Nature’s Fear Factor

A bold experiment to bring fierce African wild dogs back to Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique reveals how predators—and the fear they trigger—play a surprising and crucial role in keeping wild ecosystems healthy. Until recently, the impact of predators on ecosystems was thought to be simple: predators eat prey, keeping their populations in check. But more and more, ecologists are realizing that it’s not all about consumption. In fact, just the presence of predators can cause significant changes in behavior. Scientists call this the “Landscape of Fear,” and in Gorongosa, they are hoping to harness its effects to help bring an ecosystem back from the brink.

Action Opportunity

Read about an experiment to bring
wolves back to the Scottish Highlands.

Filmmaker: David Murdock

Running Time: 54 mins

Language: English

2021 ACFF OfficialSelection
David Murdock

David Murdock, Filmmaker

Murdock has been producing and directing compelling documentaries on challenging subjects for more than 20 years. His credits include several projects for NOVA and FRONTLINE as well as American Experience, National Geographic, Discovery, and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions. He has been nominated three times for Emmy Awards, winning once for the PBS Series, The Mysterious Human Heart. Prior to his broadcast career, Murdock co-ran a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching documentary production to students in New York City’s public high school system.