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ON THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION - A - THE TIGER (Panthera tigris)

Finland Shadow Online
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( This post was last modified: 02-27-2019, 10:06 PM by Shadow )

(02-27-2019, 04:01 AM)Spalea Wrote: @Shadow :

About #2129: I have the Sankhala's book about tigers and frankly, I didn't know all that it is reproached him... His book is well documented. It's true that it relates a tiger could have been killed by a big pride of dholes, but no certainty. And apart from that, nothing extraordinary.

His observations are well written and I haven´t seen any reason to doubt, that he has written what he has seen. It is then again a different thing, that some conclusions can be questioned when more information in different ways. This dhole issue is one thing, but now some criticism here is so controversial, that I think, that it is good to remember what Sankhala did during his life and maybe he has had good reasons for some criticism, when he has said certain things. Many things were so different a few decades ago than today. Younger people can have difficult time trying to understand what world was like for instance in 1970-1980....
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Finland Shadow Online
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Here is one example about respect, what Sankhala and his legacy are having in India:

http://www.conservationindia.org/events/...er-22-2012
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Finland Shadow Online
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(02-27-2019, 04:39 AM)smedz Wrote:
(02-27-2019, 04:23 AM)Shadow Wrote:
(02-27-2019, 04:15 AM)smedz Wrote:
(02-27-2019, 03:52 AM)Shadow Wrote:
(02-27-2019, 03:01 AM)smedz Wrote:
(02-26-2019, 08:01 AM)GuateGojira Wrote: Dr Seidensticker captured that tiger in Sundarbarns, and after the dead of the specimen, Sankhala started a black campain againt him and the "western" scientists. At the end, he was the cause that the Smithsonian Institute did not made the tiger study in India. Gladly the goverment of Nepal was more friendly and the Nepal Tiger Project started with the first radiocollared tigers. 

After that, Sankhala started with his policy of protected parks, the strategy worked in that moment, but sady ignored the fact that those parks needed to be interconnected, something that the new science support. Latter, when the first tiger died in Nepal, he returned with his bad publicity against the work of the Smithsonian team in Nepal, but again the Nepalese goverment allowed the continuation of the study.

That same idea agains the methods of study tigers with scientific tools and the black campain, was used against Dr Karanth blaiming him for the dead of several tigers in Nagarahole when in fact he only radiocollared 4 specimens! Just to refresh, the first old male T-01 died from injures of a fight with other tiger, despite been treated by the vets, the other male T-03 died after a fight with a gaur. The same happen with Dr Chundawat in Panna, and I have his entire testimony and the evidence of this.

It seems that the case of Sankhala is less about science and conservation and more about nationalism and politics. In fact, Dr Chundawat mentions a case that one scientist of his personal from Indian origin was rejected by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) from the project in Panna just because he had British ID and they said that "tiger conservation in India was a controversial issue and one could not ensure in this case that there will not be dissemination of sensitive information"! Dr Chundawat says: "I still cannot understand why tiger conservation is considered such a controversial issue and why ecological information on tigers is so sensitive that it cannot be shared with the rest of the world". So, now we know why much of data on size/weight and specific behaviour lacks from some of the scientific papers from Indian scientists.
Seriously? He blamed Karanth of all people for doing that? From the sounds of it, Sankhala sounds to be even worse than Jack Horner. Horner at least has admitted he was wrong about a certain debate.

http://www.tigertrustindia.org/Founder.aspx

Here something for you to see, because it looks like, that you haven´t studied the subject so much. Just that you get some idea about whom we are talking about when mentioning Sankhala.

Shadow, that's exactly what that article wants you to believe. GuateGojira has read the books from those including Karanth himself, Chundawat, Thapar, those real tiger experts. He even has Sankhala's book, and he knows lots about these animals. So I trust him on this. According to him, when reading Sankhala's book, it's like one is reading about a totally different animal, even coming to the conclusion that tigers aren't territorial, which complete bullcrap. Also, blaming Karanth for many tiger deaths when he only collared 4 of them is just absurd, Karanth is literally one of the world's leading tiger experts. Why should I believe Sankhala when the rest of the leading tiger experts and modern scientific research literally disagrees with him? From what I've heard about him, I can't say I have any respect for him, and that he is one of or if not the worst sources of information on tigers, if you want to talk about Sankhala more, speak with GuateGojira, I'll admit, he does have more knowledge on Sankhala than I do.
Smedz, guess who has spent his life in tiger conservation, Sankhala or Guate? I commented your writing, because you obviously don´t study at all yourself. Guate studies a lot of things, but in this matter some of his claims look like to be quite controversial. Of course if you choose to be a poster, who doesn´t study subjects at all by yourself, feel free to be that.

EXCUSE ME!!! I'm sorry, but actually, I DO study animals in my free time thank you very much, don't believe me? Just look at my post in the Smilodon Populator thread on their social behaviour, I also have created a fictional place called Bakula, where I used what I learned about animals to create the creatures. Speaking of research, I advise you read books on tigers written by those other guys, and you'll see what is meant. Guate may not be an actual scientist, but he knows lots about animals, and is able to even make weight estimations on extinct big cats, so he IS a good person to talk to about this kind of stuff. But if you want to be a poster, who assumes stuff about people, feel free to be that. Like a wise man I know says, when you assume, chances are you do this to yourself

ASS/U/ME 

Well not me usually, normally just you. Great example, experts thought make tigers had nothing to do with raising their cubs, nowadays we know that isn't true, especially after the event in Ranthambore National Park. If you feel heated, I suggest we don't even talk about Sankhala anymore to avoid bad things happening.

