The U.S. Was Just Ranked the Best Country in the World for Wildlife Travel — Here Are The Top Spots to Visit

© Barrett Hedges/Getty Images Black bear cubs race each other to the top of the tree in Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming.

By Talia Avakian, Travel + Leisure

Tour company True Luxury Travel has created a Global Wildlife Index to rank the best countries for wildlife tourism based on factors including wildlife biodiversity, conservation efforts, and the prevalence of national parks.

The index ranked the United States as number one, thanks to the country's impressive system of national parks (60 in total) as well as the number of natural history museums (more than 750). For travelers looking to get closer to nature, there's no shortage of options around the U.S.

The country's first national park, Yellowstone, is home to rare wildlife like gray wolves, black bears, and grizzly bears. At South Dakota’s Badlands National Park, bison are known to roam right around the campgrounds, at Montana’s Glacier National Park, visitors will find a large population of white mountain goats; and at Death Valley National Park, the mesquite trees of the park’s Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes hide a variety of wildlife.

Southern Florida is the only U.S. destination where you’ll find both crocodiles and alligators in the wild. Everglades National Park has both — as well as manatees, more than 300 bird species, and more than 700 plant species.

It’s alligator bellowing season! Though American alligators can be observed bellowing year round, their vocal interactions become much more frequent during breeding season, just around the corner. Both males and females bellow to attract potential mates, and males often bellow to defend territory from each other. . This video shows a bull (male) alligator raising his body out of the water to fill his lungs with air. He then lowers his body and lets out a roar. This low frequency sound causes the water on his back to vibrate and “boil over.” . Next time you visit the Everglades, make sure you find a quiet spot to turn off your phone, pause the conversation, and listen. You never know what you’ll experience in your National Park. You may be lucky enough to witness the alligator bellow and “water dance.” . . #evergladesnps #findyourpark #usinterior #alligator #bellows #explore #florida #optoutside #keepitwild #everglades #nationalpark
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In Alaska's Denali National Park, visitors can observe caribou in the wild; in Florida, beachgoers can see loggerhead sea turtles come to nest; and in San Diego, the sea lions in La Jolla always draw a crowd.

The Megafauna Conservation Index also ranked the U.S. as first in the world for its conservation efforts. The index measures countries based on the proportion of land occupied by mega-fauna species, the proportion of the range of the species strictly protected in each country, and the amount of money spent on conservation.


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Travel News: The U.S. Was Just Ranked the Best Country in the World for Wildlife Travel — Here Are The Top Spots to Visit
The U.S. Was Just Ranked the Best Country in the World for Wildlife Travel — Here Are The Top Spots to Visit
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