Sunday, July 8, 2012

Salim Ali.....A Great Birdman....


Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali (November 12, 1896 – July 27, 1987) was an Indian ornithologist and naturalist. Known as the "birdman of India", Salim Ali was among the first Indians to conduct systematic bird surveys across India and his bird books helped develop ornithology. He became the key figure behind the Bombay Natural History Society after 1947 and used his personal influence to garner government support for the organization, create the Bharatpur bird sanctuary (Keoladeo National Park) and prevent the destruction of what is now the Silent Valley National Park. He was awarded India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 1976.

Early life

Salim Ali was born into a Sulaimani Bohra Muslim family of Bombay, the ninth and youngest child. His father Moizuddin died when he was one year old and his mother Zeenat-un-nissa died when he was three. The children were brought up by his maternal uncle, Amiruddin Tyabji, and childless aunt, Hamida Begum, in a middle-class household in Khetwadi, Mumbai. Another uncle was Abbas Tyabji, well known Indian freedom fighter. Salim was introduced to the serious study of birds by W. S. Millard, secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), who identified an unusually coloured sparrow that young Salim had shot for sport with his toy airgun. Millard identified it as a Yellow-throated Sparrow, and showed Salim around the Society's collection of stuffed birds. Millard lent Salim a few books including Eha's Common birds of Bombay, encouraged Salim to make a collection of birds and offered to train him in skinning and preservation. Millard also introduced young Salim to (later Sir) Norman Boyd Kinnear, the first paid curator at the BNHS, who later provided help from the British Museum.In his autobiography, The Fall of a Sparrow Ali notes the Yellow-throated Sparrow event as the turning point of his life that led him into ornithology, an unusual career choice, especially for an Indian in those days. His early interest was in books on hunting in India and he became interested in sport-shooting, encouraged by the hunting interests of his foster-father Amiruddin. Shooting contests were often held in the neighbourhood in which he grew and among his playmates was Iskandar Mirza, a distant cousin who was a particularly good marksman and who went on in later life to become the first President of Pakistan.
Salim went to primary school at Zanana Bible Medical Mission Girls High School at Girgaum along with two of his sisters and later to St. Xavier's College in Bombay. Around the age of 13 he suffered from chronic headaches, making him drop out of class frequently. He was sent to Sind to stay with an uncle who had suggested that the dry air might help and on returning back after such breaks in studies, he barely managed to pass the matriculation exam of the Bombay University in 1913.

Burma and Germany

Yellow-throated Sparrow
Salim Ali's early education was at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. Following a difficult first year in college, he dropped out and went to Tavoy, Burma (Tenasserim) to look after the family's Wolfram (Tungsten) mining (tungsten was used in armour plating and was valuable during the war) and timber interests there. The forests surrounding this area provided an opportunity for Ali to hone his naturalist (and hunting) skills. He also made acquaintance with J C Hopwood and Berthold Ribbentrop who were with the Forest Service in Burma. On his return to India in 1917 after seven years, he decided to continue formal studies. He was to study commercial law and accountancy at Davar's College of Commerce. His true interest was however noticed by Father Ethelbert Blatter at St. Xavier's College and was persuaded to study zoology. After attending morning classes at Davar's College, he began to attend zoology classes at St. Xavier's College and was able to complete the course in zoology.During this break in Bombay he was married to a distant relative, Tehmina in December 1918.
Ali was fascinated by motorcycles from an early age and starting with a 3.5 HP NSU in Tavoy, he owned a Sunbeam, Harley-Davidsons (three models), a Douglas, a Scott, a New Hudson and a Zenith among others at various times. On invitation to the 1950 Ornithological Congress at Uppsala in Sweden he shipped his Sunbeam aboard the SS Stratheden from Bombay and biked around Europe, injuring himself in a minor mishap in France apart from having several falls on cobbled roads in Germany. When he arrived on a fully loaded bike, just in time for the first session at Uppsala, word went around that he had ridden all the way from India! He regretted not having owned a BMW.
Ali failed to get an ornithologist's position which was open at the Zoological Survey of India due to the lack of a formal university degree and the post went instead to M. L. Roonwal. He was hired as guide lecturer in 1926 at the newly opened natural history section in the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai for the salary of Rs 350 a month.He however tired of the job after two years and took a study leave in 1928 to Germany, where he was to work under Professor Erwin Stresemann at the Zoological Museum of Berlin University. Part of the work involved examining the specimens collected by J. K. Stanford in Burma. Stanford being a BNHS member had communicated with Claud Ticehurst and had suggested that he could work on his own with assistance from the BNHS. Ticehurst did not appreciate the idea of an Indian being involved in the work and resented even more, the involvement of Stresemann, a German. Ticehurst wrote letters to the BNHS suggesting that the idea of collaborating with Stresemann was an insult to Stanford. This was however not heeded by Reginald Spence and Prater who encouraged Ali to conduct the studies at Berlin with the assistance of Stresemann. In Berlin, Ali made acquaintance with many of the major German ornithologists of the time including Bernhard Rensch, Oskar Heinroth and Ernst Mayr apart from meeting other Indians in Berlin including the revolutionary Chempakaraman Pillai. Ali also gained experience in bird ringing at the Heligoland observatory.


With Mary and Dillon Ripley on a collection trip (1976)
On his return to India in 1930, he discovered that the guide lecturer position had been eliminated due to lack of funds. Unable to find a suitable job, Salim Ali and Tehmina moved to Kihim, a coastal village near Mumbai. Here he had the opportunity to study at close hand, the breeding of the Baya Weaver and discovered their mating system of sequential polygamy. Later commentators have suggested that this study was in the tradition of the Mughal naturalists that Salim Ali admired. A few months were then spent in Kotagiri where he had been invited by K M Anantan, a retired army doctor who had served in Mesopotamia during World War I. He also came in contact with Mrs Kinloch, who lived at Longwood Shola, and her son-in-law R C Morris, who lived in the Biligirirangan Hills. He then discovered an opportunity to conduct systematic bird surveys of the princely states that included Hyderabad, Cochin, Travancore, Gwalior, Indore and Bhopal with the sponsorship of the rulers of those states. He was aided and supported in these surveys by Hugh Whistler who had surveyed many parts of India and had kept very careful notes. Interestingly, Whistler had initially been irritated by the unknown Indian. Whistler had in a note on The study of Indian birds mentioned that the long tail feathers of the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo lacked webbing on the inner vane. Salim Ali wrote that such inaccuracies had been carried on from early literature and pointed out that it was incorrect on account of a twist in the rachis. Whistler was initially resentful of an unknown Indian finding fault and wrote "snooty" letters to the editors of the journal S H Prater and Sir Reginald Spence. Subsequently Whistler re-examined his specimens and not only admitted his error but became a close friend.
Whistler also introduced Salim to Richard Meinertzhagen and the two made an expedition into Afghanistan. Although Meinertzhagen had very critical views of him they became good friends. Salim Ali found nothing amiss in Meinertzhagen's bird works but later studies have shown many of his studies to be fraudulent. Meinertzhagen made his diary entries from their days in the field available and Salim Ali reproduces them in his autobiography:
    30.4.1937 'I am disappointed in Salim. He is quite useless at anything but collecting. He cannot skin a bird, nor cook, nor do anything connected with camp life, packing up or chopping wood. He writes interminable notes about something-perhaps me... Even collecting he never does on his own initiative...
    20.5.1937 'Salim is the personification of the educated Indian and interests me a great deal. He is excellent at his own theoretical subjects, but has no practical ability, and at everyday little problems is hopelessly inefficient... His views are astounding. He is prepared to turn the British out of India tomorrow and govern the country himself. I have repeatedly told him that the British Government have no intention of handing over millions of uneducated Indians to the mercy of such men as Salim:...
He was accompanied and supported on his early ornithological surveys by his wife, Tehmina, and was shattered when she died in 1939 following a minor surgery. After Tehmina's death in 1939, Salim Ali stayed with his sister Kamoo and brother-in-law. In the course of his later travels, Ali rediscovered the Kumaon Terai population of the Finn's Baya but was unsuccessful in his expedition to find the Mountain Quail (Ophrysia superciliosa), the status of which continues to remain unknown.
Label for a specimen collected by Salim Ali during his Mysore State survey
Ali was not very interested in the details of bird systematics and taxonomy and was more interested in studying birds in the field.Ernst Mayr wrote to Ripley complaining that Ali failed to collect sufficient specimens : "as far as collecting is concerned I don't think he ever understood the necessity for collecting series. Maybe you can convince him of that."Ali himself wrote to Ripley complaining about bird taxonomy:
    My head reels at all these nomenclatural metaphysics! I feel strongly like retiring from ornithology, if this is the stuff, and spending the rest of my days in the peace of the wilderness with birds, and away from the dust and frenzy of taxonomical warfare. I somehow feel complete detachment from all this, and am thoroughly unmoved by what name one ornithologist chooses to dub a bird that is familiar to me, and care even less in regard to one that is unfamiliar ----- The more I see of these subspecific tangles and inanities, the more I can understand the people who silently raise their eyebrows and put a finger to their temples when they contemplate the modern ornithologist in action.
    —Ali to Ripley, 5 January 1956
Ali later wrote that his interest was in the "living bird in its natural environment."
Salim Ali's associations with Sidney Dillon Ripley led to many bureaucratic problems. Ripley's past as an OSS agent led to allegations that the CIA had a hand in the bird-ringing operations in India.
Salim Ali took some interest in bird photography along with his friend Loke Wan Tho. Loke had been introduced to Ali by JTM Gibson, a BNHS member and Lieutenant Commander of the Royal Indian Navy, who had taught English to Loke at a school in Switzerland. A wealthy Singapore businessman with a keen interest in birds. Loke helped Ali and the BNHS with financial support.Ali was also interested in the historical aspects of ornithology in India. In a series of articles, among his first publications, he examined the contributions to natural-history of the Mughal emperors. In the 1971 Sunder Lal Hora memorial lecture and the 1978 Azad Memorial Lecture he spoke of the history and importance of bird study in India.

