A weekly magazine show produced by National Geographic and hosted by Boyd Matson. The stories, which focus on the work of researchers and explorers in the field, cover natural history, science, conservation and environmental issues, adventure and culture. Each episode features the Crittercam, a research tool attached to animals that records video, audio and environmental data, providing an up-close look at animals' worlds from their perspective.
Wild Chronicles Previous Broadcasts
What's The Culprit (Episode #402)
KQED World: Sat, Nov 7, 2009 -- 7:30 PM
* News from Nature - Already suffering from a decade of drought, Colorado's forests are under attack by the mountain pine beetle. The micro-sized bark beetle has infested 1.5 million acres of woodlands and the United States Forest Service predicts that within five years 90 percent of mature pines in the region will be killed. The epidemic is staggering, but conservationists hope the unstoppable infestation will eventually lead to a healthier forest less susceptible to pine beetles.
* Stories from the Wild - Over the past two decades the Magellanic penguin population in Argentina has dropped by 22 percent. To discover what is threatening the population, Nat Geo grantee Dee Boersma uses state-of-the-art technology to count the penguins and monitor their movements between the beach and the sea as they forage for food. Thanks to Boersma's research, penguin colonies and the coastal habitat they share with other species are better protected.
* Field Reports - In Australia, a highly toxic, alien invader is attacking the protected habitat of Moreton Bay's endangered green sea turtles. Destroying all vegetation in its path, fireweed is wreaking havoc on the turtle's natural diet and challenging the comeback of these ancient creatures. Researchers deploy Nat Geo's Crittercam to learn how the turtles are coping as they search for ways to protect the turtles from the invading slime.
* Adventure and Exploration - Florida's warm weather and lush landscape offer an attractive habitat to a number of invasive species that are wreaking havoc on local ecosystems. WC investigates how these non-native species, including green iguanas, lionfish and a plant called hydrilla, first arrived. Conservationists suggest the ultimate culprits may be humans who release exotic species into an environment not prepared for their presence.
- KQED World: Sun, Nov 8, 2009 -- 1:30 AM
Rescue (Episode #403)
KQED World: Sat, Nov 14, 2009 -- 7:30 PM
* News from Nature - In Mongolia, water intensive gold mining is threatening the health and livelihood of herders and pushing the giant Eurasian trout to extinction. Nat Geo Emerging Explorers Tsetsegee Munkhbayar and Zeb Hogan work to rescue Mongolia's land and rivers, as well as a traditional way of life, from mining's devastating effects through restoration projects and a grassroots movement that is shutting down old mines and preventing new ones from opening.
* Stories from the Wild - A novel idea from a cheetah conservation fund in Namibia finds the big cats with a new and unexpected canine ally. By providing Anatolian shepherd dogs to farmers in an effort to better protect livestock, a naturalist uncovers a way to save countless cheetahs in the process.
* Field Reports - Mathare, a slum in Kenya where people often feel over-looked and rarely heard, is finding its voice through "Slum TV" - a program that documents people's lives in an effort to improve them. Produced by a small team of amateur Mathare filmmakers, "Slum TV" gives residents a chance to see themselves in a positive light and to speak out about their world.
* Adventure and Exploration - Habitat loss and slow natural reproduction have landed pandas on the endangered list. At China's Wolong Nature Reserve, scientists oversee an innovative captive breeding program that uses artificial insemination to attempt to increase panda populations faster. However a major earthquake in 2008 destroyed the panda's habitat and cut off their food, threatening the breeding season. WC reports from China on the state of the panda.
- KQED World: Sun, Nov 15, 2009 -- 1:30 AM
Finding The Way (Episode #404)
KQED World: Sat, Nov 21, 2009 -- 7:30 PM
* News from Nature - WC crisscrosses Tornado Alley in the Midwest with National Geographic grantee Tim Samaras a team of storm chasers in search of the next big mega-storm. Netting hailstones, video-taping lightning strikes and seeking out powerful tornados, the storm chasers use high tech cameras and sensors to collect data that will help them discover ways to better predict severe weather in an effort to keep people safe.
* Stories from the Wild - Over the last 500 years, the homeland of the Zuni tribe in New Mexico has been redefined by Western colonizers. Most modern maps reflect Western names and places failing to recognize Zuni names and heritage. Now, through the Zuni Map Art Project, National Geographic grantee Jim Enote is helping Zuni artists and cultural advisors re-map their homelands and reconnect with their history and culture, with hopes of inspiring a younger generation to do the same.
