What’s on PBS Nature in April

Elisa Lichtenbaum | April 10, 2017

With the spring arrivals of warmer temperatures, budding flowers and the annual celebration of Earth Day on April 22, our thoughts turn to Nature. One of the most watched documentary film series on public television, the PBS series travels the world in April to present the premieres of Viva Puerto Rico (April 12 at 8pm), Hotel Armadillo (April 19 at 8pm) filmed in Brazil, and Forest of the Lynx (April 26 at 8pm), found in Kalkalpen National Park in the Austrian Alps.

Viva Puerto Rico

April 12 at 8pm.
Puerto Rico is a tropical island infused with unique natural wonders, but the native wildlife is threatened with extinction. Meet the charismatic scientists dedicated to restoring Puerto Rico’s rich biological heritage – including the Puerto Rican Amazon parrot, the Leatherback turtle, and the manatee.

Welcome to the Hotel Armadillo

April 19 at 8pm
Deep in the heart of the Brazilian wetlands, the mysterious and secretive Giant armadillo digs a new burrow every other night. Once this termite-eater moves on, it leaves behind one of the hottest plots of real estate in the tropical Pantanal for 80 species of diverse and ever-changing animal clientele. The hidden world of these elusive nocturnal creatures has never been caught on camera — until now.

Welcome to the episode Hotel Armadillo.

From nursing anteaters to foraging coatis, Hotel Armadillo showcases the diverse species that populate the grasslands and the scientists who “check in” these exotic guests. We meet Arnaud Desbiez, founder of the Giant Armadillo Project in Brazil’s Pantanal, who uses cameras and transmitters to track Giant armadillos and document the wide range of animals who “visit” these hotels.

Tamanduas, or small anteaters, use the cool burrows — which can be up to 20 feet deep — as nurseries where they can safely leave their babies. For the weasel-like tayra, the open ground and soft earth make Hotel Armadillo an ideal spot for mating. A family of coatis — close relatives of the raccoon — is seen looking for food, followed by peccaries who collect the fruit the coatis have knocked from the trees. The hotel is an important hiding place for lizards and snakes.

The cameras also reveal that Giant armadillos only produce a single infant once every three years, which means each new birth is extremely vital to the species and the entire ecosystem.

As Desbiez observes, “The battle to save the Giant armadillo is the battle to save biodiversity.”

Forest of the Lynx

Adult lynx in forest. Kalkalpen National Park, Austria. Nature: Forest of the Lynx.

Adult lynx in forest. Kalkalpen National Park, Austria. Nature: Forest of the Lynx.

April 26 at 8pm
Kalkalpen National Park in the Austrian Alps, the largest area of wilderness in the Alps, was abandoned and unmanaged by man for close to a quarter of a century. Now the forest’s dramatic cycle of regeneration is bringing back pygmy owls, woodpeckers, colorful insects, and even the rare lynx.

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