Burning North

Northern Mexico is dominated by two great deserts; the Sonoran and Chihuahuan. In this film, we'll unravel the forces that have created this arid world, and discover that for the animals living here, overcoming the conditions can bring rich rewards. In Central Northern Mexico are vast prairies that gave rise to the cowboy culture, and still provide a refuge for extensive colonies for charming black tailed prairie dogs and one of Mexico's rarest animals, the aplomado falcon. Beyond the prairies is the Chihuahuan desert. Bigger than Montana it hides one of Mexico's greatest natural wonders. The valley of Cuatrocienegas is full of natural springs that are home to many species of fish found nowhere else on earth. West of the Chihuahuan desert, the forests covering the Sierra Madre Occidentalis are a refuge for wild chillies called Chiltepin. First cultivated in Mexico over 6000 years ago, it gave rise to thousands of varieties we eat today. In the foothills to the west, the Sonoran Desert is home to forests of iconic saguaro cactus that support a rich community of animals, In the day, ferruginous pygmy owls find refuge in old woodpecker nests and at night pallid bats emerge to hunt their favourite prey; scorpions. The Sonoran Desert stretches into the Gulf of California, where the desert island of Isla San Pedro Martir is home to side blotched lizards who survive against the odds by eating the scraps left by nesting seabirds.

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