Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#SteveReviews: Cuba’s Wild Revolution

When you think about countries around the world that host a plethora of unique and endemic wildlife, Cuba isn’t usually one of the first that comes to mind. However, I think that perhaps it is time that that changed. Cuba’s Wild Revolution on Netflix offers a captivating argument for this as well as helping the viewer to explore Cuba’s unique biodiversity as well as the cultural influences on the country. The documentary takes us on a visually stunning journey across Cuba’s diverse ecosystems, from lush rainforests and endangered coral reefs to arid savannas and remote mountain ranges. Through breath-taking cinematography and intimate storytelling, Cuba’s Wild Revolution highlights the country’s rich biodiversity, featuring iconic species such as the Cuban crocodile. I was extremely happy to note that the number of reptiles featured throughout was quite high (well done team!).

The documentary succeeds in capturing the beauty and resilience of Cuba’s natural landscapes, while also addressing the complexities that underpin its conservation challenges. The documentary provides valuable insights into Cuba’s conservation successes, such as the establishment of protected areas and the implementation of sustainable agriculture practices. However, it also acknowledges the ongoing threats posed by habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change, highlighting the need for continued vigilance and collaboration in safeguarding Cuba’s biodiversity. There are a number of parallels with other conservation conundrums around the world, such as the mass mortality of red land crabs (Gecarcinus ruricola) on roads on their way to their breeding grounds, similar to the same fate that awaits many common toads (Bufo bufo) here in Europe every year. Another example is that Cuba’s coral reefs could be lost in the next 30 years as a consequence of climate change and pollution – an extremely worrying statistic.

The documentary appeals to a wide audience, including nature enthusiasts, conservationists, and anyone interested in Cuba’s culture and history. By highlighting Cuba’s natural treasures and conservation successes, Cuba’s Wild Revolution inspires viewers to appreciate the importance of protecting biodiversity and supporting sustainable development initiatives (even if they are many miles from home). It may only be short but it packs a lot in, without any of the false jeopardy that we have all been deluged with in other wildlife documentaries in recent times. If you do not come away from watching this one-off episode with a new found fascination for Cuban wildlife, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention. It has now climbed up the list of places I want to visit significantly as a consequence of this documentary.

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