BBC Planet Earth III left viewers in tears on Sunday evening with scenes of soggy flamingo chicks struggling to survive storm surges and turtle hatchlings battling sea level rises.
“The planet has changed beyond recognition,” warned Sir David Attenborough gravely, “Transformed by a powerful force. Us.”
Yet despite the gloomy tone set by the programme, many of the animals featured in the episode are faring surprisingly well, thanks to global conservation efforts.
On Raine Island, at the northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, programme-makers suggested that the world’s largest turtle rookery was facing annihilation through a double threat of warming sands and sea-level rise.
“If sea levels rise as predicted within the next 30 years, Raine Island will disappear beneath the waves,” said Sir David.
But research by James Cook University, in Australia, suggests that Raine Island has actually been growing in recent years.
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