National Geographic : 1986 Jun
Generations of cooperation THE NEW YORK ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY IKE OLD FRIENDS, institutions can have such enduring and fruitful associ ation that it is only upon reflection that the richness of their intertwined pasts becomes evident. I was reminded of this when George Schaller recently shared with us some of the photographs he has lately taken of the remarkable animals that range the Tibetan Plateau. Tibetan antelopes, wild asses, white-lipped deer, and gazelles had rarely been seen by Westerners, even in photographs, until George began his work in what he calls a "high-altitude Serengeti" in collaboration with the People's MALEANTELOPESJOUSTFOR DOMINANCEON THETIBETANPLATEAU;BYGEORGE B. SCHALLER Republic of China. These animals are now under pressure from hunting and increased competition from domestic grazing stock. On top of that, thousands died of starvation last fall when a rare blizzard covered their normally wind blown grazing range with a foot of snow. George Schaller is director of Wildlife Conservation International, a division of the New York Zoological Society (NYZS). He has been a contributor to this magazine on such topics as lions, snow leopards, and pandas, the last most recently in the March 1986 issue. He has been a recipient of National Geo graphic Society research grants and is a friend to us and to wildlife worldwide. The association of NGS and NYZS may sound like alphabet soup. It certainly has been mutually warm and nourishing and goes back at least 75 years. (Both of us are approaching our centennials.) NYZS is best known for its Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium and, under current General Director William Conway, has been a leader in redefining the concept of zoos' role in the world of wildlife. When opened in 1899, the Bronx Zoo was much like others-a place to dis play as many species as could be captured and caged. Yet as early as 1907, NYZS was a leader in conservation by supplying nearly extinct American bison to reestablish wild western herds. The Bronx Zoo now re-creates habitats where animals live in dignity.