Other contributions

Salim Ali was very influential in ensuring the survival of the BNHS and managed to save the then 100-year old institution by writing to the then Prime Minister Pandit Nehru for financial help. Salim also influenced other members of his family. A cousin, Humayun Abdulali became an ornithologist while his niece Laeeq took an interest in birds and was married to Zafar Futehally, a distant cousin of Ali, who went on to become the honorary Secretary of the BNHS and played a major role in the development of bird study through the networking of birdwatchers in India. Ali also guided several M.Sc. and Ph. D. students, the first of whom was Vijaykumar Ambedkar, who further studied the breeding and ecology of the Baya Weaver, producing a thesis that was favourably reviewed by David Lack.
Ali was able to provide support for the development of ornithology in India by identifying important areas where funding could be obtained. He helped in the establishment of an economic ornithology unit within the Indian Council for Agricultural Research. He was also able to obtain funding for migration studies through a project to study the Kyasanur forest disease, an arthropod-borne virus that appeared to have similarities to a Siberian tick-borne disease. This project partly funded by the PL 480 grants of the USA however ran into political difficulties. In the late 1980s, he also guided a BNHS project that aimed to reduce bird hits at Indian airfields. He also attempted some early citizen science projects through the birdwatchers of India who were connected by the Newsletter for Birdwatchers.
Dr. Ali had considerable influence in conservation related issues in post-independence India especially through Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi was herself a keen birdwatcher, influenced by Ali's bird books (a copy of the Book of Indian Birds was gifted to her in 1942 by her father Nehru who was in Dehra Dun jail while she herself was imprisoned in Naini jail) and by the Gandhian birdwatcher Horace Alexander. Ali influenced the designation of the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and in decisions that saved the Silent Valley National Park. One of Ali's later interventions at Bharatpur involved the exclusion of cattle and graziers into the sanctuary and this was to prove costly and resulted in ecological changes that led to a decline in the numbers of many species of waterbirds. Some historians have noted that the approach to conservation used by Salim Ali and the BNHS followed an undemocratic process.
Dr. Ali was a frequent visitor to The Doon School where he was an engaging and persuasive advocate of ornithology to successive generations of pupils. As a consequence, he was considered to be part of the Dosco fraternity and became one of the very few people to be made an honorary member of The Doon School Old Boys Society.

Personal views

Salim Ali held many views that were contrary to the mainstream ideas of his time. A question that he was asked frequently was about the collection of bird specimens particularly in later life when he became known for his conservation related activism. Although once a fan of shikar (hunting) literature, Ali held strong views on hunting but upheld the collection of bird specimens for scientific study. He held the view that the practice of wildlife conservation needed to be practical and not grounded in philosophies like ahimsa. He suggested that this fundamental religious sentiment had hindered the growth of bird study in India.
    it is true that I despise purposeless killing, and regard it as an act of vandalism, deserving the severest condemnation. But my love for birds is not of the sentimental variety. It is essentially aesthetic and scientific, and in some cases may even be pragmatic. For a scientific approach to bird study, it is often necessary to sacrifice a few, ... (and) I have no doubt that but for the methodical collecting of specimens in my earlier years - several thousands, alas - it would have been impossible to advance our taxonomical knowledge of Indian birds ... nor indeed of their geographic distribution, ecology, and bionomics.
    — Ali (1985):195
Brought up in a Muslim household, he had in his younger life been taught to recite the Koran without understanding any Arabic. In his adult life he despised what he saw as the meaningless and hypocritical practices of prayer and was put off by the "ostentatiously sanctimonious elders".
In the early 1960s the national bird of India was under consideration and Salim Ali was intent that it should be the endangered Great Indian Bustard, however this proposal was overruled in favour of the Indian Peafowl.

Honours and memorials

Although recognition came late, he received several honorary doctorates and numerous awards. The earliest was the "Joy Gobinda Law Gold Medal" in 1953, awarded by the Asiatic Society of Bengal and was based on an appraisal of his work by Sunder Lal Hora (and in 1970 received the Sunder Lal Hora memorial Medal of the Indian National Science Academy). He received honorary doctorates from the Aligarh Muslim University (1958), Delhi University (1973) and Andhra University (1978). In 1967 he became the first non-British citizen to receive the Gold Medal of the British Ornithologists' Union. In the same year, he received the J Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation prize consisting of a sum of $ 100,000, which he used to form the corpus of the Salim Ali Nature Conservation Fund. In 1969 he received the John C. Phillips memorial medal of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The USSR Academy of Medical Science gave him the Pavlovsky Centenary Memorial Medal in 1973 and in the same year he was made Commander of the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. The Indian government decorated him with a Padma Bhushan in 1958 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1976.He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1985.
Dr. Salim Ali died in 1987, at the age of 91 after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer in Mumbai. In 1990, the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) was established at Coimbatore by the Government of India. Pondicherry University established the Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. The government of Goa set up the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and the Thattakad bird sanctuary near Vembanad in Kerala also goes by his name. The location of the BNHS in Bombay was renamed to "Dr Salim Ali Chowk". In 1972, Kitti Thonglongya discovered a misidentified specimen in the collection of the BNHS and described a new species that he called Latidens salimalii, considered one of the world's rarest bats, and the only species in the genus Latidens. The subspecies of the Rock Bush Quail (Perdicula argoondah salimalii) and the eastern population of Finn's Weaver (Ploceus megarhynchus salimalii) were named after him by Whistler and Abdulali respectively. A subspecies of the Black-rumped Flameback Woodpecker (Dinopium benghalense tehminae) was named after his wife, Tehmina by Whistler and Kinnear.
    The International Jury for the J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize of the World Wildlife Fund has selected for 1975
    Salim A. Ali
    Creator of an environment for conservation in India, your work over fifty years in acquainting Indians with the natural riches of the subcontinent has been instrumental in the promotion of protection, the setting up of parks and reserves, and indeed the awakening of conscience in all circles from the government to the simplest village Panchayat. Since the writing of your book, the Book of Indian Birds which in its way was the seminal natural history volume for everyone in India, your name has been the single one known throughout the length and breadth of your own country, Pakistan, and Bangladesh as the father of conservation and the fount of knowledge on birds. Your message has gone high and low across the land and we are sure that weaver birds weave your initials in their nests, and swifts perform parabolas in the sky in your honor.
    For your lifelong dedication to the preservation of bird life in the Indian subcontinent and your identification with the Bombay Natural History Society as a force for education, the World Wildlife Fund takes delight in presenting you with the second J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize. February 19, 1976.


The 10 volume "Handbook" (second edition)
Salim Ali wrote numerous journal articles, chiefly in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. He also wrote a number of popular and academic books, many of which remain in print. Ali credited Tehmina, who had studied in England, for helping improve his English prose. Some of his literary pieces were used in a collection of English writing. A popular article that he wrote in 1930 Stopping by the woods on a Sunday morning was reprinted in The Indian Express on his birthday in 1984.His most popular work was The Book of Indian Birds, written in the style of Whistler's Popular Handbook of Birds, first published in 1941 and subsequently translated into several languages and numerous editions. The first ten editions alone sold more than forty-six thousand copies. The first edition was reviewed by Ernst Mayr in 1943, who commending it while noting that the illustrations were not to the standard of American bird-books.His magnum opus was however the 10 volume Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan written with Dillon Ripley and often referred to as "the handbook". This work started in 1964 and ended in 1974 and a second edition was completed by others, notably J S Serrao of the BNHS, Bruce Beehler, Michel Desfayes and Pamela Rasmussen, after his death.A single volume "compact edition" of the "Handbook" was also produced and a supplementary illustrative work A Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent with illustrations by John Henry Dick and coauthored with Dillon Ripley was published in 1983, these plates were also used in the second edition of the "Handbook".
Some of the books written by Salim Ali
He also produced a number of regional field guides, including "The Birds of Kerala" (the first edition in 1953 was titled "The Birds of Travancore and Cochin"), "The Birds of Sikkim", "The Birds of Kutch" (later "The Birds of Gujarat"), "Indian Hill Birds" and the "Birds of the Eastern Himalayas". Several low-cost book were produced by the National Book Trust including "Common Birds" (1967) written with his niece Laeeq Futehally which was reprinted in several editions with translations into Hindi and other languages. In 1985 he wrote his autobiography, The Fall of a Sparrow. Ali also wrote about his own vision for the Bombay Natural History Society, noting the importance of conservation related activities.In the 1986 issue of the Journal of the BNHS he noted the role that it had played, the changing interests from hunting to conservation captured in 64 volumes that were preserved in microfiche copies, and the zenith that it had reached under the exceptional editorship of S H Prater.
A two-volume compilation of his shorter letters and writings was published in 2007, edited by Tara Gandhi, one of his last students.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sir David Frederick Attenborough....An Amazing Naturalist & Narrator.....

Sir David Frederick Attenborough (born 8 May 1926 in London, England) is a broadcaster and naturalist. His career as the respected face and voice of British natural history programmes has endured for more than 50 years. He is best known for writing and presenting the nine "Life" series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of all terrestrial life. He is also a former senior manager at the BBC, having served as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s.

He is the younger brother of director and actor Richard Attenborough.

