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 snow leopards in the Himalaya. Throughout his career, Schaller has spent more time in Tibet than anywhere else, devoting over thirty years to the region's unique wildlife, culture, and landscapes. Tibet Wild
is Schaller’s account of three decades of exploration in the remote stretches of Tibet. As human development accelerated, Schaller watched the clash between wildlife and people become more common—and more destructive. What began as a scientific endeavor became a mission: to work with local communities, regional leaders, and national governments to protect the ecological richness and culture of the Tibetan Plateau.
Whether tracking brown bears, penning fables about the tiny pika, or promoting a groundbreaking conservation preserve, Schaller has pursued his goal with persistence and good humor. Tibet Wild
is an intimate journey through the wilderness of Tibet, guided by the careful gaze and unwavering passion of a life-long naturalist.
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.Book News
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.
Before Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall, there was George Schaller. Schaller has spent more than half a century walking into the wildest places on Earth to lie down with animals; he first did so with mountain gorillas in an era when people believed they were monsters that would kill a man on sight, and reported to the world the slow joy of their family lives and their penchant for wild celery. He has written pioneering books on many of the wild creatures that have captured the public's imagination: gorillas in the mist, lions and wildebeest in the Serengeti, snow leopards in the Himalayas. Their fame and protection often trace back to a George Schaller book. In an era when the National Geographic Society gives its Explorer Awards to computer specialists in labs, Schaller is an anachronism, and he knows it. This book may be his swan song: the last of the classic Western naturalists travels to perhaps the last place on earth inhabited but not controlled by humans: the cold desert plains of Tibet. The book centers on the animals who astonishingly survive here in numbers, especially chiru an antelope that may be the legendary unicorn. Schaller looks at whole systems, including the lives of people. As a naturalist who has watched wilderness for so long, he knows we are witnessing a worldwide mass extinction; he sees Smithsonian scientists help US Congressmen go on safari to shoot endangered species, corrupt regional politics, and an exploding human population. This is not often a cheery book. But Schaller also sees small changes having positive effects, and is the ideal wilderness travelling companion: observant, honest, unsentimental, without ego or bigotry, and joyful in the beauty of small things. He walks on without pretense, a renowned Western scientist motivated by the desire to be in wild places, consistently transferring his authority to indigenous scientists, herders, hunters, and farmers protecting their native lands. Beautifully written, the book offers breathtaking natural history, and the human side of daily life in zones we only know from war and conflict (Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Tibet-China border). In the end, the author finds hope in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries that have created wildlife reserves for centuries, and are now starting conservation organizations. Readers may find hope in Schaller's example of a life dedicated to saving a planet where chiru, tiny rabbits, snow leopards, and human beings of every race, gender, and nation are all animals working to survive. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)