Helmut Karl Buechner Papers,
1939-1975
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 7279
Creators:
Buechner, Helmut K. (Helmut Karl)
Dates:
1939-1975
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
32.72 cu. ft. (31 record storage boxes) (4 12x17 boxes) (1 oversize folder)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
For the most part, these papers document Buechner's primary research interest, the ecology of terrestrial vertebrates, with emphasis on relationships to vegetation and social behavior. Included are Buechner's research on the pronghorn antelope, which contains field notes, journals, photographs, and reports to the Texas Cooperative Wildlife Unit, which sponsored Buechner's research; a study of elk and deer in relation to livestock and range in the Blue Mountains region of southeastern Washington, 1949-1960; and research on the bighorn sheep, 1954-1960, which contains correspondence with personnel at the bighorn sheep animal refuges, photographs, field notes, journal, and a manuscript of Buechner's book,
The Bighorn Sheep in the United States, Its Past, Present, and Future
, 1959.
From 1956 to 1958, Buechner, as a Fulbright Scholar, conducted research in Uganda, on the elephant census and migration, the relationship of elephants to vegetation at Murchison Falls National Park, and reproduction of the Uganda kob. These papers include reports on aerial counts of elephants, photographs, field data and notes.
During Buechner's stay in Uganda, he became interested in the unique territorial and mating behavior of the Uganda kob. Buechner made trips to Uganda's Toro Game Reserve to study the Uganda kob in 1959, 1962-1963, and 1972. Materials documenting these trips include maps, field observation data, transcriptions, audio recordings, photographs, machine readable data and analytical computations of kob movements by Buechner and H. Daniel Roth, 1965-1972.
In addition, these papers contain photographs documenting Buechner's study of the ibex in Switzerland, taken when Buechner was consultant to the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research during the summer of 1961; a report when Buechner was consultant to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to study the elephants in relation to the Tana River Irrigation Project in Kenya in 1965; and reports when Buechner was consultant to Troy Meadows, in 1966, and to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, in 1970, (both are located in New Jersey) to study the environmental impact of animals in relation to land within the parks.
Additional material documents Buechner's feasibility studies on tracking free-roaming animals, such as elk, with the Interrogation Recording Location System (IRLS) satellite, 1969-1971, and includes incoming correspondence critical of the project, manuscripts, progress reports, and photographs; and a study of Indian rhinoceros mating behavior at the NZP, 1972, which led to the first successful live birth of this species in the Western Hemisphere, 1974, and includes photographs, tape recordings, and transcripts of observations made by volunteers and National Zoo staff.
Other materials contained in these papers include general correspondence, mostly with university faculty, conservationists, park wardens, and naturalists, pertaining to Buechner's research; reading files, 1968-1972; Buechner's school notes and term papers when he was a student, 1939-1947; lecture material when Buechner taught herpetology at Texas A&M College, 1947; research proposal evaluations Buechner did for the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society; handbook written in conjunction with Lee H. Talbot for the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; survey on usefulness of night vision devices; Buechner's proposed research projects at Washington State College (University); materials pertaining to various zoological and conservation organizations; theses by Buechner's former students; articles, abstracts, and book reviews written or co-authored by Buechner; information on projects in Ceylon, Israel, and Korea when Buechner was the head of the Office of Ecology; diplomas and certificates; audio recordings on elk immobilization, 1972, Earth Week Symposium, 1969, and a Panel on the Environment and Development, undated; group photographs of professional scientific organization meetings; Buechner's family photographs; photographs of NZP; and oversize material consisting of blueprints of the new deer area at NZP, 1972, and charts and graphs.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Helmut Karl Buechner (1918-1975) was born in Scotia, New York. He received his B.S. degree from New York State College of Forestry, Syracuse University in 1941, and his M.S. degree from Texas A&M College, College Station in 1943. After completing military service, Buechner continued his education at Texas A&M College. For his Ph.D. thesis, Buechner did research on the range ecology of the pronghorn antelope in the Trans-Pecos region in southwest Texas, 1946-1947. Buechner taught herpetology at Texas A&M College during the Fall of 1947. In 1948, Buechner transferred to Oklahoma A&M College, Stillwater, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1949. From 1948-1965, Buechner taught zoology and botany at Washington State College (now University), Pullman. In 1965, Buechner joined the Smithsonian Institution as the first director of the Office of Ecology. Buechner was Senior Ecologist for the Office of Environmental Sciences, 1969-1972, and from 1972 to 1975, he was Senior Ecologist for the National Zoological Park (NZP).

Notes
Personal Papers

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7279, Helmut Karl Buechner Papers

Keywords
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Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at
osiaref@si.edu