Early life

Attenborough grew up in College House on the campus of University College, Leicester, where his father, Frederick, was principal. He was the middle of three sons (his elder brother, Richard, became a director and his younger brother, John, an executive at Alfa Romeo). During World War II his parents also adopted two Jewish refugee girls from Europe.
Attenborough spent his childhood collecting fossils, stones and other natural specimens. He received encouragement in this pursuit at age seven, when a young Jacquetta Hawkes admired his "museum". A few years later, one of his adoptive sisters gave him a piece of amber filled with prehistoric creatures; some 50 years later, it would be the focus of his programme The Amber Time Machine.
Attenborough was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and then won a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge where he studied geology and zoology and obtained a degree in Natural Sciences. He continued academic study at the London School of Economics, studying anthropology between 1944 and 1946. In 1947, he was called up for National Service in the Royal Navy and spent two years stationed in North Wales and the Firth of Forth.
In 1950, Attenborough married Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel; the marriage lasted until her death in 1997. The couple had two children, Robert and Susan.
His son, Dr Robert Attenborough, is a senior lecturer in Bioanthropology for the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University in Canberra.

First years at the BBC

After leaving the Navy, Attenborough took a position editing children's science textbooks for a publishing company. He soon became disillusioned with the work, however, and in 1950 he applied for a job as a radio talks producer with the BBC. Although he was rejected for this job, his CV later attracted the interest of Mary Adams, head of the Talks (factual broadcasting) department of the BBC's fledgling television service. Attenborough, like most Britons at that time, did not own a television, and he had seen only one programme in his life. However, he accepted Adams' offer of a three-month training course, and in 1952 he joined the BBC full time. Initially discouraged from appearing on camera because Adams thought his teeth were too big, he became a producer for the Talks Department, which handled all non-fiction broadcasts. His early projects included the quiz show Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? and Song Hunter, a series about folk music presented by Alan Lomax.
Attenborough's association with natural history programmes began when he produced and presented the three-part series The Pattern of Animals. The studio-bound programme featured animals from London Zoo, with the naturalist Sir Julian Huxley discussing their use of camouflage, aposematism and courtship displays. Through this programme, Attenborough met Jack Lester, the curator of the zoo's reptile house, and they decided to make a series about an animal-collecting expedition. The result was Zoo Quest, first broadcast in 1954, which Attenborough presented at short notice, due to Lester being taken ill.
In 1957, the BBC Natural History Unit was formally established in Bristol. Attenborough was asked to join it, but declined, not wishing to move from London where he and his young family were settled. Instead he formed his own department, the Travel and Exploration Unit[5], which allowed him to continue to front the Zoo Quest programmes as well as produce other documentaries, notably the Travellers’ Tales and Adventure series.

BBC administration

From 1965 to 1969 Attenborough was Controller of BBC Two. Among the programmes he commissioned during this time were Match of the Day, Civilisation, The Ascent of Man, The Likely Lads, Man Alive, Masterclass, The Old Grey Whistle Test and The Money Programme. He also initiated televised snooker. This diversity of programme types reflects Attenborough's belief that BBC Two's output should be as varied as possible. In 1967, under his watch, BBC Two became the first television channel in the United Kingdom to broadcast in colour.
From 1969 to 1972 he was BBC Television's Director of Programmes (making him responsible overall for both BBC One and BBC Two), but ultimately turned down an offer of promotion that would have made him Director General of the BBC. In 1972 he resigned his post and returned to programme making.

Major series

Foremost among Attenborough's TV documentary work as writer and presenter is the "Life" series, which begins with the trilogy: Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984) and The Trials of Life (1990). These examine the world's organisms from the viewpoints of taxonomy, ecology and stages of life respectively.
They were followed by more specialised surveys: Life in the Freezer (about Antarctica; 1993), The Private Life of Plants (1995), The Life of Birds (1998), The Life of Mammals (2002), Life in the Undergrowth (2005) and Life in Cold Blood (2008). The 'Life' series as a whole comprises 79 programmes.
Attenborough has also written and/or presented other shorter productions. One of the first after his return to programme-making was The Tribal Eye (1975), which enabled him to expand on his interest in tribal art. Others include The First Eden (1987), about man's relationship with the natural habitats of the Mediterranean, and Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives (1989), which demonstrated Attenborough's passion for discovering fossils. In 2000, State of the Planet examined the environmental crisis that threatens the ecology of the Earth. The naturalist also narrated two other significant series: The Blue Planet (2001) and the British version of Planet Earth (2006) (which in its American cable television edition was narrated by actress Sigourney Weaver). The latter is the first natural history series to be made entirely in high-definition.
In May–June 2006, the BBC broadcast a major two-part environmental documentary as part of its "Climate Chaos" season of programmes on global warming. In Are We Changing Planet Earth? and Can We Save Planet Earth?, Attenborough investigated the subject and put forward some potential solutions. He returned to the locations of some of his past productions and discovered the effect that climate change has had on them. These two programmes were released on DVD under the title The Truth About Climate Change on 23 June 2008.
In 2007, Attenborough presented "Sharing Planet Earth", the first programme in a series of documentaries entitled Saving Planet Earth. Again he used footage from his previous series to illustrate the impact that mankind has had on the planet. "Sharing Planet Earth" was broadcast on 24 June 2007.
Life in Cold Blood is Attenborough's last major series. In an interview to promote it, he stated:
The evolutionary history is finished. The endeavour is complete. If you'd asked me 20 years ago whether we'd be attempting such a mammoth task, I'd have said 'Don't be ridiculous'. These programmes tell a particular story and I'm sure others will come along and tell it much better than I did, but I do hope that if people watch it in 50 years' time, it will still have something to say about the world we live in.
However, in subsequent interviews with Radio Times, Parkinson and on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, he said that he did not intend to retire completely and would probably continue to make occasional one-off programmes. In 2008, he stated that he is planning a series about Charles Darwin and evolution.
Although Attenborough's documentaries have attained immense popularity in the United States, several have never been made available on DVD in NTSC format; most notably, the ones that cast doubt upon Conservative religious or political positions. These include:
■Life on Earth, which examines the evidence for evolution.
■State of the Planet
■The Truth About Climate Change

Other work

In 1975, the naturalist presented a BBC children's series about cryptozoology entitled Fabulous Animals. This represented a diversion from Attenborough's usual fare, as it dealt with the creatures of myths and legends, such as the griffin and kraken. It was a studio-based production, with the presenter describing his subjects with the aid of large, ornately illustrated books.
From 1983, Attenborough worked on two environmentally-themed musicals with the WWF and writers Peter Rose and Anne Conlon. Yanomamo was the first, about the Amazon rainforest, and the second, Ocean World, premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in 1991. They were both narrated by Attenborough on their national tour, and recorded on to audio cassette. Ocean World was also filmed for Channel 4 and later released.
Between 1977 and 2005, Attenborough also narrated over 250 editions of the half-hour BBC One nature series Wildlife on One (BBC Two repeats were retitled Wildlife on Two). Though his role was mainly to narrate other people's films, he did on rare occasions appear in front of the camera.
Attenborough also serves on the advisory board of BBC Wildlife magazine.

Achievements, awards and recognition

■1970 : BAFTA Desmond Davis Award
■1974 : Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
■1979 : BAFTA Fellowship
■1983 : Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
■1985 : Knighthood
■1991 : Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) for producing Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas broadcast for a number of years from 1986
■1996 : Companion of Honour (CH) "for services to nature broadcasting"
■2000 : International Cosmos Prize
■2003 : Michael Faraday Prize awarded by the Royal Society
■2004 : Descartes Prize for Outstanding Science Communication Actions
■2004 : Caird Medal of the National Maritime Museum
■2005 : Order of Merit (OM)
■2005 : Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest
■2006 : National Television Awards Special Recognition Award
■2006 : Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management - Institute Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the public perception and understanding of ecology
■2006 : The Culture Show British Icon Award
■2007 : British Naturalists' Association Peter Scott Memorial Award

On 13 July 2006, Attenborough, along with his brother Richard, were awarded the titles of Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University of Leicester "in recognition of a record of continuing distinguished service to the University." David Attenborough was previously awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the university in 1970.
In 1993, after discovering that the Mesozoic reptile Plesiosaurus conybeari had not, in fact, been a true plesiosaur, the paleontologist Robert Bakker renamed the species Attenborosaurus conybeari in Attenborough's honour.
Out of four extant species of echidna, one is named after him: Sir David's Long-beaked Echidna, Zaglossus attenboroughi, which inhabits the Cyclops mountains in the Papua province of New Guinea.
In June 2004, Attenborough and Sir Peter Scott were jointly profiled in the second of a three-part BBC Two series, The Way We Went Wild, about television wildlife presenters. Part three also featured Attenborough extensively. The next month, another BBC Two programme, Attenborough the Controller, recalled his time as Director of Programmes for BBC Two.
In November 2005, London's Natural History Museum announced a fundraising campaign to build a communications centre in Attenborough's honour. The museum intends to open the David Attenborough Studio in 2008.
An opinion poll of 4,900 Britons conducted by Reader's Digest in 2006 showed Attenborough to be the most trusted celebrity in Britain. In a list compiled by the magazine New Statesman in 2006, he was voted tenth in the list of "Heroes of our time".
It is often suggested that David Attenborough's 50-year career at the BBC making natural history documentaries and travelling extensively throughout the world has probably made him the most travelled person on Earth ever.
His contribution to broadcasting was recognised by the 60-minute documentary Life on Air, transmitted in 2002 to tie in with the publication of Attenborough's similarly titled autobiography. For the programme, the naturalist was interviewed at his home by his friend Michael Palin (someone who is almost as well-travelled). Attenborough's reminiscences are interspersed with memorable clips from his series, with contributions from his brother Richard as well as professional colleagues. Life on Air is available on DVD as part of Attenborough in Paradise and Other Personal Voyages.
In May 2008, the oldest known prehistoric mother — a fossilised fish giving live birth, was given the name Materpiscis attenboroughi. It honoured David Attenborough's role in highlighting the scientific importance of the ancient fossilised Gogo Reef, Western Australia, in his 1979 Life on Earth TV series.
Attenborough received three honorary degrees in 2008; one from the University of Aberdeen on 1 July 2008, another from the University of Exeter on 11 July 2008 and the other on 4 November 2008 from Kingston University London .

