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

India Sanju Online
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( This post was last modified: 03-24-2019, 09:06 AM by Sanju )

(03-24-2019, 02:50 AM)tigerluver Wrote: Remember that the idea of species is not a natural concept, it is just a man-made way of trying to fulfill our need for the rationalization of our surroundings.
Man, I'm mesmerized with that statement. I loved it so so much. It's true actually. Science (study of nature) and Classification are man made to better understand nature in a well organized way with respect to our perspective and vision.
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens.
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India Sanju Online
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( This post was last modified: 03-25-2019, 06:58 PM by Sanju )




Human cancer killing nature. Disgusting.

Alert: Graphic content only proceed on your will.
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United Arab Emirates BorneanTiger Offline
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( This post was last modified: 03-26-2019, 11:34 AM by BorneanTiger )

(03-22-2019, 11:50 AM)Rishi Wrote: @GuateGojira are you willing to include comparison with lions in this topic (name of the thread will depend on that)? 
In that case i plan on writing a follow-up post on how the lion subspecies being grouped into two could be a comparable case...

(03-22-2019, 10:40 AM)sanjay Wrote: I confirm.

After a name is decided you create the thread & how about you move the post there with in the blog-style you have in mind. One example from you will make future ones easier.

Here's something that I'd like to mention. As I pointed out in other pages, the Cat Specialist Group expressed uncertainty over its 2017 revision of subspecies of Felidae, such as lions (https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-north-e...ican-lions), leopards (https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-on-the-...light=puma), cheetahs (https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-cheetah...os?page=12) and cougars (https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-the-pum...light=puma), with the problem with lions apparently being that 'subspecies' overlap in Northeast Africa or parts of Africa close to the equator to form mixed or genetically confusing populations, see the question mark on Page 72 over Ethiopia: https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/hand...sAllowed=y


*This image is copyright of its original author



So the CSG wasn't 100% sure about its revision of subspecies of Felidae, and if genetic differences between Amur-Caspian, South Chinese, Bengal, North Indochinese and Malayan tigers within mainland Asia, and Sumatran, Javan and Balinese (and Bornean?) tigers in the Sunda Islands are so significant that they have to be treated separately, then I hope that the CSG reconsiders the way that they published the information on tigers (Pages 6668: https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/hand...sAllowed=y), besides other species, and not treat this as the 'final' revision.
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( This post was last modified: 03-26-2019, 01:36 PM by Shadow )

(03-26-2019, 11:33 AM)BorneanTiger Wrote:
(03-22-2019, 11:50 AM)Rishi Wrote: @GuateGojira are you willing to include comparison with lions in this topic (name of the thread will depend on that)? 
In that case i plan on writing a follow-up post on how the lion subspecies being grouped into two could be a comparable case...

(03-22-2019, 10:40 AM)sanjay Wrote: I confirm.

After a name is decided you create the thread & how about you move the post there with in the blog-style you have in mind. One example from you will make future ones easier.

Here's something that I'd like to mention. As I pointed out in other pages, the Cat Specialist Group expressed uncertainty over its 2017 revision of subspecies of Felidae, such as lions (https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-north-e...ican-lions), leopards (https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-on-the-...light=puma), cheetahs (https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-cheetah...os?page=12) and cougars (https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-the-pum...light=puma), with the problem with lions apparently being that 'subspecies' overlap in Northeast Africa or parts of Africa close to the equator to form mixed or genetically confusing populations, see the question mark on Page 72 over Ethiopia: https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/hand...sAllowed=y


*This image is copyright of its original author



So the CSG wasn't 100% sure about its revision of subspecies of Felidae, and if genetic differences between Amur-Caspian, South Chinese, Bengal, North Indochinese and Malayan tigers within mainland Asia, and Sumatran, Javan and Balinese (and Bornean?) tigers in the Sunda Islands are so significant that they have to be treated separately, then I hope that the CSG reconsiders the way that they published the information on tigers (Pages 6668: https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/hand...sAllowed=y), besides other species, and not treat this as the 'final' revision.

