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One of the images being exhibited at the Manx Museum from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. What better way to get to know China than through hanging out with its most iconic creatures?
I talked to sustainability manager for Planeterra, Liz Manning, about how the Project China tour is different from other tours Planeterra offers. The two-week long trip includes visits to the markets in Shanghai, the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an, the Forbidden City, and the Shaolin Temple, where Kung Fu and the Zen Buddhism movement in China began.
About Intelligent TravelNational Geographic believes that to know the world is to change it.
When the population of any species of animal or plant declines, it is almost always a cause for concern. Designating a plant or animal as officially Endangered or Threatened also helps alert the public to the species’ plight, and encourages people to cooperate with the conservation effort. Internationally, the organization responsible for determining the conservation status of a species is the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). IUCN official designations include Extinct, Extinct in the Wild (meaning that some individuals remain in captivity), Critically Endangered, Endangered, Threatened, Vulnerable, Near Threatened, and of Least Concern. Most national governments also keep lists of Endangered and Threatened species that occur within their borders—and these more local designations may or may not be the same as the ones published by the IUCN. This video of a baby short-tailed fruit bat and his human caretaker will make you see bats in a whole different light.
The hairy frogfish lives in tropical and subtropical waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Adult male mountain gorillas drum their chests with their open hands in order to make a popping noise that resounds through the forest. Nto only are naked mole rats naked, but even though they are mammals, their family structure more closely resembles that of bees, ants, wasps, and other social insects. The archer fish, which is native to southern Asia, Polynesia, and Australia, employs one of the world's most unique methods of hunting. It's one of the weirdest things that happens in nature: One species of ant making slaves of another. Deep sea anglerfish live so far down in the ocean that there is very little light in their environment.
Most species of spiders are insectivorous, meaning that they survive by catching and eating insects. Although they might remind us of monkeys, the 16 species of gibbon are apes—a family of higher primates that also includes chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas, and humans.
Like the bower bird, most of the 42 bird-of-paradise species are found on the Island of New Guinea.
Planeterra, a non-profit that organizes trips for travelers interested in supporting development in the communities they visit, now offers an experience with a different kind of community. Volunteers meet with Centre researchers to learn about the challenges in breeding the pandas and the ongoing habitat destruction that is causing the panda population to dwindle.
We're on the front lines of travel that illuminates, celebrates, and preserves irreplaceable places—and we're taking you along for the ride. It could be said—and often is—that all species on earth are endangered because of the serious environmental challenges our planet faces. However, when conservationists use the word Endangered—note the capital E—they mean something very specific.



However, a population decrease does not necessarily mean that the species is Endangered—or even Threatened, which is the next most-serious conservation-status designation. The IUCN publishes status and other information on thousands of species in its Red List of Threatened Species. A good example of how the IUCN determines a status lies in its designation of two gorilla species. This drumroll warns other male gorillas to stay off their territory and away from their families. All the mole rats living in each underground mole rat colony serve the needs of their giant mole rat queen—who, like a queen bee or a queen ant does all the reproducing and is therefore the mother of all her subjects.
They can learn such relatively complex tasks as undoing latches and opening jars—and they are infamous for their ability to escape from tanks and other enclosures.
The fish knocks bugs off of overhanging vegetation by blasting them with a powerful stream of water from its mouth.
Creatures at that depth are drawn to any illumination, and the anglerfish takes advantage of that fact by using its natural headlamp to attract prey. In Central and South America, vampire bats emerge at night to sneak up on mammals such as cattle, shave a little skin off of them while they sleep, and drink their blood.
But no creature puts more effort or artistry into courtship than the male bowerbird of New Guinea. The European fishing spider, however, is piscivorous, which, as its name implies, means that it prefers prey with scales and fins. Compared to male bower birds, male birds of paradise employ an equally elaborate, though completely different, strategy for attracting mates. Approximately 500 - 600 snakes can still be seen in Den 2 and Den 4, but this may last for only another week or so. Project China is a 14-day trip through the northeast provinces of China that includes four days of panda-sitting time at Bifengxia Panda Centre, where some of the less than 1,000 giant pandas left in the world live.
They’ll also learn more about (and hopefully see) the 14 cubs who have been born at Bifengxia since about 65 pandas were relocated after the Wenchuan Earthquake. They are talking about an animal or plant species that has been scientifically determined to be disappearing at a rate that is likely to result in its extinction in the near future.
Conservation status depends on how quickly a plant or animal and its habitat are disappearing, rather than on the simple fact the species is in decline.
One species, the mountain gorilla, has a remaining population of fewer than 1,000 individuals.
Endangered Species Act (ESA), as well as for doing the actual work of protection, lies with the U.S. Texas, New York, and California are just three of states that maintain extensive lists of locally Endangered or Threatened plant and animal species. As you will see from the video, the hairy frogfish is a voracious predator capable of swallowing prey as large as itself. Ants for instance lay down a trail of chemical markers called pheromones to tell other members of their colony where to find a food source.
But the recently discovered mimic octopus of the South Pacific adds a strange, new twist to octopus intelligence with its ability to disguise itself as any number of other sea creatures in order to scare off would-be predators.
The hairless, jellybean-sized creature makes its way to its mother's pouch, where it develops into a real kangaroo—and the first time it jumps from the pouch is almost like a second birth. Once the insect falls into the water it's helpless, and the archer fish can eat it at its leisure.


Periodically, Polyergus will raid the colonies of another species, where they use an array of deceptive chemical signals to overcome the other ants. Not only does this amazing avian acquire hundreds of objects of art in order to impress the female of his species, but he builds an entire structure in which to house his collection. The male seahorse sports a pouch like a kangaroo's, and during mating the female deposits her eggs in it. Watch as this spider detects and then attacks an unwitting stickleback that's unlucky enough to swim by. Because they seldom descend to the ground, gibbons travel through the rainforest treetops of Southeast Asia and Indonesia using their incredibly long arms rather than their legs, swinging from branch to branch in a form of locomotion called brachiation. They rely not only on their spectacular plumage, but also on their dancing ability in their attempts to convince females to mate with them. Volunteers will assist the researchers with varying tasks, depending on where they are in their work. The reason for these classifications is to help governments and conservationists determine what regulations need to be enacted, as well as where and how to employ money, personnel, and other scarce conservation resources. In this video, a baby mountain gorilla in Rwanda fails hilariously when he tries to prove himself to a group of tourists. These amazing fish can spit water up to two meters (six feet), and they almost always hit their mark. They then carry eggs of the conquered species back to their own colony, where they they raise them and put them to work. Although few vampire victims die of blood loss, some do get rabies from these furry parasites. The male carries the eggs until they hatch, after which he gives "birth" to a brood of young seashores. In fact, you wouldn't be wrong to call birds of paradise the exotic dancers of the animal world.
However, the lowland gorilla is listed as Critically Endangered because of the rate at which it is disappearing—its population has declined by 80 percent in less than a quarter century.
ESA conservation-status designations are simpler than the ones used by the IUCN: species are listed either as Endangered or Threatened. Instead, honeybees are able to give their hive mates precise directions to a distant patch of flowers using an amazing form of dance. One of the most interesting aspects of this slaving behavior is that, not only does the Polyegus queen participate in the raid, but she is key to its success. In this video, scientists tell us exactly how the bees accomplishing this incredible feat of nonverbal communication. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.



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