Documentary looks at nature’s great predators

Karen and Ralf Meyer have captured the predators’ ongoing drama in their new documentary, Lords of Nature.

Following in the footsteps of wolves and cougars, and the scientists working to understand their place in the rapidly changing world of nature, filmmakers Karen and Ralf Meyer have captured the predators’ ongoing drama in their new documentary, Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators.

Lords of Nature is showing Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in Summerland’s Centre Stage Theatre. The screening is sponsored by the Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society and Bellingham-based Conservation Northwest.

Jay Kehne, Okanagan outreach associate for Conservation Northwest, will lead a question and answer session following the screening. Admission is free.

Narrated by Peter Coyote, Lords of Nature journeys to the heart of predator country -— the Yellowstone plateau, the canyons of Zion, the farm country of northern Minnesota and the rugged open range of central Idaho — all places now resettled by the great beasts society once banished. Here scientists discover these top carnivores as revitalizing forces of nature.

In Minnesota, a state harbouring 3,000 wolves, the filmmakers met livestock producers raising sheep and cattle alongside their wild neighbors. In Idaho they found a groundbreaking collaboration among ranchers, wildlife managers and conservationists testing non-lethal predator control.

“One of the key points that we’re finding for maintaining ecosystems is to have the presence of a top predator in the system. Whether it’s cougar in a mule deer system like Zion, or whether it’s wolves in an elk system like Yellowstone National Park, the presence of that predator is crucial in maintaining that system through time,” said Robert Beschta, a scientist interviewed in the film.