Forest of the Lynx

About

Forest of the Lynx premieres Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).

Austria’s Kalkalpen National Park, nestled between two great mountain ranges, is the largest track of wilderness in the Alps, but it wasn’t always that way. The park was once the site of major logging and mining operations, but those activities ceased more than two decades ago. Abandoned and unmanaged by man, the Kalkalpen’s forests may look like they are under siege from the extreme mountain weather that impacts its landscape in the form of floods and landslides. But it is just part of the process of how the park is reverting back to its natural and primeval state. One of the symbols of this return to the wild is the reappearance of the lynx after a 150 year absence from these woods.

Three years in the making, Forest of the Lynx chronicles life in this remote wilderness and the complex partnerships among plants, insects, animals and trees.

The program follows the life cycles of the park’s inhabitants through the seasons. In the spring, a female lynx sets out to establish her own territory after a year of being reared and taught survival techniques by her mother. It is a solitary life as she has to hunt in a new territory while avoiding other lynxes. In a different part of the forest, another lynx gives birth to two kittens who need her constant attention. They need every chance to succeed as the film states that only one in four will survive its first year.

Meanwhile, the white-backed woodpecker, one of Europe’s rarest birds, is at work hacking into rotting trees to obtain insects and juicy larvae. It survives in Austria due to the vast quantities of dead wood. As it is mating season, the pygmy owl forgoes his attacks on songbirds and yellow-necked mice to woo a female. He wins her over by revealing his tree-hole, created by a woodpecker, as it provides a safe shelter for offspring.

As it gets warmer, trees continue to grow until they somehow know they’ve reached their limit. The film explains that the older trees reduce their intake of nutrients from the soil so that the younger trees have as much as they need. How these trees communicate with each other both above and below ground remains a mystery. What is clear however are examples of how trees try to combat invaders like bark beetles and alert neighboring trees to these attacks as well as respond to periods of drought.

By fall, the beech trees release their nuts which are either stockpiled by small rodents to survive the winter or left to germinate next spring. As winter descends, it is mating season for the chamois who inhabit the steep mountain slopes while the trees become inactive. As for the lynx, their limited reintroduction into the Austrian Alps is being impacted by poaching. But the growing awareness of the lynx’s plight should help protect future populations of this symbol of the ancient forest.

Production Credits Print

FOREST OF THE LYNX

NARRATED BY
TOBY LEONARD MOORE

WRITTEN BY
JAN HOŠEK
RITA SCHLAMBERGER

DIRECTED BY
RITA SCHLAMBERGER

PHOTOGRAPHY
JIŘI PETR
MICHAEL SCHLAMBERGER

ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY
VACLAV ŠENA
RUDOLF DOBESBERGER
MARIO CATER
ROLANDO MENARDI

AERIAL CAMERA
IRMIN KERCK
CHRISTIAN BERNUTZ

EDITORS
ANDREW NAYLOR
OMER SACIC

CGI & COMPOSITING
OMER SACIC

MUSIC
ALEXANDER BRESGEN
DAVID MITCHAM
LENNY WILLIAMS

WRITERS
JOHN DUTTON
MICHAEL SCHLAMBERGER

CHIEF SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR
LUBOMÍR HLÁSEK

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS
MARTIN SCHWARZ
ERICH WEIGAND
HEINZ FORSTINGER
HEINZ MITTER
AXEL SCHOPF
OLDŘICH HLÁSEK

FOLEY ARTISTS
STANISLAV CAITHAML
JANA ČÁSTKOVÁ
MILAN JAKL

SOUND DESIGN & DUBBING MIX
MARTIN ROHRMOSER

COLORIST
WILLI WILLINGER

SPECIAL THANKS
ERICH MAYRHOFER
CHRISTIAN FUXJÄGER
VÁCLAV HLAVÁČ
FRANZ KETTENHUMMER
MICHAEL KIRCHWEGER
ANDREAS KRANZ
CHRISTER LARSSEN
DICK LILJEGREN
JIŘI MAREK
LAMBERT MICELLI
PETR MÜKSTEJN
HERBERT JUNGWIRTH
ÖAV MOLLN
VLADIMÍR PETR
APODEMUS CENTER PRAG
HARTMANN PÖLZ
FRANZ SIEGHARTSLEITNER
WALTER STECHER
BERNHARD SULZBACHER
RADEK VŠETEČKA
VLADIMÍR ZADRAŽIL

PRODUCTION MANAGER
ANITA PFEFFINGER

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
MICHAEL SCHLAMBERGER

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SENIOR PRODUCER
LAURA METZGER LYNCH

COORDINATING PRODUCER
JAYNE JUN

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
JAMES BURKE

LEGAL COUNSEL
BLANCHE ROBERTSON

DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCER
ERIC R. OLSON

SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
WHITNEY McGOWAN

SENIOR PUBLICIST
JOHANNA BAKER

BUDGET CONTROLLER
JAYNE LISI

ONLINE EDITOR
STACEY DOUGLASS MOVERLEY

RE-RECORDING MIXER
ED CAMPBELL

ORIGINAL FUNDING PROVIDED IN PART BY
THE ARNHOLD FAMILY IN MEMORY OF CLARISSE ARNHOLD
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III
KATE W. CASSIDY FOUNDATION
LILLIAN GOLDMAN CHARITABLE TRUST
FILOMEN M. D’AGOSTINO FOUNDATION
ROSALIND P. WALTER
SANDRA ATLAS BASS
SUSAN R. MALLOY, JENNIFER M. COMBS, TIMON J. MALLOY and the SUN HILL FOUNDATION
CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING
SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

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