June 28, 2013

BRI MOUNTAIN LION RESEARCH SUBJECT OF BBC “DEADLY” SERIES


deadly crewBetween hanging out with bats in a cave near San Antonio and swimming with sharks off the southern California coast, the production team of the BBC series “Deadly” filmed mountain lion research at Sul Ross State University.

The “Deadly” crew, led by presenter Steve Backshall, spent last Sunday-Tuesday (June 24-26) with Dr. Louis Harveson, director of the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross, BRI technicians and graduate students at a research site in the Davis Mountains.

Although no mountain lions were caught on the “Deadly” cameras, the segment is scheduled to be aired at a later date.”Deadly” is a strand of British wildlife documentary programming aimed principally at children and young people, broadcast on CBBC on BBC One and Two and on the C BBC Channel.

Harveson, BRI technicians Dana Milani, Alpine; and Bert Geary, Fort Davis; and Sul Ross graduate student Price Rumbelow, Van, joined Backshall and crew members Toby Nowlan, Luke Cormack, Nick Allinson and Rachael Kinley at the research site. The “Deadly” crew filmed from dawn to dusk.

Harveson said that mountain lion activity was recorded on trail cameras prior to the actual filming, and on the last day, a radio-collared lion ventured back onto the site, but eluded the film crew.

“Despite not filming a lion, it was an enjoyable experience,” Harveson said, adding that “The ‘Deadly’ series has a broad appeal overseas and also in the U.S.

“It was entertaining to see how they portray field ecology and research,” Harveson said, noting that Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” inspired his career in natural resource management. “I appreciate the ‘new age’ natural history shows like this one. They bring a strong conservation message for adults and children alike, and we (Sul Ross) are honored to have participated in the production.”

Harveson was first notified in late March of “Deadly” interest in the mountain lion research. He worked with researcher Nowlan to coordinate the filming dates.

Other Sul Ross BRI research projects, including pronghorn and desert bighorn relocation, as well as the mountain lion research, have been the subjects of documentaries by Texas Parks and Wildlife and The Discovery Channel.
For more information, contact Harveson, (432) 837-8225 or bri@sulross.edu.