From Save the Panda to Save the Planet

Miriam Birch

Miriam Birch

Miriam Birch, a former Hollywood actress and singer who once played a mermaid on TV, put the glitz and glamour aside to become a producer, writer, and director for conservation-focused documentaries. Whether trekking through Kenya or hiking mountains in China, Miriam helped viewers back home understand the fragility of the natural world.

Miriam became the first woman to produce and write National Geographic Society television specials. Her acclaimed NGS special Save the Panda, produced by special arrangement with World Wildlife Fund, highlighted efforts to protect the endangered species. Aired in 1983, it brought Miriam her third Emmy nomination.

“I was impressed with WWF staff in Washington, D.C., and with the scientists who led the WWF study that I documented in China,” Miriam says. “They used top talent across the board.”

She realized that WWF’s values aligned with her own, and she chose to make a gift to WWF in her living trust.

“I want my legacy to support a cause that is in desperate need of help—educating the public about the need to preserve habitat and protect animals,” she says.

Given Miriam’s focus on wildlife conservation, her gift is a fitting tribute to a remarkable career.

“It feels good to know that I’m enriching the future of the planet and its creatures. People need to pay better attention.”
—Miriam Birch

Conservation in Action

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