This film documents the efforts of a group of Canadians and Americans to save the whooping crane from extinction. They display great determination in their dealings with this independent, pre-Ice Age creature. The issues of wild animals imprinting on people and the preservation of wild animals in captivity are examined in this film. Produced in cooperation with the Canadian Wildlife Service and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
This documentary follows Dr. Stuart Houston, an expert on the Swainson Hawk. Living on the prairies during the summer, this bird flies 11,000 km to Argentina for the winter. These majestic birds are facing a serious threat: toxic pesticides. Houston and his team use satellite technology along with traditional bird-banding to greatly increase our knowledge of the lives of migratory birds.
By the late 1800s the free-ranging buffalo of the western plains of North America were almost extinct. This documentary is the story of the buffalo's revival. Live action, eye-witness accounts and archival photos document our fascination with this ancient and legendary animal. By the director of Atonement.
This personal documentary is the story of Teresa Marshall, who grew up on a British Columbia ranch. Every child needs a demon, and Teresa took battle against rattlesnakes. In the dry interior of B.C., the south Okanagan and Similkameen valleys form the bio-region known as Canada's "pocket desert." As settlers' dreams of creating an agricultural Eden erase fragile desert lands that support a breathtaking array of wild species, the narrator and her snake-hunting neighbours are forced to examine their environmental attitudes.
This adventure film features Scott McVay, an authority on whales, and filmmaker Bill Mason. The objective was to film the bowhead, a magnificent inhabitant of the cold Arctic seas brought to the edge of extinction by overfishing. With helicopter and Inuit guide, aqualungs and underwater cameras, the expedition searches out and meets the bowhead and beluga.
Please note that this is an archival film that makes use of the word “Eskimo,” an outdated and offensive term. While the origin of the word is a matter of some contention, it is no longer used in Canada. The term was formally rejected by the Inuit Circumpolar Council in 1980 and has subsequently not been in use at the NFB for decades. This film is therefore a time-capsule of a bygone era, presented in its original version. The NFB apologizes for the offence caused.
The swift fox is one of the many lost species that has suffered from the cultivation of the prairie grasslands. An innovative program has been implemented to reintroduce the swift fox into its original habitat in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Documenting the history and human misuse of this fragile ecosystem, this short film illustrates the precious balance between human and wildlife use of the environment.
In this feature-length documentary, husband and wife team Karsten Heuer (wildlife biologist) and Leanne Allison (environmentalist) follow a herd of 120,000 caribou on foot across 1500 km of Arctic tundra. In following the herd's migration, the couple hopes to raise awareness of the threats to the caribou's survival. Along the way they brave Arctic weather, icy rivers, hordes of mosquitoes and a very hungry grizzly bear. Dramatic footage and video diaries combine to provide an intimate perspective of an epic expedition.
Ages 9 to 17
Geography - Territory: Protected
Science - Biology
Science - Environmental Science
Science - Life Systems/Ecology
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Social Studies - Environmental Challenges
Account for the mysteries surrounding the whooping crane that continue to confound Canadian and American biologists. Discuss the lack of success in breeding these birds in captivity. Describe the inconsistent successes of “Operation Egg Lift,” artificial insemination of the cranes and foster parenting.