American Biologist Honored With
Environment Prize China
NEW YORK, New York, December 19, 2008 (ENS) – Dr. George Schaller, a world reknowned field biologist and conservationist, has been awarded the China Environment Prize for his efforts to study and protect China’s giant pandas, Tibetan antelope, and China’s wild places.
Schaller is a senior conservationist with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Asia Programs and has worked with the Bronx Zoo-based organization for more than 50 years. He has worked in
The $70,000 prize was established in 2000 by the China Environmental Protection Foundation to honor and encourage individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the cause of environmental protection in
“George Schaller has been and continues to be a role model and driving force for conservation,” said Dr. Steven Sanderson, president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. “After more than 50 years of groundbreaking field research on some of the world’s best-known wildlife, George continues to define the field of conservation biology and works tirelessly to preserve our natural heritage.”
One of the first foreign experts to work with the Chinese on conservation issues, Schaller’s conservation work within
Schaller helped the Chinese government establish the massive Chang Tang Wildlife Preserve in
Schaller’s research on Tibetan antelope helped reveal that the rare animal is in fact the source of “shahtoosh,” the world’s finest wool, which is smuggled by poachers into Kashmir, India. He has lobbied to shut down the trade and protect critical habitat in
His recent work includes efforts to establish a trans-boundary protected area along the mountainous borders of
Schaller’s reputation in the conservation field was established long before his work in
His field work as a graduate student in northern
Schaller initiated the first scientific study of mountain gorillas in
Schaller also pioneered behavioral examinations of big cats, with the first ever ecological studies of tigers in
Schaller’s work over the years on several species listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has helped raise awareness on the growing rates of global illegal wildlife trade.
His studies have been the basis for his numerous scientific and popular writings, including several books such as The Stones of Silence, The Year of the Gorilla, and The Last Panda. In addition to the China Environment Prize, Schaller has received numerous national and international awards for conservation, including the International Cosmos Prize from
Dr. Schaller is now working primarily in
He will be the featured speaker at the Fairfield Osborn Memorial Conference and Lecture at
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