You didn´t see my point, well no news in that. And my other comments were pretty much for Guate. I think, that he got provoked by wolverine and he started to "overkill" Sankhala in ways, which I don´t see so justified. Without people like Sankhala there might be quite small number of tigers in India today, that is other side of coin. Funny to see from you recommendation to read some books while you yourself haven´t read those Grin
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My understanding is that Sankhala was one of if not the main reason Tigers are protected today. Also I see you guys holding these researchers to the fire over every little thing, they make assumptions based off the little info they have, sometimes those hypothesis are wrong. 
That being said, none of these biologists know more than the guide and driver you have in your jeep when you go on safari. They certainly are more educated from schooling but they dont hold a candle to the experience these drivers have. These researchers rely on the guides to make sure they can even track a Tiger. Researchers spend a small period of time in these reserves, guides live there their entire life and spend every season, every year, tracking big cats. You guys have modern day packers, karanth's, sundquists, etc. Right at your fingertips, you can ask them whatever questions you like and generally they're very accommodating. They may not have the accolades but they have the real life experience that is far more important than school. But when it comes to conservation, the more educated the better. 
All that being said, no researcher deserves to be disrespected, you may not agree with their conclusions and that's fine, many have been wrong about numerous things but they're right about many things as well, it's hard to assign a rock solid rule for wild animals, the minute we think we know them, a new unique story is uncovered and changes the "rule."
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-28-2019, 10:28 AM by Rishi )

(02-26-2019, 12:47 AM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(02-12-2019, 06:24 AM)Wolverine Wrote: Guate wrote: " there is no case of dholes attacking (actually attacking) adult tigers during more than 50 years of scientific study"

O, yes we have a scientific report from 1963 from the respectful Scientific Survey of India, Kanha NP, tiger attacked and injured by dholes:

Mr Khajuria did not even saw the event, so how this could be "evidence" of a real attack? This is crazy, we have testimonies of real scientists that had work (and are still wroking) in the field and you stay with old hearsays????

Also this is not an study or a report that we can actually describe as "scientific". In fact, just like any moder tiger investigator/expert, there is an agreements that the scientific studies started with Dr Schaller and since the publication of his book in 1967 until today 2019 (about 52 years), there is not a case described like those in the old litterature. Or the tiger before Schaller was a completelly diferent animal (like @peter suggested), or those stories were just "single and very rare events" or just "fisher tales"?

INTERACTING AT A PUBLIC FORUM

A month ago or so, the tiger thread developed into a war zone. The not-even-close-to-a-debate attempt to discuss tigers and dholes resulted in animosity, a bad climate and a ban. Apart from that, quite a few posts were deleted.

A few weeks ago, order was restored. In the period I was out, however, the tiger thread again turned into a battlefield. Apart from the usual results (animosity and all the rest of it), it, this time, resulted in insult (referring to the dismissal of Kailash Sankhala and two very good posters). Furthermore, the exchange of good info came to a halt.  

Although some seem to assume the war was a result of another attempt to discuss tigers and dholes, it wasn't. It was a new demonstration of the inability to get to a sound discussion on something of interest. As it happened in a well-viewed and interesting thread on a public forum in 2019, it was very disheartening. 

As a result of the war and the results, the owners and mods decided for a discussion on the future of the forum. The outcome is that changes will be made. A new section will be created. In this section, members interested in posting and/or joining a discussion need permission from those moderating the new section. In this way, most problems seen in most forums can be avoided.

Does this mean that those involved in the war in this thread will get away with it? Not quite.

GUATE

The climate changed when you responded to my long post on Kailash Sankhala. Shadow asked me to offer a bit more on him in the dhole thread and I obliged. When he was in Kanha in the early seventies of the last century, Sankhala saw big cats leave the scene when dholes appeared. Although he referred to the stories described by Kenneth Anderson in southern India, Sankhala didn't see anything confirming the observations of Anderson.

It's a fact you used that post to start a crusade on Sankhala. First, you, more than once, underlined he was not a biologist. True, but that could have been a result of specific conditions and not, as you indirectly suggested, a result of a lack of quality. In the western hemisphere, background and status still are important. This means that those raised in difficult conditions will get less opportunities than those born and raised in affluent districts. I can tell you all about that. Based on what I read, things in India do not seem very different in this respect. In spite of the odds, Sankhala was able to develop himself. Quite an achievement, I think.    

Individuals able to beat the odds often have something special. Could be passion, dedication, determination or drive. Most of them are able to deal with problems. There's no doubt that Sankhala was operating in the department of passion, determination and drive. Based on what I read, I'd say he achieved more than most. In the day of Sankhala, conservation was a non-issue. Hunting was everywhere and tigers were on their way out. I'm not saying Sankhala made a difference, but there's no question he contributed to a different attitude in India. In this respect, he's as important as those who top your list, if not more so.

The problem with humans is they have many 'faces'. Some of these inspire, whereas others have a less positive influence. Not seldom, individuals combine both. Personality still is an enigma. Furthermore, one has to remember that not everything is known. It may seem that way, but it often isn't. This means one has to be very careful in the department of opinions, but those who prefer to focus on one part of a personality might disagree with this conclusion. 

