Planet Earth 3 filming locations and animals – Episode 4 (Freshwater)


Here’s a list of the filming locations and animals featuring in the fourth episode of Planet Earth 3.

The iconic nature documentary with Sir David Attenborough is back for a third outing with episode four exploring Freshwater – essential for Earth’s survival and hosting incredible wildlife spectacles.

In the lush Costa Rican rainforest, a remarkable scene unfolds as up to 10,000 gliding tree frogs embark on a crucial breeding journey, descending from the treetops in the largest congregation of its kind. Lasting just one day and with a male-to-female ratio of 9:1, the competition for mating is intense.

A rare glimpse of a mugger crocodile out on of the water. These giants can reach up to five meters in length and in the dry season can be seen travelling across dry land in search of water.

Meanwhile, as the dry season intensifies in Sri Lanka, a lone waterhole becomes a vital hub for wildlife, including mugger crocodiles. These predators, reaching lengths of up to five meters, have developed a unique hunting strategy, ingeniously trapping unsuspecting chital deer that come to quench their thirst.

Amongst the water lilies, ‘lily-trotter’ chicks with disproportionately large feet take their first tentative steps on water, guided and protected by their attentive father during this delicate phase of their lives.

Elsewhere, in the Okavango Delta, the annual flood is both a challenge and an opportunity, particularly for a pack of African painted dogs who must ingeniously navigate the transformed landscape.

On Bioko Island’s shores, tiny goby fish face a daunting climb up a 30-meter waterfall to spawn, undergoing an extraordinary physical transformation to complete their lifecycle.

Lake Malawi stands as a beacon of stability in freshwater biomes, where over 1,000 fish species display remarkable adaptability, including the ‘play dead fish’, which has perfected the art of deception.

Despite covering a vast expanse of the planet, freshwater is limited, with less than 1% readily available to us. Humans have historically engineered ingenious ways to harness this resource, but the cost to nature has been high, with a significant decline in freshwater species.

One of the most impacted is the Indus river dolphin in Pakistan, now critically endangered with just about 2,000 left. Trapped in irrigation canals, their survival hangs by a thread, reliant on conservationists to rescue and return them to the river. The fate of these dolphins is a stark reminder of the fragility of freshwater ecosystems.

Planet Earth III airs on Sunday nights on BBC One and iPlayer.

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