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Ernst Schäfer (1910–1992) - from the Mountains of Tibet to the Northern Cordillera of Venezuela: A Biographical Sketch

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During the years 1931–1932 and 1934–1936, Ernst Schäfer, a young German student with an unusual interest in, and knowledge about, biology and zoology, and with a great ability as a marksman, was invited to join two scientific expeditions to the Far East. Both expeditions were organized by Brooke Dolan II1 for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. These two expeditions collected many important scientific samples to enhance the collections of the Academy. The research done with the material brought back by the two expeditions shed new light on the fauna of the regions visited. From 1938 to 1939 Schäfer organized and directed his own expedition to Sikkim and Tibet. This multidisciplinary expedition was the first one to the region that was composed solely of German scientists. These expeditions gave such fame and prestige to Schäfer that he became known in his country as Tibet Schäfer (Pedro Trebbau, personal communication). In January 1950, Ernst Schäfer was responsible for the establishment of a scientific research station at a site known as Rancho Grande inside the Aragua National Park in Venezuela2. It was at the highest point along the road that connects the towns of El Limón and Ocumare de la Costa. The building was named “The Biological Station and Museum of Flora and Fauna Henri Pittier,” and Dr. Ernst Schäfer was appointed as its founder and first Director.
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Ernst Schäfer was born in Cologne, Germany, on
March 14, 1910. As a young boy he collected and reared
birds, insects, snakes, fishes, squirrels, and many other
small animals. His room looked like a small menagerie,
filled with birdcages, aquaria, and terraria that he used to
observe the behavior of the many collected animals. As a
child, Schäfer was given a BB gun and after some time and
constant practice, he became a very skilled hunter. Both
hunting and collecting would become necessary skills in
his adult life.
After obtaining his High School Diploma in 1929,
he enrolled at the University of Göttingen, where he took
classes focusing on Zoology, Botany, and Geography.
Schäfer wished to follow in the footsteps of the hero of his
youth, the Swedish geographer and explorer Sven Hedin.3
While on a University trip to the island of Helgoland,
Schäfer met Hugo Weigold4, who was impressed by the
young student’s knowledge of Biology and Zoology.
Weigold had received an invitation to accompany Brooke
Dolan II on a scientific expedition in 1930 to the Yangtze
River, a trip that Dolan was organizing on behalf of the
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Weigold
recommended inviting Schäfer to be part of the group. The
expedition was to include Dolan, Weigold, Otto Gnieser,
and the American anthropologist Gordon Bowles. Schäfer
accepted Dolan’s invitation and temporarily left his studies
in order to join the expedition. One of the most important
missions of the group was to collect at least one panda
specimen5 to be studied and exhibited at the Academy.
When the expedition was over, Schäfer went back to
Göttingen to finish his studies.
In 1933, Schäfer published his first book,
Berge, Buddhas und Bären: Forschung und Jagd in
Geheimnisvollem Tibet,6 which brought him immediate
recognition within Germany. Around that time, a new
political regime rose in Germany, and many researchers
abandoned the country. Schäfer, who was still a student,
stayed, and perhaps by his own choice, or perhaps on the
advice of one of his professors, became a member of the
SS in 1933. In 1934, Dolan invited him to join a second
expedition to Tibet. This one also would include Marion
Duncan and Dolan’s wife, Emilie Gerhard. Schäfer
temporarily abandoned his studies again, ignoring the
advice of his professor Alfred Kühn.7 In 1936, Schäfer,
who became the scientific leader of the recently finished
expedition, traveled with Dolan to the United States in
order to catalogue and study the collected material.
Schäfer went back to Germany after his time in the
United States, but due to differences with his professor,
Kühn, he left the University of Göttingen and transferred
to the Friedrich - Wilhelm - Universität in Berlin. In 1937
Schäfer published the note “Die geheimnisvollen Spuren
im Tibetischen Schnee.”8 in which he argued that, the so-
called “abominable snowman,” or Yeti, was nothing more
than a Tibetan bear (Ursus arctos pruinosus). His claim
was based on observations made during the second Dolan
expedition. He later repeated this view in his book Dach der
Erde.9 In 1937 Schäfer married and continued his studies
until, in 1938, he obtained his Ph.D. with the work entitled
Ernst Schäfer (1910-1992) - from the mountains of Tibet to the Northern Cordillera
of Venezuela: a biographical sketch
Texas A & M University, Department of Entomology, College Station, TX 77843-2475. Email:
ABSTRACT.—During the years 1931-1932 and 1934-1936, Ernst Schäfer, a young German student with an unusual interest in,
and knowledge about, biology and zoology, and with a great ability as a marksman, was invited to join two scientific expeditions
to the Far East. Both expeditions were organized by Brooke Dolan II1 for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
These two expeditions collected many important scientific samples to enhance the collections of the Academy. The research done
with the material brought back by the two expeditions shed new light on the fauna of the regions visited. From 1938 to 1939
Schäfer organized and directed his own expedition to Sikkim and Tibet. This multidisciplinary expedition was the first one to
the region that was composed solely of German scientists. These expeditions gave such fame and prestige to Schäfer that he
became known in his country as Tibet Schäfer (Pedro Trebbau, personal communication).
In January 1950, Ernst Schäfer was responsible for the establishment of a scientific research station at a site known as
Rancho Grande inside the Aragua National Park in Venezuela2. It was at the highest point along the road that connects the
towns of El Limón and Ocumare de la Costa. The building was named “The Biological Station and Museum of Flora and Fauna
Henri Pittier,” and Dr. Ernst Schäfer was appointed as its founder and first Director.
ISSN 0097-3157
“Ornithologische Ergebnisse zweier Forschungreisen nach
After his return to Germany from his second expedition
to Tibet, Schäfer wanted to organize a new expedition led
by him. He was eventually authorized to organize it. The
multidisciplinary expedition included Karl Wienert, a
geophysicist; Ernst Krause, an entomologist, photographer,
and filmmaker; Edmund Geer, in charge of logistics; and
Bruno Beger, an ethnologist and anthropologist. Ernst
Schäfer was the leader and was in charge of collecting
flora and fauna, even though all members contributed to
the collection efforts.
While he was still planning the expedition and
looking for financial support, Schäfer’s wife was killed
in a hunting accident in November 1937. Schäfer went
into a deep depression for a few months, after which, even
though he had not completely recovered psychologically,
he continued on his planned enterprise. Schäfer’s team
collected geographic, ethnological, anthropological,
cultural, and medical information. In addition to the many
specimens of fauna, flora, and artistic material that were
collected, thousands of photographs were taken, along with
hundreds of meters of film. Unfortunately the expedition
was cut short by the outbreak of World War II, and with the
war dominating concerns, much of the material brought
back by the expedition was simply put into storage.
Back in Germany, in December, 1939, Schäfer mar-
ried his second wife, and immersed himself in work-
ing on his collected fauna specimens which allowed him
to write his work Tiergeographisch-ökologische Studie
über das tibetische Hochland,11 obtaining the degree
of Doctor Habilitatis from the University of Munich in
1942. After receiving the degree, Schäfer was named
the leader of the section “Forschungsstätte für Innerasien
and Expeditionen”12 of the SS-Ahnenerbe. On January
16, 1943, the Department was renamed the “Sven-Hedin-
Institut” and because of the war it was transferred to the
Mittersill Castle, in Austria.
Schäfer moved to Mittersill with his family until the
end of the war. In 1945, as the war came to a close, Schäfer
was arrested because of his association with the Nazi Party.
