DESTINATION CONSERVATION

Scientific Research
A number of trips with the Harvard Museum of Natural History Travel Program have direct links with conservation-based research at HMNH destinations. For example, a June 2003 trip joined HMNH museum scientists for a week in Costa Rica to participate in research designed to survey the birds living in the tropical rainforests and cloud forests. Travelers participated this project by catching birds in nets for data collection. Their work took place in a very rural area rarely visited by tourists, where they saw and handled birds most people never see. Additionally, they spent a day with one of the world’s most respected ecologists, Dan Janzen. 

Small Group Numbers
Trips with small group numbers have always been a hallmark of HMNH land programs. Low numbers enhance the educational component of the trip and the intimacy of the experience. However, research has suggested that low numbers are important for conservation too. In areas of low human habitation, thirty travelers is thought to be a critical threshold for impacts on trails and trail widths, clean water, fresh food, sewage disposal and animal disturbance. HMNH prides itself on small group travel for all of these reasons.

Conservation Initiatives
Additionally, we are working to incorporate direct conservation action into HMNH trips. Travelers will either learn about, visit or participate in conservation initiatives, which will directly link the travelers and their trip to conservation results. And remember, by visiting these unusual places, we send a message that this is an important and valued area.

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