I wonder what are the reasons behind that two subspecies idea, genetic/scientifical basis or more like "political", I mean is it easier if trying to put conservation efforts to two subspecies? Interesting thing is to look for instance WWF websites, they seem to keep six subspecies on their websites, so most of people, who seek information quickly, will see six subspecies for tigers, not two. 

Obviously this will be an ongoing matter, because CSG wasn´t unanimous with that two subspecies and now two members of that group were in this new study with results, that there are those 9 subspecies and 6 extant. Interesting to see what happens in near future. Was CSG maybe a little bit hasty in conclusions after all. Or is conservation situation so desperate, that science have to step aside in a way to make it possible to save at least tiger as species even though that would mean sacrificing current subspecies in order to do that? My personal opinion is, that situation is very close to that.
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( This post was last modified: 03-26-2019, 01:37 PM by Sanju )

(03-26-2019, 01:01 PM)Shadow Wrote: Or is conservation situation so desperate, that science have to step aside in a way to make it possible to save at least tiger as species even though that would mean sacrificing current subspecies in order to do that?
exactly. very useful.
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CONSERVATION CANINES. A comprehensive non-invasive sampling method using detection dogs to simultaneously acquire scat samples from multiple species and guilds. When Big Cat Rescue were asked to participate in a program to help save tigers we jumped at the chance!

The Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington developed the scat detection dog program in 1997 and they needed scat samples from our asian leopards in order to train their Conservation Canines before heading out to Cambodia to collect data! We're never short of leopard poop at the sanctuary and two of our senior keepers set about bagging and tagging a week's worth of leopard scat to ship up to Washington to help train the dogs.

The dogs Scooby and Sadie are doing a great job out in the field and the program is going well, this is another way that Big Cat Rescue can help not just captive big cats but conservation projects around the world!

The Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington's WEBSITE: http://conservationbiology.net/conser...

Footage of the work In Cambodia provided by Voice of America / Daniel Schearf
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( This post was last modified: 03-29-2019, 12:02 PM by Kingtheropod )

I'm not sure if this was specifically posted before, as I have not seen anyone post this. Regardless, here is the table of weights and measurements on the tigers shot by Hunter, 1896 

From the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Volume 10



*This image is copyright of its original author




*This image is copyright of its original author






https://books.google.ca/books?id=crY7AQA...lb&f=false
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(03-22-2019, 10:29 AM)Rishi Wrote: It's good enough to be the first independent article on the new Premier Section if you permit.

If is regarding the subspecies issue, I am agree.

There is plenti of information about tigers and lions focused in subspecies, and altough most of the information suggest the existance of only two subspecies for each of them, I also suggested that the human influence in the development of this animals did produced more "subspecies", that is a "man-made" effect but something that we can't ignore under the new view of tiger and lion conservation.

@tigerluver is right, the concepts of "species" and "subspeceis" are something that is not 100% natural and may be influenced by humans. Like I said, before humans there was not any natural barrier for the dispersal of the tiger, appart from the highest himalayan mountains and the kush region at the north of India/Pakistan region in mainland. So the concept of two subspecies is well funded but now at 2019 the history is different and there are many more variables, more barriers and the genetic base is biased toward the specimens that managed to addapt to the new antrophogenic environment. Heavy Amur tigers no longer exist (as far we know), the large Malayan tigers are the same case, so all these new adaptations of the tigers (and lions) to the few habitat available had changed them more than we think.
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(04-02-2019, 05:51 AM)GuateGojira Wrote: @tigerluver is right, the concepts of "species" and "subspeceis" are something that is not 100% natural and may be influenced by humans. Like I said, before humans there was not any natural barrier for the dispersal of the tiger, appart from the highest himalayan mountains and the kush region at the north of India/Pakistan region in mainland. So the concept of two subspecies is well funded but now at 2019 the history is different and there are many more variables, more barriers and the genetic base is biased toward the specimens that managed to addapt to the new antrophogenic environment. Heavy Amur tigers no longer exist (as far we know), the large Malayan tigers are the same case, so all these new adaptations of the tigers (and lions) to the few habitat available had changed them more than we think.
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( This post was last modified: 04-02-2019, 09:56 AM by Sanju )

