From Asia to the Americas
The supercontinent of Pangaea gave rise to a common ecological heritage linking Asia and the Americas, engendering a great exchange of species. Dogs, despite being largely acclimatised to the cold climate of Alaska, in fact originated from Asian lands, only later migrating to North America, while the dawn redwood, a native deciduous tree of China, has had its origins traced back to the USA.
BY YD BAR-NESS
Fringed by lush vegetation, variegated plant life and an eclectic community of wildlife, these nature trails – developed on different island gems of Asia – are a result of deliberate eorts to conserve the region’s precious biodiversity. We meander through this network of footpaths and learn how the roles played by both biotic and abiotic components provide a framework through which native species can continue to flourish.
A Lifelong Journey
Saving the Asian elephant has already been a decades-long journey for Raman Sukumar, an Indian conservation scientist who pioneered the establishment of sanctuaries and corridors in his home country. Yet his work is far from complete. As habitats continue to dwindle, and elephants are impelled to access cultivated areas, the confrontations between man and beast are putting increasing pressure on Asia’s gentle giants.
BY RAMAN SUKUMAR
First People of the Arctic
Thousands of years have shaped the lives of the original peoples of the Arctic, true explorers and survivors of one of the world’s most desolate environments. To this day, the natives of the Arctic, including one of the oldest tribes, the Chukchi, continue to thrive. This is a story of perseverance and fortitude, and one of humankind’s greatest journeys.
BY BOGDANA VASHCHENKO
Walk on the Wild Side
Sandwiched between the mountains of the Hindu Kush and Karakoram, the Wakhan Corridor linking Afghanistan and China played a vital role in the 19th-century battle for control in Central Asia. Today, devoid of electricity and all extravagance, the Wakhan is a window into history centuries ago, save for a budding education scheme that might
just change everything about the traditional Wakhi way of life.
BY SOPHIE IBBOTSON AND MAX LOVELL-HOARE
The Kingdom of Guge
In the early 1600s, a pair of Jesuit explorers, Father António de Andrade and Manuel Marques set foot on the sacred land of Tsaparang, establishing the "rst Catholic mission on Tibetan soil. To get there, they had to "rst traverse the upper Himalayan mountain ranges before descending into a treacherous valley via the Mana Pass. Little did they know that their exploits would ultimately catalyse the downfall of the grand Guge Kingdom.
BY AMARDEEP SINGH