Favourite Attenborough moments

In April 2006, to celebrate Attenborough's 80th birthday, the public were asked to vote on their favourite of his television moments, out of twenty candidates. The results were announced on UKTV on 7 May. Each is given with its series and advocate:
1.Attenborough watching a lyrebird mimicking various noises (The Life of Birds, selected by Bill Oddie)
2.Mountain gorillas (Life on Earth, Sanjeev Bhaskar)
3.Blue whale encounter (The Life of Mammals, Alan Titchmarsh)
4.His description of the demise of Easter Island's native society (State of the Planet, Charlotte Uhlenbroek)
5.Chimpanzees using tools to crack nuts (The Life of Mammals, Charlotte Uhlenbroek)
6.A grizzly bear fishing (The Life of Mammals, Steve Leonard)
7.Imitating a woodpecker to lure in a real one (The Life of Birds, Ray Mears)
8.The presenter being attacked by a displaying male capercaillie (The Life of Birds, Bill Oddie)
9.Chimps wading through water on two feet (The Life of Mammals, Gavin Thurston)
10.Observing a male bowerbird's display (The Life of Birds, Joanna Lumley)
11.Watching elephants in a salt cave (The Life of Mammals, Joanna Lumley)
12.Wild chimps hunting monkeys (The Trials of Life, Alastair Fothergill)
13.Freetail bats leaving a cave and Attenborough holding one of their young (The Trials of Life, Rory McGrath)
14.Being threatened by a bull elephant seal (Life in the Freezer, Björk)
15.A wandering albatross chick and its parent (Life in the Freezer, Ellen MacArthur)
16.Spawning Christmas Island red crabs (The Trials of Life, Simon King)
17.In a tree with gibbons (The Life of Mammals, Steve Leonard)
18.Burrowing under a termite mound to demonstrate its cooling system (The Trials of Life, Björk)
19.Observing a titan arum (The Private Life of Plants, Alan Titchmarsh)
20.Timelapse footage of a bramble growing (The Private Life of Plants, Rory McGrath)

Parodies and artistic portrayals

Attenborough's accent and hushed, excited delivery have been the subject of frequent parodies by comedians, most notably Spike Milligan, Marty Feldman, The Goodies and South Park. Especially apt for spoofing is Attenborough's pronunciation of the word "here" when using it to introduce a sentence, as in, "He-eah, in the rain forest of the Amazon Basin..."
Attenborough is portrayed by Michael Palin in the final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, where he searches the African jungle for the legendary Walking Tree of Dahomey (Quercus Nicholas Parsonus), sweating excessively and accompanied by native guides wearing saxophones.
In an episode of Are You Being Served?, "Anything You Can Do!", Mrs. Slocombe refers him by name, by mistake, she says Richard Attenborough.
Attenborough also appears as a character in David Ives' play Time Flies, a comedy focusing on a romance between two mayflies.
In the documentary In the Wild: Lemurs with John Cleese, while trekking through the forest in Madagascar, Cleese points as if to have seen an exotic creature and exclaims, "It's David Attenborough!"
On an episode of The Ricky Gervais Show, Karl Pilkington speculates that David Attenborough is likely careful not to kill any insect pests, imitating Attenborough's inevitable recognition that "that's where I make me money."
In the late 1980s, an Australian weekly programme called The Comedy Company featured a segment with "David Rabbitborough" played by Ian McFadyen. He got around in a safari suit touring the Melbourne suburbs in the same format as Attenborough, but his specimens were human beings and garden objects, like gnomes, garden hoses and water caps.
In the 1980s, a TV advertisement for Guinness featured an Attenborough impersonator investigating the odd "species" of humans who prefer bland lager to flavoursome stout.
In a Finnish TV commercial, Attenborough is impersonated, looking at fireflies - until the lights are turned on by a studio employee going to a soft drink vending machine.
Portuguese comedian Herman José played a caricature of Attenborough (David Vaitenborough, roughly translated as David Go-away) in the "Herman Geographycal Society" sketches in his TV Show Herman Enciclopédia (1997).
Another group of TV advertisements produced in 2008, this time for GEICO automobile insurance, has an Attenborough impersonator observing the Geico gecko making his sales pitch in various settings.
Attenborough's voice-over is included in the Japanese band Coaltar of the Deepers' song "Cell".

Views and advocacy

Environmental causes

From the beginning, Attenborough's major series have included some content regarding the impact of human society on the natural world. The last episode of The Living Planet, for example, focuses almost entirely on humans' destruction of the environment and ways that it could be stopped or reversed. Despite this, his programmes have been criticised for not making their environmental message more explicit. Some environmentalists feel that programmes like Attenborough's give a false picture of idyllic wilderness and do not do enough to acknowledge that such areas are increasingly encroached upon by humans.
However, his closing message from State of the Planet was forthright:
The future of life on earth depends on our ability to take action. Many individuals are doing what they can, but real success can only come if there's a change in our societies and our economics and in our politics. I've been lucky in my lifetime to see some of the greatest spectacles that the natural world has to offer. Surely we have a responsibility to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy, inhabitable by all species.
In the last few years, Attenborough has become increasingly outspoken in support of environmental causes. In 2005 and 2006 he backed a BirdLife International project to stop the killing of albatross by longline fishing boats. He gave public support to WWF's campaign to have 220,000 square kilometres of Borneo's rainforest designated a protected area. He also serves as a vice-president of BTCV, Fauna and Flora International, president of Butterfly Conservation and president of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. In 2003 he launched an appeal to create a rainforest reserve in Ecuador in memory of Christopher Parsons OBE, the producer of Life on Earth and a personal friend, who had died the previous year. Attenborough also launched ARKive in May 2003, a global project which had been instigated by Christopher Parsons to gather together natural history media into a digital library, an online Noah's Ark. He later became Patron of the World Land Trust, and an active supporter.
Attenborough has repeatedly said that he considers human overpopulation to be the root cause of many environmental problems. Both his series The Life of Mammals and the accompanying book end with a plea for humans to curb population growth so that other species will not be crowded out.
He has recently written and spoken publicly about the fact that he now believes global warming is definitely real, and caused by humans. At the climax of the aforementioned "Climate Chaos" documentaries, the naturalist gives this summing up of his findings:
In the past, we didn't understand the effect of our actions. Unknowingly, we sowed the wind and now, literally, we are reaping the whirlwind. But we no longer have that excuse: now we do recognise the consequences of our behaviour. Now surely, we must act to reform it: individually and collectively; nationally and internationally — or we doom future generations to catastrophe.
In a 2005 interview with BBC Wildlife magazine, Attenborough said he considered George W. Bush to be the era's top "environmental villain". In 2007, he further elaborated on the USA's consumption of energy in relation to its population. When asked if he thought America to be "the villain of the piece", he responded:
I don't think whole populations are villainous, but Americans are just extraordinarily unaware of all kinds of things. If you live in the middle of that vast continent, with apparently everything your heart could wish for just because you were born there, then why worry? If people lose knowledge, sympathy and understanding of the natural world, they're going to mistreat it and will not ask their politicians to care for it.

Other causes

In May 2005, Attenborough was appointed as patron of the UK's Blood Pressure Association, which provides information and support to people with hypertension.
Attenborough is also an honorary member of BSES Expeditions, a youth development charity that operates challenging scientific research expeditions to remote wilderness environments.

Religion and creationism

In a December 2005 interview with Simon Mayo on BBC Radio Five Live, Attenborough stated that he considers himself an agnostic. When asked whether his observation of the natural world has given him faith in a creator, he generally responds with some version of this story:
My response is that when Creationists talk about God creating every individual species as a separate act, they always instance hummingbirds, or orchids, sunflowers and beautiful things. But I tend to think instead of a parasitic worm that is boring through the eye of a boy sitting on the bank of a river in West Africa, [a worm] that's going to make him blind. And [I ask them], 'Are you telling me that the God you believe in, who you also say is an all-merciful God, who cares for each one of us individually, are you saying that God created this worm that can live in no other way than in an innocent child's eyeball? Because that doesn't seem to me to coincide with a God who's full of mercy'.
He has explained that he feels the evidence all over the planet clearly shows evolution to be the best way to explain the diversity of life, and that "as far as I'm concerned, if there is a supreme being then he chose organic evolution as a way of bringing into existence the natural world."
In a BBC Four interview with Mark Lawson, Attenborough was asked if he at any time had any religious faith. He replied simply, "No."
In 2002, Attenborough joined an effort by leading clerics and scientists to oppose the inclusion of creationism in the curriculum of UK state-funded independent schools which receive private sponsorship, such as the Emmanuel Schools Foundation.

