Dead Lands Walking: The World's Most Endangered Destinations


Photo credit: Michelle McFarlane

If you haven't already made considerable headway into your travel wish list, you're about to run out of luck, says Forbes, because your would-be destinations may have vanished by the time you get your travel agent on the line.

"There are thousands of places in the world that are endangered," says Kecia Fong, a conservator at the Getty Conservation Institute, as quoted in the magazine. "The kinds of sites that are most endangered have rapid development like building roads or hotels to deal with an influx of tourists."

With the additional toll that global warming, pollution, and deforestation are taking on the world's historic sites and natural wonders, it should come as little surprise that these popular tourist spots are in jeopardy. So which locales are on death watch?The Galapagos Islands face the threat of over-tourism: 60,000 people visited these islands off the coast of Ecuador in 1996. That number more than doubled in 2006, according to the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands.

The Chan Chan Archaeological Zone in Peru? You can blame global warming, which has been bringing torrential rain and winds to the area, resulting in the gradual erosion of the structures.

Global warming may also wipe out Mount Kilimanjaro's ice fields sometime between 2015 and 2020, before claiming the final glacier in Montana's Glacier National Park in the next 20 to 30 years.

Kathmandu Valley in Nepal faces urbanization and pollution, while the sacred religious sites in Tibet are being disrupted by mainland Chinese flooding in and opening businesses.

Illegal deforestation has the Mexican Michoacan Mountains' number. Meanwhile, rising water levels caused by urbanization in Luxor, Egypt, which includes the Temple Complex of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings, may soon destroy the final resting place of the ancient pharaohs. And if you've always dreamed about chasing schools of fish while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, you'll want to make the trip Down Under soon—warming ocean temperatures are poised to be the largest marine life system in the world's downfall. :: Forbes

See also: :: Choose Your Own Eco-Adventure and :: Historic Sites in Danger

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