Photos: ugly is the new adorable when it comes to saiga babies

May 3rd, 2011

A pair of saiga calves.  Photo by: Igor Shpilenok.
A pair of saiga calves. Photo by: Igor Shpilenok.

Few species have seen a worse decline in the past 15 years than the Asian antelope, the saiga. Once known for making up one of the world’s largest migrations, the saiga population has dropped from 1.25 million in the 1990s to 50,000 animals today, plunging over 90% and landing itself on the Critically Endangered species list.

The Saiga Conservation Alliance (SCA), which is working hard to save this species from extinction, has turned to a new model to help: eco-tourism. The group, along with travel company Saga Voyages, is organizing a tour of a unique, rarely visited region in Russia to see and support the saiga. But that’s not all: birding, other wildlife viewing, and cultural visits are also apart of this unique trip. SCA hopes the tour will help convince locals in the region that saiga and other wildlife can bring economic investment and interest from abroad.

Saiga calves.  Photo by: Nils Bunnefeld.
Saiga calves. Photo by: Nils Bunnefeld.

An adult male saiga.  Photo by: Nils Bunnefeld.
An adult male saiga. Photo by: Nils Bunnefeld.

About the tour: First International Saiga Ecotour to Southern Russia

For more information (and photos from the region):

New eco-tour to help save bizarre antelope in ‘forgotten’ region

(05/01/2011) Imagine visiting a region that is largely void of tourists, yet has world-class bird watching, a unique Buddhist population, and one of the world’s most bizarre-looking and imperilled mammals: the saiga. A new tour to Southern Russia hopes to aid a Critically Endangered species while giving tourists an inside look at a region “largely forgotten by the rest of the world,” says Anthony Dancer. Few species have fallen so far and so fast in the past 15 years as Central Asia’s antelope, the saiga. Its precipitous decline is reminiscent of the bison or the passenger pigeon in 19th Century America, but conservationists hopes it avoids the fate of the latter.

Photos: Irish scenes (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)

March 17th, 2011


The west Irish coast. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs and Jeremy Hance.


Gallarus Oratory, a 1,200-year old Irish stone church. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs and Jeremy Hance.


Typical scene in Ireland: the sun is far away. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs and Jeremy Hance.


Driving along the western Irish coast line, notice sheep. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs and Jeremy Hance.


Lakes dot peatland. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs and Jeremy Hance.


Cliffs of Moher. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs and Jeremy Hance.

Volunteer opportunity in the Peruvian Amazon

March 6th, 2011

 Chanti waterfall. Photo courtesy of: The Amazon Waterfalls Association.

Chanti waterfall. Photo courtesy of: The Amazon Waterfalls Association.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting the Amazon? How about touring little-seen jungle waterfalls—one of which is three times taller than the Eiffel Tower and 17 times taller than Niagara Falls?

The Amazon Waterfalls Association is looking for a few good volunteers to help develop walking paths passing by a series of astounding waterfalls in Peru.

“The trek follows a fairly level ledge through an uncut Amazon forest with cliffs soaring above and below 300 meters. The zone has few pests, mosquitoes, or poisonous creatures. Virtually no unusual diseases exist at this altitude,” according to the site, which adds that “archaeological ruins are ubiquitous, both well known and recently unfolding discoveries. It is blessed with rare plants such as orchids, bromeliads, prehistoric fossils, caves, monkeys, etc.”

And for birders? “There are more spectacular species of birds than in both Europe and North America combined,” reads the website.

For more information:
The Amazon Waterfalls Association

To contact: adventure@amazonwaterfalls.org