* Field Reports - In the busy waters of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Boston, ships and submerged fishing gear pose a threat to humpback whales. Researchers with NOAA and the Census of Marine Life tag the marine giants to gain a clearer picture of the humpback's underwater habits, foraging strategies and movements. The data collected is used to redirect water traffic and implement safer fishing practices to keep these whales out of harms' way.
* Adventure and Exploration - China's Yangtze River is home to some of the world's most spectacular whitewater, but plans to dam the river for hydropower threatens to alter the river's natural landscape. National Geographic Young Explorer Trip Jennings and a group of international scientists, conservationists and river enthusiasts raft 120 miles of the Yangtze's Great Bend for what may be the last time. The team hopes the seven day journey will bring national attention to this threatened wonder before the flow of development slows the rushing waters.
- KQED World: Sun, Nov 22, 2009 -- 1:30 AM
What's The Impact? (Episode #405)
KQED World: Sat, Nov 28, 2009 -- 7:30 PM
* News from Nature - Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the perfect laboratory for researchers conducting the Census of Marine Life, an ambitious decade-long project to survey everything that lives in the oceans. Research reveals that climate change is threatening the biodiversity that resides in reefs around the world. Hoping to discover a few dozen new species as they check on the health of the coral of the world's largest reef, scientists shockingly discover hundreds of never before seen organisms.
* Stories from the Wild - WCs travels to Florida where National Geographic researcher Edmund Gerstein unravels the mystery of why manatees are all too frequently struck by boats. Gerstein's ground breaking discovery reveals that manatees constantly sustain injuries from boat propellers because they can not hear the low frequency sounds the motors emit. Now, after nearly 20 years of research, Gernstein and his wife develop an underwater high frequency alarm that may protect the manatees from future collisions.
* Field Reports - National Geographic photographer Mattias Klum journeys to an endangered habitat close to his heart: Borneo's tropical rain forest. Over the past 20 years, Klum has witnessed the devastating impact of deforestation and logging by palm oil companies as they clear land for new plantations. What used to be a diverse tropical rainforest with a rich eco-system is disappearing at an alarming rate, and time may be running out.
* Adventure and Exploration - Atop the frigid mountaintops of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, the pika makes its home as one of the world's highest dwelling animals. Now, scientists are discovering that local populations are vanishing from the peaks. To help shed light on this natural mystery National Geographic grantee Rob Guralnick treks to the tundra to investigate whether climate change is the culprit.
* Animal Encounters - Revered and reviled, snakes are the subject of legend. Host Boyd Matson remembers some of his many harrowing encounters with giant pythons and constrictors, and explores the world of exotic pet snakes, where beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
- KQED World: Sun, Nov 29, 2009 -- 1:30 AM
Living with Us (Episode #401)
KQED World: Sun, Nov 1, 2009 -- 1:30 AM
* News from Nature - In Gainesville, Florida, a brown capuchin monkey with diabetes makes the transition from beloved pet to new resident at the Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary. While physical and mental health problems are rare in the wild, they are common occurrences in captive animals. Providing a safe haven for monkeys previously kept as pets, used in laboratories, or retired from movies and circuses, the sanctuary is a perfect place for monkeying around.
* Stories from the Wild - In the hills of northern Spain a shepherd and his son follow a centuries-old agricultural tradition for preserving peace in the pastures. Specially bred to protect sheep and cattle from wolves, mastiff guard dogs are gaining international acclaim for being a non-lethal solution to help wolves and livestock co-exist. < br />* Field Reports - Harvester ants have a reputation for military precision, but one researcher in Colorado suggests they are more like a commune of free spirits. With no single ant in charge, harvester ants use chemical information and scent to the same effect that humans use visual information to determine their daily regimen. WC takes an up-close look at how altering an ant's chemical cues can change a colony's behavior and cause a mock battle.
* Adventure and Exploration - In California, WC teams with volunteers for the Santa Monica Mountains BioBlitz, a 24-hour dash to find, identify and learn about as many plant and animal species as possible. The event, organized by the National Geographic Society and the National Park Service, attracts over 5000 critter-seekers wanting to discover the natural wonders lurking in their own backyards. What they find leaves them flabbergasted.