Is India turning into a death bed for the last remaining South Asian tigers?
Quote:If the government does not wake up now and take corrective measures; Indian forests, wildlife and biodiversity have a very slim chance of recovery

*This image is copyright of its original author

In spite of the great success, tiger conservation is taking a serious downturn in India. The recent cold-blooded judicial killing of a helpless Bengal tigress (named Avni/T1) in south eastern Maharashtra has brought forth serious loopholes in the conservation efforts of both Indian federal and state governments hosting premier tiger habitats.

The tigress was previously declared a “man-eater” with no substantial ground proof or any convincing DNA evidences, connecting her to the death of 13 villagers. The state government and the Indian judiciary provided a death sentence in haste for this unfortunate tigress, with no comprehensive investigation.

The unfortunate and defenceless animal had two 10-month-old cubs accompanying her. She was shot, point blank, by sharpshooters hired by the Maharashtra Forest Department adjacent to a village forest.

Later, officials claimed that they attempted tranquilisation first, following which, they shot her from a comfortable distance owing to security threats. Confused
The post-mortem clearly indicated that the defenceless animal was shot point blank, and this was equivalent to a cold-blooded judicial murder sponsored by the Maharashtra government.

Although the court order mandated that the animal should be tranquilised and captured first, ground truths reveal that no such attempts were made by the local forest department.
A massive tigress hunt was launched, including ground troops, helicopters, drones, search dogs and sharpshooters; and as soon as the poor animal was located it was mercilessly killed to please local villagers who are supposed to be a solid vote bank for the ruling political party in Maharashtra.

The entire incident caught serious media attention both in India and abroad, and the killing was heavily debated and criticised across social media platforms.
I have relentlessly written to the Indian government to provide me with credible answers for the following questions with no response till date form any government agencies:

  1. How was it determined that tigress Avni was a man eater?
  2. Had any wildlife trap camera snap and/or CCTV image/footage identified Avni at any of the 13 crime spots based on her specific marking patterns with significant statistical difference using high level tiger identification software?
  3. Was there any direct/indirect coprology analysis of the tigress scat (faeces) conducted to identify human remains or any credible advanced DNA test done on the tigress scat to make sure that there was any human DNA in her scat?
  4. Why was Avni not captured and transferred to a secured zoo or any suitable wildlife rehabilitation centre or other forest where she could spend her last days safely?
  5. Who decided/ordered Avni to be killed and not tranquilised, and why?
  6. What kind of wildlife management practices do the Indian state and federal governments have when they could not even protect an endangered and national animal species?
  7. Is there any coordination or communication regarding wildlife management between various state and federal agencies?
  8. Has the Indian federal and sate governments taken any concrete steps to educate the public regarding the need for conservation of forests, wildlife and biodiversity?
  9. Are there any status reports and updates available, regarding various endangered and critically endangered species of flora and fauna from a mega-biodiverse nation like India?
  10. Does the Indian judiciary have the necessary comprehensive knowledge, experience and education in handling legal cases related to wildlife and biodiversity conservation issues?
This entire incident clearly demonstrated to the entire world the dismal state of wildlife management practices and tiger conservation efforts in India.
The evidences put forward by the Maharashtra state government in front of various courts were mostly circumstantial in nature and had no conclusive evidences to show that the particular tigress was actually a “man-eater” beyond any reasonable doubts. No conclusive DNA evidences of the animal scat showing human DNA could be provided either.

This particular case has walked along the insensitive power corridors of Indian administration and a heartless judiciary that provided a death sentence to a helpless animal without any credible investigation based on modern wildlife forensic reports.

Related Stories This also casts doubt on the judicial system of India which has different standards of judgments for celebrities and ordinary citizens.