Anyhow. It could be, as you suggested, that some of Sankhala's views resulted in a somewhat narrow view in some departments. Maybe his views contributed to a kind of nationalism in some respects, but others would say he contributed to the development of a new awareness in India. Maybe this was more important in a period in which India was trying to find its way in a world in which value was largely expressed in numbers and culture had been sidelined.      

Sankhala was heavily involved in Project Tiger, which was started in 1973. Not a second too soon, many think. In the next decades, Indian biologists and conservationists started to become known. Documents and books were published. New tiger reserves were added all the time. Did all of this had an effect? I think so. Today, in spite of the size of its population, conservation is important in India. In spite of the countless conflicts between humans and wild animals, India still has wild animals. Is this remarkable? I think so. If you say 'wolf' in The Netherlands, chances are a debate will erupt that will never be concluded. In India, many millions live close to animals that pose a very real danger.  

Those who top your list were raised in a different time. I'm not saying life was easy, but it was different from the fifties and sixties, when people like Sankhala encountered a lot of opposition. He had many enemies. And I mean many. His collegues today, for very good reasons, earned a lot of respect from their peers, but it has to be remembered that Sankhala, in one way or another, paved the way.

I know Sankhala was controversial, but what about his collegues today? Not a few of them have been involved in statements that would raise quite a few questions. Mistakes were made. Even those with lots of experience know mistakes can never be avoided. In some cases, animals or humans will perish as a result. Is this a reason to get involved in judgements, crusades and some kind of fundamentalism? I think not. What do we really know? If you want to do opinions, my advice is to get started with respect. Biologists, zoologists, rangers and many others are the ones who put the natural world and those living on the agenda. One of the results is that India still has wild tigers. An achievement that compares to what Sankhala did.  

You're here from the start. Your contributions are appreciated by many. This also means you have to know about responsability and consequences. If you, in a post, directly or indirectly, undermine, dismiss or sideline a well-known and respected biologist, a member of the forum, a mod or one of the owners (referring to posts 2,123 and 2,124), it will have consequences. It's a fact that the turmoil you created had devastating results. I'm not only referring to the dismissal of Sankhala and two well-informed and very productive members (Wolverine and Shadow). It also is a fact you, like many with a great education, not seldom have been involved in dismissals. Like quite a few modern biologists, you more or less distrust anything you didn't see yourself. This means that information collected by able and experienced woodsmen, amateur naturalists, hunters and many others surviving in testing conditions (referring to villagers living in wild districts) is always close to hearsay. It never happened, that is. The only logical outcome of this attitude is a very narrow and one-sided outlook on life. 

In other words. The bad climate is not a result of different views on the topic discussed, but a result of the inability to interact in a productive and professional way with those who have a different view. It isn't about tigers and dholes or lions and tigers but about those involved in the discussion, that is. Meaning it no longer it about wild animals, but us.    

I could give you a piece of your own cake in order to let you know how it feels to be torn apart by someone guided by preference, but that will never happen. One reason is I respect the passion and dedication I often see in your posts. Two is I often like the result of your effort. Three is I see you as a friend. A friend struggling with his passion at times. I told you about the disadvantages of a lack of control some time ago. This is the second attempt.

No matter what you do, focus on good info and stay away from too much fire, as it can result in double standards, unfair appreciations, insults, a bad climate and thread pollution. Also remember that energy invested in discrediting always backfire. Learn to deal with things you don't like. If Sankhala says a lion will best a tiger in a confrontation, disagree by all means. Use arguments and logic. Never ever allow yourself to discredit a man who deserves the respect of all interested in the natural world.       

You are invited to respond to this post. Do it right this time, as your last posts resulted in a loss of credibility. My advice is to start with Sankhala, but Wolverine and Shadow would appreciate an apology as well.

SMEDZ 

A month ago, you got involved in a brawl in this thread. After the demonstration, I was in favour of a permanent ban. Sanjay, however, thinks everyone deserves a second chance. As he's a wise and gentle man, you got it. When you returned, you did apologies and promises for extras.

It's fact you got involved in another argument when the opportunity presented itself. Again, it resulted in insult, pollution and animosity. 

I know age can result in problems, but attitude isn't related to age only. In this thread, I want good info and good debates. As you're unable to contribute in these departments, you will no longer post in this thread.

You can develop a few things in other threads, but remember there are rules of conduct. Also remember a new ban is a permanent ban.   

COOPER

This thread is about good information about wild tigers. Stay out of crap and leave your matches at home.

ALL

As of now, forum rules will be applied in a more strict way. You can post and debate anything you want (tigers and dholes included), provided the forum rules and mods are respected at all times. Remember a discussion is about exchanging views, sound arguments and about respect. Judgement is out, that is. This thread is about wild tigers. Not us.

If you see fundamentalism and some of his friends, contact a mod. If he concludes a rule was violated, good advice will be offered. If ignored, a warning will follow. If the warning has no effect, the result will be a ban.

The format will be changed. The extinction threads (as well as a few others) will remain in the Information Section, but new posts will appear in the New Premier League first. In that section, you can only post when you have permission. If you want to contribute, ask a mod. The extinction threads will remain in the information section as well and the posts discussed in the New Premier League will be added later.

