Nature (Season 39) 2020-21

Nature: The Alps

Air date: 01/13/2021

Nature: The Alps 

Premieres Wednesdays, January 13-20 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/thealps and the PBS Video app

Synopsis: 
Spanning 750 miles from the Mediterranean Sea to the Adriatic Sea, the Alps connect eight countries. From sea level to peaks rising higher than 12,000 feet, with many of the world’s environments located within the Alps’ boundaries, each mountain chain is more imposing and diverse than the next. Discover how Eurasian lynx, golden eagles, ibex, griffon vultures and more face extreme seasonal fluctuations – from the volatile thunderstorms and landslides of summer to the avalanches and frozen temperatures of winter – in this epic two-part documentary event. On every mountain slope, ridge or meadow, a natural world drama plays out as animals fight for survival in Europe’s majestic Alps. 

Featured Creatures: 

  • Golden eagle 
  • Marmot 
  • Brown frog 
  • Roe deer and red deer 
  • Capercaillie  
  • Brown bear 
  • Ibex 
  • Chamois 
  • Snow vole 
  • Griffon vulture and bearded vulture 
  • Ptarmigan 
  • Mountain hare 
  • Wolf 
  • Wild boar 
  • Eurasian lynx 

Short Series TV Listing: Discover how lynx, golden eagles, ibex, marmots and more thrive in Europe’s highest mountain range.  

Long Series TV Listing: In Europe’s highest mountain range, discover how Eurasian lynx, griffon vultures, ibex, marmots and more face extreme seasonal fluctuations, from volatile thunderstorms and landslides of summer to avalanches and frozen temperatures of winter. 

 

Episode 1, The High Life 
Premieres Wednesday, January 13 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app 

TV Listing: Enjoy the Alps in spring and summertime as newborn animals grow up to face the coming brutal winter. 

Buzzworthy Moments: 

  • A male capercaillie leaps, dances and flashes his lush, iridescent feathers on a carefully selected stage in order to impress an enchanted female fan. 
  • Determined brown bears sniff out honey in a dead tree and brave vicious stings to taste their favorite treat. A few decades ago, there were only a few bears in the Alps due to overhunting; now, more than 100 wander throughout the terrain. 

Noteworthy Facts: 

  • Male red deer shed their antlers after mating season. It takes 3-4 months for the stags grow new ones.  
  • At over 12 miles long and about a half-mile thick, the famous Aletsch valley glacier is the longest in the Alps, but due to climate change the Aletsch is shrinking and predicted to completely melt by the end of this century.  

 

Episode 2, Winter’s Fortress 
Premieres Wednesday, January 20 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app 

TV Listing: Experience the hostile and bitter cold ecosystems of the Alps, shaped by blizzards and avalanches. 

Buzzworthy Moments: 

  • A family of marmots prepares for their upcoming hibernation in a den 6 feet underground. As they prepare for their 6-month sleep, marmots dramatically lower their body temperature and survive on their body’s storage of fat and water. They only wake once every 2 weeks to rev up their heartbeat and visit a nearby tunnel used as a toilet. 
  • The Eurasian lynx stalks its favorite prey, the roe deer, by working silently and stealthily to take it by surprise. Lynx are Europe’s largest cat species and beginning to return to the Alps after nearly a century. 

Noteworthy Facts: 

  • Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps, spanning 3 countries. Its granite ramparts distinguish it from other peaks. Mont Blanc’s ranges rose straight from the deep and are still rising, a phenomenon caused by glacial movement.  
  • The limestone Dolomites in Italy are half as high as Mont Blanc and were created as Africa’s collision with Europe pushed together an ancient tropical seafloor with the ancient skeletons of marine organisms into the sky. 

 

Series Overview:
Nature is a voice for the natural world, bringing the wonders of wildlife and stories of conservation to millions of American viewers. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 19 Emmys and three Peabody Awards. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including pbs.org and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS.  

Production Credits:
Nature: The Alps is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET, Terra Mater Factual Studios, Doclights/NDR Naturfilm and France Télévisions in association with WNET. The miniseries is directed by, photographed and edited by Otmar Penker and series produced by Andrea Gasteb. Russell Boulter is narrator and Klaus Feichtenberger is narration script writerFor TMFS, Sabine Holzer is Executive Producer. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer. Bill Murphy is Series Producer and Janet Hess is Series Editor.

The Alps Underwriters:
Production support provided by Fernsehfonds Austria and Carinthia Film Commission. Additional financial support is provided by The Arnhold Family in memory of Henry and Clarisse Arnhold, The Fairweather Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Charles Rosenblum, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Sandra Atlas Bass, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by public television viewers.  

Websites: 
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instagram.com/pbsnature
youtube.com/naturepbs
tiktok.com/@pbsnature
#NaturePBS  

About WNET
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEENWLIW21WLIW-FM and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey and its news division, NJ SPOTLIGHT NEWS. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, 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 month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including NatureGreat PerformancesAmerican MastersPBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere. 

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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.

Springtime in the Alps, where the ice begins to break on the lakes. Credit: © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Brown frogs in the Alpine lakes, mating in the springtime. Credit: © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

In the spring, Alpine flowers turn the meadows into a colorful world. Credit: © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Courtship display of the capercaillie. Credit: © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Red deer migrate to higher grounds. Credit: © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Ibex shedding their winter wool. Credit: © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Newborn marmots in a winter den. Credit: © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Marmots in the Alps. Credit: © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Snow vole. Credit: © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

The lynx is an elusive hunter and a rare sight in the Alps. Credit: Albert Mächler, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Mountain hare in its winter coat. Credit: Albert Mächler, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Wolves in the Alps went extinct in the late 19th century. Now their tracks are again appearing in the snow. Credit: Toni Nemeth, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Chamois, a species of goat-antelope native to the Alps. Credit: Christian Messner, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Mountain hare in the middle of changing from its summer coat to winter coat. Credit: Erwin Zupancic, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Roe deer in an Alpine winter. Credit: Christian Messner, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

The Matterhorn, a mountain of the Alps, is one of the highest summits in Europe. Credit: Otmar Penker, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Europe’s biggest cat, the Eurasian lynx, is an elusive and solitary hunter. Credit: Toni Nemeth, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Wild boar covered in deep snow. Credit: Toni Nemeth, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Brown bears need a lot of food before hibernation. Credit: Josef Weinländer, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film

Golden Eagle in front of the Matterhorn, a mountain of the Alps. Credit: Toni Nemeth, © Terra Mater Factual Studios & Wild Nature Film