There is absolutely no report and/or response regarding the two 10-month-old cubs accompanying Avni till date. Chances are they were either killed or captured, and could have become victim to the thriving wildlife trade and trafficking catering to the international wildlife black markets of China and pockets of South East Asia.

Lack of education and awareness are among the primary factors contributing towards the rapid degradation of local forests, wildlife and biodiversity across the nation; and the killing of Avni is just an outcome of that.

Quote:"Unplanned and politically motivated infrastructural developments in densely forested areas, allowing illegal encroachments into forested areas and expansion of agriculture and industries in premier forest habitats have promoted widespread human-animal conflicts in India" with major land mammals like tigers, lions, leopards, snow leopards, elephants, one horned Indian rhinoceros, gaurs, primates, deer and antelopes.


Archaic survey methods and primitive techniques implemented by the relevant agencies across India provide fictitious and questionable data regarding the population dynamics of several species, including tigers.

Regional politics has also come to play a major role with respect to conservation of endangered species.
Different states within the country are opposing relocation, reintroduction and expansion of territories for several vulnerable species like tigers, lion, rhinos, Great Indian Bustard, etc, to keep an unique tourism tag for their states. Angry


The unfortunate wildlife species are in need of new habitats for their breeding, nesting and foraging habitats since their existing habitats are grossly over crowded.
In spite of being a megabiodiverse nation and with an expanding economy, India’s record in maintaining quality zoological gardens and wildlife rehabilitation centres are way below the global standards.

The animal rehabilitation or reintroduction centres are not enough, and most that are available are either over-crowded or totally mismanaged.

Quote:Need for funding, training, experience, education and infrastructure for proper forest and wildlife management is an important factor that is bringing considerable challenges in successful conservation practices across the country.
The rise in poaching and trafficking of wildlife, including tiger skin and body parts, across the nation is attributed to the poor condition of the forest security guards in India.

Quote:The poor salary, lack of advanced training, education and awareness, lack of vehicles, modern tracking gadgets and tools, and even shortage of arms and ammunition are making India’s forests extremely vulnerable to poachers, traffickers, insurgents and illegal encroachers and intruders pushing majestic wildlife species like tigers slowly towards extinction.

If the government does not wake up now and take corrective measures, Indian forests, wildlife and biodiversity has a very slim chance of recovery from such anthropogenic factors. India may be slowly turning into a death bed for the last remaining South Asian tigers
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( This post was last modified: 04-02-2019, 04:31 PM by Shadow )

(04-02-2019, 05:51 AM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(03-22-2019, 10:29 AM)Rishi Wrote: It's good enough to be the first independent article on the new Premier Section if you permit.

If is regarding the subspecies issue, I am agree.

There is plenti of information about tigers and lions focused in subspecies, and altough most of the information suggest the existance of only two subspecies for each of them, I also suggested that the human influence in the development of this animals did produced more "subspecies", that is a "man-made" effect but something that we can't ignore under the new view of tiger and lion conservation.

@tigerluver is right, the concepts of "species" and "subspeceis" are something that is not 100% natural and may be influenced by humans. Like I said, before humans there was not any natural barrier for the dispersal of the tiger, appart from the highest himalayan mountains and the kush region at the north of India/Pakistan region in mainland. So the concept of two subspecies is well funded but now at 2019 the history is different and there are many more variables, more barriers and the genetic base is biased toward the specimens that managed to addapt to the new antrophogenic environment. Heavy Amur tigers no longer exist (as far we know), the large Malayan tigers are the same case, so all these new adaptations of the tigers (and lions) to the few habitat available had changed them more than we think.

But then again also in the past there have been tigers living in cold and warm conditions for instance. So theory about one subspecies on continent doesn´t sound valid either. We have many animals with subspecies even before human intervention. Why would tiger be an exception, when evolution has made it possible to some tigers to live and survive in very harsh and cold conditions while others in very warm conditions. Of course when so few tigers left, situation is what it is. This two subspecies theory feels a bit artificial (imo), so it is really interesting to see what kind of new studies there will be in future.
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( This post was last modified: 04-10-2019, 03:32 PM by phatio )

Was Borneo once a land of tigers?