POSTERS INVITED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE NEW PREMIER LEAGUE SECTION 

- All mods
@Pckts
@Roflcopters
@Wolverine
@Shadow
@BorneanTiger
@Lycaon
@Suhail
@Guate (after he apologized)
@Matias
@Rage2277
@Jeffrey
@Jimmy
@phatio
@johnny rex
@GreenForest
@Sully
@Siegfried
@Smilodon-Rex
@Kingtheropod
@Ghari Sher
@Caveman
@Spalea
@SuSpicious
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India sanjay Offline
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This thread is not for war, Stop and stay away.
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India Rishi Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-28-2019, 10:35 AM by Rishi )

This was an unique & disappointing situation, where posters (who've read the books) thought they could classify the greatest personalities of conservation history as real & phonies, who is "legit" & who is "bullcrap". 

Controversy is something that don't spare anyone, not even the man who is the primary (maybe only) reason India still has tigers.

Even men like Bittu Sahgal have been called "pimp of industrialists" because he deemed it irrelevant whether the man-eater Avni is captured or killed, because she's being lost from the wild & whichever is quicker to relieve the people should serve the purpose. 
By whom? By so-called animal lovers who blamed the victims for being poor & dependant on forest produce, thus deserving their fate!
People who asked for "DNA proof" that it was her that killed the victims... proof that they didn't just drop dead because they were bored with life (no more such cases since her death though, despite her mate & one cub still living exactly there).

We have a not-similar, but relatable dilemma here!

Was Sankala's opinions questionable? Quite a bit.
Are Chundawat, Karanth more reliable sources? In some grounds, where the fact that their studies were during a time when tigers & Asia's wildlife were barely holding on, doesn't matter.

BUT...

If someone says that Karanth, Chundawat, Thapar, are "real tiger experts", then he's effectively calling The Kailash Sankala a pretender!
Members can have their stands on the significance of his words & works, or keep their personal opinions on him. But if the forum allows one to say things like these;
Quote:Shadow, that's exactly what that article wants you to believe. GuateGojira has read the books from those including Karanth himself, Chundawat, Thapar, those real tiger experts. He even has Sankhala's book, and he knows lots about these animals. So I trust him on this. According to him, when reading Sankhala's book, it's like one is reading about a totally different animal, even coming to the conclusion that tigers aren't territorial, which complete bullcrap...
...From what I've heard about him, I can't say I have any respect for him..
...Wildfact will  be known for letting members foulmouth better men. 

@smedz i'm putting you on watchlist for now. Your posts will have to be approved by a moderator until we feel that's not necessary anymore.

To the more senior members, if they want their hard written content to not get removed then it's their responsibility to present their words in a mature manner to not contain anything unacceptable.
"Everything not saved will be lost."

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( This post was last modified: 03-03-2019, 05:11 PM by Sanju )



"Oh no, the humans are coming!"
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens.
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Finland Shadow Online
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Here is some relatively new and interesting information about Siberian/Amur tiger conservation. Some nice photos too to see from camera traps etc. 

https://conservewildcats.org/wp-content/...18-002.pdf
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Here two videos about conservation of tigers. Not so many views in youtube so I thought to put those here. Good information and I think, that also interesting to hear what people like Karanth say, even though there are many books and studies to read.





A little bit shorter interview:




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( This post was last modified: 03-12-2019, 04:07 AM by GuateGojira )

(03-07-2019, 02:07 AM)Shadow Wrote: Here two videos about conservation of tigers. Not so many views in youtube so I thought to put those here. Good information and I think, that also interesting to hear what people like Karanth say, even though there are many books and studies to read.





A little bit shorter interview:





Dr Ullas Karanth is superb!!! This is how a real tiger expert (and wildlife overall) think, act and propose, using both science and experience. These two videos have a huge weight in the following conservations decitions, and indirectly they support my current point of view on the conservation of tigers in the past, present and future.

@peter, I understand your concern and those of the other moderators. My words in my posts about Sankhala may sound harsh for some, but are well based, and certainly reflect my frustration to see what the scientists still suffer to save the tigers and all the huge burocracy based in old ides created by "you know who". I will take my time to answer with along, detailed and well explained post focused on the view of that person. Also, if someone says that I am against Sankhala because he was an Indian, please don't forget that Dr Karanth, Dr Chundawat and Mr Thapar, which are basic for my tiger knowledge, are also Indian, so don't try to make this a "national" issue, like those bad park rangers done in Sariska and Panna.

I sustain my point of view and I will explain why. Incredibly, these two videos posted by @Shadow are going to be usefull for my next answer.

Edit: Just a side note @peter. This is not about "Dhole vs Tiger" or "Lion vs Tiger", this is about tiger behaviour and how this influenced in tiger conservation. This is how the old ideas, that may have been "good" in the old days are now affecting the conservation of a species that for many reasons has became very controversial. I think that is posible to read between lines and I invite you to see the second video of Dr Karanth again, believe me, this issue of "scientist vrs rangers" is older than you think.

