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Travel News: March

Couple's mission to collect and free kiwis

A couple tracelling in New Zealand embarked on a new experience to help rangers collect and re-release some of the country's most famous and rarest residents- the kiwi bird.

The new travel opportunity was arranged by UK-based experts at New Zealand In Depth in conjunction with their partners in Aukland IDNZ. It will be experienced by tourists this season as the kiwi chicks emerge.

Alongside a Department of Conservation ranger, Jonathan and Marieke Greenwood departed with Aukland Seaplanes, first flying to Rotoroa Island to collect a number of kiwi, and then flew on to Motutapu to release them.

The flight took them over Rotoroa Island enjoying the views of the Hauraki Gulf from downtown Aukland via Rangitoto VOlcano, the youngest of the 50 in the area. Tjere;s a view inside a volcanic crater before continuinf past the coast of Waiheke to Rotoroa Island. 

Paul Carberry, founder of New Zealand In Depth, said: "This new experience joins a number of other activities across the country which bring together luxury travel and conservation, something we are proud to specialise in.

"Whether staying off-grid in an all-glass Purepos or supporting the contiol of non-native species at Okarito, there are plenty of incredible opportunities to suppoert and get involved with New Zealand Conservation."

For more information, tel: 01298 74040,

Scenic quality- and quantity- in Quebec

Each year nature lovers travel from across the globe to see Quebec's spectacular wildlife in its natural habitat. The Canadian province is a haven for more than 650 species of fauna, including 90 mamammals and 300 birds. It's 'Big Five' species are:

Black Bear- Of the 800,000 black bears that inhabit North America's forests. 60,000 can be found in Quebec. Guests can view these timid creatures across many regions, including Mauricies and the Quebec Maritime region. At Bioparc de la Gaspesie in the Quebex Maritime region, a boardwalk has been built to provide visitors with a unique viewpoint form which to observe them.

Blue Whale- Between May and Octobrtr, the Saint Lawrence River comes alive during the migration of 13 species of whale, including the majestic blue whale. Each year the river becomes the seasonal residence of the largest froup of blue ehales in the Northern Hemisphere as they migrate there to feed on krill. The best place to spot the whales is at the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord. A number of whale-watching experiences depart from Tadoussac and Baie-Sainte-Catherine.

Grey Wolf- Quebec is home to thr fourth largest wolf population in Canada. More than 7000 inhabit areas predominantly north of the Saint Lawrence River; the species generally avoids areas with dense human populations. The best places to spot the Grey Wolf, an endangered species, can be within protected reserves such a the Papineau-Labelle Wildlife Reserve and Laurentides Wildlife REserve. New for 2019, guests can experience a night in the wolf cabin in Park Omega, a site with self-drive safaris and walking trails in Outaouais. 

Moose- The moose population of Quebec has doubled since the Nineties to around 120,000. This North American giant- the biggest antlered animal on the planet- can weigh up to 600kg. Moose can be found  in nature reserves across Quebec, such as the Gaspesie National Park, with guided hikes and photo safaris offering the best way to see them. The Montmorecy Forest just outside Quebec city is the largest 'teaching forest' in the world. Moose safaris run in September and October. 

Snowy Owl- Shy and nomadic, the stately Snowy Owl is the official bird of Quebec. Unlike most owls, the Snowy Owl is active during the day. Its stunning white plumage allows it to stay camouflaged in the arctic tundra of for Northern Quebec, where the birds can be sighted in the summer, though snowy owls often visit southern Quebec in winter.

To book a wildlife-watching escape to Quebec, contact Canadian Affair, which offers a seven0day, self-drive 'Wild Holiday' from £1353 per person, with an emphasis on the province's nature and wildlife.

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