Television work

Writer and presenter (documentary series)

■Zoo Quest (1954-1963)
■The People of Paradise (1960)
■Attenborough and Animals (1963)
■Zambezi (1965)
■Life: East Africa (1967)
■Eastwards with Attenborough (1973)
■Natural Break (1973)
■Royal Institution Christmas Lectures: The Language of Animals (1973)
■Fabulous Animals (1975)
■The Tribal Eye (1975)
■Life on Earth (1979)
■The Living Planet (1984)
■The First Eden (1987)
■Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives (1989)
■The Trials of Life (1990)
■Life in the Freezer (1993)
■The Private Life of Plants (1995)
■The Life of Birds (1998)
■State of the Planet (2000)
■The Life of Mammals (2002)
■Life in the Undergrowth (2005)
■Life in Cold Blood (2008)

Writer and presenter (single documentaries)

■A Blank on the Map (1971)
■The Million Pound Bird Book (1985)
■Heart of a Nomad (1994) (interviewer)
■"Attenborough in Paradise", screened as part of the Natural World series (1996)
■The Origin of Species: An Illustrated Guide (1998)
■The Lost Gods of Easter Island (2000)
■The Song of the Earth (2000)
■"Bowerbirds: The Art of Seduction", screened as part of the Natural World series (2000)
■"The Amber Time Machine", screened as part of the Natural World series (2004)
■Gorillas Revisited (2006)
■"Are We Changing Planet Earth?" and "Can We Save Planet Earth?", part of the BBC's Climate Chaos season (2006)
■"Tom Harrisson: The Barefoot Anthropologist", part of BBC Four's Anthropologists season (2007)
■Climate Change: Britain Under Threat (2007) (as co-presenter)
■"Sharing Planet Earth", part of the BBC's Saving Planet Earth season (2007)
■Attenborough Explores... Our Fragile Planet (2007)

Narrator (documentary series)

■Travellers' Tales (1960)
■Adventure (1961–1963)
■The World About Us (narrator of approximately 20 episodes between 1969 and 1982)
■The Miracle of Bali (1969)
■The Explorers (1975)
■The Discoverers (1976)
■Wildlife on One (1977–2005)
■The Spirit of Asia (1980)
■Natural World (narrator of approximately 25 episodes between 1983 and 2008)
■BBC Wildlife Specials (1995-2008) (also appears on screen to introduce some of the programmes)
■Winners and Losers (1996)
■The Blue Planet (2001)
■Animal Crime Scene (2005)
■Planet Earth (British version) (2006) (American cable television version narrated by Sigourney Weaver)
■The Frozen Planet (2011 — in production)

Narrator (single documentaries)

■The Ark in South Kensington (1981)
■Wildlife 100 (1993)
■Survival Island (1996)
■"The Secret Life of Seahorses", screened as part of the Q.E.D. series (1996)
■"Sharks - The Truth", screened as part of BBC One's Shark Summer season (1999)
■Living with Dinosaurs (2000)
■The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth (2000)
■Great Natural Wonders of the World (2002)


■Coelacanth (1952)
■Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? (1952-1959)
■Song Hunter (1953)
■The Pattern of Animals (1953)
■The Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58 (1955-1958)
■Japan (1961)
■Destruction of the Indian (1962)
■The Queen's Christmas Message (1986-1991)

Attenborough also acted as producer for many programs in which he had other roles, particularly those produced by the BBC's Travel and Exploration Unit in the 1950s and 1960s. These programs have already been listed where Attenborough had a narrating or presenting role.

Other television and film work

■A Zed & Two Noughts, narrator in film drama (1985)
■State of the Ark, participant in on-screen debate (1994)
■2000 Today, guest, interviewed about the environmental state of the planet and his up coming TV trilogy of the same name (2000)
■Robbie the Reindeer, voice of the museum commentary in episode "Legend of the Lost Tribe" (2002)
■Life on Air, archive footage and interviewee (2002)
■Attenborough the Controller, archive footage and interviewee (2002)
■Attenborough in Conversation with Mark Lawson, interviewee (2002)
■Great Wildlife Moments, introduced (2003)
■The Way We Went Wild, archive footage and interviewee (2004)
■Selfish Green, participant in on-screen debate (2004)
■How Art Made The World, interviewee (2005)
■Time Shift, episode "The Lost Road: Overland to Singapore", on-screen participant (2005)
■Favourite Attenborough Moments, archive footage (2006)
■Suez: A Very British Crisis, interviewee (2006)
■Planet Earth: The Future, interviewee (2006)
■Watching Desmond Morris (2007), on-screen participant
■100 Years of Wildlife Films, archive footage (2007)
■Fossil Detectives, interviewee (2008)



■Zoo Quest to Guyana (Lutterworth Press, 1956)
■Zoo Quest for a Dragon (Lutterworth Press, 1957)
■(book club edition with 85 extra pages, Quest for the Paradise Birds, 1959)
■Zoo Quest in Paraguay (Lutterworth Press, 1959)
■The Zoo Quest Expeditions (Lutterworth Press, abridged compilation of the above three titles with a new introduction, 1980)
■paperback (Penguin Books, 1982)
■Quest in Paradise (1960)
■People of Paradise (Harper & Brothers, 1960)
■Zoo Quest to Madagascar (1961)
■Quest Under Capricorn (1963)
■Fabulous Animals (BBC, 1975) ISBN 0-563-17006-9
■The Tribal Eye (1976)
■Life on Earth (1979)
■Discovering Life on Earth (1981)
■Journeys to the past: Travels in New Guinea, Madagascar, and the northern territory of Australia (1983) Penguin Books ISBN 0-14-00.64133
■The Living Planet (1984)
■The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man (1987)(Little Brown & Co (T); 1st American ed edition (March 1990))
■The Atlas of the Living World (1989)
■The Trials of Life (Collins, 1990) ISBN 0-00-219912-2
■The Private Life of Plants (BBC Books, 1994) ISBN 0-563-37023-8
■The Life of Birds (BBC Books, 1998) ISBN 0-563-38792-0
■The Life of Mammals (BBC Books, 2002) ISBN 0-563-53423-0
■Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster (autobiography; 2002) ISBN 0-563-53461-3
■paperback: ISBN 0-563-48780-1
■Life in the Undergrowth (BBC Books, 2005) ISBN 0-563-52208-9
■Amazing Rare Things - The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery with Susan Owens, Martin Clayton and Rea Alexandratos (The Royal Collection, 2007) Hardback - ISBN 978 1 902163 46 8; Softback - ISBN 978 1 902163 99 4
■Life in Cold Blood (BBC Books, 2007) ISBN 9780563539223


Attenborough has written the introduction or foreword for a number of books, including:
■African Jigsaw: A Musical Entertainment, Peter Rose and Anne Conlon (published: 1986, Weinberger)
■Tomorrow Is Too Late, Various (The Macmillan Press, 1990)
■Life in the Freezer: Natural History of the Antarctic, Alastair Fothergill (BBC Books, 1993), ISBN 0-563-36431-9
■Birds of Paradise: Paradisaeidae (Bird Families of the World series) Clifford B. Frith, Bruce M. Beehler, William T. Cooper (Illustrator) (Oxford University Press, 1998) ISBN 0-19-854853-2
■The Blue Planet, Andrew Byatt, Alastair Fothergill, Martha Holmes (BBC Books, 2001) ISBN 0-563-38498-0.
■Light on the Earth (BBC Books, 2005), two decades of winning images from the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, ISBN 0-563-52260-7
■Planet Earth, Alastair Fothergill (BBC Books, 2006), ISBN 0-563-52212-7

Audio recordings

■Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson (available on audiocassette, 1978)
■Yanomamo (musical entertainment, 1983) by Peter Rose and Anne Conlon; on-stage narration and published audio recording
■Ocean World (musical entertainment, 1990) by Peter Rose and Anne Conlon; on-stage narration (including at The Royal Festival Hall), for audio recording and video broadcast (both published)
■Peter and the Wolf for BBC Music Magazine (free CD with the June 2000 issue).

In addition, Attenborough has recorded some of his own works in audiobook form, including Life on Earth, Zoo Quest for a Dragon and his autobiography Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Austin James Stevens……A Renowned Herpetologist….

Austin James Stevens (born 19 May 1950) is a South African-born herpetologist and wildlife photographer best known for hosting a series of snake documentaries. Austin is also the author of 2 books.

Austin Stevens was born in Pretoria, South Africa,[citation needed] and became interested in snakes at the age of 12. By the time he finished school, his reptile collection included some of the most exotic and venomous species in the world, and was considered one of the most important in South Africa

Early Snake Fascination
Stevens was first interested with snakes at the age of 12. He brought snakes home when he found them.His house was inhabited by many snakes.His parents did not like this but they were proud to tell people of how their son kept snakes. Stevens describes his parents as “conventional”. His mother lost a lung in a car accident as a girl, was often ill, and died when Stevens was in his thirties; his father owned a small typewriter repair business. He traces his adventurous streak back to his grandfather from Bristol, England – also named Austin James Stevens – part founder of the AJS motorbike corporation, but later took the boat to Africa.

South African Army
Austin served in the South African Army during the war in Angola, during which he was called upon to identify and remove snakes from the battlefield or anywhere where they bothered his fellow troops. During this time, he suffered his first bite from a puff adder while removing it from a machine-gun trench. As a result, he found himself in a desperate race against time to save his life that included an approximately 300-kilometer trip through rugged bush and enemy territory and later a 1,600-kilometer flight, which made an emergency landing on the road at the front of a hospital in Namibia. Stevens remained in a coma for the next five days. Doctors worked for more than three months to save his hand from being removed. However he did lose part of his finger to the effects of the venom.

After leaving the Army
Austin got heavily into motorbikes and motorbike gangs and spent years riding around being a self described "loose cannon". He gave up the world of motorbikes in 1974 after a disastrous near fatal accident. What saved him, he says, was being offered a job at the Transvaal Snake Park, near Johannesburg, which rekindled his passion for wildlife. Austin took up the position as curator of reptiles at the Transvaal Snake Park, where he spent the six years undergoing hands-on training to become a fully qualified herpetologist.