In June, 1949, he was exonerated from war crimes during
his trial at Nuremberg and released. Although Schäfer was
without a job, he was able to earn some money giving
lectures about his research and expeditions. Early in 1949,
he received news from an old friend who was living in
Venezuela that the government of that country was looking
for a scientist to found and direct a scientific research
Schäfer contacted Dr. Tobías Lasser13 from the Caracas
Botanical Institute, an arm of the Ministerio de Agricultura
y Cría.14 He was delighted to be offered a position and
moved to Venezuela with his wife and daughters, arriving
in December, 1949. By January, 1950, Ernst Schäfer was
in Rancho Grande, and had started organizing the new
Biological Station (Lasser, 1951). It was named "Estación
Biológica y Museo de Flora y Fauna Henri Pittier,"15 a
name that was never used, since everyone called the place
"Estación Biológica de Rancho Grande."16 Due to his
research, that same year Schäfer was named a member of
UNESCO17 for semi-arid regions.
The main functions of the new station were to serve
as a research center and to help educate the public about
the fauna and flora of the region and the need for their
preservation. Schäfer started taking trips to different areas
of the park, mainly to study and collect birds in order to start
a museum. Eventually he hired personnel to help with the
research and to establish a didactic exhibition that would be
open to the public. Schäfer also traveled and explored other
regions of Venezuela. The station became widely known
and was visited frequently by Venezuelan and foreign
scientists. Several of them helped to enhance the museum.
Fig. 1. Ernst Schäfer in Tibet, 1938. Photographer unknown
(probably Ernst Krause); photo courtesy of the Ewell Sale Stewart
Library, Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia.
Fig. 2. Wolf skull (Canis lupus, male) collected by Ernst Schäfer in, Kham, Tschumar, Tibet, July 1935. Academy of Natural Sciences
Mammal Collection, specimen #17498 with a travel document carried by Brooke Dolan, Ernst Schäfer, and Marion Duncan during their
1935 expedition, ANSP Archives, Coll. 64. Photograph by Rosamond W. Purcell.
During this period, Schäfer published his findings and
research in several Venezuelan and international journals.
He was invited to teach courses and gave lectures at the
Agronomy and Biology Schools of Universidad Central de
Venezuela, in Maracay and Caracas respectively.18 Schäfer
was also regularly invited to give lectures and conferences
in several scientific institutions in Venezuela.
In 1954 Schäfer traveled back to Düsseldorf, Germany,
to work at the Venezuelan pavilion at the hunting and
fishing convention. While there, he accepted an invitation
given by King Leopold III a few months before in Rancho
Grande to direct a documentary film19 about the natural
history and native inhabitants of the Belgian Congo20 that
would be used to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the
colony. He spent several years working on this project.
Schäfer and his family returned to Germany, where
he eventually obtained a position as curator of the
“Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum” in Hannover.
Schäfer did travel to Venezuela one final time in
1981. He visited several places, including Rancho
Grande. Following this trip, Schäfer embarked on writing
a comprehensive work entitled Die Vogelwelt Venezuelas
und ihre ökologischen Bedingungen21 using his 1950-54
field notes. Ernst Schäfer died on July 21, 1992.
Schäfer was a knowledgeable and highly capable
intellectual. There is no doubt that his scientific
contributions have been of value to many of the regions
where he conducted his research (Ali, 1962; Peck, 1992;
Thapa, 1992; William H. Phelps “el viejo”, in litt.). He
had a great influence on the study and development of
Venezuelan Ornithology and the conservation of the
country’s wildlife. Schäfer’s years in Venezuela were some
of the happiest he ever had, and he was always concerned
about the conservation of Venezuela’s natural resources
(Bodo and Heidi von Garmissen, Isrun Engelhardt, Pedro
Trebbau, and Liselotte Vareschi, personal communication;
Rodríguez 2006). His contributions to the Academy
of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia gained him a life
membership in 1932 and some of the most important
specimens collected by Dr. Schäfer can still be admired
in several habitat groups (dioramas) in the Academy’s
museum (Peck, 1992). The museum and collection that
Fig. 3. Ernst Schäfer at Rancho Grande, Venezuela, 1951. Photographer Ursula Schäfer; photo courtesy of the Ernst Schäfer family.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1936. Die wissenschaftlichen Ergebnisse
der zweiten Dolan-Expedition nach Westchina
(Sikong), Chinghai und in das östliche Zentraltibet.
Forschungen und Fortschritte 12(20/21):260-261.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1936. Über das ostibetische Argalischaf
(Ovis ammon subsp.). Der Zoologische Garten
Schäfer, Ernst. 1936. Tibetische Sagenhirsche. Wild und
Hund 42:334-336.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1936. Bären auf dem Dach der Erde. Wild
und Hund 42:487-490.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1936. Jagd im fernen Osten. Wild und Hund
Schäfer, Ernst. 1936. Jagdfahrt auf dem Ganges. Wild und
Hund 42(47):806-807.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Third Preliminary Report on the
Results of the Second Dolan Expedition to West China
and Tibet: Four New Birds from Tibet. Proceedings
of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Der wilde Yak (Bos Poephagus
grunniensis mutus Prez.). Der Zoologische Garten
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Zur Kenntnis des Kiang (Equus kiang
Moorcroft). Der Zoologische Garten 9(3/4):123-139.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Über das Zwergblauschaf (Pseudois
spec. nov.) und das Großblauschaf (Pseudois nahoor
Hdgs.) in Tibet. Der Zoologische Garten 9(6):263-
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Über den tibetischen Pferdeesel
(Equus kiang Moorcroft). Forschungen und
Fortschritte 13:409-410.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Jagd in Bengalen auf den Axishirsch,
Wild und Hund 43:176-177.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Blauschafjagden: Bericht der 2.
Brooke-Dolan Expedition. Wild und Hund 43:414-
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Die roten Sagenhirsche. Wild und
Hund 43(12):45-46, (13):49-51, (14):53-55, (15):57-
59, (16):61-63, (17):65-66, (18):69-70.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Unbekanntes Tibet: Durch die
Wildnisse Osttibets zum Dach der Erde. Berlin:
Verlag Paul Parey. 294 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Die geheimnisvollen Spuren im
Tibetischen Schnee. Die Umschau 41(51):1168-
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Das Zwergblauschaf der Jangtse-
Schlucht in Osttibet. Kosmos, Berlin 34(5):150-152.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Ein weißer Fleck verschwindet
von der Landkarte [Ein deutscher Forscher entdeckt
die Quellen des Jangtsekiang]. Die Gartenlaube 1
Schäfer founded in Rancho Grande is still active with
wider scope and responsibilities.22 It now has more than
23,000 specimens of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians
and fishes as well as many other samples of animal origin
with a didactic area containing about 1,500 specimens
(Sánchez and Bisbal, 2004).
