Among Tigers: Fighting to Bring Back Asia's Big Cats (Hardcover)
Today ten times more tigers live in captivity than survive in the wild.
For over five decades, K. Ullas Karanth has been engaged in the struggle to bring wild tigers back from the brink in India, their last remaining wild stronghold. He tells the story of the tiger itself—its incredible biology, its critical role in shaping natural ecosystems of Asia, and the unique place it holds in our collective imagination.
Among Tigers is the story of how we wound up with fewer than 5,000 wild tigers, and how, with focused efforts, we can grow that population ten times or more in a few decades. In doing so, we would bring not only the world’s largest and most beloved feline back from the brink, but also save countless other species that share the tigers habitats from the freezing forests of Siberia to the tropics of India.
Karanth shares the adventurous real-life story of his quest to save a species and, along the way, the hopeful realization that tiger conservation is a battle that can be won.
Ultimately, the book is a roadmap showing us how to not only to save the greatest of great cats, but to bring it roaring back at numbers never before seen in our lifetimes.
About the Author
K. Ullas Karanth is now emeritus scientist at the Centre for Wildlife Studies in Bangalore. Previously he led one of the longest-running (1986–2017) tiger conservation programs in the world for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Along the way has conducted cutting-edge research, which gained crucial new knowledge for bringing tigers back. Karanth has also engaged deeply with researchers, wildlife managers, social leaders, and local communities that live next to tigers. His efforts have effectively stopped poachers, mitigated human-tiger conflicts, and helped forest families to happily resettle away from tiger habitats. He lives in India.
“Ullas Karanth’s book Among Tigers is a riveting and timely account with the data, analyses, and insights that are essential if this beautiful cat, beloved by so many, is to survive in the wild. Masterfully written, Among Tigers is a conservation classic.” —George B. Schaller, senior conservationist, Wildlife Conservation Society, and author of Into Wild Mongolia
“This book is a must read for anyone interested in the science and conservation of wild tigers in the last five decades. It also highlights ignorance of the new forest bureaucracies that now rule the land of the tiger without any vision whatsoever.” —Valmik Thapar, author of Tiger Fire and Saving Wild India
“Ullas Karanth describes his evolution from scientist to conservationist, and fills one with hope that science can show a way through the thicket of competing political and commercial interests, and ultimately allow a way for wild tigers and people to co-exist.” —John Robinson, Joan L. Tweedy Chair in Conservation Strategy, Wildlife Conservation Society
“Drawn to nature since childhood, Ullas Karanth became the first person in India to radio-track its fabled tigers. He continued studying them for decades, and his book takes us with him down tropical forest paths to gain insights about Asia’s most powerful carnivore—often at startlingly close range. Yet what distinguishes Among Tigers is the way it also brings readers deep into the realities of conservation in a crowded, rapidly developing country. That Karanth’s resolve to improve tiger protection never wavered despite interference from power-hungry politicians and entrenched bureaucrats is important. Why? Because it a good part of the reason why India, which held had fewer than 300 tigers in the 1970s, now hosts around 3,000 of the estimated 5,000 left on Earth.” —Douglas Chadwick, author of Four-Fifths a Grizzly and The Wolverine Way
“Karanth takes us on a roller coaster ride through the jungles of South India, alternatingly describing his detailed field work and the life of tigers versus the messy world of tiger politics—regionally, nationally, and internationally. Mincing no words, Karanth makes the case for science-based conservation of tigers and the need for hard, grind-it-out field work, but also explains why science is not enough. To save tigers, Karanth demonstrates through his own efforts the need for politically astute and stubbornly tenancious tiger ‘wallahs,’ the people who fight to save the last realms of the tiger. A great read and a great story by a person who dedicated his life to the tigers of India.” —Dale Miquelle, coordinator, Wildlife Conservation Society Tiger Program