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Tiger Forest and Crane Lake - A Journey through China’s Northeast

With forests, wetlands and rare species like the Siberian tiger, northeastern China is one of the country’s least-explored regions. Conservationists are trying to maintain its unique biodiversity.

06.03.2015 DW Doku Tigerwald und Kranichsee 2

The volcanic cold mineral springs of Wudalianchi provide a popular spa experience.

In times gone by, nomads roamed Manchuria’s forests, living in tents and hunting and collecting berries. Fishermen lived off the plentiful catch from the Amur and Sungari rivers. In winter, they wore fur, and in the spring and autumn clothes made from fish skin. Today, few of their descendants can tell about the traditions of their grandparents. The nomads have settled down permanently and their indigenous Tungusic languages are threatened with extinction.

06.03.2015 DW Doku Tigerwald und Kranichsee 6

The rare red-crowned crane is a much loved and protected species in China.

The wetlands of northeastern China are an important breeding ground for rare species of birds. The red-crowned crane spends the summer here. The region bordering Russia is home to a few Amurtigers, a critically endangered species. Their natural habitat has shrunk dramatically over the last century, and poaching remains rampant. Tigers fetch high prices on the black market. Conservationists are fighting to keep the Amur tiger population and its habitat stable.

06.03.2015 DW Doku Tigerwald und Kranichsee 3

Harbin’s architecture has an unmistakable Russian flair.

The regional capital is Harbin, founded in the late 19th century by Russians with the coming of the Chines Eastern Railway. It grew rapidly to become one of the largest cities in northeastern China and was dubbed “Little Moscow” or “Little Paris”. The arrival of Jews fleeing Russian pogroms made it home to a sizable Jewish population. The descendants of the Jews of Harbin are now scattered all over the world. These days, the city does much to cultivate the memory of its once thriving Jewish community.

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SUN 22.03.2015– 22:15 UTC
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