VIDEO: Dr. George Schaller talks about conservation at Wilton Library

Dr. George Schaller, widely considered the United State's top naturalist, recently visited Wilton Library where he discussed the conservation of wildlife throughout the globe.
The first research assignment to land him in a remote area of wilderness took place in the Arctic stretches of northern Alaska, where the best part of the environment is “that there aren’t any towns or villages,” Mr. Schaller said.
“My first formal expedition was in 1952 in Arctic Alaska to make a list of birds that occurred there and to list which birds summered over northern Alaska and came from Siberia,” he said. “There was no town name [for where I was.] The one well-known place was Point Barrow, the farthest north place in North America.”
Since that first assignment, Mr. Schaller has spent substantial lengths of time in some of the wildest places on earth. He was the first scientist to document the behavior of mountain gorillas — proving they were more gentle and intelligent than expected — and the first Westerner allowed to study the panda in China — proving humans were the largest cause for the decline in the panda population.
Though he has been able to identify major trends and behaviors of animal species, he is quick to point out that “each animal is its own world, its own perfection. Animals are individuals. I can’t just say tigers all do certain things. Some things they do similarly and some have their own idiosyncrasies.”
As a field researcher, he has long focused on the human populations that surround his subjects, as well as the animals themselves.