Australia: Earth’s Magical Kingdom – 25 April 2021 – 25/4/2021 – Sunday – BBC Two

Series 1 Episode 3 of 3

Despite Australia’s relatively small population, the human impact on wildlife has been dramatic. This episode explores Australia’s natural history success stories and those being left behind as the continent undergoes rapid change.

Starting in Australia’s second largest city Melbourne, this film sees how possums, tree-dwelling marsupials, have taken to sharing trees in busy city parks. They are breeding successfully but when pressure from the neighbours becomes too great, they risk encounters with heavy traffic and domestic cats in order to find shelter in rooves and garden sheds. Meanwhile, the cold-blooded inhabitants of Brisbane’s parks are demonstrating evolution in overdrive. In a timescale of roughly 150 years, as the city has risen around them, eastern water dragons have become metropolitan dragons – genetically different and twice the size of their wild cousins. Without trees to climb their limbs are getting longer and claws shorter. A suburban garden is the stage for a flamboyant spider the size of a grain of rice. He taps out a colourful and rhythmic display for his suitor who will choose whether he will become her meal or her mate.

Far beyond the bustle of the city, dingoes eek out an existence in the inhospitable environment of a desert goldmine, while yellowtail grunters present the extraordinary spectacle of fish crossing a road. And with climate change and deforestation a growing and major threat one farmer is on a mission to save koalas on his land that are quite literally dying of thirst.

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About Australia: Earth’s Magical Kingdom

Three-part series exploring the creatures of Australia and the extremes of the habitats they live in, from the frozen Snowy Mountains, to tropical Queensland and beyond. As well as looking at newly discovered creatures that survive in Australia’s often harsh environment, this series also delves deeper into previously unknown behaviours and habits of species already known and appreciated for many years. The first episode features the unusual echidna, a relative of the platypus, which can lower its body temperature to survive freezing temperatures, and the incredible intelligence of the black kite, which gathers burning sticks from bush fires and deliberately drops them into dry grass to flush out small prey.

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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