BBC Earth (June 1, 2023) – The Ganges River fills to capacity during monsoon season, flooding the wetlands that surrounds its banks. Not only do these wetlands foster an ideal habitat for wild birds, but they also create perfect the conditions for cultivating rice with their mineral-rich soil.
Ganges River, Hindi Ganga, great river of the plains of the northern Indian subcontinent. Although officially as well as popularly called the Ganga in Hindi and in other Indian languages, internationally it is known by its conventional name, the Ganges. From time immemorial it has been the holy river of Hinduism. For most of its course it is a wide and sluggish stream, flowing through one of the most fertile and densely populated regions in the world.
National Geographic(May 21, 2023) – Elephants are powerful, loving and wise, but we are only starting to unlock their deepest secrets.
The ground-breaking, award-winning natural history franchise Secrets Of returns with its next installment, Secrets of the Elephants. From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-at-Large James Cameron, the series travels the world — from the Savannahs of Africa to the urban landscapes of Asia — to discover the strategic thinking, complex emotions and sophisticated language of elephants, shaping a unique and dynamic culture.
Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman and featuring renowned National Geographic Explorer and elephant expert Dr. Paula Kahumbu, the four-part series not only reveals the extraordinary lives of different families of elephants but also highlights how similar they are to us. Secrets of the Elephants will change everything you thought you knew about elephants forever.
One of the most significant features of the Kumana National Park is the ‘Kumana Villu’ – a 200 hectare natural swamp lake, fed by the ‘Kumbukkan Oya’ through a half mile long narrow channel. It is at this mangrove swamp that many water birds’ nest in May and June. Regular sightings include such species of bird as pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, white ibis, herons, egrets and little cormorants.
Nature on PBS (April 12, 2023) – Discover how tiny hummingbirds influence their many flowering kingdoms and their ripple effects on macaws, quetzals, monkeys, tapirs and more. Set in the exotic landscapes of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s motto is Pura Vida – Pure Life – and this deceptively small country is bursting with some of the most spectacular wildlife and pristine ecosystems in the world. All this diversity thrives, in part, thanks to one surprising little creature: hummingbirds.
Venture across Costa Rica’s wild and rugged landscapes, from volcanic peaks to coastal jungle to misty cloud forests, and discover the nation’s dazzling diversity of hummingbirds. There are more than 50 species of hummingbirds here, and they play an outsize role in maintaining some of the richest and wildest environments on Earth.
The Hummingbird Effect premiered on April 12, 2023.
BBC Earth (April 9, 2023) – “The Rock” in Gibraltar is home to Europe’s only wild monkey, the endangered Barbary macaque. But these monkeys are competing for their habitat, as around one thousand tourists travel to their territory on a daily basis. Can they peacefully co-exist alongisde humans?
Animals are learning to survive and thrive in one very surprising habitat – cities. Join wildlife presenter Hannah Stitfall as she sets out on a mission to meet our new neighbours.
BBC Earth (April 2, 2023) – Red squirrel populations are declining in the UK, with deadly diseases such as squirrelpox threatening their survival. But in the small town of Formby, people are coming together to help secure their future.
Hosted by wildlife presenter Hannah Stitfall (@hannahstitfall via IG).
Nature on PBS (March 27, 2023) – No bigger than a human thumb, the volcano hummingbird exists only in the Talamancas.
The volcano hummingbird (Selasphorus flammula ) is a very small hummingbird, native to the Talamancan montane forests of Costa Rica and western Panama.
This tiny endemic bird inhabits open brushy areas, paramo, and edges of elfin forest at altitudes from 1850 m to the highest peaks. It is only 7.5 cm long. The male weighs 2.5 g and the female 2.8 g. The black bill is short and straight.
The adult male volcano hummingbird has bronze-green upperparts and rufous-edged black outer tail feathers. The throat is grey-purple in the Talamanca range, red in the Poas-Barva mountains and pink-purple in the Irazú-Turrialba area, the rest of the underparts being white. The female is similar, but her throat is white with dusky spots. Young birds resemble the female but have buff fringes to the upperpart plumage.
The female volcano hummingbird is entirely responsible for nest building and incubation. She lays two white eggs in her tiny plant-down cup nest 1–5 m high in a scrub or on a root below a south or east facing bank. Incubation takes 15–19 days, and fledging another 20–26.
BBC Earth (March 26, 2023) – Vienna’s Danube is known for its bustling nightlife and mighty skyscrapers, but one surprising resident has also found a home here. Animals are learning to survive and thrive in one very surprising habitat – cities. Join wildlife presenter Hannah Stitfall as she sets out on a mission to meet our new neighbours. #CoExistence
Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber)
The beaver is the “master builder” of riverine landscapes. By felling trees, the beaver makes a significant contribution to biodiversity by providing habitats for many other species.
In Austria, in the Danube-March-Thaya wetlands; migrates to the Weinviertel (“Forest Quarter”) and the Vienna Woods, but also from the Inn and Salzach down the Danube to Linz.
Endangerment and Conservation Status In Austria, beavers had been extinguished by the middle of the 19th century. Starting in the 1970s, they were restored on the Salzach and Inn rivers as well as in the Danube wetlands east of Vienna. Protecting the riparian forests is essential to the conservation of the beaver.
CBS Sunday Morning (March 19, 2023) – We leave you this Sunday with giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island, in Ecuador’s Galápagos National Park. Videographer: Alan Golds.
There are 13 living species of Galápagos tortoises, which are also sometimes called giant tortoises. These reptiles are among the longest-lived of all land vertebrates, averaging more than a hundred years. The oldest on record lived to be 175. They are also the world’s largest tortoises, with some specimens exceeding five feet in length and reaching more than 500 pounds.
Giant tortoises were once so abundant on the Galápagos archipelago off Ecuador that the Spanish sailors who explored the region in 1535 named the string of islands for them. (The Spanish word for tortoise is galápago.) Although the islands were once thought to be home to at least 250,000 tortoises, only about 15,000 remain in the wild today.
BBC Earth (March 19, 2023) – Herons are known to be shy birds, but in Amsterdam they have made quite a name for themselves, taking full advantage of the waterways.
The grey heron (Ardea cinerea ) is a long-legged wading bird of the heron family, Ardeidae, native throughout temperate Europe and Asia and also parts of Africa. It is resident in much of its range, but some populations from the more northern parts migrate southwards in autumn. A bird of wetland areas, it can be seen around lakes, rivers, ponds, marshes and on the sea coast. It feeds mostly on aquatic creatures which it catches after standing stationary beside or in the water or stalking its prey through the shallows.
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