The author is highly grateful to Heidi and Bodo
von Garmissen (Germany), daughter and son in law of
Ernst Schäfer, for assisting him on this research and
for offering their input and help. Thanks to Christiane
Abstein (Zoologischer Garten Berlin, Germany), Hans
Anhoek (Germany), James Boone (Field Museum of
Natural History, USA), Karl-Heinz Betz (Germany),
Alberto Fernández Badillo (Universidad Central de
Venezuela, Maracay, Venezuela), Michael Kater (York
University, Canada), Helga Lindorf (Universidad
Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela), Margarita
Martínez (Colección Ornitológica Phelps, Venezuela),
Alex McKay (University College London, UK), Heather
Pringle (Canada), Gerd Pucka (Germany), Javier Sánchez
(Museo de la Estación Biológica de Rancho Grande,
Venezuela), Pedro Trebbau (Venezuela), Liselotte Vareschi
(Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela)
and Petra Wenzel (Germany), for supplying the author
with information, corrections, comments, references, and
documents, to improve the original manuscript. Harald
Bechteler (Germany) was key to find and corroborate
several references. To S. Bradleigh Vinson (TAMU) for his
continuous support. Thanks also to the personnel of the Inter
Library Loan Department of the Texas A & M University
Libraries for finding copies of most of the references cited.
I am especially indebted to Isrun Engelhardt (Germany),
for her unconditional support and for always providing me
with insightful and useful comments and information. My
deep appreciation to Robert McCracken Peck (Academy
of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, USA), for proof-
reading, correcting, editing and providing me with his wise
comments through several drafts of the manuscript.
Ernst Schäfer Bibliography23
Bucher, Ruth (ed.) 1973. Das Buch der Jagd. Luzern:
Bucher Verlag. 319 p.24
Schäfer, Ernst. 1933. Berge, Buddhas und Bären: Forschung
und Jagd in geheimnisvollem Tibet. Berlin: Verlag
Paul Parey. 316 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1934. Zur Lebensweise der Fasanen des
chinesisch-tibetischen Grenzlandes. Journal für
Ornithologie 82(4):487-504
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Auf den Spuren des Einhorns an den
Quellen des Jangtse. Die Umschau 41(43):990-992.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Die “asiatische Gemse”. Der Goral,
Der Deutsche Jäger 59:427-429.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1937. Blauschafe und ein Steppenbär. Der
Deutsche Jäger 59:707.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1938. Zusammenfassung einiger
wissenschaftlicher Ergebnisse der zweiten Dolan-
Expedition (Academy of Natural Science Pa) nach
Ost- und Zentraltibet. Forschungen und Fortschritte
Schäfer, Ernst. 1938. Ornithologische Ergebnisse zweier
Forschungreisen nach Tibet. Journal für Ornithologie
Schäfer, Ernst. 1938. Ornithologische Ergebnisse zweier
Forschungreisen nach Tibet. Bernburg: Verlag Kunze.
349 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1938. Der Bambusbär (Ailuropus
melanoleucus A. M.-Edw.). Der Zoologische Garten
Schäfer, Ernst. 1938. Third preliminary report on the
results of the second Dolan expedition to West China
and Tibet: Four new birds from Tibet. Proceedings
of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Schäfer, Ernst. 1938. Dach der Erde: Durch das Wunderland
Hochtibet; Tibetexpedition 1934/36. Berlin: Verlag
Paul Parey. 292 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1938. Der tibetische Lämmergeier. Kosmos,
Berlin 35(10):329-331.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1938. Die asiatischen Trophäen der
Internationalen Jagdausstellung Berlin 1937 und
ihre Wuchsgebiete. p. 128-136. In: Reichsbund
“Deutsche Jägerschaft” (ed.). Waidwerk der
Welt: Erinnerungswerk an die Internationale
Jagdausstellung, Berlin, 1937, 2-28 November.
Berlin: Verlag Paul Parey.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1938. Westchina und Osttibet als
Rhododendrenparadies, Rhododendron und
immergrüne Laubgehölze. Jahrbuch der deutschen
Rhododendron-Gesellschaft [1938]:42-46.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1939. Über den Takin (Gattung Budorcas).
Der Zoologische Garten 11(4/5):123-130.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1939. Halb Gemse, halb Rind. Der Takin,
ein seltener Bewohner Tibets. Kosmos, Berlin 36:328-
Schäfer, Ernst. 1939. Lhasa, die Stadt der Götter. Atlantis
Schäfer, Ernst. 1939. Reise nach Lhasa vor hundert Jahren.
Atlantis 11(10):569-572, 597-604, 629-652.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1942. Tibet ruft: Forschung und Jagd in den
Hochgebirgen Osttibets: Tibetexpedition 1931-1932.
Berlin: Verlag Paul Parey. 290 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1942. Schäfer-Expedition entdeckt wieder
eine neue Gross-Säugerform [Schapi]. Wild und
Hund 48:166.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1942. Tiergeographisch-ökologische Studie
über das tibetische Hochland, Eine biogeographische
Arbeit auf Grund dreier Forschungsreisen nach
Tibet und in die himalayanischen Hochgebirge.
Habilitationsschrift. München: Universität München.
176 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1943. Geheimnis Tibet. Erster Bericht der
Deutschen Tibet-Expedition Ernst Schäfer 1938/39.
München: F. Bruckmann. 183 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1943. Die Entdeckung des Schapi. Kosmos,
Berlin 40(2):32-36.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1949. Fest der weissen Schleier; eine
Forscherfahrt durch Tibet nach Lhasa, der heiligen
Stadt des Gottkönigtums. Braunschweig: Vieweg-
Verlag. 199 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1949. Die Türkentaube [Streptopelia
decaocto decaocto (Friv.)]. Niedersachen, Natur,
Kultur und Jagd 2(2):9-13
Schäfer, Ernst. 1949. Auf den Bartgams. Wild und Hund
Schäfer, Ernst. 1950. Über den Himalaya ins Land der
Götter. Auf Forscherfahrt von Indien nach Tibet.
Braunschweig: F. Vieweg and Sohn, Verlag. 200 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1950. Über den Schapi (Hemitragus
jemlahicus schaeferi). Zoologischer Anzeiger
Schäfer, Ernst. 1952. Unter Räubern in Tibet: Gefahren
und Freuden eines Forscherlebens. Braunschweig:
Vieweg-Verlag. 240 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1952. Oekologischer Querschnitt durch den
Parque Nacional de Aragua. Journal für Ornithologie
Schäfer, Ernst. 1952. La Estación Biológica de Rancho
Grande. Publicaciones del Ministerio de Agricultura
y Cría, Caracas, Serie Forestal 2(38):1-16.
[Schäfer, Ernst]. 1952. Rancho Grande. Mundo de
maravillas. El Farol 13(140):29-33.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1953. Urwaldstation “Rancho Grande”.
Kosmos, Berlin 50(2):79-84.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1953. Nuestros Gavilanes o aves de rapiña.
El Agricultor Venezolano, Caracas 18:4-7.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1953. Estudio bio-ecológico comparativo
sobre algunos Cracidae del norte y centro de
Venezuela. Boletín de la Sociedad Venezolana de
Ciencias Naturales, Caracas 80:30-63.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1953. Contribution to the life history of the
swallow-tanager. The Auk 70(4):403-460.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1953. Apuntes sobre la migración de las aves
en el Parque Nacional “Henry(sic) Pittier”. Revista de
la Facultad de Agricultura, Maracay 1:339-343
Schäfer, Ernst. 1953. Analogía de adaptación entre plantas
y animales de la Selva Nublada de “Rancho Grande”.
