Wild China, BBC documentary: 1. Heart of the Dragon

Wild China is a six-part nature documentary series on the natural history of China, co-produced by the BBC Natural History Unit and China Central Television (CCTV) and filmed entirely in high-definition (HD).

"Heart of the Dragon" - the first programme in the series concentrates on South China, where the climate and terrain is ideal for rice cultivation.

The terraced paddy fields of Yuanyang County plunge 2000 metres down steep hillsides to the Red River valley, and are some of the oldest man-made structures in China.

In a Miao household in Guizhou province, the arrival of red-rumped swallows signals the time for planting. Other creatures which benefit from the rice monoculture include little egrets and Chinese pond herons.

Of the hundreds of caves beneath the limestone hills of this karst region, few have been explored. At Zhongdong, an entire community, including a school, lives in the shelter of a cave.

Francois' langurs, a rare primate, use their rock-climbing skills to enter caves at night for protection. Other cave dwellers include swifts and Rickett’s mouse eared bats, filmed for the first time catching fish in the dark.

Freshwater creatures are an important resource for the people of South China. The Li River cormorant fishermen now only practice their art for tourists, but at Caohai Lake, dragonfly nymphs are a unique and valuable harvest.

Chinese alligators only survive in Anhui province thanks to dedicated conservation efforts. A troop of Huangshan macaques is shown retreating to the safety of the treetops when a venomous Chinese moccasin is spotted. After the autumn rice harvest, migratory birds including tundra swans and Siberian cranes gather at Poyang Lake.

Cormorant fishermen.

Wild China. Wikipedia.
Wild China. BBC.


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