Imagine your bucket list destinations being destroyed at the hands of fellow humans, to such an extent that by the time you get there, there’s nothing left for you to see and witness. Scary, right? Read on to know how you can save your endangered bucket-list destinations from any further damage. By Kumar Shree

Having an insatiable wanderlust and pledging your way to mark your presence all over the world map is something that many of us nurture in our hearts. Doing so in a responsible, sustainable manner is one thing, and being so reckless about it that you end up destroying many of these natural marvels is another. Here, we collate a few of the endangered bucket list destinations, and how to witness these without damaging it further, if not reversing what we have already done.

1. Machu Picchu, Peru

What survived a milestone historical event like the fall of the Inca empire is failing to survive its interactions with modern-day humans. Ever since the iconic destination was included in the list of seven wonders of the world, it has experienced a never-before surge in tourist influx, and that has taken a toll on the heritage destination. People tend to forget their responsibilities towards nature and tend to not only leave all sorts of trash back but also enter prohibited areas for the sake of better pictures; thus accelerating the decay.

What You Can Do: It is advised to stay within the marked territories when visiting the Machu Picchu and have a deep respect for the location. If an area has been marked restricted, stay away from it.

2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Just returned from the far northern Great Barrier Reef. What an epic adventure with @spiritoffreedomcairns, amazing coral gardens, sharks everywhere, turtles galore and too many macro invertebrates to even register. Plenty more to come on this trip but for now here’s the coral cover we explorered 600km north of Cairns in the middle of nowhere… @queensland #thisisqueensland . . . . . . #ocean #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia #ausgeo @Whitsundaysqld @nikonaustralia #lovewhitsundays @gbrmarinepark @ocean @australia @discoverocean @queensland @qldparks #greatbarrierreef #protectthereef #marinelife #photooftheday #marinebiology #water #travel #nature #underwaterphotography #amazing_australia #exploreaustralia #exploreaus #scubadiving

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The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is one of the most extraordinary natural habitats of the world teeming with all sorts of biodiversity. The reef is home to corals developed over thousands of years and a plethora of aquatic life that coexist. It is the equation between them that keeps the reef alive and thriving. Sadly, as a result of climate change and uninformed, ignorant tourism, more than half of these corals have lost their lives in the last few years.

What You Can Do: Be respectful of the underwater world when exploring the territory and steer clear of skincare products that have oxybenzone in it.

3. The Amazon

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#ActForTheAmazon | 📸 @demas • "I created this edit ( using @photoshop ) to spread awareness of this ongoing problem in our world today! Let's make the place we all live in a better place for everyone! ✌️" • ❗DISCLAIMER❗ This is not an actual photo of the Amazon rainforest, but a representation of a very serious issue 🙏 • The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical forest. It’s an area with torrential rain that almost never burns on its own, yet the blazes have burned for more than two weeks, growing so intense that they sent smoke all the way to São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city 🇧🇷 • But the Amazon is not the only region that’s burning. More than 21,000 square miles of forest have gone up in flames in Siberia this month, putting Russia 🇷🇺 on track for its worst year on record for wildfires. The smoke from these blazes shrouded large parts of the country, including major cities like Novosibirsk, and has crossed the Pacific Ocean into the United States 🇺🇸 • On Monday, a wildfire in the Canary Islands forced more than 8,000 people to flee. Over the weekend, new fires ignited in Alaska, extending what’s already been an unusually long fire season for the state. Last week, Denmark 🇩🇰 dispatched firefighters to Greenland 🇬🇱 combat a wildfire approaching inhabited areas. If not extinguished, officials are worried the blaze would burn through the winter, further driving up the already massive ice melt Greenland has experienced this year amid record heat 🌡️ • Many of these wildfires stem from unprecedented warmth and dryness across many parts of the world this year. And in the case of the Amazon, they are an unmistakable sign of how humans are radically reshaping the planet 🚨 • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this month reported that conserving areas like the Amazon rainforest will be integral to mitigating climate change. But with the current pace of wildfires and deforestation, the world is rapidly galloping in the wrong direction 😔

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The ignorance seen in dealing with the Amazon Rainforest Fire in 2019 was alarming for more than one reason. The home to an extraordinary number of biodiversity has already been dealing with problems such as massive deforestation in the name of several illegal trades. Add to that the ignorant attitude of the authorities dealing with a massive crisis does not seem too well-meaning for the ‘lungs of the world’.

What You Can Do: When travelling to the Amazon, always opt for an agency that practices eco-friendly measures and supports practices which are healthy and beneficial not for the local environment, but for the residents as well.

4. Antarctica

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Antarctic killer whales, like this pod of type-B killer whales, have to deal with algae growing on their skin, giving them an ochre hue and potentially leading to health problems. So how do they cope with this problem? They undertake the only known migration simply for the purpose of health and maintenance. They don’t do this to follow food or for breeding. Since the algae on their skin is adapted to the freezing Antarctic, and the water there is too cold for them to flush their outermost layers of skin with blood to potentially stave off the infestation, the killer whales will travel hundreds or even a few thousands of miles north, out of Antarctic waters, to the warmer waters off the east coast of South America. There the algae die off and the whales can tend to their skin issues in the comfort of warmer waters. When they return to Antarctica, they will have fresh, clean skin and they will not have a brownish hue at all. Over the next few weeks, the algae will start to colonize the whale’s skin and stain it. At some point, the family will make the decision that it’s time to head back to the spa for a treatment, and they will repeat the journey. So if you see pictures or footage of a brownish killer whale, there’s a very good chance that animal is one of these unique Antarctic killer whales. #antarctica #spa #killerwhale

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If there’s a ground zero for witnessing climate change as and when happening, it is Antarctica. On one hand, the alarming rate of melting ice is altering the region’s landscape; on the other, issues like over-fishing is disturbing the food chain of the indigenous organisms. The operation of cruise ships to and from the land is also severely impacting the ecological balance of the region. These cruises are instrumental in shooting up the carbon in the environment.

What You Can Do: Try to opt for smaller ships instead of cruises when travelling to Antarctica. Moreover, strictly adhere to the environment-friendly practices that ensure less or no carbon impact.

5. The Alps

Alps is another region that is facing the flak of climate change. The towns around the European mountain range are slowly falling in the trap of a vicious cycle. On one hand, they are forced to use snow-making machines to create more snow in order to support adventure sports — a major attraction for tourists, in turn making it a big source of income for locals. However, using these machines is melting more natural snow by contributing to climate change by raising the temperatures of the region.

What You Can Do: Try visiting the destination in summers instead of winters, as it could stop locals from using the snow-making machines. After all, you can always indulge in snow sports at other destinations, where the practice is sustainable, and not as harmful for the environment.

Related: List Of The Newly Declared Endangered Species & Why We Should Be Concerned