Revista de la Facultad de Agricultura, Maracay
Schäfer, Ernst. 1953. The Swallow-Tanager (Tersina
viridis). Revista de la Facultad de Agricultura,
Maracay 1(3):355-367
Schäfer, Ernst. 1953. Resultados parciales de una
investigación comparativa de biología de incubación
de Psarcolius(sic) decumanus (Conoto negro) y
Psarcolius(sic) angustifrons (Conoto verde). Boletín
de la Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y
Naturales 16(51):155-169.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1953. Estudio biológico sobre Nothocercus
bonapartei (gallina cuero). Boletín de la Academia
de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales
Schäfer, Ernst. 1954. Zur Biologie des Steißhuhns
(Nothocercus bonapartei). Journal für Ornithologie
Schäfer, Ernst. 1954. Der Vogel mit dem Stein auf dem
Kopf. Kosmos, Berlin 50(1):118-126.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1954. Apuntes sobre la migración de las
aves en el Parque Nacional Henri Pittier. Revista de la
Facultad de Agronomía, Maracay 1(3):1-16.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1954. The bird with the stone on its head.
Frontiers 18(3):67-69.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1954. Sobre la biología de Colibri
coruscans. Boletín de la Sociedad Venezolana de
Ciencias Naturales 15 (82):153-167.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1954. Avifaunistische oekologische
Betrachtungen zweier Extrembiozönosen aus
dem tropischen Norden Südamerikas. Veröff,
Überseemuseum Bremen. Reihe A 2(4):227-250.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1955. Venezuela: Jagd, Jagd und Hege
in aller Welt. Erinnerungswerk der Internationalen
Jagdausstellung Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf 1955:91-93.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1956. Zur geomorphologischen
Entwicklung Tibets. p. 226-235. In: Steiniger, Fritz
(ed.). Natur und Jagd in Niedersachsen. Festschrift
zum 70. Geburtstage von Hugo Weigold. Beiträge
zur Naturkunde Niedersachsens. Hildesheim:
Schäfer, Ernst. 1957. Les Conotos. Etude comparative de
Psarocolius angustifrons et Psarocolius decumanus.
Bonner zoologische Beiträge, Sonderheft 8:1-147.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1956. Eblouissant Venezuela. Brussels: Ets
Jean Malvaux. 191 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1956. Ebullient Venezuela. Brussels: Ets
Jean Malvaux. 197 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1956. Venezuela, Tierra de Maravillas.
Brussels: Ets Jean Malvaux. 193 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1959. Schneemensch – oder Tibetbär. Natur
und Volk 89:189-195.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1959. Gorilla. Wild und Hund 62:27-39.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1960. Über den Berggorilla (Gorilla gorilla
beringei). Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 17:376-381.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1961. Auf Einsamen Wechseln und Wegen:
Jagd und Forschung in drei Erdteilen. Hamburg:
Verlag Paul Parey. 262 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1961. Asien. p. 282-352. In: Huttel, Hermann
(ed.). Weltjagd heute. Berlin: Safari-Verlag.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1965. Eurasian Flora and Fauna. Time
Schäfer, Ernst. 1965. Introduction. p. 7-25. In: Baumhauer,
Otto (ed.). Tibet und Zentralasien. Stuttgart: Henry
Goverts Verlag.25
Schäfer, Ernst, 1965. Dokumente zur Entdeckungs-
geschichte. Tibet und Zentralasien. Stuttgart: Henry
Goverts Verlag. 327 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1969. Der Helmhokko, eine Perle der
venezolanischen Tierwelt (Pauxi pauxi). Vogel-
Kosmos 6(6):191-196.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1969. Überlebensweise und Ökologie der im
Nationalpark von Rancho Grande (Nord-Venezuela)
nachgewiesenen Ameisenvogelarten (Formicariide).
Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 20(1/3):99-109.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1970. Unser Rehwild – Sorge und Passion.
Die Pirsch 22(8):352-354.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1970. Das Land der lebenden Fossilien ist
uns heute versperrt. Das Tier 10(8):18-21.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1973. Hegen und Ansprechen von Rehwild.
München/Salzburg/Zürich: BLV. 189 p.26
Schäfer, Ernst. 1982. Panda Saga. Bongo. Beiträge zur
Tiergärtnerei und Jahresberichte aus dem Zoo Berlin
Schäfer, Ernst. 1985. Studien am Weißedelhirsch
(Odocoileus virginianus ssp.) des venezolanischen
Llanos. Bongo. Beiträge zur Tiergärtnerei und
Jahresberichte aus dem Zoo Berlin 9:1.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1986. Zur Biologie des Krähenstirnvogels
(Psarocolius decumanus) und Breithaubenstrinvogels
(Psarocolius augustifrons). Zoologischer Garten N.F.,
Berlin. 3:232-240.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1988. Das Fest der weißen Schleier.
Begegnungen mit Mönchen und Magiern in Tibet.
Durach: Windpferd Verlag. 52 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1989. Unter Räubern in Tibet. Abenteuer in
einer vergessenen Welt zwischen Himmel und Erde.
Durach: Windpferd Verlag. 215 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1989. Über den Himalaya ins Land der
Götter. Tibetexpedition von Indien nach Lhasa, in die
"Verbotene Stadt." Durach: Windpferd Verlag. 236 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1990. Tiergeographisch-ökologische Studie
über das tibetische Hochland. Habilitationsschrift.
München: Universität München, 1942. 342 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1996. Die Vogelwelt Venezuelas und
ihre Ökologischen Bedingungen, Band 1. Berglen:
Wirtemberg Verlag Lang-Jeutter and Lang. 224 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 1999. Die Vogelwelt Venezuelas und
ihre Ökologischen Bedingungen, Band 2. Berglen:
Wirtemberg Verlag Lang-Jeutter and Lang. 224 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 2004. Die Vogelwelt Venezuelas und
ihre Ökologischen Bedingungen, Band 3. Berglen:
Wirtemberg Verlag Lang-Jeutter and Lang. 254 p.
Schäfer, Ernst. 201?. Die Vogelwelt Venezuelas und
ihre Ökologischen Bedingungen, Band 4. Berglen:
Wirtemberg Verlag Lang-Jeutter and Lang. In Press.
Schäfer, Ernst and Bernhard Grzimek. 1960. Wir müssen
weit mehr für die Tiere Afrikas tun! Du und das Tier
Schäfer, Ernst, Helmut Hoffmann, Konrad Foerster,
Edmund Geer, Lutz Bohmann, Karl Wienert, Ernst
Krause, Johannes Schubert, Bruno Beger and
Alois Melichar. 1942. Geheimnis Tibet. Der grosse
Dokumentarfilm der Schäfer-Expedition. Berlin:
Zentralpressestelle der Universum Film AG. 35 p.*
Schäfer, Ernst and Rodolphe Meyer de Schauensee. 1938.
Zoological results of the second Dolan expedition
to western China and eastern Tibet, 1934-1936. Part
II. Birds. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural
Sciences of Philadelphia 90:185-260.
Schäfer, Ernst and William H. Phelps. 1954. Las Aves del
Parque Nacional “Henri Pittier” (Rancho Grande)
y sus funciones ecológicas. Boletín de la Sociedad
Venezolana de Ciencias Naturales 83:1-167.
Schäfer, Ernst, W. Putzier and W. Holldorf. 1985. Studien
am Weißwedelhirsch (Odocoileus virginianus ssp.)
der venezolanischen Llanos. Bongo 9:1-22.
[Schäfer, Ernst, Heinz Sielmann, Daniel Biebuyck and
Henry Brandt]. 1958. Les Seigneurs de la Forêt.
Brussels: Ets Jean Malvaux. 141 p.
Films (Documentaries)
Geheimnis Tibet27(1943) (Alternative name: Lhasa-Lo
– Die verbotene Stadt28) (Germany). Ernst Schäfer
(Director and Writer [with Hans-Albert Lettow],
Producer, Scientific advisor).
