In the final installment of Nature's three-part series on Sir David Attenborough, the renowned naturalist and broadcaster reflects on the dramatic impact that we have had on the natural world during his lifetime, including the disappearing rainforests and coral reefs, endangered species such as blue whales, manatees, sea otters, chimpanzees and orangutans. He notes how the vulnerable Panamanian golden frog is now quarantined for safety so it doesn’t succumb to a highly infectious fungus which has already made the Monteverde Toad from Costa Rica extinct.
Nature: Attenborough's Life Stories, Our Fragile Planet airs Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m. on KUED. He tells surprising, entertaining and deeply personal stories of the changes he has seen, from his early travels with the London Zoo collecting animals; showing viewers the world’s rarest living animal, the giant Galapagos tortoise, Lonesome George; to covering the work of Dian Fossey, whose life’s mission to study and protect the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda inspired him to become a conservationist.
But Attenborough also reviews the revolution in attitudes towards nature that has taken place around the globe. He cites the 1961 creation of the World Wildlife Fund, the first international organization to spend money on conservation projects around the globe and protections put into place in Borneo and Malaysia to protect birds and turtles.
He concludes with a warning about the consequences of sea ice melt: exposing the dark sea water that doesn’t reflect the sun’s heat to keep earth cool. Unlike ice and snow, it absorbs the sun’s heat, raising the sea temperature and its level. Climate change, he says, is already affecting the lives of not only wild animals, but ourselves.
"We are heading for a great worsening of the conditions of this planet for life of all kinds and I have no doubt whatsoever of the cause, which is the byproduct of humanity's activities and that, therefore, we should be curbing them," he says.
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