The scientific consensus is that while tigers did inhabit the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali, and still live in Sumatra, they never lived in Borneo.
Indigenous peoples in Borneo say otherwise. So-called ‘tiger fangs,’ for example, often feature in traditional Dayak ceremonies.
Some researchers wonder if the question of whether tigers lived in Borneo has gotten short shrift from experts who should be paying more attention to local communities.

PALANGKARAYA, Indonesia — One recent morning I paid a visit to Iber Djamal, a leader of the Dayak Ngaju indigenous people. He had invited us to see his mandau, a traditional Dayak weapon.

When I saw the mandau, which is a kind of machete, my attention focused not on the blade but on the fangs adorning it. What surprised me was that they were said to be tiger fangs.

“These are tiger fangs, not leopard fangs,” Iber said. “The fangs that decorate this mandau are from the animals that have been killed by the weapons inherited from my ancestors. Besides tigers, there are crocodiles, bears, leopards and boars.” What kind of tiger was killed with this mandau?

“A tiger in Kalimantan. It was killed by my ancestor. There used to be tigers in Kalimantan.”


*This image is copyright of its original author

Iber Djamal shows off the tiger fangs on his mandau. Photo by Jemmie Delvian

Iber’s explanation certainly differs from the general understanding about tigers in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo island. The present scientific consensus is that no one in Kalimantan has ever found a tiger. Researchers think the only tigers in Indonesia are in Bali (now extinct), Java (thought to be extinct) and Sumatra (only a few hundred left).

Iber said that the tiger — called harimau in Indonesian and haramaung in Dayak Ngaju — was one of the animals most commonly hunted by his ancestors. “We believe that if a man can hunt and kill a tiger when his wife is pregnant, the child will grow up to be a king or a leader,” he said. If a mandau is adorned with tiger fangs, it will endow whomever wields it with courage.

“Maybe because they’re worth so much to some people, tigers in Kalimantan have been hunted to extinction,” he said. He added that if anyone in his tribe ever found a tiger, it wouldn’t be hunted, “because these animals need to be protected.”


*This image is copyright of its original author

Fangs from a tiger or a clouded leopard?

After encountering this phenomenon, I contacted Yoan Dinata, chairperson of Forum HarimauKita, an NGO, about the possibility of a long-lost species of Bornean tiger. “There is no record or scholarship of tigers ever living in Kalimantan,” Dinata said. “But there is a possibility that in the past they did live there, because the islands of Java, Sumatra and Borneo were once fused with mainland Southeast Asia.”

According to Dinata, in Kalimantan today there is only the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi). “I don’t know if the fangs adorning all of those mandau blades are the fangs of tigers or clouded leopards,” he said. Dinata suggested that there should be more research as to the origin of the fangs. “If they really are tiger fangs, we should study how old they are.”

Scientifically, the nonexistence of tigers in Kalimantan raises many questions among researchers. The merging in ancient times of Borneo with mainland Southeast Asia certainly brought to it a variety of Asiatic wildlife. As a predator, the path of the tiger in the past was certainly influenced by the distribution of its prey. From a habitat perspective the characterstics of Sumatra today are similar with those of Kalimantan.

“Almost all of the animals in Kalimantan are also in Sumatra, including the orangutan and elephant. But surprisingly in Kalimantan today there aren’t any tigers,” Dinata said. “Dayak people’s recognition of the existence of tigers in the past would be an interesting thing to study.”

On the other hand, many of the sources of scientific findings in the past century are by Western researchers — it’s very rare to get information from local communities to be summarized in the scientific record. For example, findings that the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) might exist in Kalimantan were questioned by some researchers. Only after evidence such as horns and tracks were found did experts begin to seriously explore the existence of this species. As a result, experts finally met the Sumatran rhino in Borneo.