Les Seigneurs de la Fôret (1958) (Belgique) (Name in the
USA: Masters of the Congo Jungle). Ernst Schäfer
(Writer [with Henry Brandt and Heinz Sielmann],
Scientific advisor [with Daniel Biebuck]).29
Selected Annotated Bibliography with references to
Ernst Schäfer, his research and/or expeditions.30
Abs, Michael, Pascal Eckhoff, Jürgen Fiebig and Sylke
Frahnert. 2010. The bird collections in theMuseum
für Naturkunde Berlin resulting from Ernst Schäfer’s
three expeditions to Tibet and Sikkim. Zoosystematics
and Evolution 86(1):49–80
A large amount of birds were collected from Sikkim,
Tibet and neighboring provinces in 1931/32, 1934–
1936 and 1938/39 by Ernst Schäfer. They are housed
in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, but many of
them were neither inventoried nor integrated in the
museum’s collection. The authors have made these
birds available for the scientific community by
compiling an updated list of all the 3,520 specimens
collected by Schäfer in Tibet and Sikkim.
Ali, Sálim. 1962. The Birds of Sikkim. Oxford: Oxford
University Press. 414 p.
In his introduction Sálim writes: "But perhaps the
most thorough and rational collecting of Sikkim birds
in recent times has been done by Dr. Ernst Schäfer
during the two years immediately preceding the
Second World War… Ornithologists familiar with Dr.
Schäfer's earlier work in Tibet and with his competence
and excellence as a field biologist will appreciate the
incalculable harm Sikkim ornithology has sustained
through the tragic loss under war conditions of all his
manuscript field notes."
Allen, Glover. 1937. Second Preliminary Report on the
Results of the Second Dolan Expedition to West China
and Tibet: A New Race of Ochotona. Proceedings of
the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
A well-marked subspecies of Ochotona, collected by
Schäfer. The ssp. responds to the more arid conditions
in its paler hues. I was named Ochotona erythrotis
brookei in honor of the organizer and leader of the
Allen, Glover. 1938. Zoological results of the second Dolan
expedition to Western China and Eastern Tibet, 1934-
1936. Part III. Mammals. Proceedings of the Academy
of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 90:261-293.
A list with comments on the mammals collected by
Schäfer during the second Dolan Expedition to China
and Tibet.
Bowles, Gordon T. 1935. Racial Origins of the Peoples
of the Central Chinese-Tibetan Border. PhD Thesis.
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University.
Contains information obtained from the first Dolan
Expedition in which Bowles was one of the members
together with Schäfer.
Dolan, Brooke. 1938. Zoological results of the second
Dolan expedition to Western China and Eastern Tibet,
1934-1936. Part I. Proceedings of the Academy of
Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 90:159-184.
Comments on the results of the first Dolan expedition
and purposes of the second one. Details are given of
the route and many of the collected animals. There are
also references to Ernst Schäfer and material collected
by him during the Expedition.
Dolan, Brooke. 1980. Across Tibet. Excerpts from the
Journals of Captain Brooke Dolan, 1942-1943.
Frontiers 2:1-45.
Details of the third Dolan II expedition to Tibet. There
is a brief mention to his first two expeditions, as well
as the involvement of Schäfer in them.
Duncan, Marion Herbert. 1952. The Yangtze and the Yak.
Adventurous Trails In and Out of Tibet. Alexandria,
Virginia: Edwards. 353 p.
The missionary Duncan was the interpreter during
the second Brooke Dolan expedition. In this book he
gives some details on that expedition.
Engelhardt, Isrun. 2003. The Ernst-Schaefer-Tibet-
Expedition (1938-1939): New light on the political
history of Tibet in the first half of the 20th century.
p. 187-195. In: McKay, A. (ed.). Tibet and her
Neighbours. Berkeley, California: University of
California Press.
It contains a summary of Shäfer’s life up to 1938 and
a short description of the Expedition and its results.
She clarifies views surrounding the expedition and
Schäfer’s research, and demystifies the alleged ideo-
logical, esoteric and occultist aspects of the expedition.
Engelhardt, Isrun. 2004. Tibetan Triangle: German, Tibetan
and British Relations in the Context of Ernst Schäfer's
Expedition, 1938-1939. Asiatische Studien / Études
Asiatiques 58(1):57-113.
A view of the German-Tibetan-British relations in the
context of the Schäfer-Tibet-Expedition of 1938/39.
It briefly describes the expedition and its results and
how even after being planned as a purely scientific
venture it fell into an area of conflict between politics
and science from the very outset.
Engelhardt, Isrun. 2005. Ernst Schäfer, Zoologe. p. 503-
504. In: Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen
Akademie der Wissenschaften (ed.). Neue Deutsche
Biographie, Vol. 22. Berlin: Duncker and Humblot
A brief biography of Schäfer and the relevance of his
expeditions and research.
Engelhardt, Isrun. 2007. Tibet in 1938-1939: Photographs
from the Ernst Schäfer Expedition to Tibet. Chicago,
Illinois: Serindia Publications. 296 p.
The 1938-39 Schäfer-Tibet Expedition produced
the most extensive photographic record of Tibetan
life prior to the Chinese invasion. Some of those
photographs are presented here, accompanied by
essays on Schäfer and the world he encountered.
Engelhardt, Isrun. 2008. Nazis of Tibet: A Twentieth Century
Myth. p. 63-96. In: Monica Esposito (ed.). Images
of Tibet in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Coll.
Études thématiques 22, Vol. I. Paris: École française
d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO).
The 1938-39 Schäfer-Tibet Expedition constitutes the
main piece of “evidence” used by crypto-historians
in their cosntruction of Nazi-Tibet connections. This
article provides details on Schäfer and the real reasons
and results of his expedition, debunking the “occult”
and “esoteric” allegations.
Engelhardt, Isrun. 2008. Mishandled Mail: the Strange
case of the Reting Regent’s Letters to Hitler. Zentral-
Asiatische Studien 37:77-106.
In March 1939 during the visit of Schäfer’s 1938-
39 Tibet expedition to Lhasa, Reting Rinpoche, the
Regent of Tibet, wrote two letters to Adolf Hitler.
Even though this was not the most important result
of the expedition, it is perhaps the most famous and
has played a role in German-Tibet relations. Brief
details on Schäfer’s expeditions to the Far East and
his research are mentioned here.
Engelmann, Carlheinrich. 1938. Über die Großsäuger
Szetschwans, Sikongs und Osttibets bearbeitet nach
Dr. Ernst Schäfers Tagebüchern und Trophäen von
der ersten und zweiten Brooke-Dolan-Expedition der
“Acad. of Nat. Sc. of Philadelphia”. Zeitschrift für
Säugetierkunde 13:1-76.
Comments on some of the Fauna studied and collected
by Ernst Schäfer during the Dolan expeditions.
Eidmann, Hermann August. 1941. Zur Ökologie und
Zoogeographie der Ameisenfauna von Westchina
und Tibet. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der 2.
Brooke Dolan-Expedition 1934-1935. Zeitschrift für
Morphologie und Ökologie der Tiere 38(1):1-43.
A detailed study of ants collected by Schäfer during
the second Dolan Expedition.
Frahnert Sylke, Jürgen Fiebig, Michael Abs and Martin
Kaiser. 2004. Die Expedition von Ernst Schäfer nach
Sikkim und Tibet 1938/39 und deren Sammlung von
Vögeln im Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (The
expedition of Ernst Schäfer to Sikkim and Tibet
1938/1939 and its collection of birds in the Museum
für Naturkunde Berlin). Jahresversammlung der
Deutsche Ornithologen-Gesellschaft in Kiel 2004.
