Watcher in the Wild

SCHALLER – Watcher in the WildCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here’s a program from our archives.musicGeorge Schaller has spent a lifetime studying animals in the wild. Today he shares some thoughts on the challenge of observing and protecting wildlife. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience, Serengeti {Hyenas, etc)We’re listening to the sounds of wildlife recorded in Africa’s Serengeti Park, one of Dr. Schaller’s favorite places to observe animals.(Schaller) “If you want to preserve an animal, you need to know how far it travels, what its social organization is like, what its food habits, what its basic needs are, because without that, you don’t know what to preserve. You don’t know what aspects of its habitat are most important. “”To observe animals is not easy, particularly mammals. Most of them are nocturnal, most of them are solitary, most of them are becoming rare, which means that as a field biologist, you may spend days and weeks afield without even seeing what you’re after. So much of the information that a biologist collects is indirect. He looks at droppings to see what the animal has eaten. He looks at plant fragments that the animal has left. You look at tracks, you look at artifacts of the animal, it’s almost like an archaeologist, you analyze the artifacts rather than the animal themselves. And as a result, it takes a long time to come to good conclusions.”This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Watcher in the Wild

A world-famous conservationist shares his experiences. This archival program is part of Pulse of the Planet's 30th anniversary celebration.
Air Date:05/21/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

SCHALLER - Watcher in the WildCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here's a program from our archives.musicGeorge Schaller has spent a lifetime studying animals in the wild. Today he shares some thoughts on the challenge of observing and protecting wildlife. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience, Serengeti {Hyenas, etc)We're listening to the sounds of wildlife recorded in Africa's Serengeti Park, one of Dr. Schaller's favorite places to observe animals.(Schaller) "If you want to preserve an animal, you need to know how far it travels, what its social organization is like, what its food habits, what its basic needs are, because without that, you don't know what to preserve. You don't know what aspects of its habitat are most important. ""To observe animals is not easy, particularly mammals. Most of them are nocturnal, most of them are solitary, most of them are becoming rare, which means that as a field biologist, you may spend days and weeks afield without even seeing what you're after. So much of the information that a biologist collects is indirect. He looks at droppings to see what the animal has eaten. He looks at plant fragments that the animal has left. You look at tracks, you look at artifacts of the animal, it's almost like an archaeologist, you analyze the artifacts rather than the animal themselves. And as a result, it takes a long time to come to good conclusions."This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.