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The Last Panda by George B. Schaller

The Last Panda

by George B. Schaller

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4.25 stars

George Schaller is a biologist and conservationist who has studied various wildlife in their natural settings. In this book, he gives us an account of the time he spent in China in the early 1980s studying the panda.

I really liked this. I didn't know much about the panda and of course, a portion of this book was spent on the pandas he met in the wild while he was there, but a significant amount of the book was also spent detailing the cultural and political hurdles of the project coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund, along with the Chinese government and a few other Chinese organizations, none of which seemed to coordinate very well or agree on a whole lot. There were also plenty of frustrations around the people who were sent to work at the research station, many of whom didn't want to be there. So, there was a lot of politics in the book, as well (which kept my interest more than I might have expected). It is nonfiction, which does tend to take a little longer to get through, but if you have an interest in wildlife and/or endangered species, it is well worth the read. ( )
  LibraryCin | Dec 30, 2018 |
Well written, fascinating but depressing. How do you save Pandas? Capture them, store them in concrete prison cells and maintain them with low-wage untrained caretakers. ( )
  Sandydog1 | Jan 6, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0226736296, Paperback)

Only George Schaller, the intrepid and clear-eyed biologist and author, could have written this book. In 1980 Schaller became the first foreigner allowed to study the panda in its native habitat, in China's Sichuan Province. Five years later he emerged shaken and angered by what he saw as mismanagement leading to the panda's decline. Schaller is unafraid to criticize the Chinese government, the U.S. government, even the World Wildlife Fund, which uses the panda as its logo. This beautiful, passionate book shows that, sadly, even a species as well-known and well-loved as the panda faces a grim future in modern Asia.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Today only about a thousand giant pandas survive in the wild. Dependent on a shrinking supply of bamboo on the one hand and threatened by human greed on the other, the panda is at extreme risk. Here, acclaimed naturalist George B. Schaller uses his evocative powers and the insight gained by four years in the forests of the Wolong and Tangjiahe panda reserves to document the plight of these creatures in their native habitat and in the midst of political problems as troubling as any natural threat.

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