I will also clarify a thing. As far I remember I did not mention, at any moment, that Sankhala was not good because he was not a Biologist, you say that I "more than once, underlined he was not a biologist" and that is not correct. I mean, how can I say that he is bad for that if I am not a Biologist too! So, make no sence to place that card in the table. Also, I can also quote Dr McDougal and Valmik Thapar, none of them were Biologist, in fact both were Anthropologist but they became tiger experts and changed the view of the tiger for the entire world. People can change, even those from old school, for example the great Fateh Singh Rathore worked for Sankhala and probably based his desitions in the view of the first one, but also he made some personal observations that were published. Interestingly in the book "Tigers, the secret life" Thapar mention that when he shared his conclutions about the tiger as a father, Fateh laughs at him as it was not based in evidence, but with the time Thapar proved right and Fateh changed his point of view and that was good. So been a Biologist or not do not make you a good or bad expert, is the objetivity and the methods that you use that help you to get a proper and correct conclution about any topic.

Also, I prevously complained about the use of single sights as evidence of "normal" behaviour of an animal, and I addressed the lack of condensation of the work of naturalists and park rangers. I know and accept that the information that they share is very important and valuable, just like the many reports on the JBNHS of the begining of the century, but I also address the fact that is necesary to condensate and present your conclutions. For example I know a black bear expert (I will not mention his name, as I "may" offend somebody here) was critisized by they peers because he have good knowledge on these animals but he has published nothing. So I think that is very important to publish the results of the investigations and in this modern era we don't need to contact a journal, people can create blogs or publish books to present what they have, in a logic manner and with order of time and space. Thapar is my best example, he published all what he have and with time he because "king for his own hand" (quoting a "Conan the Barbarian" prase! Wink ). So I do not dismiss all the old stories and certainly I no longer ignore the reports of naturalists and photographers of the wild. But we always need to be aware that in the natural world, a random behaviour may be clasified as "normal" or a normal behaviour witnessed only ones may be classified as "random", if there is not a continuing study to back up this events (that is why the long therm studies made in Chitwan, Nagarahole, Panna, Sikhote Alin and Huai Kha Khaeng, among others, are so important). Also, you must admit that some of the old stories of the fist century present some drama on it, something to "catch" the reader and I afraid, some fantasy on them too. So, while I don't share the idea that "all" the old information is incorrect or just "more or less" correct (like Dr Yamaguchi point of view on the records of sizes of tigers and lions, for example), we must accept that many of the old conclutions are incorrectly derived. A poster here, I forget who, said that we have learned more of the tigers in the last years that in the entire time before 1960, and I am agree. I will like to buy the book "Tiger Fire" where Thapar made a condensation of some of the most important reports of tigers since the begining of the century to these days in order to compare the information with what we know about the tiger after the "Schaller's Big Bang" (and yes, the book includes the events of the tiger vr dholes, so what?) in order to see what difference we can found, if there is such a thing as the "mythical vs real" tiger.

Finally, I did not insulted @Wolverine and @Shadow at all, I was hard and I admit it, but if we are going to start like "millenials" that get offended at any moment, definitelly we will have problems. I did not had problems with @Shadow before and with too @Wolverine. To be honest, I was just nmaking a call to be aware of what we defend. I they were offend I apologice as it was not my intention to offend them, but to make them see beyond the simple lines of a book. I will like to keep good relations with all the posters, but don't ask me to me "politically correct", as I am not that person. Wait for my post on Sankhala and please take a look again about what I wrote, not my words, but the words quoted from the people that was affected by the words of Sankhala at an International and profesional level (for example Dr John Seidensticker).
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Finland Shadow Online
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(03-12-2019, 03:08 AM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(03-07-2019, 02:07 AM)Shadow Wrote: Here two videos about conservation of tigers. Not so many views in youtube so I thought to put those here. Good information and I think, that also interesting to hear what people like Karanth say, even though there are many books and studies to read.





A little bit shorter interview:





Dr Ullas Karanth is superb!!! This is how a real tiger expert (and wildlife overall) think, act and propose, using both science and experience. These two videos have a huge weight in the following conservations decitions, and indirectly they support my current point of view on the conservation of tigers in the past, present and future.

@peter, I understand your concern and those of the other moderators. My words in my posts about Sankhala may sound harsh for some, but are well based, and certainly reflect my frustration to see what the scientists still suffer to save the tigers and all the huge burocracy based in old ides created by "you know who". I will take my time to answer with along, detailed and well explained post focused on the view of that person. Also, if someone says that I am against Sankhala because he was an Indian, please don't forget that Dr Karanth, Dr Chundawat and Mr Thapar, which are basic for my tiger knowledge, are also Indian, so don't try to make this a "national" issue, like those bad park rangers done in Sariska and Panna.

I sustain my point of view and I will explain why. Incredibly, these two videos posted by @Shadow are going to be usefull for my next answer.

Edit: Just a side note @peter. This is not about "Dhole vs Tiger" or "Lion vs Tiger", this is about tiger behaviour and how this influenced in tiger conservation. This is how the old ideas, that may have been "good" in the old days are now affecting the conservation of a species that for many reasons has became very controversial. I think that is posible to read between lines and I invite you to see the second video of Dr Karanth again, believe me, this issue of "scientist vrs rangers" is older than you think.

