Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wild China - Tides of Change

From the eastern end of the Great Wall, China's coast spans 14,500km and more than 5,000 years of history. This is a place of huge contrasts: futuristic modern cities jostling with traditional seaweed-thatched villages, ancient tea terraces and wild wetlands where rare animals still survive.
Here Chinese white dolphins, red-crowned cranes, deadly vipers, giant sturgeon and sabre-wielding monkeys struggle to eke out a living faced by competition from 700 million people, widespread pollution and over-fishing. How China is managing such conflicting pressures has lessons for us all.

Watch Documentary - Wild China - Tides of Change

Features China's 14,500km coastline,home to 700 Million people.Despite decades of rapid urban development.,it is still an important migration route for birds. Endangered red-crowned cranes depart their northern breeding grounds to overwinter at Yancheng saltmarsh,the largest coastal wetland in China. Shedao Island is an important stopover on the migration route, but the resident Shedao Island pitvipers,stranded by rising sea levels, lie in ambush in the branches. All along the coast, traditional forms of cultivation allow wildlife & people to live side by side.Crops vary from seaweed & cockles in the north to prawns further south,allowing birds such as whooper swans & black-faced spoonbills to prosper.Kejia tea-growers & Hui'an women harvesting oysters are also shown.China's rivers & seas are heavily polluted.Sewage & fertiliser washed into the Bohai Gulf cause plankton blooms,attracting jellyfish, which in China are a commercial catch.In the Yangtze estuary,the migrations of creatures such as Yangtze sturgeon & mitten crabs are being impeded by upstream dams.In the tropical S.China Sea,where coral reefs are under threat,whale sharks are rare visitors.Other rare creatures filmed include Pere David's deer & Chinese white dolphins.On Hainan island,macaques are shown jumping into a hotel swimming pool, epitomising the uneasy coexistence of wildlife & people in China, & the challenge of continuing its traditional harmonious relationship with nature.

The BBC High Definition Natural History Collection (Planet Earth / Wild China / Galapagos / Ganges) [Blu-ray]  Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory The Civilization Of China 
China: A Century of Revolution (Three Disc Set) China Rises: A Documentary in Four Parts China From the Inside

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