There are those who travel in search of the most paradise-looking beaches in the world. Others, however, look for history and ancient culture at some European cities or the more chaotic excitement of some Asian cities, just to mention some examples and travellers’ purposes. Today, however, we are not going to focus on any of them. Today we want to talk to you about those travellers who go out looking for the greatest natural spectacles of our planet. Specifically, looking for large animal migrations. One of the great spectacles, without a doubt, that a human being can contemplate. Are you in?
We start with one of the most endearing and migrating animals on the planet. Migratory patterns for more than 10,000 kilometres of some species of marine turtles have been recorded. Always in search of warm waters, this marine reptile always lives in tropical waters above 20 degrees. There are up to seven different species, almost all of them in danger of extinction. One reason why their migrations are the most studied and controlled. Regulars at Mexico and Costa Rica, there are volunteering opportunities to protect their eggs and fight for their survival as a species.
In Mexico they can be observed starting in May. In Costa Rica it will depend on the ocean in which we find ourselves. In the area of Guanacaste, in the Pacific, you can see sea turtles between January and June. In July and until October, this animal will be in Tortuguero.
Another one of the marine animals that are constantly migrating are whales. This mammal is able to travel up to 28,000 km in search of the best possible habitat. This displacement can last up to two months in which the cetaceans do not rest. They store all the food they need inside. It is the grey whales and the humpback whales who perform the most kilometres year after year. Both species move from the Arctic and Antarctic to the warmer seas of Mexico, the Antilles or Colombia to reproduce. They do it when the plankton begins to be scarce due to the cold and the ice. They can be seen in warmer waters between the months of June to October.
As we remain in the American continent, we can follow the trail to the Monarch Butterfly, protagonist of the most spectacular migration of many that exist among insects. These fragile orange-winged butterflies travel about 5,000 kilometres from Canada to California or Mexico. They do so every autumn, fleeing from the cold weather. A journey that most of them will only make one way since their life expectancy is, in the best case, up to 9 months.
This delicate bird, which can live until the age of 34, is the biggest animal migration on the planet. It is the Arctic Tern and travels 71,000 kilometres annually on a round trip from Greenland to the Weddell Sea, on the shores of Antarctica. The Antarctic Tern skirts the African coasts of the Atlantic and can be seen at Azores Islands or Cape Verde Islands latitude. It is not, however, easy to follow its trail. Much less in their return to Greenland, since they usually do not repeat the route or trace the shortest route.
Probably it is the best-known migration and followed by all the ones taking place in nature. It is also the most touristy. Who has never dreamed of an African safari following the migratory flows of animals that inhabit national parks as famous as the Serengeti or the Masai Mara? The Wildebeest crosses the Mara River (Tanzania) every year in search of greener pastures with which to feed themselves. It is a migration in circles of about 3,000 kilometers and the best time to observe the Great Migration is in May. More than a million wildebeest and thousands of zebras and gazelles, among other animals, risk their lives in this amazing journey.
It should be noted that there are many more migrations. Most, however, are complicated to follow, such as the White Shark, especially that of the females. Or the Swallow, which moves from the United Kingdom to South Africa in search of heat. Or wild salmon or reindeer in the United States. What would you like us to write about in a second post about the topic? 😉