I will also clarify a thing. As far I remember I did not mention, at any moment, that Sankhala was not good because he was not a Biologist, you say that I "more than once, underlined he was not a biologist" and that is not correct. I mean, how can I say that he is bad for that if I am not a Biologist too! So, make no sence to place that card in the table. Also, I can also quote Dr McDougal and Valmik Thapar, none of them were Biologist, in fact both were Anthropologist but they became tiger experts and changed the view of the tiger for the entire world. People can change, even those from old school, for example the great Fateh Singh Rathore worked for Sankhala and probably based his desitions in the view of the first one, but also he made some personal observations that were published. Interestingly in the book "Tigers, the secret life" Thapar mention that when he shared his conclutions about the tiger as a father, Fateh laughs at him as it was not based in evidence, but with the time Thapar proved right and Fateh changed his point of view and that was good. So been a Biologist or not do not make you a good or bad expert, is the objetivity and the methods that you use that help you to get a proper and correct conclution about any topic.

Also, I prevously complained about the use of single sights as evidence of "normal" behaviour of an animal, and I addressed the lack of condensation of the work of naturalists and park rangers. I know and accept that the information that they share is very important and valuable, just like the many reports on the JBNHS of the begining of the century, but I also address the fact that is necesary to condensate and present your conclutions. For example I know a black bear expert (I will not mention his name, as I "may" offend somebody here) was critisized by they peers because he have good knowledge on these animals but he has published nothing. So I think that is very important to publish the results of the investigations and in this modern era we don't need to contact a journal, people can create blogs or publish books to present what they have, in a logic manner and with order of time and space. Thapar is my best example, he published all what he have and with time he because "king for his own hand" (quoting a "Conan the Barbarian" prase! Wink ). So I do not dismiss all the old stories and certainly I no longer ignore the reports of naturalists and photographers of the wild. But we always need to be aware that in the natural world, a random behaviour may be clasified as "normal" or a normal behaviour witnessed only ones may be classified as "random", if there is not a continuing study to back up this events (that is why the long therm studies made in Chitwan, Nagarahole, Panna, Sikhote Alin and Huai Kha Khaeng, among others, are so important). Also, you must admit that some of the old stories of the fist century present some drama on it, something to "catch" the reader and I afraid, some fantasy on them too. So, while I don't share the idea that "all" the old information is incorrect or just "more or less" correct (like Dr Yamaguchi point of view on the records of sizes of tigers and lions, for example), we must accept that many of the old conclutions are incorrectly derived. A poster here, I forget who, said that we have learned more of the tigers in the last years that in the entire time before 1960, and I am agree. I will like to buy the book "Tiger Fire" where Thapar made a condensation of some of the most important reports of tigers since the begining of the century to these days in order to compare the information with what we know about the tiger after the "Schaller's Big Bang" (and yes, the book includes the events of the tiger vr dholes, so what?) in order to see what difference we can found, if there is such a thing as the "mythical vs real" tiger.

Finally, I did not insulted @Wolverine and @Shadow at all, I was hard and I admit it, but if we are going to start like "millenials" that get offended at any moment, definitelly we will have problems. I did not had problems with @Shadow before and with too @Wolverine. To be honest, I was just nmaking a call to be aware of what we defend. I they were offend I apologice as it was not my intention to offend them, but to make them see beyond the simple lines of a book. I will like to keep good relations with all the posters, but don't ask me to me "politically correct", as I am not that person. Wait for my post on Sankhala and please take a look again about what I wrote, not my words, but the words quoted from the people that was affected by the words of Sankhala at an International and profesional level (for example Dr John Seidensticker).

No problem from my side. I have huge respect for both, Sankhala and Karanth among many other people. I see some issues between them as quarrels between older and younger brother. Of course what comes to conclusions and means to collect data, Karanth represent modern times. But when Karanth speaks, there are elements, which I connect to Sankhala too, in a way amusing. Different times, different people. But for sure there has been friction and sometimes from reasons, which we maybe never know. Many people from those times are no longer here to explain how they experienced certain things and changes.
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India Rishi Offline
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( This post was last modified: 03-21-2019, 01:25 PM by Rishi )

(01-29-2019, 05:04 PM)P.T.Sondaica Wrote: Tiger subspecies still 9..i read 2018 aug

This is actually true! Although tigers were claimed to have only 2 proper subspecies under a study (2014), namely Mainland tigers & Sunda tigers, that claim was revised later in another study (2018) & now again 6 subspecies of tigers are recognised to still be extant.

Most likely the subspecies can be divided under two genetic clades, like lions are.

Because continental tiger races are obviously more closely related to each other & island tigers havehad more genetic similarity among themselves too, enough to confuse even experts... thus the conflicting conclusions.
"Everything not saved will be lost."

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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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Short note: On the tiger subspecies.

I know that I am still don't present my post about Sankhala (difilcuties of time, but I already have the material), but this topic on the tiger subspecies is something very important from my point of view. 

