karl ammann
bushmeat activist, wildlife photographer, author;

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Cairo Connection Mong Lah Connection Kinshasa Connection Bangui Connection Gombe Connection Bear Bile Farm Other video/podcasts how to order
All Apes Great & Small Cheetah Consuming Nature Die Grossen Menschenaffen Eating Apes East African Wildlife Elephant Reflections Gorillas Great Ape Odyssey Great Apes & Humans Hunters & Hunted Little Bull Masai Mara Orangutan Odyssey
the early days correspondence project reports scientific articles karl's notes photographs dna evidence bili coffee project 2010 bili update
contact us:
email: photo inquiries
email: karl directly
in USA: 301-854-0388

present features:

As CITES annual conf.
nears Karl expounds on
CITES double standards.

Karl's exposition of the
real Ivory price
in China.

Christopher Hasslet's
incredible report on the
illicit online ape trade.

An open letter regarding
developments in Guinea

concerning the illegal
export of great apes.

karl's recent Report on
, its permitting
system, with clear
evidence of its
failure to police
the trade in live animals
of endangered species

karl discusses how
disappearing wildlife,
worldwild, reappears
in Chinese Zoo and
Safari Park facilities

karl interviewed by
Southeast Asia Globe
reveals his trade secrets;
staying out of trouble,
disillusion w/progress
on illicit animal trade

CITES 2011 Guinea
Mission Report

karl comments on
Apparent drop in
rhino horn demand

karl wins another
SAB environmental
media award

Commercial Exploitation
and Cites

karl ammannn

Overwhelmed U.S. port
inspectors unable to keep up
with illegal wildlife trade
Darryl Fears (in Wash Post)

African fraud, local market
exacerbate illegal primate

Global Times

Media Report (in Chinese)
Southern China Weekly

the Conakry Connection
very detailed report on
great ape smuggling in Guinea
provides insight into the
worldwide animal trade.
karl ammann and others

latest (9-14)Conakry
Connection update

karl ammann and others

latest (1-14)Conakry
Connection update

karl ammann and others

Cites and the Shanghai 8
exporting illegal wild apes
claiming them captive bred
karl ammann

Cites and the Taiping4
more on the export
of illegal wild apes
claimed as captive bred
karl ammann

Karl's blogs for
National Geographic
tiger Trade, china's chimp
smuggling, ivory tracking,
rhino poaching and more.

Tiger farming in
SE Asia

karl ammann

more on the China-
Gorilla story

karl ammann

Cites and the illegal
trade in wildlife

karl ammann

emails/letters/issues ignored
bonobos to Armenia

GRASP correspondence on
illegal animal trade

allegations of a coverup at the
CITES secretariat

karl ammann

a fairy tale of ivory:
the ongoing tragedy of
incompetence, slaughter,
and lawlessness.
karl ammann and others

for details see this
transcript with NBouke.
karl ammann and others

the Rhino & the Bling - the
inside mechanics of the
rhino horn trade.
karl ammann

karl's latest elephant
poaching video

Millions spent on ape
conservation and where
are the results?

karl ammann

an interview with Karl
on the state of conservation,
poaching, trafficking
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Where Did All
the Tigers Go?

karl ammann

the detailed report on
The Cairo Connection:
Ape Trafficking

karl ammann

the updated report on
The Cairo Connection:
Ape Trafficking in Egypt

karl ammann

Tiger, Lion bones
and rhino horn

another piece in Swara

karl ammann

Tiger cake & rhino horn
from Swara, a magazine of the
East African Wildlife Society

karl ammann

Into the Asian Underworld
in Africa Geograpic's
Rhino Watch
(page 3)
karl ammann

karl speaks at Foreign
Correspondents' Club of
Thailand - International
Trade in Reptile Skins

rhino versus ape

karl ammann

the rhino horn story
at consumer end
karl ammann

the latest horrors of
Poaching in
karl ammann

addendums to
elephants and elephant
conservation in the DRC

karl ammann

Our reptile skin trade
is now online.

