For centuries, humans have feared wolves, cougars and other top predators, driving them to the edge of extinction in our wildlands and prairies. But in recent years, scientists are learning that top predators play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, a critical reminder of the importance of preserving biodiversity.
Shot in high definition, LORDS OF NATURE presents the science behind the findings that the great carnivores are revitalizing forces of nature, and introduces us to people learning to live with the beasts they once banished.
The film follows biologists Bill Ripple and Bob Beschta, two leading pioneers in the quest to decipher the role of great predators in the web of life. Ripple and Beschta have found that without these predators, ecosystems are seriously degraded, and when returned to places like Yellowstone, they have a positive impact, restoring a lost balance.
In Yellowstone, the film shows a chain of life flourishing once again since the return of wolves after a 70 year absence — stream banks cloaked with willow and re-colonized by beavers and songbirds.
Ripple and Beschta’s research echoes a mounting body of evidence that reveals predators are essential to maintaining the diversity of life. But these finding have also raised a critical question: is it possible to incorporate top predators back into societies that once feared them?
To answer that question, LORDS OF NATURE visits with rural ranchers, farmers and wildlife managers who live in the areas where wolves are returning. Among them are two of the largest sheep operators in Idaho and livestock producers in Minnesota, who are finding surprising success in a land running again with wolves.
These success stories provide hope that, with proper technique and a dose of tolerance, people and predators can indeed co-exist.
Lords of Nature Discussion Guide (PDF)
Running Time: 60 minutes
Discussion Guide Available
Narrated by Peter Coyote
Honorable Mention, Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Official Selection, American Conservation Film Festival
Official Selection, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
International Wildlife Film Festival – Finalist, Honorable Mention for Educational Information