7 Great Netflix Documentaries on Conservation

Tablet sitting on the keyboard of a laptop open to a streaming site, image used for Christian Tedrow blog on great Netflix conservation documentaries

Netflix is known for its great documentaries; no matter what topic you’re looking for, you can be sure to find at least one documentary on Netflix about it. Conservation is an important topic that more people should take time to educate themselves about. Luckily, there are plenty of documentaries on Netflix focused on the topic of conservation. If you have some free time and want to educate yourself on conservation, check out a few of these documentaries.

Chasing Ice

In this documentary, you get a look at the world’s glaciers over the timespan of a year. It helps provide a close-up view of issues around ice caps melting and how the ecosystems are responding to this major change. We’ve all heard about polar ice caps disappearing and what it means for the environment, but this documentary gives you a clear look at what this issue is and what it looks like.

Chasing Coral

Like the melting ice caps, many scientists and environmentalists are now also focusing on the rapid decrease of coral reefs. Thanks to overfishing and tourism, we’re quickly losing much of the beautiful coral reefs that allow thriving underwater ecosystems to flourish. Once these reefs die, there isn’t much we can do about it, so it’s important to raise awareness as quickly as possible.


A great documentary that offers a fresh look at this recent lifestyle craze, the two main presenters in this documentary provide an inside look at extreme versions of a minimalist lifestyle, but without pressure for you to live by their definition of it. They present the benefits of minimalism and talk about how it’s helped them, but also acknowledge that some people cannot practice it to the degree they do. They’re more concerned about helping people understand and consider a more minimalist approach to living than making others live the way they do.


If you’re interested in what happens when war and conservation meet, this documentary is sure to pique your interest. Virunga follows a group of forest rangers in Africa who risk their lives to protect endangered gorillas at risk from war and deforestation. It gives you an inside look at an issue many people do not know much about.


A popular documentary on Netflix, Cowspiracy takes a look at the state of factory farming and how we could source our food, particularly meat, in a more responsible manner. This documentary can be a bit intense and it may make you not want to eat mass-produced meat after watching. Viewing this documentary helps you think more carefully about where your food comes from and how you can be a responsible consumer.


Blackfish can be viewed as the documentary that made Netflix documentaries popular. When it was released a few years ago, nearly everyone heard about it and many people watched it. Most of us have never seen a killer whale and know little about them; this documentary helps raise awareness of keeping large animals, like orcas, in captivity and what the consequences of that decision could be.

Planet Earth

A true classic, Planet Earth provides beautifully captured footage of ecosystems all around the world. While it’s more focused on educating you about the beauty of the planet instead of a clear conservation message, simply seeing the wonders of the world will make you want to work to preserve it.