Rhino Files: 333 rhinos
killed by poachers in
barbaric fashion

karl ammann
bernadette cook

Cites and the diplomatic
approach: these videos
say it does not work

karl ammann

Karl wins another
Genesis award

notes on Orang conservation
in Kalimantan - a sad story

errol pietersen

despite illegally held apes
CITES action minimal

karl ammann

asia geographic on
illegal wildlife trade

dale peterson
karl amman

africa geographic
reports on karl's
smuggling studies

karl ammann

Karl's German site

of interest

karl nominated for
zoological society medal

'Canned hunting': the
lions bred for slaughter

The Guardian

Seven rhinos killed ...
Kenya's bloodiest week

The Guardian

Forestry Education info
chase g

Not on Animal Planet
karl ammann

2010 Bili-Uere Update
karl ammann

more on wildlife
trafficking from Boten -
bears, leopard, tiger cubs

karl ammann

"horrific slaughter of
elephants ... butchered
in the Central African
Republic ... "

from BBC Newsnight

HIV ignored in Natl
Geographic article on
disease transmission

karl ammann

The Protein Gap
A misleading article

karl ammann

Mass Gorilla Execution
Can we learn from it?

karl ammann

Hundreds of Elephants
killed in DRC Park

from radio Okapi

Hunting Report take
on Chimp escape

karl ammann

US Wildlife Agency
provides a bandaid

karl ammann

open letter to CITES
re: wildlife export

karl ammann

important books

elephant reflections
dale peterson
karl ammann

eating apes
dale peterson
karl ammann

consuming nature
anthony rose
karl ammann

Karl Ammann's Books

Karl has been involved in the writing of and photography for a great variety of books. Some are out of print but almost all are still available. Click the title of any book listed for further information and, usually, to purchase the book. If any appear unavailable you may often find them by searching several sites; try Bookfinder or AddAll.

Great Ape Odyssey, by Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas, photographs by Karl Ammann
First published in 2005 by Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated

Mythologized since the days of Aristotle, few creatures have captured popular imagination more completely than the so-called great apes-gorillas, chimpanzees(including bonobos), and orangutans. Yet our understanding of these apes as the "blood kin" of humans-nearly identical in biological composition and strikingly similar in so many behaviors-has been much disputed over the years, and it has taken over a century of research and scientific discoveries to dispel the Victorian notion and portrayal of these animals as savage, aggressive, fearful beasts.

In Great Ape Odyssey, the follow-up to Orangutan Odyssey, Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas helps dispel any lingering myths about these fascinating animals. The famed primatologist opens the book with a brief, engaging history of our discovery of the great apes and the evolution of our perception of them since ancient times. She then delves into each of the great apes in detail, exploring and examining what we know about them, providing her own interpretations of the latest research, and offering comparisons among the different species. For instance, we learn that male gorillas make terrific fathers; that bonobos probably have more sex than any other creature on the planet, giving new meaning to the words, "You had me at hello"; and that while neither chimpanzees nor orangutans can swim, they have no fear of water, and in fact seem to enjoy it. More shocking revelations, while not new, nevertheless still captivate, especially as they relate to human behavior: Extreme violence and outright cannibalism has been observed between neighboring chimpanzee communities and even individuals, forcing us to adjust our image of them as gentle, peace-loving creatures.

A constant drum beat throughout Great Ape Odyssey is the ever-present, and unfortunately mounting, threat of extinction in the face of an alarming loss of habitat, spread of disease, and a dramatic rise in the bushmeat trade. Indeed, according to Galdikas, this threat has already reached crisis proportions and if the decimation continues at the current rate, we are sure to lose the great apes from the planet within our lifetime.

One hundred and twenty-five photographs, taken on location in the dense forests of Borneo and the tree top canopies of Africa by wildlife photographer Karl Ammann, illustrates the lives and behaviors of these creatures. Great Ape Odyssey offers not only a compelling overview of what we have learned about these humanlike animals, but in turn, and perhaps more importantly, what they can teach us about ourselves.

Consuming Nature; a photo essay on African rain forest exploitation, Anthony L. Rose, Russell A. Mittermeier, Olivier Langrand, Okyeame Ampadu-Agyei, Thomas M. Butynski, photography by Karl Ammann, published in 2004 by Altisima Press, also published in French,website:http://consumingnature.com/

Consuming Nature is a beautifully photographed book which depicts the devastation of nature in Africa as witnessed by some of the world's most experienced conservation experts. The book discusses the causes of the illegal wildlife trade, the people it directly affects, the threats to worldwide health and solutions for the future. Consuming Nature is a testimony to human ignorance and greed, and to awakening humane concern - a call for compassion and rapid action. It is honest, forthright, and demands attention. The photos are not always pleasant, some are tragically sad, others downright shocking. But they depict what is really happening - something that will only get worse, if we sit back and do nothing.

