See title. What is your favorite biome/ecosystem you’ve ever visited (this can be as broad as “North American deciduous forest” or as narrow as “southern Costa Rican highland cloud forest”) and your most wanted?
For me, the former would probably be Costa Rica’s Pacific montane forest, where I spent a few weeks volunteering and which has a remarkable range of unique birds.
In terms of most wanted? So many, but to set my sights high, maybe the Indian grasslands or dry forests-- I love species like dholes, tigers, asiatic lions, sloth bears, etc.
I really enjoyed visiting the Northern Atlantic coast because it was extremely rocky and there were so many different types of shells and creatures and seaweeds along the shore. There were tidal pools with soft, green, hairlike plants and crabs and interesting rocks and other things. I could spend months there I think and never grow bored. I liked that the sea was a dark blue and that sometimes the fog was extremely thick.
An ecosystem I have not been able to visit but wish to (and it really is not far!) is the Lagunas de Montebello which is a series of mountain lakes in Chiapas, each a different color due to mineral content. Where I live is extremely flat so that would be a nice change. The other one I would like to see (but would not likely be able to withstand the temperature) is the tundra because it looks beautiful to me.
Tundra in the southern Rocky Mountains and the pika, brown-capped rosy finches, american pipits, marmots, ptarmigan, white-crowned sparrows, and wildflowers found there. To explore, look for observations in “Southern Rockies - Alpine Zone EPA Level IV Ecoregion” https://www.inaturalist.org/places/southern-rockies-alpine-zone
I tried to decide my favourite, but I just cannot.
The ecuadorian rainforests popped up first into my mind, as I could easily spent weeks and months there without ever getting bored. But then someone mentioned reefs and the amazing time I had snorkeling all alone in Dahab/Egypt warmed my heart. From there it was just a small step to remember snorkeling in Galapagos and visiting some out-of-this-world-landscapes on those islands. Out of this world an very recent are those amazingly alien paramo-landscapeds in Colombia that I am currently head over heels in love with or the awe I felt when roaming the ever changing namibian desert. They are just so different… different then my beloved german Beechforests, Beachforests, meadows, swamps… where I spent so many unforgettable hours… that I loved to explore… that I do miss. … No, I cannot decide.
I love the ecosystems full of life that almost overwhelm you like the rainforests and reefs, but I also do love the ones where every observations feels so special, because I have to work for it like in the Paramo or in the desert.
So many places I have never been (rainforest, the “mega-herb” islands, etc.) but my favorite local ecosystem are the “sandplains” of CT. These are extremely restricted, fragmented, and disturbed, and have the highest concentrations of rare species in my state.
We can indeed think of this in two categories: ecosystems you most want to travel to visit, and ecosystems you love near where you live. If I think of each of the places I have lived for extended periods, I can indeed think of favorite ecosystems.
Rhode Island: estuarine beaches and deciduous woodlands
Washington: montane and subalpine ecosystems
Carolinas: riverine bottomlands
That’s a difficult question. Very generally, the mountains and the forests are my happy places, but those come in so many different flavors. I’ve yet to visit mountains I love more than the Sierra Nevadas, though, and it’s hard to compete with the Redwood forests. I also love the Pacific Northwest Coast: dramatic rocky cliffs, blanketing fog, kelp forests and tide pools.
There are so many places that I want to explore, it’s difficult to narrow it down. For just a few points on the list, I’d love to explore the Salish Sea and Mt Rainier in Washington, pretty much all of Alaska, especially the Gates of the Arctic, the islands of Socotra and Madagascar, Hokkaido, Kamchatka, the Andes, the Canadian Rockies, the Yucatan rainforests… Theres just so many places, and those are just some of the ones on the surface of the planet.
The closest for me will be untouched parts of Russian plane, preferably with steppe elements, but not steppe – I like it when in July you see green grass and not yellow stalks. This type of meadows start at the southern part of Mosco Oblast (south from Oka river), there actually where steppe parts before with rare animals like common hamsters, but they’re very degraded now and it’s almost impossible to see. Officially it’s called forest steppe. I don’t have good photos of it, sadly. But Ryazan’ is interesting in that it both had mammoths before and real steppes, 2 in 1.
Oh! That’s a different question than the original one but if I think of my favorite close to where I am it is probably the Reserva Estatal Ciénagas y Manglares de la Costa Norte de Yucatán which is about a 30 minute drive for me. It makes me so happy to know it is protected because I have never gone that I have not been stunned by how beautiful it is. It includes Laguna Rosada that is open to the sky and so pink it feels unreal, and then there are also small enclaves where it feels like nobody has been been for hundreds of years. I do not birdwatch but the area is extremely good for birding I understand and also for plant enthusiasts as well. but for me, it is just the entirety of the scene, the feeling it gives me to be there. You can see photos and some information, in English: https://rsis.ramsar.org/ris/2468