Tagungsband p.56
The authors reveal their plan to publish the catalogue
of species of birds collected by Schäfer's 1938/39
expedition and in the collection of the Museum für
Naturkunde in Berlin
Greensit, Charlotte. 2000. Who are you calling abominable?
Time Europe, September 6.
Greensit interviews Reinhold Messner about his
book “My Quest for the Yeti”. Messner mentions a
letter he received from Ernst Schäfer stating how he
discovered that the Yeti is merely a Tibetan bear.
Greve, Reinhard. 1995. Tibetforschung im SS Ahnenerbe. p.
168-199. In: Thomas Hauschild (ed.). Lebenslust
und Fremdenfurcht. Ethnologie im Dritten Reich.
Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Comments on the research related to Tibet done by
Ernst Schäfer and his team at the Ahnenerbe.
Gruber, Ulrich. 1986. Die Tibetexpeditionen von Dr. Ernst
Schäfer. Tibetforum 5(1):9-12.
Comments on the scientific findings of Schäfer’s
Tibet expeditions.
Kater, Michael. 2001. Das Ahnenerbe des SS, 1935-1945:
ein Beitrag zur Kulturpolitik des Dritten Reiches.
Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlag-Anstalt. 529 p.
The book is based on the author’s 1966 dissertation
and it deals with the history of this Institution. It
shows details on Schäfer’s research and those of
his Department and team after interviews done by
Kater to the German scientist. There is already a 4th
edition from 2006. However, all editions are virtually
identical to the first one published in 1974.
Klös, Ursula, Heinz Georg and Hans Frädrich. 1993. Zur
Erinnerung an Ernst Schäfer. Bongo 21:91-96.
Kuhlmann, Michael. 2002. Neue Arten der Bienengattung
Colletes Latr. aus Südtibet mit Beschreibung der
Route der “Deutschen Tibet Expedition Ernst Schäfer
1938/39” (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Colletinae). Linzer
biologische Beiträge 34(2):1155-1178.
Description of new species of bees in the genus
Colletes collected during Schäfer’s Tibet Expedition
Lasser, Tobias. 1951. La estación Biológica del Rancho
Grande. Acta Científica Venezolana 2(1):7-8.
History of the origin of the Rancho Grande Biological
Station. It credits the origin of the station thanks to
the hiring of Ernst Schäfer and gives a brief CV of the
German scientist.
McKay, Alex. 2002. Swastikas, medicine and Tibet.
Welcome History 20:10-12.
Relevance of the medical treatment given by members
of the Ernst Schäfer-Tibet-Expedition (1938-1939) to
settlers along the covered route.
Messner, Reinhold. 2000. My Quest for the Yeti:
Confronting the Himalayas Deepest Mistery. New
York: St. Martin’s Press. 102 p.
Messner establishes again that the Yeti is a Tibetan
Bear. He mentions that the first person that actually
confirmed his assumption was Ernst Schäfer back
in 1936. Messner mentions a letter he received
from Ernst Schäfer saying that: “In 1933-35, the
British mountaineers Frank Smythe and Eric
Shipton discovered the first “yeti footprints” The
“Abominable Snowman” opened up financial
resources for numerous Everest expeditions. In 1938,
… in my publications … [I] established the yeti’s real
identity [was that of] … Tibetan bears, Smythe and
Shipton came to me on their knees, begging me not
to publish my findings in the English-speaking press.
The secret had to be kept at all costs or else [they
would not be able to obtain financial help for another]
Everest expedition.”
Meyer de Schauensee, Rodolphe. 1937. First Preliminary
Report on the Results of the Second Dolan Expedition
to West China and Tibet: Two New Birds from Tibet.
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of
Philadelphia 89:339-340.
Two bird subspecies collected by Schäfer during
the second Dolan Expedition are named by Meyer.
One is named after Brooke Dolan II (Crossoptilon
crossoptilon dolani), the other after Ernst Schäfer
(Charadrius mongolus schaferi).
Osgood, Wilfred H. 1931. Roosevelt’s Giant Panda group
installed in William V. Kelley hall. Field Museum
News 2(1):1.
A brief story of how westerners “discovered” the
Giant Pandas and how Theodore Jr. and Kermit
Roosevelt were able to collect one and bring the skin
of another, which were prepared for exhibition at the
Field Museum of Natural History. These Pandas were
the first shown in a museum in America. The second
captured Panda to be exhibited in America would be
the one collected by Ernst Schäfer during the first
Brooke Dolan II expedition to China and Tibet. This
Panda (along with two others collected by Dolan and
Schäfer) is exhibited in the Museum of the Academy
of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
Peck, Robert McCracken. 1992. Explorer Ernst Schäfer
remembered. Academy News 15(3):6.
Obituary with comments on the relevance of Schäfer
on research and collections of the Academy.
Peck, Robert McCracken. 2000. To the ends of the earth
for science: Research expeditions of the Academy
of Natural Sciences-the first 150 years, 1812-1962.
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of
Philadelphia 150:15-46.
History of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Phila-
delphia expeditions. Mentions the importance of the
Dolan II expeditions and the contributions of Schäfer.
Prinzinger, Roland. 1993. Ernst Schäfer (1910-1992).
Journal für Ornithologie 134(3):368-369.
Obituary. States the importance of Schäfer’s research
on birds.
Rodríguez, José Antonio. 2006. El Viajero de las Aves. La
Obra Científica de William H. Phelps (1937-1965).
Caracas: El Nacional. 415 p.
A historical account of William H. Phelps’ life. It
mentions Ernst Schäfer as a collaborator and personal
friend of Phelps. It details the contributions of the
German and the importance of the paper he and Phelps
wrote together about the birds of Rancho Grande.
Rogers, Mark. 2000. The SS-Ahnenerbe and the 1938/39
German-Tibet Expedition. M.A. Thesis. Atlanta,
Georgia: Georgia State University. 102 p.
A translation, study and analysis of Ernst Schäfer’s
book “Geheimnis Tibet (Mystery of Tibet). In his
book, Schäfer describes the scientific goals and
methodology to prepare for the expedition. He also
describes in detail most of what the scientific team
encountered in the different regions they visited.
Rogers mentions that Schäfer’s narrative will be of
great help to scholars wishing to understand Tibet
and neighboring regions as well as their settlers
during the late 1930’s. Rogers concludes that even
though Schäfer’s expedition has been linked to Nazi
occultism, Schäfer’s research and his expedition had
truly scientific and serious purposes and should be
“salvaged from such a dubious realm”.
Sánchez, Javier and Francisco J. Bisbal E. 2004 (“2002”).
Museo de la estación Biológica de Rancho Grande.
Memoria de la Fundación La Salle de Ciencias
Naturales 158:5-28.
History of the Rancho Grande Biological Station
and Museum. They were founded and established by
Ernst Schäfer who was their first Director.
Steinbacher, Joachim. 1992. Erinnerungen an Ernst Schäfer
– ein Forscherleben. Natur und Museum 122:433-434.
Stone, Witmer. 1933. Zoological results of the Dolan West
China expedition of 1931. Part I. Birds. Proceedings
of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Material collected by Ernst Schäfer is presented and
Stresemann, Erwin. 1939. Zwei neue Rassen aus Süd-Tibet
und Nord-Sikkim. Ornithologische Monatsberichte
Stresemann, Erwin. 1940. Welche Rasse von Hirundo
rustica brütet in Sikkim? Ornithologische
Monatsberichte 48(3):88–89.
