‘Wetlands’ to examine Louisiana black bear

Photo provided by Louisiana Public Broadcasting -- Biologists, from left, Matthew McCollister, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Travis Trant and Maria Davidson from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, are shown during filming for the Black Bear installment of 'Alive! In America's Wetlands.'
Photo provided by Louisiana Public Broadcasting -- Biologists, from left, Matthew McCollister, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Travis Trant and Maria Davidson from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, are shown during filming for the Black Bear installment of 'Alive! In America's Wetlands.'

“Downton Abbey” fans will have to wait until January for season four’s debut, but in the meantime, PBS will roll out new installments of veteran programs “Frontline,” “Great Performances,” “American Experience” and more.

Affiliate Louisiana Public Broadcasting is also working on new shows for the fall , among them the second part of its “Alive! In America’s Delta” six-part series.

Premiering in December, “Alive!” will give viewers an in-depth look at efforts to increase the black bear population in Louisiana.

“It’s been really fantastic to work with (the Louisiana Department of) Wildlife & Fisheries and we’ve been basically following their biologists, looking at what they do and what they’ve been doing for the black bear recovery program,” Liz Barnes, segment producer, said.

Barnes and a film crew have been working on the project for a year, shooting footage in the Red River Wildlife Management Area in Concordia Parish, in Pointe Coupee Parish, and along the coast. Patterson in St. Mary Parish is a black bear hot spot.

“One of the amazing things we got to do was attend a den visit,” Barnes said. She explained that the biologists tag some of the black bears so they are able to track them to their dens and then, after sedating the mother bear, can do a biological workup on the mother and the cubs.

“We were fortunate to be able to capture it on film,” Barnes said.

Also highlighting fall programming on LPB are national PBS programs, including:

Featured in the program is Ruby Bridges and William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, as Bridges (Hall) looks back on being the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting provided information for this story.