Visit The Endangered
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Does travel put endangered species at greater risk?
Your tourism dollars can change the status of animals from outlaws to celebrities. Polar bears are a good example. Bears caught foraging near Northern towns were once regarded as a menace and shot. Now that they are an endangered species and polar bear tours have become popular, the bears have become money-makers and are protected by law. Check out the following:
- The economy of Churchill, Manitoba, sometimes called "the polar bear capital of the world", is very dependent on polar bear tourism. The Great Canadian Travel Company (www.polarbeartours.ca or 1-800-661-3830), follows the bear trail in heated tundra buggies guided by naturalists ($1235 for three days). If you want to learn about other tundra animals, the company offers the Birds, Bears and Belugas Tour.
- The U.S. National Parks Service lists the parks that host the largest number of endangered animals at:www.nature.nps.gov/biology/endangeredspecies.
- Protected areas for species at risk in Canada can be found at www.naturecanada.ca/parks_nwa_current.asp.
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