The Indian Himalayas
Why: In the highest mountain range in the world, climate change is melting the glaciers at a faster rate than ever recorded in history, according to the World Wildlife Fund, which has been working in the region since the 1960s. "With the Himalayas, the stakes are higher because it's a watershed for two billion people," says WWF's Jim Sano, who led the first American men and women's expedition to Mt. Everest. "Global warming is having a significant effect on tourism and species. It's estimated that within our lifetime, 30 percent of the snow leopard habitat is likely to be lost due to climate change."
What to do: Get a taste of the traditional Tibetan culture with World Expeditions as you trek through remote villages and valleys, over high passes and into ancient temples. The physically and spiritually rewarding 18-day trip "Into the heart of the Himalayas with Jono Lineen" should provide ample encounters with snow leopards and black-necked cranes.
More info: worldwildlife.org