Fifty years ago, when Eisenhower was in the White House, George Schaller made his first visit to the coastal plain that would become the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Since then, he’s covered a lot of territory tracking some of the world’s most interesting animals, the African gorilla, the Asian tiger and China’s giant pandas. He’s watched their habitats shrink and their numbers dwindle as cities spread out and humans gobble up natural resources.
But George Schaller isn’t throwing himself in front of bulldozers. He’s working with local populations and local governments to try to convince them that conservation is in their best interest. At the same time, he’s trying to convince people in the West that saving the animals is a moral imperative, not a cost-benefit equation. So what’s it worth to you?
Dr. George Schaller, field biologist, naturalist and Vice President of the Wild Life Conservation Society.