Universum Life on the Mountain
When the first humans reached the Alps, they encountered expansive primeval forests. Over centuries, they deforested the region, creating fields and pastures, and even began to populate the higher mountainous areas.
These early farmers were followed by wild animals that found new habitats in the open, newly structured region: wood grouse moved into the pastures, swallows and dormouse began to inhabit farms, and rock partridges made their way to the steep slopes. Red deer, marmots and bats found new homes on the mountain pastures.
This mixture of cultivated land and untouched nature makes the Alps unique. The work of humans in the Alps has increased local diversity - in most of the rest of the world, human settlement has decimated animal populations.
The Alps are home to some of the most diverse habitats in the world. The WWF considers them part of the "Global 200", the 238 most exceptional ecoregions on the planet, placing them in the company of such renowned regions as the Amazon and the Great Barrier Reef. Without the work of the farmers, the Alps would be home to far fewer species.
Today, this companionable existence is under threat. Changes in agriculture have forced many of the established mountain farmers to leave.
In the Hohe Tauern National Park, the old way of life still remains. It is a glimpse of a paradise in which humans and wild animals have found a way to live together.
Director: Franz Hafner
Photography: Dietrich Heller, Josef Neuper, H. Mittermüller
Editor: Roland Buzzi
Producer: Heinrich Mayer
Executive Producer: Rudolf Klingohr
Executive Producer: Walter Köhler
Television Premiere: 15.01.2008