Photographer and film maker
After Austin left the Transvaal Snake Park he took up a position as Curator of Herpetology at the Nordharzer Shlangenfarm in Germany, a park which he helped design and bring into operation before later again returning to Africa, where he took up the position as Curator of Reptiles at the Hartebeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park. In an effort to generate funds and public interest in the plight of African gorillas, Austin set a record by spending 107 days and nights in a cage with 36 of the most venomous and dangerous snakes in Africa. On the 96th day, he was bitten by a cobra, but to many people's amazement he refused to leave the cage and was instead treated in the cage. Although he was very sick at that time, Austin completed the 107 days and beat the existing Guinness World Record (documented in the Guinness Book of Animal Records). This record has never been broken. From this experience, he authored a book entitled Snakes in my Bed.
Thereafter, Austin relocated to Namibia where he became involved in wildlife photography and film making.
Nowadays Austin's career in herpetology includes presenting a series of TV programmes about reptiles and other wild animals. The main program Austin Stevens: Snakemaster is also known as Austin Stevens: Most Dangerous on Animal Planet, and Austin Stevens Adventures broadcast on five in the United Kingdom. His latest book The Last Snake Man has been published in the UK by Noir Publishing.
Some of the cameras he uses while photographing wildlife include the Samsung GX-10, Canon EOS 50E and the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT.

Personal life
Stevens lives in Swakopmund, Namibia, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the desolate vastness of the Namib Desert.Stevens stays fit and sharp by practising martial arts, in particular, nunchaku. He claims it keeps his reflexes heightened when working with venomous snakes.

In December of 2007, Stevens married Amy Wilcher, a young photo model and python keeper from Australia.

He has a passion for cars, specially the Mazda RX series. Stevens’s latest acquisition is a 2.6 litre Mazda pickup truck, adapted for bush travel.

Some of his works:

* Dragons Of the Namib, a documentary about the life of the Namaqua Chameleon. Listed as of the Producers and Director of Photography.
* Africa's Deadliest Dozen, a documentary about the venomous snakes of Africa. Listed as Cinematographer.
Also, his photos are shown in these sites:
* Jeff Corwin's Carnival of Creatures, where a picture of a common krait was shown.
* Animals Animals/Earth Scenes, where he has submitted images of not just snakes, but dozens of other animals such as birds and lizards(search for "Austin Stevens").
* He is a media donor on ARKive and his photos used in the site are shown here.

* Snakes In My Bed (Penguin 1992)
* The Last Snake Man (Noir Publishing 2007) ISBN-13: 978-0953656462

* Snake Bite - In Search Of The King Cobra (Go Entertain 2005)
* Deadliest Snakes (Green Umbrella 2007)
* Austin Stevens: Snakemaster (series)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sachin...Master Batsman become Wildlife Conservationist......

Sachin Tendulkar dedicated his 42nd Test hundred, which put India in command against New Zealand in the first Test, to the cause of tiger conservation. It is decision and role model create awareness on wild animal conservation. Though he may be a brand model of so many products, he insist wild animal and forests conservation.He proved him as a great cricketer as well as great citizen concerning his country.We can know it from the following statements.
"I would very much like to dedicate this hundred to tiger conservation, because that is what, right from the start of this tour, the whole team had decided. I have given couple of messages as well in this regard. So I would dedicate this one to tiger conservation," said Tendulkar, who scored a sublime 160 in India's first innings total of 520 at the Seddon Park on Friday.
On the eve of the first Test, Tendulkar had supported the cause, expressing concern about the dwindling numbers of tigers in India.
"At the start of the century, there were nearly 40,000 tigers in India. Today that number has shrunk to 1,700 and we are losing at least one tiger a month. The rate at which the tiger is being hunted down is alarming," Tendulkar had said.
Concerned about the steep fall in tiger numbers, he said, "When I was growing up, I was told there was an animal called a dinosaur. Tomorrow, we would probably be talking about the tiger in a similar way to our future generations. Something needs to be done soon to stop the tiger from vanishing from our forests."
Tendulkar, who holds the record for the most number of centuries scored by a batsman in Tests (42) and one-day internationals (43), said, "Though I am no expert in this field, I feel the tiger should be allowed to live without disturbance in the forests. As we have our own homes and territories, the tiger has its territory. We should not disturb its habitat. That would be the best way to ensure that this magnificent survives in our forests."
Interestingly, the entire Indian team has come out in support of the tiger, which is being driven to extinction. A banner 'Extinction is Forever' has been displayed at the team marquee.
Conclusion: Sachin's statement is a good start and should spread all over India as well as world. Politician who concentrate mainly about their political issues should give their voice to nature conservation activities.It is my ultimate desire.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shekar Dattatri.......A wild lens man.........


Shekar Dattatri’s lifelong fascination with wildlife began at the age of 13, when he joined the famous Madras Snake Park as a student-volunteer. This led to photography and, later, to wildlife filmmaking. His first film, ‘A Cooperative for Snake Catchers’, won the National Award in 1987 for Best Scientific Film. His next two documentaries were also National Award winners.

His film ‘Silent Valley - An Indian Rainforest’, completed in 1991, also won several international awards, including a Special Jury Award at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in America, a top honor at the Sondrio International Film Festival on Parks and Protected Areas and Best Nature Film Award at the Tokyo Earthvision Festival. The same year, he was awarded an Inlaks Scholarship to spend eight months working with Oxford Scientific Films in the UK - at the time, one the foremost companies in the world producing natural history and science programmes for television.


Since then, Shekar has worked with some of the world’s leading broadcasters of wildlife programmes, including the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and the BBC Natural History Unit. International Production Companies he’s worked with include North South Productions, Scandinature Films, Natural History New Zealand, Icon Films, and Tigress Productions. In 1998, the UK trade magazine, Television Business International rated him as one of the top ten rising stars of wildlife filmmaking in the world. Some of his films as a producer/cameraman include, ‘The Good Snake’, ‘Nagarahole - Tales from An Indian Jungle’, ‘Monsoon - India’s God of Life’, and ‘The Ridley’s Last Stand’.

Moving away from television documentaries in 2000, and working closely with conservation NGOs in India, Shekar now uses his skills as a filmmaker to make hard-hitting advocacy films on conservation issues. Some of these films, which have helped bring about lasting changes on the ground, include ‘Mindless Mining - The Tragedy of Kudremukh’ and ‘The Killing Fields - Orissa’s Appalling Turtle Crisis’.

Besides filmmaking, Shekar also writes popular articles on wildlife, conservation and filmmaking in leading newspapers and magazines. He is the author of two children’s books, ‘The Riddle of the Ridley’, and ‘Lai Lai the Baby Elephant’. He is a Founder-Trustee of Trust for Environmental Education (TREE), a registered non-profit organization, and Co-Founder of Naturequest, a non-profit forum for environmental education and awareness. He keeps in touch with the world of international natural history broadcasting through his extensive network of contacts in the industry, and as a member of the jury at prestigious international wildlife film festivals. Final juries he’s served on include Wildscreen the world’s premier wildlife film festival, the Sondrio film festival on Parks and Protected Areas, the Japan Wildlife Film Festival and the international section of the Vatavaran Wildlife and Environment Film Festival.

In 2004 he won a Rolex Award for Enterprise (Associate Laureate) for his work in conservation filmmaking, becoming the only wildlife filmmaker to win this coveted award. In 2007 he won a Carl Zeiss Conservation Award and also the Canara Bank - CMS - Prithvi Ratna Award. He is a Member of the National Board for Wildlife, a statutory body chaired by the Prime Minister of India. He lives in Chennai, south India.

Article in Hindu

Kudremukh, a place nestled in Karnataka, was famous for its iron ore. Or so we thought, till a tiny group of people showed us otherwise.

Little did we realise that the place was one of the best rainforest national parks in the country, and that the mining hit it hard. An 11-minute documentary later, the wealth of Kudremukh came to light, and the mining was stopped in 2005.

Small yet powerful

“Conservation today is only because of tiny groups with a big conviction. Such groups have won huge battles,” says Shekar Dattatri, who produced the documentary Mindless Mining - the tragedy of Kudremukh. He was in city recently The 45-year-old conservationist and wildlife cinematographer has directed and produced various documentaries, including ones on tigers, snakes, crocodiles and Olive Ridley turtles. He was here to take part in the World Forest Day celebrations organised by Osai and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

While there are plenty of animals out there facing extinction, is the tiger getting undue attention because it is our national animal? “May be. But saving the tiger is going to improve a whole chain, including the trees, its habitat, its prey etc. So, indirectly many stand to benefit. However, a few animals including the snow leopard, gharial and birds such as the great pied hornbill need special attention too. Invisible destruction of habitats will have insidious results. What is needed is a landscape-based conservation.

“Saving electricity and water may not look as glamorous as saving the tiger, but that’s what we can do as individuals,” says the recipient of Rolex Awards for Enterprise.

“The forests provide us everything that we have. But, we are driven by greed, and soon nothing will be left.”

He says the country is witnessing unsustainable growth. “We are competing with China. But look at them, their growth has been at the cost of bio-diversity. Such growth will kill the real pleasures of living.”

He says that forest provides everything, but only four per cent of the total forest area in India is protected. “If we do not realise the links, the nation will collapse. Shortage of food and water will cause civil unrest.”

He is all praise for Bhutan, and claims that it is the best country in preserving its resources. ‘They look at not the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) but GNP – Gross National Happiness. They are not looking at unbridled growth, and are slow to adopt any new or outside technology.”

However, he says it is still not late. “We need a non-populist politician to apply the brakes, to study the positives and negatives of the current situation before doing anything. We should ensure that the four per cent of the protected land is not encroached upon. We should strive for recovery of resources in the remaining 96 per cent. We can raise a plantation, but never a forest.” He asserts that destroying Nature does not affect Nature, it only affects mankind.

Sign of hope

“As a kid, I was depressed that I many not grow to see tigers roam the forests. However, thanks to conservationists, including NGOs, I see tigers today. I want the kids today to be able to see the majestic animal when they grow up. And, the responsibility is in everyone’s hands: journalists, politicians, NGOs, teachers, students, filmmakers. Just about anyone can inspire and create awareness. That is a sign of hope.”


Where are all the sparrows?

Where are all the thatched roofs? We now live in concrete jungles that do not have the provisions for sparrows to build nests.

