George Schaller here shares with his reader the fascinating personal story behind his scientific discoveries that have so notably advanced our knowledge of the great African predators. In his new books, he allows us to participate moment by moment in his work and his experience on the Tanzanian plains as for three years he made his extraordinary of the habits, the hunting methods, the social systems, and the behavior--the lives from birth to death--of the lion, the wild dog, the cheetah, the leopard, and the hyena. We follow him afoot and in a Land-Rover, through the thickets, plains, and wooded grasslands of this wild, harsh landscape as he tranquilizes and then tags the great predators, as he gets to know their individual characteristics, as he investigates the vast array of species they depend upon for survival. We feel Schaller's exaltation in the pure sensual motions of a lion stalking its prey, watch with him as a small furry mouse defends itself valiantly against a pack of wild dogs, as an Egyptian vulture breaks an ostrich eggs with a stone . . . We come to know the various postures of the animals in the hunt, what their territorial range is, how they behave with one another, how they raise their young . . . We are there as Schaller hangs a tiny radio transmitter around the neck of an old lion--the beeps will enable him to track the animal by night as well as day. We observe the businesslike gatherings of wild dogs, the blinding speed and elegant graces of a coursing cheetah, the soft-footed stalk of the hunting leopard, the tension that ripples though a herd id gazelle when they sense an approaching predator. We go back in times, through two million years, while Schaller and his colleagues attempt to simulate the hunting behavior of that pre-human, the hominid Australopithecus, scrabbling and scavenging for food, developing, in the process of their experiment, an incredible sensitivity to the sounds of zebra, giraffe, hyena, and the low, purposeful flight of a vulture--any sign of a possible meal, shelter, enemy. And, throughout, we feel Schaller's commitment, his strong emotional kinship with the animals he studies and with the wild landscape where he and his family created a full life for themselves far from the accouterments of modern civilizations. With the gift of expressive narrative that distinguished his famous international bestseller, The Year of the Gorilla, Schaller makes us know close-up not only the teeming life of the plains and the great human adventure he lived but also the inspired improvisation, the tirelessness, the flights of imaginations that, as much as meticulous fact-finding, are an organic part of the original scientific investigation.
Dependent on a shrinking supply of bamboo, hunted mercilessly for its pelt, and hostage to profiteering schemes once in captivity, the panda is on the brink of extinction. Here, acclaimed naturalist George Schaller uses his great evocative powers, and the insight gained by four and a half years in the forests of the Wolong and Tangjiahe panda reserves, to document the plight of these mysterious creatures and to awaken the human compassion urgently needed to save them. "No scientist is better at letting the rest of us in on just how the natural world works; no poet sees the world with greater clarity or writes about it with more grace. . . . Anyone who genuinely cares for wildlife cannot help being grateful to Schaller-both for his efforts to understand the panda and for the candor with which he reports what has gone so badly wrong in the struggle to save it from extinction. "-Geoffrey C. Ward, New York Times Book Review "Schaller's book is a unique mix of natural history and the politics of conservation, and it makes for compelling reading. . . . Having been in giant panda country myself, I found some of the descriptions of the animals and habitats breathtaking. Schaller describes the daily routines and personalities of the giant pandas he studied (as well as their fates thereafter) as though they were his blood relatives. . . . Schaller's brilliant presentation of the complexities of conservation makes his book a milestone for the conservation movement. "-Devra G. Kleiman, Washington Post Book World "George Schaller's most soulful work, written in journal style with many asides about a creature who evolved only two to three million years ago (about the same time as humans). . . . Here, conservation biology confronts an evil that grinds against hope and shatters the planet's diversity. Written with hope. "-Whole Earth Catalog "A nicely crafted blend of wildlife observation and political-cultural analysis. . . . The Last Panda is a sad chronicle of our failure, so far, to stem the decline of the animal that may be the most beloved on the planet. "-Donald Dale Jackson, Smithsonian
The Return of the Unicorns: The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinocerosby George B. Schaller Eric Dinerstein
Since 1984, Eric Dinerstein has led the team directly responsible for the recovery of the greater one-horned rhinoceros in the Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal, where the population had once declined to as few as 100 rhinos. The Return of the Unicorns is an account of what it takes to save endangered large mammals. Dinerstein outlines the multifaceted recovery program-structured around targeted fieldwork and scientific research, effective protective measures, habitat planning and management, public-awareness campaigns, economic incentives to promote local guardianship, and bold, uncompromising leadership-that brought these extraordinary animals back from the brink of extinction. In an age when scientists must also become politicians, educators, fund-raisers, and activists in order to safeguard the subjects they study, Dinerstein's inspiring story offers a successful model for large-mammal conservation applicable throughout Asia and across the globe.
As one of the world' s leading field biologists, George Schaller has spent much of his life traversing wild and isolated places in his quest to understand and conserve threatened species-- from mountain gorillas in the Virunga to pandas in the Wolong and snow leopards in the Himalaya. Throughout his celebrated career, Schaller has spent more time in Tibet than in any other part of the world, devoting more than thirty years to the wildlife, culture, and landscapes that captured his heart and continue to compel him to protect them. Tibet Wild is Schaller' s account of three decades of exploration in the most remote stretches of Tibet: the wide, sweeping rangelands of the Chang Tang and the hidden canyons and plunging ravines of the southeastern forests. As engaging as he is enlightening, Schaller illustrates the daily struggles of a field biologist trying to traverse the impenetrable Chang Tang, discover the calving grounds of the chiru or Tibetan antelope, and understand the movements of the enigmatic snow leopard. As changes in the region accelerated over the years, with more roads, homes, and grazing livestock, Schaller watched the clash between wildlife and people become more common-- and more destructive. Thus what began as a purely scientific endeavor became a mission: to work with local communities, regional leaders, and national governments to protect the unique ecological richness and culture of the Tibetan Plateau. Whether tracking brown bears, penning fables about the tiny pika, or promoting a conservation preserve that spans the borders of four nations, Schaller has pursued his goal with a persistence and good humor that will inform and charm readers. Tibet Wild is an intimate journey through the changing wilderness of Tibet, guided by the careful gaze and unwavering passion of a life-long naturalist.
Provides information on tigers in their natural habitat.
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