UNTAMED: Season 4

The fourth season of UNTAMED: Life is Wild aired in spring 2022 and explored a wide variety of conservation and environmental issues, including citizen science, land management, predators,  and watersheds. Each episode discussed how our actions impact wildlife and the landscape around us.

The video library for this season offers a compendium of materials that support each episode, including worksheets and activities for students who are watching UNTAMED as a part of classroom learning on biology, natural history, and the environment.

Season 4 Episodes

Episode 401: The Greater Impact of Wildlife Patients

Since its founding in 1982, the Wildlife Center of Virginia—a hospital for native wildlife—has treated more than 85,000 patients, including 3,804 in 2021 alone.  Every patient is offered state-of-the-art veterinary medical care; some are treated and released, while others may be too seriously injured to recover. Every single animal has a story to share, a story that illustrates the wider problems wildlife face—litter, pesticides, free-roaming domestic animals, habitat loss, and diseases. Even patients that don’t make it live on by helping us shape our conservation education and research as we challenge people of all ages to take action to protect wildlife.

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Learn More About Episode 401

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Inside the Episode
For Classrooms

Take the learning experience for your classroom or student group one step further with our specialized activity packets. These interactive resources combine summative reading sheets with writing and critical thinking exercises related to the topics and themes covered in each UNTAMED episode. Each page is designed to be used individually or as a complete workbook, making this activity packet perfect for educators looking to customize the lessons that can be learned from UNTAMED.

What You Can Do

Each episode of UNTAMED leaves viewers with steps all of us can take to help protect wildlife and the environment.

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Episode 402: Predators

Humans have long had a complicated relationship with native wild carnivores, often with attempts to actively eliminate these animals, leaving behind ecosystems in dire need of that natural control mechanism. With the absence of large apex predators, smaller mesopredators, such as bobcats, foxes, and coyotes, have begun to fill that ecological role. And with certain recovered carnivores moving back into their historic ranges, predator management is a highly contentious issue, now more than ever. Finding a way to coexist with these species is essential, not only for human safety and animal welfare but also for habitat and ecosystem health.

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Learn More About Episode 402:

Featured Guests

A special thanks to all of our special guests in this episode of UNTAMED!

Inside the Episode
For Classrooms

Take the learning experience for your classroom or student group one step further with our specialized activity packets. These interactive resources combine summative reading sheets with writing and critical thinking exercises related to the topics and themes covered in each UNTAMED episode. Each page is designed to be used individually or as a complete workbook, making this activity packet perfect for educators looking to customize the lessons that can be learned from UNTAMED

What You Can Do

Each episode of UNTAMED leaves viewers with steps all of us can take to help protect wildlife and the environment. 

Episode What You Can Do list

Episode 403: Citizen Science

Citizen science is known as the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the public. Those participating in citizen science projects and activities are not professional scientists; rather, this collaborative research is done by everyday people in a wide variety of settings around the world to help answer questions that scientists can’t answer by themselves. Whether participating in bird counts, water sampling, frog watches, butterfly monitoring, plant data, or other projects, anyone can find a fun and meaningful way to contribute to the scientific community, often providing valid insights into the natural world.

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Learn More About Episode 403:

Featured Guests

A special thanks to all of our staff and guests in this episode of UNTAMED!

Inside the Episode

Interested in understanding what citizen science is, and how you can get involved?

For Classrooms

Take the learning experience for your classroom or student group one step further with our specialized activity packets. These interactive resources combine summative reading sheets with writing and critical thinking exercises related to the topics and themes covered in each UNTAMED episode. Each page is designed to be used individually or as a complete workbook, making this activity packet perfect for educators looking to customize the lessons that can be learned from UNTAMED.

What You Can Do

Each episode of UNTAMED leaves viewers with steps all of us can take to help protect wildlife and the environment.

