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Encounters at the End of the World
Stonehenge: The Lost Circle Revealed
Did Cooking Make Us Human
Love On The Spectrum Episode I
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"Conservation" Sort by
Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years, award-winning director Brett Morgen tells the story of Jane Goodall, a woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.
Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Jane Goodall - a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world's most admired conservationists, her early explorations and research in Tanzania, the relationship with her cameraman and husband Hugo Van Lawick, and the chimpanzees that were the subject of her study.
David Attenborough Meets President Obama
In a far cry from the steamy jungles of Rwanda or the icy waters of the Arctic, British naturalist Sir David Attenborough has donned a necktie and met with US president Barack Obama to discuss climate change and the future of the planet. The two met at the White House — a place the naturalist had never yet explored — on Sir David's 89th birthday in May to film the interview". It was the first time the respected wildlife filmmaker had met an American president and he seemed a little awed by the experience. Mr Obama, who grew up watching Sir David's programs, seemed equally thrilled. The president has the environment and climate change on his radar and is anxious to see progress made as his presidency comes to a close. He faces stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress on his plans to tackle climate change, but remains determined to make changes before leaving office. "I don't have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real," he said. "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society." Sir David, who has been called "the godfather of natural history TV" by the BBC, brought to the meeting six decades dedicated to sharing the wonders of the natural world with television audiences. After initially being rejected for television because his teeth were deemed "too big", Sir David went on to make his Life on Earth television series, which has been watched by more than 500 million people worldwide. His name is now synonymous with nature, conservation and wildlife. During the television interview, the men discussed global warming, renewable energy and how children and young people hold the key to reversing the damage.
The documentary deals with the future of conservation. It begins by looking at previous efforts. The 'Save The Whales' campaign, which started in the 1960s, is seen to have had a limited effect, as whaling continues and fish stocks also decline. In the 1990s, as head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Richard Leakey took on the poachers by employing armed units. Although it was successful in saving elephants, the policy was detrimental to the Maasai people, who were forced from their land. The need for "fortress" areas is questioned, and the recently highlighted Raja Ampat coral reef in Indonesia is an example. The more tourism it generates, the greater the potential for damage — and inevitable coastal construction. Sustainable development is viewed as controversial, and one contributor perceives it to currently be a "contradiction in terms". Trophy hunting is also contentious. Those that support it argue that it generates wealth for local economies, while its opponents point to the reducing numbers of species such as the markhor. Ecotourism is shown to be beneficial, as it is in the interests of its providers to protect their environments. However, in some areas, such as the Borneo rainforests, the great diversity of species is being replaced by monocultures. The role of both religion and the media in conservation is argued to be extremely important. Contributors to the programme admit a degree of worry about the future, but also optimism.
Living with Predators. Conservation
The final episode of the series visits the frontline of the conflict with the world's top predators, meeting the scientists fighting to save them. Crossing five continents and combining landmark natural history footage with real-life human drama, it checks the pulse of the earth's iconic animals, including lions, tigers, polar bears and blue whales. With three-quarters of the planet's carnivores now in decline, can people find ways to live with predators before they disappear forever?
the final episode deals with plants that live in hostile environments. Attenborough visits Ellesmere Island, north of the Arctic Circle, to demonstrate that even in a place that is unconducive to life, it can be found. Algae and lichens grow in or on rock, and during summer, when the ice melts, flowers are much more apparent. However, they must remain close to the ground to stay out of the chilling wind. In the Tasmanian mountains, plants conserve heat by growing into 'cushions' that act as solar panels, with as many as a million individual shoots grouped together as one. Others, such as the lobelia in Mount Kenya, have a 'fur coat' of dense hairs on their leaves. The saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert flourishes because of its ability to retain vast amounts of water, which can't be lost through leaves because it has none. Many desert dwellers benefit from an accelerated life cycle, blooming rapidly within weeks after rainfall. Conversely, Mount Roraima is one of the wettest places on Earth. It is a huge sandstone plateau with high waterfalls and nutrients are continuously washed away, so plants have to adapt their diet if they are to survive. A bladderwort is shown invading a bromeliad. Inhabitants of lakes have other problems to contend with: those that dominate the surface will proliferate, and the Amazon water lily provides an apt illustration. Attenborough ends the series with an entreaty for the conservation of plant species.
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