Nature (Season 36) – Arctic Wolf Pack

Air date: 01/17/2018

Nature: Arctic Wolf Pack

Premieres Wednesday, January 17 at 8 p.m. on PBS

(check local listings)

 

Synopsis:

At the very northern edge of North America is Ellesmere Island, where the unforgiving Arctic winds tear through the tundra, dipping temperatures to 40 below zero. Running through this shifting sea of snow and ice is one of the most hardened predators on the planet, the White Wolf. But as the spring melt approaches, these roaming hunters must adapt to being tethered parents as new additions to the pack have just been born. With their herds of prey continuing to move, we witness a desperate race to keep up and bring back a kill to the hungry mothers and cubs. Traveling farther and farther away from their den each day puts these hunters and their children at risk in this fight for survival. One hour. Narrated by Campbell Scott.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • Arctic Wolf Pack takes place on Ellesmere Island, a polar desert at Canada’s northernmost edge that is a mere 500 miles from the North Pole and receives little more than three inches of rain a year.
  • Rivalries between wolf packs are common, as wolves on Ellesmere Island are driven by the same fundamental desire: to find food and territory and to defend it with their lives.
  • When packs clash, the largest family almost always wins, even if there is a difference of just one. The most dangerous threat to wolves in this environment is from other wolves.
  • When food is scarce, less than half of all Arctic wolf pups will survive the summer months.
  • Most of the year, the wolves will roam their territory like nomads, but during the denning season, wolves hunting for food can travel 25 miles a day, and be gone for up to a week.

Buzzworthy Moments:

  • After being spotted by a rival pack, a female wolf attempts to lead them away from her family. This proves to be unsuccessful, as the pack then raids her den, killing the pups. Unable to help, the female wolf howls over and over again into the distance. Raids like these are not uncommon, but this is the first time one has been filmed.
  • Filmed for the first time, a second female wolf, who previously had pups of her own, joins a pack and assists the matriarch by nursing her pups. Two female wolves nursing the same litter is an extremely rare occurrence and has never been documented before.

Featured Species

  • White Wolf
  • Muskox
  • Arctic hare
  • Arctic fox
  • Jaeger

Long TV Listing

Discover the white wolf, one of the most hardened predators on the planet, in Ellesmere Island’s unforgiving ice and snow. In a fight for survival, these roaming hunters must travel far from the den to feed their cubs, putting them at risk.

Short TV Listing

Discover the white wolf, one of the most hardened predators on the planet.

Series Overview:

Nature brings the wonders of natural history to millions of American viewers. Nature has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

Production Credits:

Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is executive producer. Bill Murphy is series producer. Arctic Wolf Pack is a production of Doclights NDR Naturfilm, Morag Loves Wolves and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for NDR, CBC and WNET. Campbell Scott is narrator. Oliver Goetzl is director and editor. Ivo Nörenberg is director of photography. Alain Lusignan is assistant producer and time lapse photographer. Tom Synnatzschke is executive producer for NDR Naturfilm.

Underwriters:

Support for this Nature program was made possible in part by The Canada Media Fund. Additional financial support for this episode is provided by the Arnhold Family in memory of Clarisse Arnhold, the Halmi Family in memory of Robert Halmi, Sr., Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the 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, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by the nation’s public television stations.

About WNET

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport.

 

###

Photos
For editorial use in North America only in conjunction with the direct publicity or promotion of NATURE. No other rights are granted. All rights reserved. Downloading this image constitutes agreement to these terms.

The Eureka pack on their summer den. Credit: Ivo Nörenberg / © Doclights GmbH

The White Wolves of Ellesmere Island are the icons of this Arctic wilderness. Credit: © Doclights GmbH

A young wolf can’t resist getting closer to the camera. Credit: Oliver Goetzl / © Doclights GmbH

A lone female wolf returns to her den. Credit: Joosep Matjus / © Doclights GmbH

Wolves are among the most intelligent and adaptable species on Earth. Credit: Alain Lusignan / © Doclights GmbH

Arctic foxes enjoying the late summer sun. Credit: Joosep Matjus / © Doclights GmbH

A long-tailed jaeger finds a new perch on cameraman Ivo Nörenberg’s head. Oliver Goetzl / © Doclights GmbH

This has never been documented before: A second female takes care and feeds the wolf pups with milk. Credit: © Doclights GmbH