About the Book
Once respected, feared, and revered across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent, the tiger in the India is today an andagered specis with its numbers dwindling alarmingly. In this situation the concerns of Valmik Thapar, one of India's foremost tiger conservationists, and others like him are isolated voice in the wilderness.
The illustrated tigers of India, part of the Oxford India Illustrated Collection, present a real life account of Indian tigers in the wild. Thapar and fellow experts recount their firsthand experiences of the life and times of the tiger from birth to adulthood. These engaging accounts and authentic tales provide a rare glimpse of the secret life of tigers' never seen in captivity.
In 'The Life of the Tiger', the story of birth, childhood, family life, learning by doing, and adulthood is vividly on display. The Future of the Tiger', on the crisis of the tiger today and its future, is an impassioned appeal to save the tiger and its environment.
The tiger factsheet and map, the numerous photographs of tigers in the wild, and the realistic illustrations evocative of tiger life, that accompany the gripping narrative give readers a unique exposure to India's national animal. The colour section depicting the life cycle of the tiger is both rare and appealing.
About the Author
Valmiki Thapar is an internationally celebrated tiger and wildlife conservationist. He is the author of fourteen books on tigers, most recently Tiger. The Ultimate Guide (OUP, 2005) and The Last Tiger: Struggling for Survival (OUP, 2005).
Why another book on the tiger? Because it is vital in this severe crisis to make civil society and the public at large aware of the state of affairs. It is essential for people to read about this majestic predator that roamed the length and breadth of India. Can we let it go? Or is it worth a fight? Let's find out in this affordable book by the Oxford University Press which provides in its pages a comprehensive reference for 'everything you wanted to know' about the tiger in India. It puts together, simplifies, and abridges information from many of my previous books, especially Tiger: The Ultimate Guide, in order to engage a larger audience with the subject of the book-the tiger.
It is people from all walks of life who have to come together in the battle to save the tiger, and I hope this book plays a part in this endeavour. Let's not forget that this nation has seen leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi who spoke up for the wilderness. It is the public at large that must force today's leaders to do the same.
I must thank the editors at Oxford University Press for their detailed assistance in putting the book together. I would also like to thank Kallol Majumder for the evocative illustrations he has done for the book, and Bittu Sahgal, KM. Narayana Swamy, Sudhir Shivaram, and Ashish Kothari for giving permission to use their photographs in the book
The tiger in India is today an endangered species with its numbers dwindling alarmingly. With more and more forest area being cleared for 'civilization' and with the high value of tiger skin and parts in Tibetan ceremonial costumes and Chinese medicine, tigers are fast disappearing from the face of this land. In this situation the voices of Valmik Thapar, one of our foremost tiger conservationists, and others like him are isolated voices in the wilderness. Disillusioned with the official speak, he argues that the tiger has a future in this country only if people come together and battle for its survival.
It is towards this end that the Oxford University Press presents this unique volume where many of Thapar 's earlier writings and new materials-accessible and accompanied by breathtaking yet realistic visuals-are presented to engage a wider audience, especially young readers with the future of this magnificent animal. The Illustrated Tigers of India, part of the Oxford India Illustrated Collection which brings together writings of enduring value, is thus both comprehensive yet highly accessible providing lay readers a one-stop reference on the tiger in India.
The narrative tracks the story of the tiger from its origins to the present day. The 'Tiger Factsheet' provides interesting tiger facts and other details in an imaginative and simple way, and the 'Tiger Map' locates its presence in different parts of India. The book tracks the tiger from birth through adulthood through firsthand accounts of tigers in the wild, largely by Thapar himself, and also by other tiger experts, past and present, most notably A.A. Dunbar Brander, Jim Corbett, Kailash Sankhala, K. Ullas Karanth, M. Monirul H. Khan, and Fateh Singh Rathore. Thus anecdote and incident enliven biological phenomena. The whole is complemented by photographs and illustrations that are both authentic and rare. Readers get to view a tigress with her cubs, playful siblings learning to hunt, the father with his young family, as also adult tigers on the hunt and with a variety of prey ranging from the small peafowl to the mammoth gaur. The colour section, a special feature of the volume, depicts the life cycle of the tiger.
If we are to save this precious heritage of ours from extinction, we have to overcome our apathy and act now. Thapar makes an impassioned appeal for drastic measures to at least halt, if not reverse, the damage. Innovative and out-of-the-box remedies are required feels Thapar, who suggests shifting tigers from locations that are too close to human habitation to relatively more protected and secure areas Saving the tiger and his immediate environment is saving India's wildlife and our environment. Creating awareness about the tiger and its crises is the first set. We hope this book will engage and inform readers to step forward to save the tiger.
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