Mario Van Peebles travels to the western U.S. to examine how the search by some companies for gold is affecting "the wildlife, the water and the people who live there." Included: the impact of the General Mining Law of 1872, which enables companies to purchase federal land for $5 an acre.
Host Isabella Rossellini observes urban wildlife in New York City's Central Park; including small mammals, reptiles and birds. Also: reintroducing indigenous species to the park and capturing non-native animals, such as 40 guinea pigs that were set loose by an owner who couldn't care for them.
Saltwater crocodiles, huge reptiles that can grow up to 20 ft. long and weigh up to one ton, are observed in Darwin, Australia. Included: encounters with "problem" crocs in Darwin Harbor; the media's appetite for crocodile stories; and a taxidermist who specializes in crocs.
Mariel Hemingway and her family travel to Panama where they visit the Panama Canal and Barro Colorado, an island formed by the canal construction, where a variety of tropical life exists including monkeys, bats, birds and crocodiles.
Singer James Taylor and environmental advocate Martin Litton undertake an 18-day, 277-mile “Colorado River Adventure” that passes through the Grand Canyon. “We really insult the Grand Canyon by our misuse of the river,” says Litton, who speaks of past and present efforts to preserve the natural wonder.
Singer Billy Ray Cyrus helps document the return of the bald eagle to the lower 48 states, where its population was decimated by pesticides. Included: eagle release programs in Washington, D.C., and Cyrus's home state of Tennessee. Also: a raptor rehabilitation center in Alaska.
A profile of rain-forest advocate Payakan, a Kayapo Indian whose crusade to save his Amazon homeland has made him a celebrity and the target of Brazilian government investigations. Wes Studi provides the voice of Payakan. Also: interviews with those who worked with him.
Stunning underwater photography highlights this chronicle of cinematographer Al Giddings as he dives into Truk Lagoon in the South Pacific, where a savage battle took place during WWII. Included: how aquatic plants and animals have reclaimed the lagoon.
The big, gawky---and potentially deadly---moose are observed on the Kenai Peninsula, and in Alaska's Denali National Park and Canafa's Riding Mountain National Park. Photographed, directed and produced by Jim Lipscomb.
Aquatic and terrestrial wildlife is observed by Jacques Cousteau and the crew of the Alcyone along the coast of South Africa and in game preserves. Included: poaching; a wildlife auction; and native bushmen.
Stunning photography highlights this chronicle of cinematographer Dyanna Taylor's attempts to follow the footsteps of writer and artist Everett Ruess, who disappeared in Utah's red-rock canyon country in 1934. Also: Monument Valley.
Wildlife filmmaker Ginger Mauney chronicles “Legends of the Bushmen” in Namibia, on Africa's southwestern coast. Mauney interviews tribal elders of the !Kung people, who spin vivid tales of animals and the elements. Included: the world's fastest animal; and why the moon has eternal life.
The fauna and flora of the Makgadikgadi salt flats in Botswana's Kalahari Desert are observed by cinematographer Tim Liversedge following an unusually heavy rainy season. Included: lions, zebras, finches, flamingoes and foxes. Narrated by Richard Roughton. Voice of Liversedge: Ralph Cosham.
The Cousteau Society Team charts the course of China's Yangtze river using camels, horses, rafts and boats. Included: a diving expedition in Lake Ngoring Hu, near the river's source. Also: a visit to a city along the Silk Road and the Great Wall.
Naturalist Richard Conniff goes to the American West to observe prairie dogs, which are viewed as pests by some and persecuted creatures by others. Included: non-lethal methods of dealing with the rodents, such as a huge truck-mounted vacuum that sucks them out of their tunnels.
The Mojave Desert is observed through the eyes of a desert tortoise (voiced by Bruce Dern) who encounters desert inhabitants, both human and animal. Included: kangaroo rats, geckos, sidewinders, yucca moths, Joshua trees and creosote bushes.
Actress Sarita Choudhury travels to India to observe the Bengal tiger, the largest member of the cat family and a highly endangered species. Included: a look at how poverty and overpopulation threaten the tiger; and the conservation movement in India.
Harry Hamlin travels to the Great Plains to observe the buffalo (or bison), which is returning from the brink of extinction. Included: the social structure of a bison herd; the spiritual connection between buffalo and Native Americans; and a bison roundup.
Actress Daryl Hannah travels through Colorado, Montana and New Jersey to observe how people are dealing with dangerous animals using non-lethal methods, including breeding dogs to chase bears and using llamas to guard livestock.
Jared Leto flies over Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park with bush pilot Paul Claus as they rescue two men trapped on a mountainside by an early winter storm, in addition to hiking the area and meeting the local people. Also accompanying Leto are former Alaska governor Jay Hammond and National Wildlife Federation representative Martha Levensaler.
Lauren Hutton shepherds 7-year old Nick and 8-year-old Teo from New York City to Kenya, where the “Little Warriors” observe the native wildlife and meet Masai warriors, who make them honorable tribe members and teach them the ways of the land.
Alicia Silverstone meets with wildlife veterinarian Dave Jessup to treat ailing animals, including elephants suffering from "floppy trunk syndrome," which causes the elephant to starve to death. Also: the Marine Wildlife Care and Research Center in Santa Cruz, Cal.