'World of Audubon': environmental television has another gem
Ted Turner's superstation - current home of the Jacques Cousteau series - is taking another giant step into the wildlife conservation field. The interrelationship of people and their environment is the continuing theme of a remarkable new series co-produced by the Turner Broadcasting System and the National Audubon Society: World of Audubon (WTBS - cable - Sunday, Nov. 4, 6:05- 7:05 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 5, 12:05-1:05 a.m.; check local listings for repeats). Hosted by Cliff Robertson, the inaugural program, in what will probably be a quarterly series, focuses its on-location camera at both conservationists and the conserved. There are segments on the grizzly bears of Yosemite National Park; Richard Chamberlain, who is trying to preserve California's Tuolumne River; pieces on the American bald eagle, pink flamingos, and sea otters; and Pam Dawber of ''Mork and Mindy'' fame, who propagandizes for solar energy (and, incidentally for Pam Dawber, too, who is now series-less and thus an endangered species herself).
Executive producer Christopher Palmer, also a vice-president of the Audubon Society, includes a tribute to early conservationist Theodore Roosevelt, who created the park system. Mr. Palmer takes the society's camera from Alaska to the Caribbean in his determination to correct the man-made imbalances in nature's balance. He makes no bones about his point of view - pro-conservation to the core.
Perhaps two conservationists verbalize best the theme of the show. One, in observing the relationship of Yellowstone grizzlies with Yellowstone visitors: ''I can't believe how tolerant the bears are!'' And the other, when he describes the fight to save the scenic Tuolumne River in northern California: ''Should we destroy a national treasure for the sake of a little cheap electricity?''
''World of Audubon'' is a welcome newcomer to the world of electronic nature programming. In one fell swoop, it has earned a place in the wildlife hierarchy next to ''National Geographic Specials,'' ''Nova,'' and ''Nature.''