The animals that roam free.
"Charismatic mega-fauna" like lions, but also tiny field mice - wildlife comprises all animals that are not domesticated. From the strange to the beautiful, wild mammals, birds and fish can play important roles in the ecosystem. And humans often depend on wildlife to survive.
The Congo Basin is home to the second-largest equatorial rainforest after the Amazon. A vital carbon sink, it also supports endangered wildlife like gorillas and forest elephants — as well as 75 million people, who rely on it for survival. But illegal logging is putting this natural wonder at risk.
Our planet is full of remote and risky places — and some people will do anything to protect them or unlock their secrets. From researchers uncovering hidden ecosystems in Antarctica to park rangers in Africa who risk their lives to defend wildlife, we take a journey to some of the harshest corners of the globe.
Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is home to one of the world's largest populations of endangered mountain gorillas. It's also considered one of the most dangerous wildlife sanctuaries — more than 170 rangers have been killed in the last 20 years. Bettina Rühl went to Virunga to find out more.
When reactor 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power station exploded 32 years ago no-one could have predicted the extent of the fallout. It remains the single biggest nuclear accident in history. A 30-kilometer exclusion zone around the power plant became somewhat of a barren, so-called dead zone. DW's Nicholas Connolly went to see how nature is adapting to this unique habitat left behind by mankind.