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
Past and Future (Episode #409)
KQED World: Sat, Dec 26, 2009 -- 7:30 PM
* News from Nature - In Gombe, Tanzania, experts from U.S. based Sustainable Harvest help farmers create a viable coffee crop that benefits both the local economy and a famed chimp population. By improving production processes and utilizing shade-grown coffee trees, farmers produce a more consistent and more profitable bean. In turn, the better bean results in less pressure to clear-cut the forest canopy, increasing protection for the chimp's habitat.
* Stories from the Wild - Levees built by farmers in rural Illinois nearly a century ago cut the Emiquon Preserve from the Illinois River, reducing wetlands to cornfields. Recent restoration work has refilled the wetlands with water and provided a home to birds, waterfowl, aquatic plants and fish. But with the levees still in place, a team of scientists examines the potential impact of reconnecting the wetlands to its lifeblood, a river now changed by invasive species and floodwater from urban development.
* Field Reports - WC follows Nat Geo grantee Laura Ruykys over rocky cliffs in search of South Australia's most endangered mammal, the black-footed rock wallaby. Fewer than 100 of the wallabies remain in the wild due to hunting, introduced predators and changes in land management. Ruykys and a team of conservationists hope an accelerated breeding program that employs a more common wallaby relative as foster mom will increase black-footed wallaby populations and save the species from extinction in South Australia.
* Adventure and Exploration - Scientists from the Genographic Project, a landmark study seeking to trace the genetic lineage and migratory history of the human species, travel to Miami to launch the Genographic Spanish Language Kit. The results obtained from Miami's inhabitants, over half of whom are originally from Spanish-speaking countries, will help paint an increasingly detailed picture of how humans migrated across the globe over tens of thousands of years.
- KQED World: Sun, Dec 27, 2009 -- 1:30 AM
What's It Worth (Episode #408)
KQED World: Sat, Dec 19, 2009 -- 7:30 PM
* News from Nature - In the early 20th century fur seals were pushed to the brink of extinction by hunters seeking the seal's luxurious pelt. Despite a longstanding ban on hunting, fur seal populations are still vulnerable and many colonies are in decline. Armed with Nat Geo's Crittercam, scientists travel to Russia's remote Kuril Islands to uncover the secrets to fur seal survival.
* Stories from the Wild - WC travels on assignment with National Geographic magazine to Alberta, Canada, where a controversial method of extracting petroleum is damaging the Canadian wilderness and a way of life. To reach large deposits of sand-oil that lie beneath the surface of Alberta's Boreal forest miners must strip the forest floor. Some conservationists contend the changing landscape and destruction of the Boreal is a substantive contributor to global warming.
* Field Reports - A group of prize-winning students from Atlanta venture deep into the Amazon rain forest to learn the true cost of consumer goods. Exploring the impact of deforestation and development on one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems on the planet, the trip's goal is to instill in the students a passion to protect Earth's great natural resources.
* Adventure and Exploration - In the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi, increasing development is destroying the local food supply of the marine mammals that call the warm waters home. Thousands of dugongs ply the waters off the coast of Abu Dhabi, feeding on seemingly endless beds of sea grass. But as engineers drive back the sea to house the burgeoning population, dredging and construction leach silt into the Gulf, smothering the sea grass and threatening the dugongs.
- KQED World: Sun, Dec 20, 2009 -- 1:30 AM
Journey of Discovery (Episode #407)
KQED World: Sat, Dec 12, 2009 -- 7:30 PM
* News from Nature - Like their mythical namesakes, vampire bats feast on fresh blood in order to survive. Seeking out warm-blooded domestic livestock for a meal, the tiny bats thrive in the tropical regions of Central and South America. However in Peru, vampire bats are increasingly targeting humans and the encounters are turning deadly. Nat Geo grantee Daniel Streicker investigates the cause.
* Stories from the Wild - Every fall pronghorn antelope trek from Grand Teton National Park to their winter habitat in the Upper Green River Valley of Wyoming. The 100 mile migration is one of the longest in North America. But human development is fragmenting the pronghorn's habitat and conservationists, including Nat Geo Young Explorer grantee Joe Riis, worry the ancient migration route could be severed and lost forever.
* Field Reports - In Tasmania, Boyd leads the Nat Geo Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge Expedition Team on a conservation project to save the endangered Tasmanian devil. Tasmanian devil populations have been decimated in the last decade by an untreatable facial tumor disease. Researchers hope that raising disease-free insurance-populations in captivity will save the devilish marsupial.
* Adventure and Exploration - Over the past 10 years, Arctic ice has been melting at a rate unparalleled in recorded history. Battling sub-zero temperatures and hungry polar bears, a team of polar explorers attempt to traverse 1400 miles across Canada's Ellesmere Island to discover the melting ice's impact.
- KQED World: Sun, Dec 13, 2009 -- 1:30 AM
Rebirth (Episode #406)
KQED World: Sat, Dec 5, 2009 -- 7:30 PM
* News from Nature - In the 1960s, the takhi horse disappeared from its native Mongolia and was declared extinct in the wild. Determined to repopulate takhi in the Mongolian wild, conservationists hope an ambitious captive breeding program can save the species. So far reintroducing the horse has been a success, but the takhi, considered the only true wild horse left in the world, still faces many challenges to its comeback.
* Stories from the Wild - Saved from overfishing by an act of Congress, striped bass now face the threat of a disease rarely seen in the wild: mycobacterium. Researchers believe the combined stress of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, rising water temperatures due to climate change, shrinking habitats and poor nutrition are the cause of the diseased bass. Conservationists hope a multi-pronged approach encompassing the entire Chesapeake ecosystem will create a healthier environment not only for striped bass, but for all the Bay's inhabitants.
* Field Reports - Today's Sahara is a blistering expanse of desert that is one of the most hostile places on Earth. But occasionally over the course of time, periodic changes in the Earth's orbit and wobble have transformed the Sahara from sandy brown to lush green. Nat Geo Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno examines a green Sahara site known as Gobero that supported two distinct civilizations thousands of years apart.
* Adventure and Exploration - Zambia's Luangwa River Valley is rich with wildlife, but it hasn't always been that way. Just a few decades ago illegal hunting threatened the area's wildlife. But thanks to an innovative program called COMACO (Community Markets for Conservation), conservationists are transforming poachers into farmers. Now, communities enjoy a food surplus, and poaching is on the decline.