One force determines a country's fate more than any other: Water. Austria's love-affair with water has given her unique and amazing landscapes and biospheres, carved out by Alpine glaciers, ancient seas and mighty rivers, home to iconic animals like eagles, ibex, otters and deer. But this country has wildlife surprises, too.
The days are gone when raging oceans brought giant sharks to her primeval shores, but there's an odd little survivor from those times: a three-eyed hermaphrodite, maybe the oldest animal on the planet. The tadpole shrimp lives in pools and puddles, until they dry out. Its eggs can stay dormant for decades or centuries, till water brings them to life. At a pinch, an adult can even fertilize itself - a single survivor guaranteeing future generations. Goldeneye ducks breed in abandoned woodpecker holes high in trees. Once the last sibling has hatched, the ducklings follow their mother in a leap of faith of up to ten metres to the river below. Two months later, they will finally learn to fly! The Bullhead, a fish that will never master the art of swimming, lives in brooks and creeks at up to 2,000 metres. It claws its way upstream, digging its fins into the gravelly riverbed. From ice caves, crystalline mountain springs and spectacular waterfalls, down to Lake Neusiedl, world-famous bird sanctuary on the edge of the endless Eurasian steppe:
This epic two-part documentary "Wild Austria - Created by Water" celebrates Austria's most precious landscapes and her wildlife's unrivalled beauty.
Camera: Jiří Petr, Michael Schlamberger
Written & directed by: Rita und Michael Schlamberger
Delivery: Autumn 2018
Technical details: 2x 52min I 4K I 5.1 & stereo I German & English
A co-production of ScienceVision, ORF Universum, NDR Naturfilm, ARTE and ORF Enterprise, supported by Cine Styria, Land Oberösterreich, Land Niederösterreich, Land Kärnten and Cine Tirol.