Jane Goodall

The information that I gathered from the book Consuming Nature, provoked great dismay. The ecological disaster that this book illustrates and the crude reality that it describes, reinforce the idea that these African countries need urgent help to rapidly develop active policies to carefully and sustainably manage their tropical forests. The issue is one of preservation of an irreplaceable natural heritage. It is also about mankind's rights and obligations vis a vis nature - without which man is nothing. This constitutes one of the policies of the French government that I have been promoting in Africa and which is part of the dialogue that I maintain with African heads of state. I would like you to forward my admiration to the authors for the quality of this remarkable piece of work.

With my great respect, President Jacques Chirac
Letter to Greenpeace France, February 10th 2004

Eating Apes, Dale Peterson, afterword and photographs by Karl Ammann, foreword by Janet K. Museveni, First Lady of Uganda.
First published in 2003 by University of California Press

Eating Apes is an eloquent book about a disturbing secret: the looming extinction of the African great apes-chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas. Dale Peterson's impassioned expose details how, with the unprecedented opening of African forests by European and Asian companies, the traditional consumption of wild animal meat in Central Africa has suddenly exploded in scope and impact, moving from what was recently a subsistence activity to an enormous and completely unsustainable commercial enterprise. Although the three African great apes account for only about one percent of the commercial bushmeat trade, today's rate of slaughter could bring apart their extinction within the next few decades. Supported by compelling color photographs by award-winning photographer Karl Ammann, Eating Apes documents the when, where, how, and why of this rapidly accelerating disaster.

Eating Apes persuasively argues that the American conservation media have failed to report the collapse of the ape population. In bringing the facts of this crisis and these impending extinctions into a single, accessible book, Peterson takes us one step closer to averting this grave threat to our closest relatives.

The curious may read the Introduction/First Chapter and the Afterward as well as this in depth review by a noted conservationist. A portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated by the publisher to the Great Ape Project.

Elephant Reflections, text by Dale Peterson, photographs by Karl Ammann.
2009, University of California Press

Elephant Reflections brings award-winning wildlife photographer Karl Ammann's gorgeous images together with a revelatory text by writer Dale Peterson to illuminate one of nature's greatest and most original works of art: the elephant. The photographs move from the purely aesthetic to the informative, depicting animals who are at once enigmatic, individual, mysterious, elusive, and iconic. In riveting prose, Peterson introduces the work of field scientists in Africa and explains their recent astonishing discoveries. He then explores the natural history and conservation status of African elephants and discusses the politics of ivory. Elephant Reflections is a book that could change the way the world thinks about elephants while we still have some measure of control over their fate.

All Apes Great and Small, Volume One: African Apes, Co-Edited by Birute M.F. Galdikas, Nancy Erickson Briggs, Lori K. Sheeran, Gary L. Shapiro, and Jane Goodall
First published in 2001 by Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers

The editors of this volume, the first in a two-volume series, are world renowned, having dedicated most of their lives to the study of apes. The world's premiere primatologists, ethologists, and anthropologists present the most recent research on both captive and free-ranging African great apes. These scientists, through deep personal commitment and sacrifice, have expanded our knowledge of chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas. With the rapid disappearance of African forests, many of these studies will never be duplicated.

This volume and all volumes in the Developments in Primatology book series, aim to broaden and deepen the understanding of this valuable cause. Karl's chapter in this book (click to read it) is called: What happened to Gorilla Gorilla Uellensis?

Great Apes and Humans; the Ethics of Coexistence, Series Editors Michael Hutchins, Terry L. Maple, and Chris Andrews.
First published in 2001 by Smithsonian Institution Press

The great apes-gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans-are known to be our closest living relatives. Chimpanzees in particular share 98 percent of our DNA, and scientists widely agree that they exhibit intellectual abilities long thought to be unique to humans, such as self awareness and the ability to interpret moods and identify the needs of others. The close relationship of apes to humans raises important ethical questions. Are they better protected in the wild or in zoos? Should they be used in biomedical research" Should they be afforded the same legal protections as humans?