Texera Arnal, Yolanda. 2002. The beginnings of modern
ornithology in Venezuela. The Americas 58(4):601-
It presents a brief CV and comments on Schäfer and
his ornithological research in Venezuela.
Texera Arnal, Yolanda. 2003. Ornitología. p. 95-120. In:
Texera Arnal, Yolanda. La Zoología en Venezuela
1936-1970; una historia social. Caracas: Fundación
It presents a brief CV and comments on Schäfer and
his ornithological research in Venezuela.
Thapa, Kaiser B. [1992]. Wildlife in Sikkim. Remembering
Dr. Schaefer. Sikkim Express [1992]:3
An obituary of Schäfer and the importance of the
scientist’s expedition and research on the birds of
Sikkim birds.
Tilman, Harold W. 1948. Mount Everest 1938. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press. 160 p.
Details of the British 1938 Mount Everest Expedition.
Part of the British team met the German team led by
Schäfer. Tillman mentions that he told one of the
German team members not “to be put off by the
zoologist [Schäfer] who would assuredly tell him that
any accountable tracks he might see in the snow were
not those of a “snowman”, not even a “Snark”, but
merely those of a bear.”
Tolstoy, Ilya. 1946. Across Tibet from India to China.
National Geographic Magazine August:169-222.
Details on the third Dolan II expedition to the Far
East. It contains brief comments on his first two
Trebbau, Pedro. 1998. 50 años. Conservación de la fauna
y flora venezolana. p. 343-353. In: Crispín, K. (ed.).
Asociación Cultural Humboldt, 50 años de irradiación
cultural. Caracas: Asociación Cultural Humboldt.
Trebbau Mentions the relevance of Schäfer in research
and conservation in Venezuela.
Trense, Werner. 1992. Tibet-Schäfer. Wild und Hund 20:11.
Obituary. States the importance of Schäfer’s research
and expeditions to Tibet.
Tung, Rosemary Jones. 1996. A Portrait of Lost Tibet.
Photographs by Ilya Tolstoy and Brooke Dolan.
Berkeley: University of California Press. 224 p.
The book mentions some details about the third
expedition of Brooke Dolan II who was accompanied
by Ilya Tolstoy on a political mission to Tibet. It also
shows a selection of photographs taken by them.
Vaurie, Charles. 1972. Tibet and its Birds. London:
Witherby. 407 p.
Vaurie studied some of the specimens collected
by Schäfer and deposited at the Berlin Museum of
Natural History; many of them were still unpacked.
Wang, Xiaoming and Robert S. Hoffmann. 1987. Pseudois
nayaur and Pseudois schaeferi. Mammalian Species
Details on the systematics, biology, ecology and
distribution of the Himalayan blue sheep (Pseudis
nayaur) and the Dwarf blue sheep (P. schaeferi).
Specimens of both species were originally collected
and studied by Schäfer in their natural environment
during the second Dolan Expedition.
1Brooke Dolan II (1908-1945) was a Trustee of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. He organized three expeditions to
China and Tibet (1931-1932, 1934-1936, and 1942-1943). Even though his last expedition was political in nature, all of them were
important because they were pivotal to collecting significant scientific information, specimens and photographic documentation (Dolan,
1980; Tolstoy, 1946; Tung, 1996).
2This is the first Venezuelan National Park. It was created by the government in 1937 and was also known as “Rancho Grande National
Park” until 1952, when it was renamed in homage to the Swiss-born botanist Henri François Pittier (1857-1950), to whom the Park owes
its creation. Pittier was also influential in the foundation of the “Rancho Grande Biological Station and Museum.”
3Sven Anders Hedin (1865-1952) was a Swedish Explorer, geographer, and geopolitician. He drew the first detailed maps of the Far East
regions. It also appears that he was the first to notice that the Himalayas was a lone and massive mountain range.
4Hugo Weigold (1886-1973) was a renowned German Biologist and Ornithologist. He founded the “Vogelwarte Helgoland” in 1909 and
became its first director in 1910. He would later become the director of the “Naturkundeabteilung” of the “Landesmuseum Hannover.”
He was a member of several scientific expeditions that explored the West of China and the East of Tibet.
5The Panda was shown to the western world by the French Missionary Armand David thanks to a skin that he was given in 1869. It
appears that Hugo Weigold was the first westerner to see a Panda alive when he bought a cub in 1916. Kermit and Theodore Roosevelt,
Jr., were the first foreigners to hunt a specimen, which is at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago (Osgood, 1931). Ernst
Schäfer collected the second panda for scientific purposes on the first Brooke Dolan II expedition. It is at the museum of the Academy
of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
6 “Mountains, Buddhas and Bears: Research and collecting in the mysterious Tibet.”
7Alfred Kühn (1885-1968) was a German developmental biologist. His studies on the action of genes in development made him a
pioneer of the “one gene-one enzyme” hypothesis. He had scientific interest in an astonishing variety of subjects, which accounts for
his influence on several branches of biology.
8“The mysterious tracks in the Tibetan snow.”
9Ernst Schäfer would mention years later that the Yeti that the westerners had been looking for over the years was nothing more than a
Tibetan Bear. The Yeti of the Tibetans and surrounding regions, however, had a more mystic origin and even had religious connotations.
Schäfer’s works, published in German, do not convey any doubts that the Yeti was a myth. In 1938, while in Sikkim, he and the team
members of his German expedition (1938-1939) met members of a British expedition led by H.W. Tilman who were coming back from
Everest. When discussing the Yeti, Frank Smythe and Eric Shipton obtained Schäfer’s promise not to publish his conclusion in English,
since that could harm their ability to raise funds for future expeditions to the region (Greensit, 2000; Messner, 2000; Tilman, 1948; Ernst
Schäfer, in litt.).
10“Ornithological Results of two expeditions to Tibet.”
11“Eco-geographic studies of the high Tibetan regions.”
12Center for Asian Research and Expeditions.
13Tobías Lasser (1911-2006). Renowned Venezuelan botanist who was the founder of the Jardín Botánico de Caracas (Caracas Botanical
14“Department of Agriculture and Animal Farming”.
15“Biological station and Museum of Fauna and Flora Henri Pittier.” The name honored the Swiss botanist who was pivotal in the
foundation of the first Venezuelan National Park and in convincing the Venezuelan government about the need to establish a Research
Station there.
16Rancho Grande Biological Station.
17United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
18Facultad de Agronomía, Maracay, and Facultad de Ciencias, Escuela de Biología, Caracas. Universidad Central de Venezuela.
19“Les Seigneurs de la Forét, 1958” (Literally “The Masters of the Forest”, but commercially translated in English as “The Masters of
the Congo Jungle”).
20Later known as Zaire and more recently as Democratic Republic of Congo.
21“The Birds of Venezuela and their Ecological Conditions.”
22However, the Museum of the Rancho Grande Biological Station was moved from its original location at the Rancho Grande building,
to the entrance of the Henri Pittier National Park in El Limón.
23This is a comprehensive list of Schäfer’s publications (Books, scientific and popular articles). All listed works have been examined/
corroborated by the author, except the two with an asterisk (*) at the end of the reference.
24Different editions of this encyclopedic book appeared in 1976 and 1985. It is included in this bibliography because Ernst Schäfer was
the consultant for Biology and Hunting matters, but he also contributed as author with several works: Von der Entstehung der Arten, p.
