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Monday, April 18, 2011

10 NATURAL WONDERS TO SEE BEFORE THEY DISAPPEAR

Going once, going twice....some of the world's most enchanting places might not make it through this century.  Here are 10 places you may not have realized are threatened  - and how to experience them responsibly....  This article was written by Laurel Delp

1 - BELIZE BARRIER REEF
One of the most diverse reef ecosystems in the world is home to whale sharks, rays and manatees, as well as sturgeon, conch and spiny lobsters. 



2 - THE CONGO BASIN
Gabon, to the west of the Congo, is considered safe for travel within this wildlife preserve you can view elephants, chimpanzees and gorrillas in the wilds with a guide.

3 - THE DEAD SEA
The Rift Valley on Jordan's side of the Dead Sea is a contrast of sand, red rocks and canyons.  This is the lowest spot on early 1,312 feet below sea level and has 10 times more saline than seawater and is believed to contain therapeutic minerals.

4 - THE EVERGLADES
This 2.5 million - acre wetland encompasses cypress swamps, mangroves, sawgrass and pine savannahs.  It's the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators share territory.

5 - MADAGASCAR
More than 80 percent of Madagascar's flora and fauna are found nowhere else on Earth, thanks to millions of years of isolation in the Indian Ocean off of Africa.


6 - THE MALDIVES
The nation is rich in coral reefs and endangered fish - like the giant Napolean wrasse, leopard shark and some 250 manta rays some with a wingspan of 10 feet!




Only 200 of the islands of the Maldives are inhabited, and none rise higher than eight feet above sea level. Few scientists hold out much hope for the country if global warming continues to melt the ice caps and raise sea levels. Shown here: Baa Atoll.
7 - THE POLES
The natural phenomena here are unique and inspiring:  towering icebergs, Aurora Borealis and majestic animals like the polar bear, penguins and whales

8 - RAJASTHAN, RANTHAMBORE (India)
One of the best places in the world to see tigers. 


9 - TAHUAMANU' RAINFOREST (Peru)

Parrots and macaws feed off fo the world's largest salt lick.  They share this pristine wonderland with endangered creatures like giant armadillos, ocelots, jaguars and giant otters.



10 - THE YANGTZE RIVER BASIN
Exotic creatures like giant pandas, dwarf blue sheep, Yangtze finless porpoises and Siberian cranes call this region home.

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