Further, earlier they could feed from rice etc spread out on the terrace. Now, we buy everything off supermarket shelves.

As a conservationist don’t you have the responsibility to save an injured animal while on a shoot?

It may sound cruel, but a sanctuary is not a zoo, where the animals are your responsibility. By saving a dying animal I am depriving food for others such as vultures, hyenas and wolves. The best thing is to not interfere.

Can forest fires be prevented?

Yes, because all forest-fires are man-made, and invariably due to his indifference. Reckless throwing of torches, cigarettes and beedis, or deliberate burning of dry leaves to retrieve fallen antlers are reasons for the destruction.

What are the problems you face from animals inside the jungle?

Strangely, we are worried about our safety only till we reach the jungles. Once we are inside, we are very safe. There have been a few ‘mock charges’, but they were just that – mock!

For more about the conservationist and his works, visit

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jane Goodall.....lover of Chimpanzee.....

“We have a choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place." -Dr. Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall: An Extraordinary Life

In the summer of 1960, 26-year-old Jane Goodall arrived on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in East Africa to study the area's chimpanzee population.

Although it was unheard of for a woman to venture into the wilds of the African forest, the trip meant the fulfillment of Jane Goodall's childhood dream. Jane’s work in Tanzania would prove more successful than anyone had imagined.

Must We Redefine Man?

At first, the Gombe chimps fled whenever they saw Jane. But she persisted, watching from a distance with binoculars, and gradually the chimps allowed her closer. One day in October 1960 she saw chimps David Graybeard and Goliath strip leaves off twigs to fashion tools for fishing termites from a nest. Scientists thought humans were the only species to make tools, but here was evidence to the contrary. On hearing of Jane's observation, her mentor Louis Leakey said: "Now we must redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans."

Also in her first year at Gombe, Jane observed chimps hunting and eating bushpigs and other animals, disproving theories that chimpanzees were primarily vegetarians and fruit eaters who only occasionally supplemented their diet with insects and small rodents.

A Profound Effect on Primatology

In 1965, Jane earned her Ph.D in Ethology from Cambridge University. Soon thereafter, she returned to Tanzania to continue research and to establish the Gombe Stream Research Centre.

It is hard to overstate the degree to which Dr. Goodall changed and enriched the field of primatology. She defied scientific convention by giving the Gombe chimps names instead of numbers, and insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions. She wrote of lasting chimpanzee family relationships.

Through the years her work continued to yield surprising insights, such as the unsettling discovery that chimpanzees engage in a primitive form of brutal “warfare.” In early 1974, a "four-year war" began at Gombe, the first record of long-term warfare in nonhuman primates. Members of the Kasakela group systematically annihilated members of the "Kahama" splinter group.

Dr. Goodall would also chart surprising courtship patterns in which males force females onto consortships in remote spots for days or even months. And she and her field staff in 1987 would observe adolescent Spindle "adopt" three-year-old orphan Mel, even though the infant was not a close relative.

The Jane Goodall Institute

In 1977, Jane founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation to provide ongoing support for field research on wild chimpanzees. Today, the mission of the Jane Goodall Institute is to advance the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment for all living things. The Institute is a leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats and is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa and the Roots & Shoots education program in nearly 100 countries.

Jane's Honors

Dr. Goodall's scores of honors include the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal, Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research 2003, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, and the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002 Secretary-General Annan named Dr. Goodall a United Nations “Messenger of Peace.” Messengers help mobilize the public to become involved in work that makes the world a better place. They serve as advocates in a variety of areas: poverty eradication, human rights, peace and conflict resolution, HIV/AIDS, disarmament, community development and environmentalism. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II named Dr. Goodall a Dame of the British Empire, the equivalent of a knighthood.

Dr. Goodall has received honorary doctorates from numerous universities, including: Utrecht University, Holland; Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich; Stirling University, Scotland; Providence University, Taiwan; University of Guelph and Ryerson University in Canada; Buffalo University, Tufts University and other U.S. universities.

Jane's Publications

Goodall's list of publications is extensive, including two overviews of her work at Gombe—In the Shadow of Man and Through a Window—as well as two autobiographies in letters and a spiritual autobiography, Reason for Hope. Her many children's books include Grub: the Bush Baby, Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours and My Life with the Chimpanzees. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior is recognized as the definitive work on chimpanzees and is the culmination of Jane Goodall's scientific career. She has been the subject of numerous television documentaries and is featured in the large-screen format film, Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees (2002). Most recently, Dr. Goodall wrote Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating in 2005.

Today, Jane spends much of her time lecturing, sharing her message of hope for the future and encouraging young people to make a difference in their world.

Curriculum Vitae
Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE


Date of Birth: 3rd April 1934
Nationality: British
Marital Status: Married to Baron Hugo van Lawick, 1964 (divorced)
One son, Hugo Eric Louis, born 1967
Married to Hon. Derek Bryceson, M.P. 1975 (widowed)


1950 School Certificate (London) with Matriculation Exemption

1952 Higher Certificate (London)

1962 Entered Cambridge University, England, as Ph.D. candidate in Ethology under Professor Robert Hinde

Ph.D. in Ethology, Cambridge University, England


From 1960 Behavior of free-living chimpanzees in the Gombe National Park, Tanzania

1968-1969 Social behavior of the Spotted Hyena, Crocutta crocutta, Ngorongoro Conservation Area

1972-2003 Director of research on the behavior of the Olive Baboon, Papio anubis, Gombe National Park

1967-2003 Scientific Director of the Gombe Stream Research Centre, Tanzania

Academic Appointments

1971-1975 Visiting Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Program of Human Biology, Stanford University, California, USA

From 1973 Honorary Visiting Professor in Zoology, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

1987-1988 Adjunct Professor of the Department of Environmental Studies, Tufts University, School of Veterinary Medicine

1990 Associate, Cleveland Natural History Museum

1990 Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Departments of Anthropology and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California

1996-2002 A.D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University

Professional Affiliations

From 1974 Trustee, L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, USA

From 1976 Trustee, Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation, USA

From 1981 Scientific Governor, Chicago Academy of Sciences, USA

From 1984 International Director, ChimpanZoo (research program involving zoos and sanctuaries worldwide), USA

From 1987 Vice President, the British Veterinary Association's Animal Welfare Institute, UK

From 1988 Trustee, Jane Goodall Institute, UK

From 1989 Director, Humane Society of the United States

From 1990 Member of the Advisory Board, Advocates for Animals, Scotland

From 1990 Vice President for Conservation International Board of MediSend

From 1991 Member of the Advisory Board, the Albert Schweitzer Institute for the Humanities, USA

From 1993 Trustee, Jane Goodall Institute, Canada

From 1994 Member of the Board of the Orangutan Foundation, USA

From 1994 Member of the Advisory Board, Trees for Life, USA

From 1995 Founder, Whole Child Initiative International, USA

From 1995 Member of the Advisory Board, Dolphin Project International and Dolphin Project Europe

From 1995 Member of Council of Advisors, Global Green USA

From 1996 Member of Advisory Board, The Fred Foundation, the Netherlands

From 1998 President, Advocates for Animals, UK

From 1999 Member of Advisory Board, The Orion Society, USA

From 2000 Member of the Board, Save the Chimps/Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care

From 2001 Advisor and Founder of the Whole Child Initiative USA

From 2001 Co-founder of EETA/CRABS (Ethologists for Ethical Treatment of Animals/Citizens for Responsible Animal Behavior)

From 2001 Member of the International Advisory Board of Teachers Without Borders, USA

From 2001 Member of Advisory Committee, RESTORE, USA

From 2001 Honorary Trustee, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, USA

From 2001 Member of IPS Ad-Hoc Committee for the World Heritage Status for Great Apes

From 2001 Member of Board of Trustees, NANPA Infinity Foundation, USA

From 2001 Member of Board, North American Bear Center, USA

From 2001 Member of Advisory Board, Laboratory Primate Advocacy Group, USA

From 2001 Member of Advisory Board, Tech Foundation, USA

From 2001 Member of Honorary Committee, Farm Sanctuary, USA

From 2002 Member of Advisory Board, Rachel’s Network, USA

From 2002 Member of the Board of Directors of the Cougar Fund

From 2002 Scientific Fellow of the Wildlife Conservation Society, USA

From 2002 Member of Board of Directors, The Many One Foundation, USA

From 2002 Member of Board of Governors & Officers, For Grace, USA

From 2002 Member of Advisory Board, DIGNITY YOU WEAR, USA

2002-2003 Papadopoulos Fellow

From 2004 Member of Advisory Board, Initiative for Animals and Ethics,

Harvard University, USA

From 2005 Member of Friends of Africa International Advisory Board

From 2005 Member of Cincinnati Zoo Advisory Council

From 2005 Member of Advisory Board, Chimps Inc.