Episode what you can do ideas

Episode 404: Land Management

As humans continue to move across and dominate the open landscapes of North America, transforming diverse native ecosystems into managed areas for crops, livestock, or even simply for aesthetics, our native resident and transient wildlife lose habitat. That is why it is up to all of us—landowners and managers, farmers, and homeowners—to make decisions to oversee a multi-use landscape, one which both wildlife and humans can utilize for the benefit of all.

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Learn More About Episode 404:

Featured Guests

A special thanks to all of our staff and guests in this episode of UNTAMED!

Inside the Episode
For Classrooms

Take the learning experience for your classroom or student group one step further with our specialized activity packets. These interactive resources combine summative reading sheets with writing and critical thinking exercises related to the topics and themes covered in each Untamed episode. Each page is designed to be used individually or as a complete workbook, making this activity packet perfect for educators looking to customize the lessons that can be learned from UNTAMED.

What You Can Do

Each episode of UNTAMED leaves viewers with steps all of us can take to help protect wildlife and the environment.

Episode what you can do list

Episode 405: Invasive Species

Although world ecosystems are in danger from a whole host of varied and distinct threats, there are few issues more difficult to tackle or more complex to understand than invasive species control. These species arrive in an ecosystem in which they are not native and have not evolved, with no existing space within the habitat. Invasive species may outcompete, overtake, or cause general harm and disruption to their new ecosystems. Elimination and control is a necessary part of conservation, everywhere from Virginia to the world’s most remote island. 

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According to the National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC), “Invasive species are plants, animals, or pathogens that are non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration, and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm.” Learn what determines if a species is invasive on the NISIC website.

Learn more about some of the problematic invasive species in this episode:

Love gardening? Make sure you choose native plants! The National Wildlife Federation and National Audubon Society both have a native plants database, perfect for finding suggestions for your immediate area. And don't forget to play the Wildlife Center of Virginia's pollinator bingo—each card is designed for specific regions throughout the United States, with only native plants listed.

Learn more about particularly problematic invasive species in your state, along with what you can do. Many agencies have tools for reporting invasive species -- a nice way to get involved in citizen science, too! In Virginia, check out the Virginia Invasive Species Working Group and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Map and Report. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources has more information on the "most wanted" invasive species in our state. Wildlife trafficking is also a very problematic issue, which can help further the spread of invasive species.

Remember, prevention can be a critical first step in managing invasive species. If you have an unwanted pet—including fish, reptiles, and amphibians—don't let it loose! Responsible pet ownership means protecting animals and the environment. If you're backpacking, paddling, caving, or having other outdoor recreational adventures, visit PlayCleanGo and take action.

For Classrooms

Take the learning experience for your classroom or student group one step further with our specialized activity packets. These interactive resources combine summative reading sheets with writing and critical thinking exercises related to the topics and themes covered in each UNTAMED episode. Each page is designed to be used individually or as a complete workbook, making this activity packet perfect for educators looking to customize the lessons that can be learned from UNTAMED.

What You Can Do

Each episode of UNTAMED leaves viewers with steps all of us can take to help protect wildlife and the environment.

What you can do list

Episode 406: Protecting our Watersheds

Water is the great architect of Earth and a defining factor for the location and movement of life on this planet. Without water, our world would look very different; without the watersheds which capture, coalesce, move, and recycle water throughout a natural system, human and wildlife habitats would not be the same. Freshwater rivers, streams, and lakes are some of the most heavily utilized and pressured natural systems on the planet; these critical habitats that have taken the brunt of negative human actions for years. Now, more than ever, we must learn to safeguard our watersheds for the protection of all life that depend on them.

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Just what is a watershed? Take a deep dive into the water from the mountains to the bay in this VPM article.

The Clean Water Act was established in 1972 for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. 2022 marks the 5-year anniversary! Learn more about this important piece of legislation, and take an even deeper dive into the EPA’s Watershed Academy for webcasts, learning modules, and other resources.

