Equator from the air

Taking to the skies in light aircraft, helicopters and even hot-air balloons, Gordon Buchanan provides us with a bird’s-eye view of life along the 40,000km course of the equator.

With many species endangered or facing extinction, and many communities struggling to cope with the effects of climate change, mass migration and pollution, the equator is where today’s most critical environmental dilemmas come into sharp focus.

This new show explores the dramatic changes occurring along the equator from a different angle; the air. Using helicopters, light aircraft, drones and satellite sensing, zoologists, conservationists and law enforcement officers are increasingly taking to the skies to help with their environmental work.

Episode one journeys across Africa, where equatorial wildlife competes for space with a fast-growing human population.

Episode two focusses on South America, and how people are fighting to save the Amazon rainforest and endangered species, including Ecuador’s condors.

Wildlife cameraman and presenter Gordon Buchanan makes the epic round-the-world journey to investigate the pressures on some of Earth’s richest and most spectacular habitats, from a new vantage point.

“Having an aerial view gives an unrivalled overview, in that you can place all living things in the context of their surroundings,” says Gordon.

“You can see not only an elephant but its entire range, not only an orangutan in a tree but the extent of loss of its habitat. A view from above helps us make sense of what’s happening on the ground.”

Gordon meets people who, in one way or another, are having an impact on the wilderness, as this series is as much about them as it is about the local flora and fauna.

“We can’t fully address and attempt to rectify the problems that wildlife face without also addressing the problems that people face,” he says. “Our planet
is in peril and we see this in sharp focus around the equator.”

Read the full article: Discover Wildlife