Wild Predator Invasion

One of my favorite mini-series is James Michener’s CENTENNIAL.  I hadn’t seen it in years so I was excited when the entire mini-series popped up during a premium channel free weekend preview. I put the DVR to good use.  The land, and the eco-system of the west, specifically Colorado, was a big part of the story.  There was one scene in particular that mentioned the hunting of the Buffalo to extinction on the plains.

Over the last few centuries humans, either for food and goods or sport, have hunted the predators that formerly thrived at the top of the food chain in the wild.  As a result wild bears, wolves and big cats are all in retreat and what scientists are discovering is that by eliminating these predators we have changed the environment.

Much like the removal of the Buffalo on the great plains years ago, removing predators from the wild has thrown ecosystems off-kilter, triggering domino effects that scientists are just beginning to understand. In NOVA’s WILD PREDATOR INVASION  scientists are trying out a simple but controversial solution, returning the apex predators (wolves, bears,and panthers), to their natural environments. The hope is that reintroducing the predators back into their environments will restore the natural balance of the ecosystems.  The fear is how will this effect the humans who will now live among them?

NOVA: WILD PREDATOR INVASION airs Wednesday, April 2 at 9pm on WOSU TV with an encore presentation at 9pm on Thursday, April 3 on WOSU PLUS.