A naturalist and other beasts: tales from a life in the field
Since the 1950s, eminent field biologist George Schaller has roamed through many lands observing wild animals and conducting landmark long-term studies that have deepened our understanding of these creatures. He has reported and reflected on his work in classic books such as The Year of the Gorilla, The Last Panda, and National Book Award winner The Serengeti Lion, but much of his best writing has been ephemeral, published in magazines only to drop out of sight. This collection features nineteen short pieces, here brought together in book form for the first time, offering a unique overview of his remarkable career.
Chapters describe stalking tigers in India and jaguars in Brazil's Pantanal swamps, studying mountain gorillas in Rwanda and predator- prey relations in the Serengeti, tracking new species on the wild border of Vietnam and Laos, searching for snow leopards in the Hindu Kush, and Schaller's groundbreaking work with giant pandas in Sichuan. Later accounts broaden the focus from individual creatures to whole ecosystems. "The careless rapture of my early studies has been replaced more and more by efforts to protect animals and their habitats," he writes.
New to this book are Schaller's introductions for each chapter, which add and update information, and an overall introduction that looks back on his career. His own photographs appear throughout: of animals and their behavior, of fieldwork, of the author and his family "on location" in temporary homes from a hut in the African highlands to a tent in the snowy mountains of China.
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What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - mcola - LibraryThing
Schaller is a very professional field wildlife biologist. He writes with a very evident passion for his work. His books are very informative as well as entertaining. Read full review
Review: A Naturalist and Other Beasts: Tales from a Life in the FieldUser Review - Alyssa - Goodreads
Good book about a variety of animals, never focusing too long on any one or bogging down in too much detail. Somewhat depressing however, as a constant reminder of the great extinction event we are ... Read full review