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Wild Australasia Episode 6: New Worlds

Format
Video; Streaming Video; Online
Summary
Australia is famously full of the weirdest animals, grown up in isolation for almost fifty million years. But they are no longer alone here: people have also come to live in this land. From the steps of the first people sixty thousand years ago, to the massive European changes in the last two centuries, how have those iconic animals coped with life alongside humans? The relationship is a surprising, bizarre and often poignant one. Where else in the world would a mob of kangaroos get in the way of your four-iron drive down the fairway on an exclusive golf course? Or giant lizards stride around a busy working oilfield? We travel across the whole of this vast continent, from cities and suburbs to the heart of the desert, to see what happens when humans and wildlife cross paths in some of Australia's most spectacular landscapes. We filmed many unexpected sights - koalas, Australia's icon, trying to cope with life in the city when their natural bushland is built over; dodging the traffic, struggling to climb wire fences and munching gum leaves next to a busy railway station; and the spectacle of thousands of fruit bats hanging out and squabbling in Melbourne's elegant Botanic Gardens. Tasmanian devils are quarrelsome little creatures that will fight each other for a bite of a wallaby carcase in the night-time forests of Tasmania. But we filmed something more unusual - Tasmanian devils who had taken to wandering about the shed of a sheep farm at night, and who, true to form, squabbled with each other inside a rucksack for the remains of a workman's packed lunch! We were also lucky to be able to film the spectacle of ibises, striking white birds, feeding on a rubbish tip near Brisbane - lucky because they don't hang around! They feed only when the rubbish dumpster trucks are operating - and as soon as they stop and the engines are turned off, the ibis vanish almost instantaneously. But not everything is doing so well.When the British declared Australia theirs 200 years ago, they began to farm the land in a style more suited to Surrey, and they brought in a range of quite unsuitable animals. It's a shameful history - foxes, brought over for hunting by homesick English gentlemen, now rampage across Australia in their millions, killing native animals. Pigs, rabbits, camels and toxic toads - all brought in as 'useful' animals - now cause havoc in a fragile landscape. In just two centuries, more than 50 species of mammals, birds and reptiles have gone extinct, and many others have all but disappeared. Some of these 'lost animals' have even reached cult status, with people desperate to find out if they are still around. Curious little fat parrots and mysterious skinks have prompted lonely searches for clues to their existence. But in this enormous country, where do you start? We see who succeeds. For better or worse, the wildlife is entwined with the human newcomers, sometimes in a battle for their very survival.
Release Date
2003
Run Time
50 min.
Language
In English
Notes
  • Filmclip
  • Title from title frames.
  • In Process Record.
Published
BBC, 2003.
[San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2016.
Recording Info
Originally produced by BBC in 2003.
Publisher no.
1098417 Kanopy
Related Resources
Cover Image
Description
1 online resource (streaming video file) (50 minutes): digital, .flv file, sound
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Technical Details
  • Staff View

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