This movie was shot during a 20 day trip to Antarctica in December 2014 to January 2015.

Kalle Ljung started from Ushuaia in Argentina and went to Port Williams in Chile, rounded Cape Horn and crossed the Drake Passage towards the Melchior Islands in Antarctica. She spent 16 days in the Antarctic and got to experience the most amazing scenery and wildlife before she returned back to Ushuaia.

Lost in Kyrgyzstan

Sara Izzi and Timur Tugalev, digital nomads and authors of the Travel blog The Lost document for the first time incredible country of Kyrgyzstan. The dreaming sceneries of the lake of Song Köl, from Orto Tokoy, a reservoir of turquoise water in the Kochkor District, up to Issik Kul, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and Karakol, with its canyons, wild parks and colourful markets.

5 Animals that Made it Off of the Endangered List

Conservation efforts are saving biodiversity.

The Panda is an example of a species that was once endangered but is now vulnerable. Photo by Ju Santana C.C. 2.0.

The Panda is an example of a species that was once endangered but is now vulnerable. Photo by Ju Santana C.C. 2.0.

It’s no secret that in order for our planet to survive, we need an array of species to fulfill different niches. However, when humans over hunt animals, destroy their natural habitats, or disrupt their environment, species can die out, or become extinct. This threatens the status quo of our planet, and the safety of all living organisms. 

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) created the “Red List” in 1964 to keep track of species that are threatened by extinction. Conservation organizations like the World Wildlife Fund use this list to determine their course of action. 

There are three categories to measure species that are threatened by extinction, from lowest risk to highest risk: Vulnerable, Endangered, and Critically Endangered. Because of the efforts of conservation organizations, as well as government acts (such as the 1973 Endangered Species Act), animals have had their endangered status lessened. Here are five animals that you might recognize.

Photo by David Ellis C.C. 2.0.

Photo by David Ellis C.C. 2.0.

The Giant Panda: Endangered to Vulnerable 

1. The Giant Panda, native to the bamboo forests of China, was once endangered. They are threatened due to loss of their habitat. Forest destruction to make way for roads in China means that Pandas lose access to bamboo, their main source of nutrients. Additionally, they are threatened by hunters who kill them for their fur. However, now there are more than 50 panda reservations in China, and the population has rebounded. 

Photo by La Chiquita. C.C. 2.0.

Photo by La Chiquita. C.C. 2.0.

Manatees: Endangered to Vulnerable

2. Manatees were also marked as vulnerable or threatened instead of endangered. Manatees feed on seagrass, which is found in shallow waters. This leaves them vulnerable to boats and jet skies. Conservations have been created to help protect Manatees from trash and boats. However, not everyone was enthused about the reclassification, as advocates think it could undermine the urgency to continue protection efforts for manatees. 

Photo by National Marine Sanctuaries.

Photo by National Marine Sanctuaries.

Humpback Whales: Delisted

3. Some populations of Humpback Whales were delisted from the US government’s endangered species list. In 2016, 9 out of the 14 populations of Humpback whales were delisted. Most whales are threatened by collisions with ships and entanglements in fishing gear. The entire species wasn’t delisted, as Humpback Whales are geographically separated and face different risks. The Marine Mammal Protection Act, and an international ban on whaling serve to continue protecting the species. 

Photo by J. Phillip Krone. C.C. 2.0.

Photo by J. Phillip Krone. C.C. 2.0.

American Alligator: Delisted

4. The American Alligator is found in Southeastern United States. The species was put on the endangered list in the 1960s because of hunters and habitat loss. However, after the Endangered Species Act prohibited hunting, the species was able to recover. In 1987, it was removed from the endangered list. 

Photo by Clive. C.C. 2.0.

Photo by Clive. C.C. 2.0.

The White Rhino: Delisted

5. The White Rhino is found in South Africa. The species was on the brink of extinction after poachers killed them to take their horns. Due to regulation of poaching and an effort to stop illegal trade, the species has since been removed from the endangered list. 

Even though these species have had their categories lessened, or have been removed from the list entirely, conservation efforts are needed to preserve the species and foster the regrowth of their population. Consider volunteering with organizations like the World Wildlife Fund to get involved. 

ELIANA DOFT loves to write, travel, and volunteer. She is especially excited by opportunities to combine these three passions through writing about social action travel experiences. She is an avid reader, a licensed scuba diver, and a self-proclaimed cold brew connoisseur. 

Trinidad & Tobago: Dancing Among the Clouds

In Trindad and Tobago, “moko jumbies” soar high during Carnival. The traditional art of stilt dancing is a highlight of Trinidadian celebrations, but for stilt walker Adrian Young, it’s an everyday practice. For the past 21 years, he has been dancing among the clouds. Now, through his Future Jumbies youth group, he’s helping the next generation make their own strides.

Does Humanitarian Aid Have a 'White Saviour' Problem?

American missionary Renee Bach travelled to Uganda in 2007 when she was just 18 years-old and founded Serving His Children (SHC), a nonprofit organisation she said would help Ugandan women care for ill and malnourished children. Critics, though, say Bach, who had no experience in either development work or medicine, performed complicated medical procedures on hundreds of children.

In 2015, Ugandan authorities closed SHC's facility in the town of Jinja - where a number of children were reported to have died - but the organisation still operates in other parts of the country. A lawsuit brought by two women who say their children died under SHC’s care has been adjourned until January 2020, according to the Uganda-based legal services group Women’s Probono Initiative.

Bach’s case has again highlighted the issue of medical "voluntourism", while raising questions of whether some charities in the developing world have a “white saviour problem”. In response, Uganda-based social workers Olivia Alaso and Kelsey Nielsen began the No White Saviors campaign to educate and advocate for better practices in mission and development work.

In this episode, The Stream takes a look at why some Westerners get to work in the developing world without adequate experience, and what groups like No White Saviors are doing to hold them accountable.

Swimming in Toxic Water

There’s a reason no one has gone for a dip in New York City’s Newtown Creek in recent history. In Christopher Swain’s words, it’s like “swimming through a dirty diaper garnished with oil, gasoline and trash.” He’s a clean water activist who has swum over 3,000 miles in 25 different contaminated waterways across North America as a means of advocating for their cleanup. Taking a dip in these waterways does not come without its risks. Despite the precautions Christopher takes—wearing a puncture-resistant drysuit, goggles, ear plugs, etc.—he still gets sick from the various contaminants. It’s the hazards that come along with the cause, but Christopher continues to swim, all out of love for the water.