Home » Ecological Documentaries

  • Dingo of the Australia – Adam Geiger (2013)

    Dingo of the Australia – Adam Geiger (2013)

    Dingo (Canis lupus dingo) appears in the archaeological record of Australia at 4230 years before present. They ruled the continent as apex predators together with the now extinct Tasmanian tiger within the last few thousand years. Dingoes successfully colonized the continent spreading into diverse habitats including tropical rainforests, temperate Eucalyptus forests, mountainous highlands and grasslands. The only exception is the dry inhospitable central deserts. Dog domestication is the earliest among other animals going back to 40,000 years ago. The Dingo […]

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  • How mountaintop mining affects life and landscape in West Virginia – PBS (2017)

    How mountaintop mining affects life and landscape in West Virginia – PBS (2017)

    Coal has been one of the work horses of power generation but its dominance is dwindling. In 2016 U.S. coal energy industry employed around 160,000 workers while solar energy production employed around 370,000. Coal has been a massive contributor to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to mercury pollution with subsequent biomagnification throughout the food chain, ocean acidification and global warming. Some geologists propose that fossil fuel use including coal may be accepted as an indicator for […]

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  • Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    The “Plants are Cool Too!” series is supported by the Botanical Society of America (BSA) and hosted by Dr. Chris Martine. Here you will find all episodes of the series in reverse chronological order (last-in-first-out). In this next episode, we go to strip Philadelphia where its mountains have been strip mined for coal relentlessly for more than 200 years. Surface mines created vast areas of degraded lands. Coal has been a massive contributor to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in […]

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  • Observations and Simulations of 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season by NASA

    Observations and Simulations of 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season by NASA

    Atlantic hurricane season typically starts from June 1 and ends in November 30 in the northern Atlantic. There’s a noticeable peak from late August through September. Each season peak activity occurs around September 10th. During the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season there was an unusually high cyclone activity surpassing any other season. The number of category 5 hurricanes, and the most intense hurricane ever measured (Hurricane Wilma) by atmospheric pressure was recorded during this time period. The visualization ’27 Storms: Arlene […]

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  • Parasitoid Wasp (Labena grallator) Ovipositing

    Parasitoid Wasp (Labena grallator) Ovipositing

    Recorded at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD, USA on July 18th 2017. Here you can see a parasitoid Ichneumon wasp (Labena grallator) searching for a prey living inside a dead branch. She uses her antennae to locate the prey and sets out to drill with her ovipositor straight into the wood. She does a few exploratory oviposition exercise before committing to a full injection. At multiple instances the wasp is chased away by ants. Indeed, in the last […]

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  • A Deeper Creek – The Watchable Waters of Appalachia

    A Deeper Creek – The Watchable Waters of Appalachia

    Ecofocus Film Festival of Athens GA featured a number of short documentaries including Hidden Rivers of Appalachia filmed on location in Conesauga River by Freshwaters Illustrated. Like birdwatching, riverwatching could be a great immersive activity and have the potential to become a citizen science project. A Deeper Creek shows us how this could be done. Similar to organizing a BioBlitz, snorkeling in a river can generate a lot of informative observations. Rivers have a rich body of natural history and […]

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  • Seed Dispersal and Habitat Fragmentation | HHMI BioInteractive – Danny Schmidt (2017)

    Seed Dispersal and Habitat Fragmentation | HHMI BioInteractive – Danny Schmidt (2017)

    Forests are under intense pressure. In the tropical forests, between 50-90 % of the canopy trees depend on animals for seed dispersal. Even in temperate forests animals such as deer, moose, boar and even bears disperse seeds. Today due to hunting for bush meat many tropical forests are becoming depleted of their seed dispersers. Here in this HHMI documentary, the researchers Andres Link and Carolina Urbina Malo of Los Andes University in Colombia in Colombia track brown spider monkeys to […]

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  • The Cuckoo – Artur Homan (2013)

    The Cuckoo – Artur Homan (2013)