From 2005 Member of Advisory Board, Kidsrights

From 2005 Member of Advisory Board, MediSend

From 2005 Member of Honorary Board, Quinnipiac University, USA

From 2006 Member of Advisory Board, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

From 2006 Member of Advisory Board, Club of Budapest

From 2006 Member of Advisory Board, ENO Leading Mothers of the Environment

From 2006 Member of Board of Directors, National Institute for Play

From 2007 Fellow, Wings WorldQuest, USA

From 2007 Member of Advisory Board, Gift of Life in America, Inc., USA

From 2007 Leading Founder, Great Chapter at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA, USA

From 2007 Member of Advisory Board, The Heart of America Foundation, USA

From 2007 Member of Advisory Board, Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories, a campaign of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, USA


1972 Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

1981 Explorer's Club, New York, USA

1984 Foreign Member of the Research Centre for Human Ethology at the Max- Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology

1988 American Philosophical Society, USA

1988 Society of Women Geographers, USA

1990 Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, Germany

1991 Academia Scientiarium et Artium Europaea, Austria

1991 Honorary Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland

2006 Honorary Member, Ewha Academy of Arts and Sciences

Honorary Degrees

1975 LaSalle College, Philadelphia, Penn., USA

1979 Stirling University, Stirling, Scotland, UK

1986 Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany

1986 Zoologisches Institut der Universitat Munchen, Munchen, Germany

1986 Tuft's University, Boston, Mass., USA

1988 University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC, USA

1990 University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Penn., USA

1991 Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

1993 William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va., USA

1993 University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla., USA

1994 Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands

1996 Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, Conn., USA

1996 Salisbury State University, Salisbury, Md., USA

1997 University of Edinburgh Veterinary School, Edinburgh, Scotland

1998 University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

1999 Albright College, Reading, Penn., USA

2000 Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga., USA

2001 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., USA

2001 University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA

2001 Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2001 Providence University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

2002 Elon University, Elon, NC, USA

2002 Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, Va., USA

2003 University of Central Lancashire, UK

2005 Pecs University, Pecs, Hungary

2005 Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA

2005 Rutgers State University, New Jersey, USA

2006 The Open University of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, TZ

2007 Doane College, Crete, NE, USA

2007 Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden


1963-64 Franklin Burr Award for Contribution to Science, National Geographic Society

1970 Stott Science Award, Cambridge University

1974 Gold Medal for Conservation, San Diego Zoological Society

1974 Conservation Award, Women's Branch of the New York Zoological Society

1974 Brad Washburn Award, Boston Museum of Science (with Hugo van Lawick)

1980 Order of the Golden Ark, World Wildlife Award for Conservation

1984 J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize

1985 Living Legacy Award from the International Women's League

1987 The Albert Schweitzer Award of the Animal Welfare Institute

1987 National Alliance for Animals Award

1987 E. Mendel Medaille from the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina

1987 Golden Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement

1988 Centennial Award, National Geographic Society

1988 Joseph Krutch Award, the Humane Society of the United States

1988 Award for Humane Excellence, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

1989 Encyclopaedia Britannica Award for Excellence on the Dissemination of Learning for the Benefit of Mankind

1989 Anthropologist of the Year Award

1990 The AMES Award, American Anthropologist Association

1990 Whooping Crane Conservation Award, Conoco, Inc.

1990 Gold Medal of the Society of Women Geographers

1990 Inamori Foundation Award

1990 Washoe Award

1990 The Kyoto Prize in Basic Science

1991 The Edinburgh Medal

1993 Rainforest Alliance Champion Award

1994 Chester Zoo Diamond Jubilee Medal

1995 Commander of the British Empire, presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

1995 The National Geographic Society Hubbard Medal for Distinction in Exploration, Discovery, and Research

1995 Lifetime Achievement Award, In Defense of Animals

1995 The Moody Gardens Environmental Award

1995 Honorary Wardenship of Uganda National Parks

1996 The Zoological Society of London Silver Medal

1996 The Tanzanian Kilimanjaro Medal

1996 The Primate Society of Great Britain Conservation Award

1996 The Caring Institute Award

1996 The Polar Bear Award

1996 William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement

1997 John & Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement

1997 David S. Ingells, Jr. Award for Excellence

1997 Common Wealth Award for Public Service

1997 The Field Museum's Award of Merit

1997 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement

1997 Royal Geographical Society / Discovery Channel Europe Award for A Lifetime of Discovery

1998 Disney's Animal Kingdom Eco Hero Award

1998 National Science Board Public Service Award

1998 The Orion Society’s John Hay Award

1999 International Peace Award

1999 Botanical Research Institute of Texas International Award of Excellence in Conservation

2000 Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints International Peace Award

2001 Graham J. Norton Award for Achievement in Increasing Community


2001 Rungius Award of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, USA

2001 Master Peace Award

2001 Gandhi/King Award for Non-Violence

2002 The Huxley Memorial Medal, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland

2002 United Nations “Messenger of Peace” Appointment

2003 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science

2003 Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment Award

2003 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Achievement

2003 Dame of the British Empire, to be presented by HRH Prince Charles

2003 Chicago Academy of Sciences’ Honorary Environmental Leader Award

2003 Commonwealth Club Centennial Medallion Award

2004 Teachers College Columbia University Medal for Distinguished Service to Education

2004 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest

2004 Will Rogers Spirit Award, the Rotary Club of Will Rogers and Will Rogers Memorial Museums

2004 Life Time Achievement Award, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

2004 Polar Star Award, Paris, France

2004 Save Our Species Award, Santa Barbara, California, USA

2004 Time Magazine European Heroes Award

2004 Extraordinary Service to Humanity Award, The Bear Search and Rescue Foundation

2004 Medal for Distinguished Service to Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA

2005 Lifetime Achievement Award, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

2005 Siemens Forum Life Award

2005 Westminster College President’s Medal, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

2005 National Organization of Women’s Intrepid Award

2005 Honorary Conservation Award, University of Iowa, USA

2005 Discovery and Imagination Stage Award

2005 Westminster College President's Medal for Exemplary Achievement

2005 Pax Natura Award

2006 International Patron of the Immortal Chaplains Foundation

2006 UNESCO Gold Medal Award

2006 French Legion of Honor, presented by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin

2006 Lifetime Achievement Award, Jules Verne Adventures

2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, WINGS WorldQuest

2007 Protector of Biodiversity and Apes in Africa, presented by Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic of France

2007 Honorary Medal of the City of Paris, presented by Mr. Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris, France

2007 Roger Tory Peterson Memorial Medal, Harvard Museum of Natural History

2007 Roger Tory Peterson Medal and Citation, Harvard Museum of Natural History



1967 My Friends the Wild Chimpanzees. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society

1971 Innocent Killers (with H. van Lawick). Boston: Houghton Mifflin; London: Collins.

1971 In the Shadow of Man. Boston: Houghton Mifflin; London: Collins.
Published in 48 languages.

1986 The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior. Boston: Bellknap Press of the Harvard University Press. Published also in Japanese and Russian.

R.R. Hawkins Award for the Outstanding Technical, Scientific or Medical book of 1986, to Bellknap Press of Harvard University Press, Boston.

The Wildlife Society (USA) Award for "Outstanding Publication in Wildlife Ecology and Management".

1990 Through a Window: 30 years observing the Gombe chimpanzees. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Translated into more than 15 languages.

1991 Penguin edition, UK. American Library Association "Best" list among Nine Notable Books (Nonfiction) for 1991.

1993 Visions of Caliban (co-authored with Dale Peterson, Ph.D.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
New York Times "Notable Book" for 1993.
Library Journal "Best Sci-Tech Book" for 1993.

1999 Brutal Kinship (with Michael Nichols). New York: Aperture Foundation.

1999 Reason For Hope; A Spiritual Journey (with Phillip Berman). New York: Warner Books, Inc. Translated into Japanese.

2000 40 Years At Gombe. New York: Stewart, Tabori, and Chang.

2000 Africa In My Blood: (edited by Dale Peterson). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

2001 Beyond Innocence: An Autobiography in Letters, the later years (edited by Dale Peterson). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company

2002 The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do To Care for the Animals We Love (with Marc Bekoff). San Francisco: Harper San Francisco

2005 Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating (with Gary McAvoy and Gail Hudson). New York: Warner Books

Children's Books

1972 Grub: The Bush Baby (with H. van Lawick). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

1988 My Life with the Chimpanzees. New York: Byron Preiss Visual Publications, Inc.
Translated into French, Japanese and Chinese.
Parenting's Reading-Magic Award for "Outstanding Book for Children," 1989.

1989 The Chimpanzee Family Book. Saxonville, MA: Picture Book Studio; Munich: Neugebauer Press; London: Picture Book Studio.
Translated into more than 15 languages, including Japanese and Kiswahili.
The UNICEF Award for the best children's book of 1989.
Austrian state prize for best children's book of 1990.

1989 Jane Goodall's Animal World: Chimps. New York: Macmillan.

1989 Animal Family Series: Chimpanzee Family; Lion Family; Elephant Family; Zebra Family; Giraffe Family; Baboon Family; Hyena Family; Wildebeest Family. Toronto: Madison Marketing Ltd.

1994 With Love. New York / London: North-South Books. Translated into German, French, Italian, and Japanese.

1999 Dr. White (illustrated by Julie Litty). New York: North-South Books.

2000 The Eagle & the Wren (illustrated by Alexander Reichstein). New York: North-South Books.

2001 Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours. New York: Scholastic Press

2004 Rickie and Henri: A True Story (with Alan Marks) New York: Penguin Young Readers Group


1963 Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees, National Geographic Society.

1984 Among the Wild Chimpanzees, National Geographic Special.

1988 People of the Forest, with Hugo van Lawick.

1990 Chimpanzee Alert, in the Nature Watch Series, Central Television.

1990 Chimps, So Like Us, HBO film nominated for 1990 Academy Award.

1990 The Life and Legend of Jane Goodall, National Geographic Society.

1990 The Gombe Chimpanzees, Bavarian Television.

1995 Fifi's Boys, for the Natural World series for the BBC.

1995 My Life with the Wild Chimpanzees, National Geographic.

Chimpanzee Diary for BBC2 Animal Zone.

Animal Minds for BBC.

1999 Jane Goodall: Reason For Hope, PBS special produced by KTCA.

2001 Chimps R Us PBS special Scientific Frontiers.

2002 Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees, in collaboration with Science North.

2004 Jane Goodall's Return to Gombe, produced by Tigress Productions for Animal Planet/Discovery.

2004 Jane Goodall's State of the Great Ape, produced by Tigress Productions.

2005 Jane Goodall - When Animals Talk, produced by Tigress Productions.

2006 Jane Goodall's Heroes, produced by Creative Differences