74-75; Der Stammbaum der Hirsche, p. 82-85; Das Hirschgeweih, p. 86-87; Spitzentrophäen, p. 88; Das Raubwild Europas, p. 104-105;
Warnen, Tarnen, Täuschen, p. 108-109; Rangkämpfe der Dickhornwidder, p. 156-157; Afrikas Wildreichtum, p. 168; Ein Riese stirbt,
p. 188-189; Beizjagd bei den Kirgisen, p. 208-209; Die Pirsch, 218; Jagd auf Wölfe, p. 224-225; Bärenjagd im Karst, p. 226-227; Die
Drückjagd, p. 228-229; Entenjagd in Nordamerika, p. 244-245; Eiszeitjäger der Gegenwart, p. 246-247; Jagd auf das Barren-Ground-
Karibu, p. 248-249; Der weiße Widder, p. 250-251; Elchjagd, p. 252-253; Die letzten Bisons, p. 254-255; Wapiti und Weißwedelhirsch,
p. 256-257; Pumajagd, p. 258-259; Jaguarjagd am Orinoco, p. 260-261; Jagd im südamerikanischen Urwald, p. 262-265; Letzte Jagd, p.
266-267; Pantherjagd, p. 268-269; Jagd auf lebende Fossilien, p. 272-277; Afrikanische Jagd, p. 278-279; Streifzug durch die Steppe, p.
284-285; Jagdzauber der Primitiven, p. 186-287; Verpflichtung zur Hege, p. 289-297.
25There is a “Book Club” edition (Deutscher Bücherbund) that also appeared in 1965.
26There are also revised editions in 1974, 1979, and 1982.
27“Secret Tibet.”
28“Llasa-Lo – The forbidden city.”
29Schäfer was invited by King Leopold III to work on this documentary, and even though he was completely involved in the making and
postproduction of the film his name was erased from the original credits when it was finally exhibited. However, he is mentioned as one
of “the main authors of the film” in the book that appeared to accompany the film (“Les principaux auteurs du film … Ce sont: Ernest
Schaefer, …” [Schäfer et al.], 1958).
30The aim of this note is to focus in Schäfer’s research achievements. Even though numerous works were researched to write Schäfer’s
biography, several of them were left out of this “Selected Annotated Bibliography” section for different reasons, but mainly because they
did not accurately present his research and/or a balanced historical reconstruction.
... En este lugar Francisco se percató del fenómeno migratorio no solo de aves, sino de insectos, que volaban a través del abra geográfica. Fenómeno comunicado a investigadores visitantes, tales como William Bee-be (1877Bee-be ( -1962, naturalista estadounidense quien utilizó parte del abandonado hotel de Rancho Grande como laboratorio entre 1945y 1948, Ernst Schäfer (1910-1992, fundador de la Estación Biológica de Rancho Grande en 1950, y todos aquellos quienes trabajaron con él (Beebe 1949, González 2005, 2010. La relación de Francisco con el Parque y la Estación Biológica de Rancho Grande fue evidente durante toda su vida y cada vez que podía, tomaba su red y sus aperos de recolector ( Fig. 1), y ya fuera con algún miembro de su familia o alguno de sus estudiantes, subía hasta Rancho Grande o al Portachuelo para continuar descifrando el "idioma" de los insectos. ...
... al. 2007. A partir de 1950 buena parte del edificio será remodelado para establecerlo como Estación Biológica de Flora y Fauna de Rancho Grande bajo la dirección del naturalista, zoólogo e investigador alemán Ernst Schäfer (Lasser 1951, González 2010, 2011. ...
... De manera póstuma varios de sus discípulos publicarían algunos trabajos incluyéndolo como coautor debido a su influencia y estímulo en la realización de los mismos (ver Bibliografía Comentada). Sin embargo, gracias a sus numerosos y actualizados conocimientos en múltiples áreas de la entomología que transmitía sin mezquindad a sus numerosos discípulos, tuvo una marcada y positiva influencia en el desarrollo de la entomología en todo el país (Osuna 1984, Fernández Badillo 1986, 2010, Suarez 1986, Havranek & Salinas 1988, Pacheco 1991, González 2005, De Marmels & Rosales 2011. ...
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A comprehensive biography of the well known entomologist Francisco Fernández Yépez (1923-1986), known as the father of Contemporary Entomology in Venezuela, is presented. His annotated bibliography is also included.
... Sus viajes a Maracay los aprovecha para seguir visitando Rancho Grande y charlar e intercambiar ideas con su nuevo amigo Ernst Schäfer. Este reconocido zoólogo, ornitólogo y naturalista alemán había sido contratado como director de la recientemente fundada Estación Biológica (González 2010(González , 2011. En San Antonio de Los Altos obtiene una parcela agrícola que comparte con su amigo botánico Ludwig Schnee, diseñando y construyendo una pequeña casa vacacional, desde donde aprovecha para estudiar las plagas de los cultivos de las cercanías y por supuesto, su avifauna. ...
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A detailed biography complemented by a list of the publications and travel logs of Alberto Fernandez Badillo, a naturalist, conservationist, mammologist and ornithologist of Venezuela.
Full-text available
Remembranza sobre el taxidermista-naturalista Baldur Terzenbach y detalles de su trabajo en la Estación Biológica de Rancho Grande y otras instituciones venezolanas.
Full-text available
In 1908, Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH) acquired the collection of Lepidoptera built up by Herman Strecker (1836-1901) in Reading, Pennsylvania. Thought to have possessed, at some point, an estimated 200,000 Lepidoptera specimens, Strecker's collection is both historically and scientifically important. Among the several families he collected and traded, Strecker had numerous specimens belonging to Castniidae. This Pantropical group is distributed in the Neotropics, Southeast Asia, and Australia. The Neotropical Castniinae contains just over 30 genera and almost 90 species, while the Australian Castniinae has 1 genus and over 40 species, about 20 of which appear to be still unidentified. Upon closer inspection of the FMNH insect collection, we found 45 taxa belonging to 23 genera of Neotropical and 1 genus of Australian Castniidae. Most specimens originated from the Strecker collection and were negotiated by him with numerous collectors and dealers of his time. Overall details of the Strecker collection and specific details of Castniidae at the FMNH are provided here in an attempt to improve knowledge on the group and stimulate interest in its study and conservation.
Ernst Schäfer (1910-1992), a German hunter and zoologist, became famous due to his zoological and ecological studies in Tibet (Xizang). The basis of these studies was his participation in three expeditions to Sikkim, Tibet and adjoining provinces in 1931/32, 1934-1936 and 1938/39. A large amount of birds obtained during these expeditions is housed in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Most of them were neither inventoried nor integrated in the museum's collection. As there is still a big interest in these birds because of their origin of the transition zone from the Palearctic to the Indo-Malayan, we aimed to make these birds available for the scientific community. We compiled an updated list of all the 3,520 birds collected by Schäfer in Tibet and Sikkim. Summarizing, we found 5 specimens of the expedition 1931/32, 230 of the expedition 1934-36 and 3,285 specimens of the expedition 1938/39. From Schäfer's last expedition we inventoried 650 specimens of 58 species collected in Tibet from January to the end of June 1939, and 2700 specimens of 278 species collected in Sikkim in 1938 and the first half of 1939. Important collecting localities are Gangtok (939 specimens), Lachen (369 specimens), Gogong (300 specimens), Thanggu (259 specimens), Lhasa (133 specimens), Chuntang (103 specimens) and Xigaze (102 specimens).