Article in PDF (Download)
Guardian of the Tiger – Valmik Thapar, Foremost Tiger Conservationist and Author
in an exclusive interview with Mark Ulyseas
“I believe there are about 1200 to 1500 tigers alive in India. The new government that will come into power in May 2014 will do little as the bureaucracy that governs India is the same and has little knowledge of what wild tigers need. My message to those who read this interview is that saving wild tigers is like finding a path of peace through a minefield. It is the greatest challenge to engage in as the tiger is, for me, the most charismatic being on this planet.
Therefore, engage in this battle as the future of the tiger rests not on what governments do but how they partner and share decision making with those who serve the tiger without being in official positions. The future is in new partnerships with locals, NGOs, wildlife tourism players, scientists and many more. This interdisciplinary approach in governance will minimise damage to tigers.” – Thapar
Valmik Thapar, Foremost Tiger Conservationist, Naturalist, Film-maker and Founder of Ranthambhore Foundation is author of over 25 books on tigers and conservation. He was appointed a member of the Tiger Task Force of 2005 by the Government of India. He criticized the majority Task Force view in his dissent note as excessively focused on the prospects of co-existence of tigers and humans, which was, in his view not consistent with the objective of the panel. Thapar’s writings have analyzed the perceived failure of Project Tiger, a conservation program created in 1973 by the Government of India
His latest, Tiger Fire, is a magnum opus on 500 years of the tiger in India from the 16th century till date. He has also produced many documentaries on India’s habitat for the BBC, Animal Planet, Discovery and National Geographic.
He is married to the theatre personality Sanjana Kapoor and the couple have a son, Hamir. They live in Delhi.
Grab these books by Thapar
TIGER FIRE: 500 YEARS OF THE TIGER IN INDIA
MY LIFE WITH TIGERS; RANTHAMBORE AND BEYOND
TIGERS/MY LIFE: RANTHAMBHORE AND BEYOND with photographs by Fateh Singh Rathore