hotel September 6 Fly home Our original flight was to arrive in the morning, and we'd have a full afternoon to drive to our first lodging. Unfortunately, Delta changed the schedule and we were not to arrive until almost 4 p.m. By the time we got to the Transpantaneira it was dusk, and there was not much opportunity for photos. The shot everyone takes, although this was actually taken on our way out many days later as the light was wrong on the way in! It felt amazing to be back here! We did make a few stops and the pools filled with egrets, herons, ibis and storks immediately brought back how much we loved this place! But the real birding would have to wait until tomorrow, as it was nearly dark.
  6. http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/scientists-discover-a-new-coral-reef-at-the-amazons-mouth/479259/ A new 600-miles long coral reef has just been discovered in the mouth of the Amazon, one place were no one thought corals could live.
  7. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0129818 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v523/n7559/full/523130a.html The research article from PLOS One and the news summary from Nature concern the impact on vertebrate wildlife of the construction of a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Brazil's lower Amazon region. Surveys of biodiversity were conducted on islands created by flooding after dam construction, resulting in abrupt artificial isolation. Urgent reassessment of future hydroelectric projects is urged.
  8. During 2010 @@GnuGnu and I made a first trip to South America, the forerunner of the 2013 safari detailed in Macaws, monkeys and moai. There has been some interest in the Pantanal and Barranco Alto lately, so I thought I would post now – better late than never! The itinerary was: Buenos Aires (4 nights) Iguazu Falls (2 nights) Barranco Alto (4 nights) Northern Pantanal (Rio Clara, Porto Jofre Hotel, Araras Eco-lodge, Piuval – 8 nights with Pantanal Trackers) Rio (2 nights), Quito (3 nights) Tandayapa Valley (2 nights) Galapagos (2 nights on San Cristobel Island and then a 7 night cruise on MV Eric, an Ecoventura boat) Amazon (3 nights at Ceiba Tops, out of Iquitos) Ollantaytambo and Macchu Pichu (3 nights) Cusco (3 nights) Manu Cloudforest (2 nights Cock of the Rock Lodge) Buenos Aires (3 nights) Photos from this trip are available at: Argentina and Iguazu, Barranco Alto, Northern Pantanal, Ecuador and Galapagos and Peru. This was my first taste of Latin American culture and I was immediately captivated by the vibrant colours, warm people and unique wildlife that early on created a yen to return to see more of what South America was all about. There were so many memorable firsts in this trip - flying over the Andes misty Iguazu the unexpected mix of cattle ranching and safari in the Pantanal unique animals such as tapir, capybara, anteaters and armadillo birds as colourful as an artist's palette cosmopolitan cities the colours and landscapes of the Galapagos orca in the Canal Bolivar the Amazon historic cities of Cusco and Machu Picchu the scenery and wildlife of the Manu cloudforest Next: Buenos Aires
  9. I do not know which of ilegal coca plantations or gold mining is the bigger threat for the Amazon rainforest, but illegal gold mining is a rampant problem in the Peruvian rainforest. http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0616-gold-mining-amarakaeri-peru.html?n3ws1ttr
  10. http://www.fauna-flora.org/news/new-monkey-species-discovered-in-the-amazon-rainforest/ A new specie of titi discovered in the amazonian rainforest.

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