Nature: American Arctic

Air date: 04/13/2022

Premieres Wednesday, April 13 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app

 

Synopsis:

Vast, wild and remote, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is where some of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles unfold. Situated in the northeast corner of Alaska, this refuge has long protected survivors of the Ice Age that still roam a frozen wilderness. The Porcupine caribou herd traverses all of it on the longest land-animal migration on Earth, witnessing extraordinary wildlife moments along the way. Now, this icy fortress is melting due to climate change. For the caribou, musk oxen, polar bears and Arctic foxes, the Ice Age is slipping away.

Featured Creatures:

  • Porcupine caribou
  • Musk ox
  • Golden eagle
  • Wolf
  • Snow goose
  • Golden plover
  • Arctic fox
  • Polar bear
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Red fox
  • Jaeger (bird)
  • Dall sheep

Short TV Listing: Follow the planet’s longest land-animal migration on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Long TV Listing: The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska has long protected survivors of the Ice Age, but this frozen fortress is melting due to climate change. For the caribou, musk oxen, polar bears and Arctic foxes, the Ice Age is slipping away.

Buzzworthy Moments:

  • A newborn musk ox learns how to survive with the help of its mother. Musk oxen were hunted to extinction in Alaska by 1860 but were reintroduced in the 1930s. There are now a few thousand in the state.
  • A polar bear mother and her cubs search for scraps during a too-hot summer. In the Southern Beaufort Sea, there are only about half as many polar bears as there were 35 years ago. North Alaska has the largest oil field in America, and its effects can be seen in the changing landscape and climate.
  • The caribou migration is a veritable feast for grizzly bears — if the bears can catch them. Grizzlies hunt all the way to the Arctic Ocean in the summer, but caribou are faster than bears on the open plain.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge supports a greater variety of plant and animal life than any other protected area in the Arctic Circle.
  • Each year, around 160,000 caribou make the journey from their wintering grounds around the Yukon to their calving grounds in the ANWR. A round trip of 1,000 miles, it is one of the longest land-animal migrations on the planet, rivaling the wildebeest migration on the Serengeti.
  • Arctic foxes live in tunnels in the layer above the permafrost. In winter, they sport snowy white coats, which then turn brown in the summer.

Series Overview:

For 40 years, Nature has brought the natural world to millions of viewers, pioneering a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 20 Emmys and three Peabodys. Consistently among the most-watched primetime series on PBS, Nature continues to innovate through original digital programming, such as the new podcast Going Wild with Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant and digital series Animal IQ and Crash Course: ZoologyNature’s award-winning website, pbs.org/nature, features full episodes, short films, digital series, behind-the-scenes content, news articles, educational resources and more.

Nature is available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. PBS station members can view many series, documentaries and specials via PBS Passport. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.

Production Credits:

Nature: American Arctic is a production of The WNET Group, Terra Mater Studios GmbH and Doclights/NDR. The documentary is written and produced by Martin Mészáros. Filmed by Florian Schulz and narrated by Campbell Scott. Sabine Holzer and Walter Köhler are Executive Producers for Terra Mater Studios. Nature is a production of The WNET Group. Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer. Bill Murphy is Series Producer and Janet Hess is Series Editor.

Underwriters:

Support for Nature: American Arctic was provided by Arlene and Milton D. Berkman and Bradley L. Goldberg Family Foundation. Series funding for Nature is also made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Arnhold Foundation, The Fairweather Foundation, Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, Charles Rosenblum, Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Leonard and Norma Klorfine, Sandra Atlas Bass, Colin S. Edwards, Gregg Peters Monsees Foundation, Koo and Patricia Yuen, and public television viewers.

Websites: 
pbs.org/naturefacebook.com/PBSNaturetwitter.com/PBSNatureinstagram.com/pbsnature; youtube.com/naturepbstiktok.com/@pbsnature, #NaturePBS 

About The WNET Group
The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the community-supported home of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; NJ PBS, New Jersey’s statewide public television network; Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM; ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider; and newsroom NJ Spotlight News. Through these channels and streaming platforms, The WNET Group brings arts, culture, education, news, documentary, entertainment and DIY programming to more than five million viewers each month. The WNET Group’s award-winning productions include signature PBS series Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend and Amanpour and Company and trusted local news programs MetroFocus and NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi. Inspiring curiosity and nurturing dreams, The WNET Group’s award-winning Kids’ Media and Education team produces the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase, interactive Mission US history games, and resources for families, teachers and caregivers. A leading nonprofit public media producer for nearly 60 years, The WNET Group presents and distributes content that fosters lifelong learning, including multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty, jobs, economic opportunity, social justice, understanding and the environment. Through Passport, station members can stream new and archival programming anytime, anywhere. The WNET Group represents the best in public media. Join us.

 

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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.

Golden eagle nest. Arctic National Wildlife Range. Credit: Florian Schulz / © Tom Campion Foundation/Terra Mater Studios

Musk oxen. Arctic National Wildlife Range. Credit: Florian Schulz / © Tom Campion Foundation/Terra Mater Studios

Arctic fox cubs. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Florian Schulz / © Tom Campion Foundation/Terra Mater Studios

Caribou herd. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Florian Schulz / © Tom Campion Foundation/Terra Mater Studios

Brooks Range, Alaska. Credit: Florian Schulz / © Tom Campion Foundation/Terra Mater Studios

Caribou herd during winter migration. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Florian Schulz / © Tom Campion Foundation/Terra Mater Studios

Musk ox mother and calf. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Florian Schulz / © Tom Campion Foundation/Terra Mater Studios

Musk oxen fighting. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Florian Schulz / © Tom Campion Foundation/Terra Mater Studios