Recently I had a conversation with a poster about this point and I participated my idea about this. However, after that I started to think again about that, even before to read his/her answer about my position, and I think that we need to re/think the "two subspecies" scenarions, even not taking in count the new study of 2018! Let me explain why, and I will use the same answer that I send to my friend, but with some modifications:

Regarding the tiger subspecies, I think that we must be very carefull with those results (talking about the results of the Cat Specialiest Group). Although it make sence that tigers only have two subspecies and I follow that conclution, I also believe that we must not mix tiger populations yet. The problem is that tigers at 2019 are so separate geographically that make no sense to mix them in the wild, nor even to reintorduce them in areas where they are no more. For example, the idea of introduccing Amur tigers in the Caspian region make no sence as we need to conserve the tigers that we have before to think to put more tigers in danger. Tigers are very well separated in these days, with tigers in India already divided in 4 or 5 areas (Western Ghats, Central India, Terai (and Assam?) and Sundarbans), those from Indochina only living and reproducing in Thailand in these days (no signal of reproduction anymore in Myanmar and possibly extinct in Laos and Cambodia), those of Malaysia already separated in the peninsula and the most importat of all, the Amur tigers are separated from the other populations for more than some hundreds of years; interestingly the Sundarbans tigers and the Amur tigers are suggested to be clasified as different Evolutionary Conservations Units (ECU) at the brink of been a different subspecies, even more than the Malayan tigers! So there is no need to relocate tigers in this moment, we need to conserve tigers in those specific areas (India/Nepal/Buthan - India/Bangladesh - Thailand - Malaysia - Russia/China) of the mainland. Sumatran tigers are very different animals from Mainland that deserve they own subspecies status and to be honest, we don't have enough evidence to suggest a real difference between the Sumatran and the Javanese or Balinese tigers.

Regarding the zoos, you are right, there is no need to mix the tiger, Amur tigers should be kept like they own population as they are different, the same with Sundarbans. Tigers from the India Subcontinent are so far away from those of Thailand, there there is no good idea to mix them, but in the past probably there were "hybrids" in the region of Myanmar (according with Dr Hunter, there is no evidence of reproduction of tigers in Myanmar anymore). Now, Thailand tigers live in they own "island" and "Indochinese" tigers only live in Thailand zoos; tigers from Malaysia are keept in USA and Europe and as far I know they will kept them like they are, no mix in they plans. The BIG problem is with the population of mix tigers in USA, specially those cocktails of Bengal/Amur/White tigers. Those huge "American" tigers are a real waste, sadly, as they are two groups separeated from thousands of years of evolutions (India and Russia were the last tigers to evolve and both came from diferent origin populations) and that represent the last tigers that evolved, the biggest of all, but in completelly diferent habitats. Interestingly this mix Bengal/Amur tigers are doing well in South Africa with John Varty! So I think that the zoos should manage the tigers like they are in this moment, no mix at all. This is the list that I think is the correct one for the "subspecies" and the ecological variations separated enoght to be clasified as ECU:
1 - Mainland - Tigris:
   * India/Nepal/Bhutan - "Bengal"
   * India/Bangladesh - "Sundarbans"
   * Thailand - "Indochina"
   * Malaysia - "Malayan"
   * South China - "South China" (in South Africa, but not those of Varty)
   * Russia and north China - "Amur"
2 - Sunda - Sondaica:
   * Sumatra/Java/Bali

Interestingly the tigers of India, Nepal and Bhutan looks somewhat differente (even between Indian parks), but as they are traditionally clasified as "Bengal" they continue been keep together. The last genetic studies speak of a big genetic variation in the population of the Indian subcontinent, but not enoght to classified them as subspecies as they own.

Now, this is the new part that was not in my original answer: The scenario when the Mainland tigers are a single subspecies is based in the fact that the tiger populations were united with no boundaries in the entire continent, there was no river or no mountain (except for the Himalayan and the Kutch) that could separate the tigers, and taking in count that tigers can travel huge distances, tigers from India could travel to Indochina or Russian tigers could travel to South China, with no problem. Only the Sunda tigers were separated from the main population. However, this scenario no longer exist and the current populations are so isolated from each other that there is reason to try to join them in a single population again.

We know that the tiger subspecies are based in pourly descriptions and very small samples (only the Indochinese tiger is described by more than 20 specimens, all the other do not have more than 5!), and it was used size and pelage like the base of the differences. I am pretty sure that nodoby could distinguis a Indochinese tiger from a Bengal tiger based in pictures, there are also dificulties to distinguis tigers from different parts from India, appart from Sundarbans, even worst, there are Bengal tigers that look exactly the same than Amur tigers, particularly those from Buthan! So I am agree that in the time before the human intervention, the differences of size and pelage among tigers were clinal and by no means evidence of susbspecies. I still remember that Mazák (1983 & 2013 reprint) presented a draw of a skull from a Bengal tiger from the Assam that looks like a transitional form between the Indian and the Indochinese skulls that he presented in his document of 1981. However, this is not the case anymore as very big changes happened to the tiger populations.

At 2019, like I described before, tiger populations are very well separated, so it is more than obvious that the "subspecies" that existed today were created by the humans, the genetic differences were probably the result of "selection" by the specimens that managed to survive until our days. Let's take each population:

1. Amur - Caspian: There are some differences in the coat pattern, but there is a big overlap and genetic studies shows that there is practically no difference between them. Analysis of the skulls show the same, as the Caspian and the Amur tigers are the only ones with huge satigal crests, broad snouths and adaptations to hunt the big wild boar. There is no doubt genetically and morphologically speaking that they were a single population. The Amur tiger was bigger just because the prey base was larger in the Russian Far East and the habitat better for tigers, at difference of the dry regions of the Caspian and central Asia. Modern Amur tigers are the result of a huge hunt and altough they were smaller when the studies of scientists started in the region, new records shows everytime more specimens over 200 kg, up to 212 kg at the moment (as far I know).

