S1 Episode 12: Russ Mittermeier


We interview  Russ Mittermeier, world famous author, mammalogist, conservationist and primate watcher. Russ takes us on a trip from a Tarzan-loving kid watching monkeys at the Bronx Zoo to a Tarzan-loving scientist discovering new species of primates in the jungles of the Amazon and Madagascar, and becoming the first person to see all 80 genera of primate in the wild. We hear about why mammalwatching is a force for conservation good, the thrill of coming face to face with a Tiger on his first day in the forests of South-east Asia, and how tales of Yetis inspired Russ’s hunt for a White Uakari.


Russ has achieved too much to summarise in a few notes. But here goes. He has been awarded over a dozen significant prizes and medals including the 2018 Indianapolis Prize in recognition of “his major victories in protecting animal species and vital habitats.” He has written over 750 articles, plus 43 books and counting, including being closely involved as both author and editor of the Handbook of the Mammals of the World series and the Lemurs of Madagascar. In 2019 the BBC’s natural history unit accompanied Russ on a trip to Tanzania to spot a Kipunji, the only primate genus he had not seen in the wild. Here is the Lincoln Park Zoo’s new lion exhibit that Charles mentioned. Cover art: White Uakari by Luiz Claudio Marigo.