    In the James Bond movie Spectre there’s a reference to the cuckoo bird in two scenes. The evil villain Spectre leers: “I see you! Cuckoo!” when he detects Bond in the classic evil assembly room scene. In the other scene towards the end of the movie Spectre reveals why he considers Bond as a cuckoo. In order to understand the reference we must know the biology of the Common cuckoo bird (Cuculus canorus). The European common cuckoo is a well […]

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  • Cameras Reveal the Secret Lives of a Mountain Lion Family – Sharon Negri (2013)

    Cameras Reveal the Secret Lives of a Mountain Lion Family – Sharon Negri (2013)

    Mountain lions were once thought to be solitary animals. They are feared and hunted by humans. New footage captured by motion-triggered cameras in secluded areas deep in the Wyoming Wind River range shows a mountain lion family and the animals’ previously unknown social bonds. In this short documentary produced by WildFutures, we also learn about how hard it can be to be a mountain lion. They face an increasing loss of habitat, harsh winters, trophy hunters and even predators. Like […]

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  • Some Animals Are More Equal than Others: Keystone Species and Trophic Cascades  – HHMI (2016)

    Some Animals Are More Equal than Others: Keystone Species and Trophic Cascades – HHMI (2016)

    On a field trip with students to the Pacific Coast, ecologist Robert Paine discovered a thriving community of aquatic organisms at Mukkaw Bay, at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula. The tide pools were full of green anemones, purple sea urchins, pink seaweed, bright red Pacific blood starfish, as well as sponges, limpets, and chitons. At the low tide rocky surfaces exposed bands of small acorn barnacles, and large, stalked goose barnacles, beds of black California mussels, and some very […]

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  • The Ecology of Fear – KQED/QUEST (2014)

    The Ecology of Fear – KQED/QUEST (2014)

    The return of wolves had a profound impact on vast wilderness areas in North America. Biologist Aaron Wirsing explores why wolves and other top predators are necessary for maintenance of diversity in ecosystems. Using a “deer-cam” Wirsing is quantifying some of the behavioral relationships between predator and prey. Wildlife cameras provide unprecedented opportunities to view social lives of many wild animals including mountain lions. The gray wolf is one of the world’s most adaptable and widely distributed mammals, ranging over […]

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  • A Wolf’s Place – Annie White (2013)

    A Wolf’s Place – Annie White (2013)

    Ecological theory predicts that by keeping herbivore populations under check predators can indirectly enhance growth of vegetation and can even alter local climate. The influential ecologist Robert Paine has demonstrated this phenomenon of keystone species on predatory starfishes and sea otters maintaining species diversity in coastal rocky communities in Washington. Directed and produced by Annie White, “A Wolf’s Place” tells the story of wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone national park in 1995. Wolves became locally extinct in much of the United […]

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  • Otters vs. Climate Change – KQED/QUEST (2014)

    Otters vs. Climate Change – KQED/QUEST (2014)

    Presence and absence of keystone species in a biological community has significant effects. To cite a few examples: Tropical fig trees form abundant food resources for many animals in times of scarcity. Bluechub fish in Eastern North American rivers construct rock nests which form a critical spawning area for many other fish in the same habitat. Beaver activity slows down hydrology and enhances water retention capacity of the ecosystems. Increased water table invigorates vegetation. At the same time reduced sun […]

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  • The Man Who Planted Trees – CBS – (1987)

    The Man Who Planted Trees – CBS – (1987)

    Forests are under intense pressure. The story by the French author Jean Giono published in 1953 is one of the most poetic depiction of landscape restoration that has touched feelings of so many people. The story inspired many restoration projects around the world. When read it for the first time many thought it was real. In fact, there are genuine independent reforestation projects impressively achieved by determined individuals and NGOs such as Plant a Billion and People and Reforestation in […]

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  • Protecting Forests – Equator Initiative (2015)

    Protecting Forests – Equator Initiative (2015)

    Under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Equator Initiative supports the work of local and indigenous communities worldwide in creating sustainable development solutions. In 2015, the Equator Prize was awarded to 20 communities in recognition of their efforts. This short film highlights the work of five of the recipients of the Equator Initiative Prize protecting forests around the world. These include Wanang Conservation Area in Papua New Guinea, Prey Lang Community Network in Cambodia, Mtandao wa […]

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