The Sagebrush Sea

One of the most overlooked ecosystems on the continent consists of a massive sea of sagebrush that stretches across 11 states in the American West.  This spartan yet spectacular landscape supports more than 170 species of hardscrabble birds and mammals, including deer, eagles, hawks, prairie dogs, cranes, songbirds, badgers and rabbits.  And among those that have adapted to survive here are birds found no place else – Greater Sage-Grouse.  These grouse lead remarkable lives mostly hidden in the sage.  But once each year, males emerge for days on end to strut and display as prospective mates for extraordinarily discriminating females, ...

Premiered May 20, 2015

Animal Childhood

In every animal’s life, there comes a time when it must stand on its own two feet, so to speak, and face the world alone. For a few, this happens just moments after birth, with no life lessons from parents to help them, no time to hone their survival skills. Others have the advantage of home schooling under the watchful eye of a mentor or family member. But growing up is never easy, and finding food, avoiding predators and making friends does not always come naturally. These are the trials and tribulations of young animals all over the world, as ...

Premiered May 13, 2015

Mystery Monkeys of Shangri-La

Representing the meticulous and ambitious work of an all-Chinese film company led by award-winning filmmaker, Xi Zhinong, this spectacular film is the true story of a family of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys living in the highest forests in the world. Only recently discovered, snub-nosed monkeys are hauntingly beautiful primates, different and gentler than others of their kind. Elfin-like, they seem both childlike and wise beyond their years. The family is led by a formidable fighter and his fighting force who guard a troop of 8-10 families. This is a unique monkey society, formed in response to the ...

Premiered April 29, 2015

Animal Homes

Animals, like humans, need a place they can call home to provide a safe and stable place to raise a family, but they go about building it in entirely different ways. Whether it is a bird’s nest, bear den, beaver lodge or spider web, these are homes of great complexity, constructed from a wide range of natural as well as man-made materials. This three-part series investigates just how animals build their remarkable homes around the globe and the intriguing behaviors and social interactions that take place in and around them.

Premiered April 22, 2015

The Last Orangutan Eden

Ecologist Chris Morgan travels to the jungles of Northern Sumatra to document the work being done to save its population of wild orangutans. Asia’s most intelligent ape once roamed across the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java, but today, fewer than 7,000 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild. The film cites rapid deforestation — clearing the land for vast palm oil plantations — as the chief reason for the species’ declining population.

Premiered February 25, 2015