Segments in this Video

Swiss Alps (06:07)


The Alps are one of the world's most impressive landscapes and home to diverse animals and plants. Fewer herdsmen and ranchers drive their livestock to the mountain pastures. Glisson is a favorite tourist spot in Switzerland; Lean Jabali tends sheep near Chur.

Swiss Cultural Changes (04:00)

Young people are moving to cities and small towns are relying on tourism for revenue. Arno Casty cares for his small flock of lambs. The region's biodiversity is under threat if animals no longer graze in the highlands during the summer months.

Restoring the Flower Meadows (03:41)

A herd of Grisons striped goats eat the bushes and trees other livestock spurn. Jabali erects fences to keep the sheep in a specific grazing area.

Working in the Alps (06:21)

Helicopters deliver supplies at the start of the summer season. Jabali milks a goat and records the weather, animal illnesses, and medications. Switzerland invests in the preservation of traditional grazing methods to promote biodiversity; Elmer searches for indicator plants.

New Challenges (07:59)

Wolves return to the area and feed on grazing animals. Jan Boner trains dogs to protect livestock. Jabali uses herding dogs to gather and guard 900 sheep before nightfall; he lost ten sheep to a lone wolf.

Sheep Migration (02:57)

After sheep deplete their grazing area, shepherds drive the herd to another alp near the Austrian border; farmers and veterinarians are present. Experts count and disinfect the animals to prevent foot rot.

New Source of Income (04:54)

David Zippert wants to be partially independent of government subsidies and manufactures handmade organic sheep cheese. Ewes produce a liter of milk a day before they are bred. The family alternates ponies, horses, and donkeys on the grazing locations to promote biodiversity.

Summer's End in the Alps (04:43)

Jabali's flock descends the mountain through a rock tunnel. Christian Ermi ensures the pace to keep the herd together. Individual sheep can get lost when paths widen; herding dogs help guide the herd to the valley.

Herd Destination (07:01)

An older dog completes his last trip to the Swiss Alps. A sluice system helps divide sheep into collections. In autumn and spring, professional shearers shave the animals; Alpine sheep wool is processed in Germany.

Winter in the Alps (02:26)

Snow covers the Swiss Alps. Sheep winter in the barn with the herd dogs; the government pays for food and veterinary bills. Cows, sheep, and goats must continue to graze in the meadows for the ecosystem to thrive.

Credits: Switzerland: Saving the Alpine Meadows—Paradise Preserved (00:31)

Credits: Switzerland: Saving the Alpine Meadows—Paradise Preserved

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Switzerland: Saving the Alpine Meadows—Paradise Preserved

Part of the Series : Paradise Preserved
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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Many people consider the Swiss Alps a natural paradise. Little do they know that it is man-made; existing only because because farmers have been driving their livestock up into the mountains for centuries. As more Swiss perfer a modern, urban life, this ancient tradition is fading with the result that these meadows are disappearing. This film follows a group of scientists as they seek to preserve their unique landscape.

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: FMK212809

ISBN: 978-1-63722-053-5

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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