Great Apes and Humans is the first book to present a spectrum of viewpoints on human responsibilities toward great apes. A variety of field biologists, academic scientists, zoo professionals, psychologists, sociologists, ethicists, and legal scholars consider apes in both the wild and captivity. They present sobering statistics on the declining numbers of wild apes, specifically discussing the decimation of great ape populations due to wild game consumption. They explore the role of apes in the educational missions of zoos as well as the need for sanctuaries for wild orphans and former research subjects. After examining the social division between apes and humans from historical, evolutionary, and cognitive perspectives, they conclude by reviewing the current moral and legal status of great apes as well as how the apes' cognitive skills inform these issues.

Although this provocative book contains many different opinions, the uniting concern of the contributors is the safety and well-being of great apes. Only by continuing the dialogue so clearly presented here can we hope to ensure their future.

Orangutan Odyssey, Birute M.F. Galdikas and Nancy Briggs, Photographs by Karl Ammann
First published in 1999 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Orangutans, the fabled red apes of the forests of Indonesia, share 97 percent of the biological makeup of human beings. But it is not for this reason alone that they have captured the interest and attention of scientists and naturalists. They are remarkable animals in their own right, living solitary and peaceful lives in the tree canopy of the dense tropical rain forest of the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Subsisting on fruit, leaves, and other vegetation, they interact very little with other animals and pose a threat to none. But their own existence is now endangered by poaching, forest cutting, and gold mining, which are reducing at a great rate the pristine forest areas that orangutans require to live.

Now, for the first time in a lavishly illustrated book, Birute Galdikas, the worlds leading authority on orangutans, offers a rich picture of their life based on her intimate observation of hundreds of the animals in their native habitat; she spends as much as six months every year in her research camp at the edge of Tanjung Puting National Park near Kalimantan, Borneo. Until recently, very little was known about the real character, personality, and life habits of orangutans. Nesting high up in the trees and seldom venturing to the ground, orangutans are hard to get a glimpse of, much less follow and observe. But Galdikas has persisted under extraordinarily difficult physical conditions. She has succeeded not only in rescuing several hundred wild born orangutans previously held as pets or in substandard zoos, but also in studying the life cycles and behavior of both wild and semiwild animals, with particular attention to mothers and their young. The results of her knowledge inform the lively and fascinating text of this remarkable book.

Like Jane Godall, the pioneering student of chimpanzees who has written an enthusiastic introduction, and Dian Fossey, a leading authority on gorillas, Galdikas was inspired and encouraged in her study of this elusive primate by the renowned Dr. Louis Leakey. As readers will discover, orangutans are tender and caring mothers, highly intelligent adults, and successful and adaptive tree-canopy dwellers. The photographs in this book were made by the noted wildlife photographer Karl Ammann at Camp Leakey, the sanctuary preserve in Kalimantan, Borneo.

Little Bull; growing up in Africa's elephant kingdom, Ellen Foley James, photography by Karl Ammann
First published in 1998 by Sterling Publishers, Inc.

Meet Little Bull! He's a three-foot-tall, 250-pound baby elephant who lives in Africa with a lot of family and friends. Come along and share his adventures.

When times are good and food and water are plentiful, Little Bull gets to explore a playground that stretches as far as the eye can see. He grabs branches with his trunk, stands trunk to beak with a fearless little bird, and teaches himself tricks. He even wrestles in the mud with his favorite cousin. The bigger elephants watch over them, always. if there's danger, the adults trumpet a warning and gather in a protective circle around the youngsters.

But even the grown-ups are helpless when the rain stops and the water holes and grasses dry up. All they can do is wander across the plains in search of food and drink, as the little elephants struggle to keep up.

Little Bull is just one member of an elephant family whose lives are documented in Africa's Elephant Kingdom, the first large-format film by Discovery Channel Pictures. It follows the elephants on their dangerous search for food and water, and capturing their heart-wrenching moments of loss as well as their days of joy.

Die Grossen Menschen Affen, Volker Sommer and Karl Ammann
First published in 1998 by BLV Verlagsgesellschaft in German.

Gorillas, Karl Ammann, Foreword by Richard E. Leakey
First published in 1997 by Apa Publications (HK) Ltd

This book has the rare distinction of being the first to cover all three subspecies of the gorilla, painstakingly photographed over an 8-year period by award winning wildlife photographer Karl Ammann. Unlike a number of books which focus entirely on the mountain gorilla, Insight Topics: Gorillas also presents rare shots of the eastern and western lowland subspecies, both of which are relatively unknown to scientists and the general public.

