A puffin in North Iceland. Photo © Bjorn Ludviksson/Dreamstime.

Iceland’s Animals

Iceland may not be known for its land mammals—other than sheep, cows, horses, reindeer, and arctic fox—but animals in the ocean and sky are varied and ample. Here’s a look at what you’ll find in the water and the air; whale- and bird-watchers will be delighted with the sheer number of species!

Jaguars have spots within spots, or rosettes, and are larger than leopards. Photo © brezina123.

Balam: Jaguars in Guatemala

The Maya had great respect and reverence for the jaguar, which they called balam. Jaguars were a symbol of power and strength and were believed to act as mediums for communication between the living and the dead. Scientists have been studying jaguars in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, but luckily, you don’t need to go traipsing through the jungle to see one: Guatemala City’s excellent zoo has jaguars, as does Petén’s ARCAS wildlife rescue center.

Nicaraguan frog. Photo © Elizabeth Perkins.

Nicaragua’s Reptiles, Insects, and Amphibians

Part of a biological corridor that for millions of years has allowed plant and animal species from two continents to mingle, Nicaragua boasts an extraordinary blend of flora and fauna. Here’s a look at the reptiles, amphibians, and insects you’ll find here.

Coqui tree frogs. Photo © Panachai Cherdchucheep/123rf.

Puerto Rico’s Coqui Tree Frog

There is one sweet sound unlike any other that you can hear throughout the island of Puerto Rico at night, and that is the song of the coqui tree frog. Rarely seen but often heard, these tiny translucent amphibians are the beloved mascot of the island.

A spider monkey relaxing in Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel. Photo © Al Argueta.

Guatemala’s Land Mammals

Guatemala’s list of native land mammals is impressive, with a large variety of exotic cats, primates, and other furry creatures. Here’s a little about popular and common species, along with when and where you’re likely to sight them.

A mantled howler monkey, Alouatta palliata, eating leaves in Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Central America.

Monkeys in Costa Rica

The liveliest and most vocal rainforest tenants, there are four species of monkeys found in Costa Rica: the white-faced (or capuchin), howler, spider, and squirrel. Their daily habits are as varied as the wide range of habitats they occupy, from the rainforest canopy to the scrubby undergrowth of the dry forests, though each species has its own niche and the species seldom meet.

A Hawaaian sea urchin in a coral crevice.

Ocean Safety in Hawaii

More people drown in Hawaii than anywhere else in the world. But don’t let the statistics deter you from enjoying the ocean! Use common sense along with these tips for respecting both the ocean and the creatures that live in it to stay safe.

A red tree frog climbing in the Amazon rain forest.

The Rainforests of Colombia

Rainforests are among the most complex ecosystems on Earth. Learn about the flora and fauna of the rainforests of Colombia, focusing on those that make their home in the Amazon and the Chocó.

A Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) puffs its feathers on this cold and snowy day in April.

GNP Flora and Fauna: North Fork’s Unique Creatures

Glacier National Park hosts a plethora of plants and animals; lots of usual suspects, such as bears, wolves, elk, and bighorn sheep, but also quite a few unique species. Most interesting among them are species of the North Fork, including incredibly tiny animals, some weighing even less than an ounce, and creative carnivorous plants. And with North Fork’s plentiful and varied bird species, birders will have a ball.

A long-legged shore bird stands in the water fishing.

Bird Watching on Moloka‘i

Although many of Hawaii’s original bird species have gone the way of the dodo, there are still a number of rare and critically endangered native bird species clinging to existence high in the Moloka‘i forests or down on the protected seashore. For a chance a spotting one yourself, visit these protected Moloka‘i areas.