Do you know what watershed you live in? Check out Know your Watershed and learn more about your particular region on this interactive website. Continue your exploration in Project Wet’s interactive website, and use this runoff simulation website to see how your actions at home affect your watershed. Your local soil and water conservation districts are also an excellent way to get involved and learn more about your particular area. In our Chesapeake Bay watershed? Check out this new collaborative project that shows the changes in land use and land cover throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Depending on your particular home habitat, there are a number of ways you can help your watershed.

For Classrooms

Take the learning experience for your classroom or student group one step further with our specialized activity packets. These interactive resources combine summative reading sheets with writing and critical thinking exercises related to the topics and themes covered in each UNTAMED episode. Each page is designed to be used individually or as a complete workbook, making this activity packet perfect for educators looking to customize the lessons that can be learned from UNTAMED.

What You Can Do

Each episode of UNTAMED leaves viewers with steps all of us can take to help protect wildlife and the environment.

episode what you can do

Episode 407: Pollinators

Pollinators are a vital part of our world and are essential for creating and maintaining habitats that many animals – including us! – rely on for food and shelter. The diversity of pollinators in a particular area is a key indicator of the health of an overall ecosystem. Unfortunately, many pollinators are in trouble, with populations declining significantly around the world. This episode highlights the importance and function of pollinators, with an emphasis on what we can do in our homes and communities to ensure the survival of these important species.

This episode won a Bronze Telly award in 2023!

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Inside the Episode

This episode ties together many themes discussed this season of UNTAMED—the importance of eliminating invasive species and going native, making changes to help the health of our watersheds, and choosing sustainable ways to manage the land around us

Pollinator habitats start with native plants that are specific to your area! 

Learn more about pollinating bats in one of the previous Wildlife Center book club selections, The Secret Lives of Bats by Merlin Tuttle.  
Driving through Virginia? Take a break at one of the VDOT pollinator gardens featured in this episode.

For Classrooms

Take the learning experience for your classroom or student group one step further with our specialized activity packets. These interactive resources combine summative reading sheets with writing and critical thinking exercises related to the topics and themes covered in each UNTAMED episode. Each page is designed to be used individually or as a complete workbook,  making this activity packet perfect for educators looking to customize the lessons that can be learned from UNTAMED.

What You Can Do

Each episode of UNTAMED leaves viewers with steps all of us can take to help protect wildlife and the environment. 

what you can do text

Episode 408: Wild Winter Worlds

How do wildlife survive the tougher winter months? With cold temperatures and fewer food resources, the winter season can be challenging for a variety of wild animals. Some animals migrate to different areas, some hunker down for a long winter’s nap, and some simply continue their daily activities. This episode highlights how a variety of wildlife species adapt to winter and discusses a number of additional challenges wildlife face due to their human neighbors—including issues like climate change. Learn how we can minimize our impact on wildlife in an already difficult time of year.

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Learn More About Episode 408:

Featured Guests

A special thanks to all of our staff and guests in this episode of UNTAMED!

Inside the Episode

Wildlife species are adapted differently for the winter weather. Some may stay put and remain active year-round, while others may hunker down and hibernate or brumate. Other species may simply leave the area for the season and return in the spring. Learn more about Virginia wildlife in winter:

As our climate continues to change, we're learning more about how this impacts wildlife and their habitats:

Interested in learning more about how to help wildlife in winter? While many people want to help wildlife find food resources, one of the best things you can do is skip the food handouts and provide habitat. The Department of Wildlife Resources has more information on providing habitats in a variety of landscapes. 

For Classrooms

Take the learning experience for your classroom or student group one step further with our specialized activity packets. These interactive resources combine summative reading sheets with writing and critical thinking exercises related to the topics and themes covered in each UNTAMED episode. Each page is designed to be used individually or as a complete workbook,  making this activity packet perfect for educators looking to customize the lessons that can be learned from UNTAMED. 

What You Can Do

Each episode of UNTAMED leaves viewers with steps all of us can take to help protect wildlife and the environment. 

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