With a foreword by well-known conservationist Richard Leakey, this book is packed with 165 glossy pages of superb color images, bringing out much of the intimate knowledge that primatologists have culled over the years about gorillas and how they live. Once feared as chest-thumping man-eating monsters, gorillas are known today to be some of the gentlest creatures on earth. Sadly, this book is all the more pertinent because the future of these last remaining great apes is uncertain. The final chapter ponders their fate, under imminent threat from civil wars and deforestation, indiscriminate hunting, and the use of gorilla body parts as fetishes and souvenirs.

Maasai Mara; Kenya's Great Game Reserve, by Karl Ammann
First Published in 1993 by APA Publications (HK) Ltd, Also in German Edition.

Kenya's Maasai Mara Game Reserve is nature's stage for the greatest wildlife show on earth. In a continent considered to be the last refuge of the world's dwindling wildlife herds, more than three million animals call the Maasai Mara home. The Mara's combination of lush grasslands, isolated hillocks and forested river banks provides a rich habitat for wildlife and an idyllic setting for wildlife lovers.

Maasai Mara is a remarkable pictorial study in Apa Publications' Insight Topics series of photobooks. Whether its an elephant resting under a solitary acacia, a pride of hungry lions feasting on a buffalo kill, a million wildebeest on the annual migration trail, or a simple but stunning landscape, Maasai Mara captures the sublime beauty of the wild in the African continent.

Kenya residents Karl and Kathrine Ammann have traveled extensively throughout many of Africa's game parks, but the Maasai Mara remains their overwhelming favourite. They have explored this wonderous wildlife arena for over ten years, photographing the savage, serene and spectacular events of life-and death-in the animal kingdom. Maasai Mara features more than 220 full-colour pages, a photographic portfolio that stirs the senses and brings the reader into a fascinating world that once experienced, will not soon be forgotten.

The Hunters and the Hunted, Karl and Kathrine Ammann
First published in 1989 by Camerapix Publishers International

East Africa still offers an extraordinary spectacle of animal life. Millions of herbivores throng the grasslands and with them is an array of predators, scavengers, and parasites. It's a spectacle without equal in the animal world.

Karl and Kathrine Ammann, whose book Cheetah revealed many little-known aspects of this graceful species, here retrace the constant cycles of life and death in the bush - witnessed at first hand and captured in this superb series of colour photographs.

Never before has African wildlife been illustrated with such power and drama. Here, in marvelous sequences, the reader can follow the stalk, the hunt, and the kill of the lion, cheetah, wild dog, and many other animals.

The text, written in collaboration with Ian Parker, is both lively and authoritative, and is based on the Ammanns' own observations of life in the wilderness and on startling new evidence about how these predators interact. Such profound understanding of their subject is the secret of the Ammanns' success as photographers. In this remarkable book the world of The Hunters and The Hunted is brought vividly to life.

East African Wildlife - Safari Special, Edited by Geoffrey Eu, photography by Karl Ammann.
First published in 1989 by APA Publications.

It was Ernest Hemingway who popularized the old Swahili verb to travel - safari - in his stories on big-game hunting in East Africa. The region, with its vast landscapes, native culture and profusion of wildlife, held an endless fascination for him. Modern-day visitors will be no less disappointed. Insight Guide: East African Wildlife focuses on all the facts necessary for a rewarding and unforgettable journey to exotic East Africa. It combines essential information on and their habitats with interesting features on specific safaris. There is also a country-by-country guide to the game parks of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda and Eastern Zaire.

The pages of East African Wildlife are filled with stunning photography and entertaining text. From the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean to the ice-encrusted peaks of the Mountains of the Moon, East African Wildlife is the ideal companion for outdoors enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.

Cheetah, Katherine and Karl Ammann.
First published 1984 by Camerapix Publishers International

Loveliest of the great wild cats, the cheetah is poetry in motion, a blurred streak of graceful ferocity and a sauntering portrait of fluid beauty. They threaten no man and kill only for food. But the world's fastest animal is under threat both from fellow predators and ecological change.

This is one of the most unusual and moving stories of animal behavior. Kathrine and Karl Ammann devoted two years to the study of the cheetah and their movements in the wild of the Masai Mara, a remote and hauntingly beautiful corner of Kenya. This account of their life among the cheetah forms a compelling and poignant narrative.

While working in the Mara, the Ammans discovered their photographic talents. Their fascinating story is brought to life by some of the best colour pictures ever taken of any predator, anywhere.

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