2. India/Nepal/Buthan/Bangladesh: This was a huge population, among the biggest and interconnected until humans separate them because of the hunting and the agricultural development. The last genetic analysis made by Dr Mondol found that tigers in India had the biggest genetic diversity and the population of the Sundarbans (India/Bangladesh) are different enough to be clasified as a completellly diferent conservation unit, in fact there is more difference between the mainland tiger and the Sundarbans tiger than between the Caspian and the Amur tigers! I don't know if the last document of Dr Luo and the team researched specimens from Sundarbans, but following they ideas, this population is at the brink of been another man-made subspecies. The size amoung this population is the same (Terai and Assam slighlty larger) but those of Sundarbans are of the same size than the tigers from the Sunda.

3. Indochina - Malaysia: Tigers in this region are a contradiction. Some sources say that were as small as Sunda tigers, other as big as Bengal. The truth is that Mazák investigation (probably using wild and captive specimens) shows that were smaller (150 - 195 kg) than the Indian tigers, but were they? In the book "Tigers in the Snow" there is a part where is says that Dr Alan Rabinowitz investigated from his part the size of the Indochinese tigers and found no difference between those from India, except that the Indochinese tigers were probably lighter. This is corroborated by modern studies in Thailand where they present weights of 164-209 kg, which is about the same than the modern Amur tigers (155 - 212 kg) but still less than Bengal ones (184 - 261 kg). However in body dimentions, taking in count that Nepalese/Indian and Thailand tigers were measured along the curves with a straight line while those from Russia were measured along the curves with the tape loose, the body size is about the same between the populations, with the Bengal specimens surpasing the other populations.


The case is worst with the Malayan tigers. There is no doubt that the tigers in this region were smaller on average, but the largest specimens were as large as those from India and Russia. In fact, based in the skull size, the populations were about the same size: Bengal - 329-378, Amur - 341-383, Indochina/Malaysia - 319-370 (including the new skull clasified as Malayan based in DNA). So again, we can see that the diference is very small and taking in count specimens that are still unknown or lost from the Indochinese region; weight based, the maximum weights from Bengal, Amur and Indochina were about 250-260 kg. Now, what happen in modern days, there are no reliable weights from wild Malayan tigers, just some estimations of up to 130 kg and a weight of 170 kg reported in a news page of the web. In captivity the Malayan tigers are of the same size than those of Sumatra (109 - 132 kg), so it seems that the new Malayan population is already different in size (a reduction more dramatic than those from Russian tigers?) and the coat pattern is different. So other example of a man-made subspecies separated from the other Indochinese tigers (now only in Thailand, for the long term at least).

4. South China tigers: There is not to much to say, only that these tigers were the smaller of all the mainland subspecies, but this is based in very few specimens, again. There is evidence than those from the northern region of China (still not the Manchurian territory) were relatively large specimens, with at least one male of 190 kg. So there is a posibility that there were a cline on the size of tigers trough China. However in modern times there are no more wild tigers in the Amoy region, and those in existence are only in captivity with maximum weights of about 150 kg, altought I think that those breeding in South Africa by the "Save the China's Tiger" project are probably bigger than those in captivity in China. The idea that these tigers are "primitive" came from an study of Dr Herrington but her study has been critizised by Dr Kitchener and the last study of Dr J. H. Mazák do not suport that point of view. However, as the genetic studies shows that they may be unique in DNA terms, they deserve to be preserved witouth the intervention of other populations, altough we must not forget that Dr Luo and her team in 2004 already found Indochinese DNA in that captiver population in China.

As we can see, there are alraedy separations between the populations, and incredibly those separated subspecies match those from the accepted susbpecies by Dr Luo and team:
1 - Bengal tiger (P. t. tigris) - India, Nepal, Buthan, Bangladesh.
2 - Indochina tiger (P. t. corbetti) - Thailand, Myanmar.
3 - Malayan tiger (P. t. jacksoni) - Malaysia.
4 - South China tiger (P. t. amoyensis) - South China, South Africa (!).
5 - Sumatran tiger (P. t. sumatrae) - Sumatra, Java/Bali (?).
6 - Amur/Caspian tiger (P. t. virgata) - Russian Far East.


These groups are already separated in the wild and also in captivty, so I see no reason to endanger these populations for unnecesary mixes and also there is no need to use the previous clasification of only "two subspcies" to justificate the breeding of mixed tigers in the American continent, as they serve no porpuse of conservation.



Conclusion:
the scenario of only "two subspecies" was probably correct, when the populations of tigers were interconected and the morphological evidence support that. However at 2019, that scenarion no longer exist and the populations are so fragmented that there is no logic in changing the number of subspecies when there is enoght geographical differences between the populations. Probably and if we hope the best, then the populations of tigers in Myanmar start breading again, the normal process of intermix with the Indian population will began again without human intervention. I think that at 2019, the scenario of "six subspecies" is the best to follow.

I will like to read this paper from 2018, in order to see if the Sundarbans tigers were included in the analysis of not. Like I said before, the last genetic study by Singh et al. (2015) proposed the Sundatrbans tigers like a “evolutionarily significant unit” (ESU) following the adaptive evolutionary conservation (AEC) concept, at the brink of been a subspecies of its own but not yet. It will be interesting to see the proposal of Luo et al. (2018) on this, if there is any.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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By the way, did somebody have this document of 2018 in PDF? I can't found it in the web by free. Crying
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