Maybe at a historical moment the tracks of a Bornean tiger will be revealed based on information from local communities. Who knows?
https://news.mongabay.com/2016/11/was-bo...of-tigers/
by Taufik Wijaya on 7 November 2016 | Translated by Philip Jacobson

----------------------------------

Recently I came across an article about Bornean Tiger written by a local bornean guy. very interesting but of course it's in indonesian, you can use translate if you want to read the whole story.
https://folksofdayak.wordpress.com/2018/...tau-fakta/
it is said there were/are tigers in Borneo. The indigenous peoples of Borneo, commonly known as Dayak called the big cat "Haramaong, Remaong, Lencau" etc. and they know the larger striped cat is different from smaller clouded leopard which they called "Kule".
according to the writter, he/she has some Bornean tiger's canines which is much larger than their Sumatran's cousin. unfortunately he/she dind't post the comparison picture. The Dayak people also made "Besunung", one of their traditional clothes from real Bornean tiger skins.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author



@GrizzlyClaw and @tigerluver i need your help once again to determine the originality of these allegedly Bornean tiger canines.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


let say if these canines and skins were real, some people suggest they probably got those stuff from trading with sumatran, javan or malayan people where tigers existed there. but i highly doubt that, as the indigenous peoples of Borneo are forest dweller peoples. They live completely from their jungle, their home, the only resources they knew for so long. until fairly recently these people hardly knew about money, let alone trading with foreign people.

Here's some sighting reports from my quick search. May 2017
https://www.borneonews.co.id/berita/6344...da-harimau
witness insisted they saw a tiger not a clouded leopard because the animal is larger and longer, and it's a striped cat not spotted. the animal's skin is as clean and soft as carpet, they added. 

from March 2018
https://www.indopos.co.id/read/2018/03/0...uk-sekolah

*This image is copyright of its original author

the authority checking animals pugmark

Interestingly, all of the story above coming from the same area, more or less around the yellow circle in the map below

*This image is copyright of its original author


what do you think guys? is this false alarm or have we been missing something here?

another interesting read
https://www.researchgate.net/publication...cal_record
https://www.researchgate.net/publication..._existence
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( This post was last modified: 04-10-2019, 05:32 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

Looks authentic to me, very typical appearance for those southern tiger population, and the texture also looks very genuine.

Size looks in between Indochinese to Bengal.
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( This post was last modified: 04-16-2019, 06:47 AM by peter )

TIGERLAND

a - Introduction and links

'Tigerland' is the title of a new documentary. I recently saw it at Discovery. In the documentary, two leading tiger conservationists feature: Kailash Sankhala (India) and Pavel Fomenko (Russia). Sankhala is the man who initiated 'Project Tiger' in India. Pavel Fomenko is one of the men continuing the good work in Russia.

Here's a link to a review. There are many more. My advice is to read a few of them if you can:   

https://theplaylist.net/tigerland-review-20190323/

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/articles/entry/siberian-bengal-tigers-tigerland-documentary/P6

b - Kailash Sankhala

In the documentary, Sankhala is presented as the man who initiated 'Project Tiger' in India. He's the one who informed us about the plight of the tiger and proposed to take steps to protect this iconic representative of the natural world. He inspired by Indira Gandhi and she protected him. Protection? Yes. Communication wasn't on top of his list. The result was he had enemies.   

c - Pavel Fomenko

In a way, Fomenko compares to Sankhala. Last year, most unfortunately, he was attacked by a tigress involved in dogs. When the tigress had been arrested, they found out she had cubs. One of them was captured a day later, but they needed 6 weeks to find the other (...). In the rehabilitation center, the tigress and her cubs were initially separated. The tigress, however, could see and hear them. When rangers and researchers approached the cubs, they showed signs of distress. The tigress snapped. She crashed through a fence (...) and attacked the first man she saw. 

Of all men, it had to be the one who devoted his life to tigers. Life is very complex. Fomenko was quite badly injured, but escaped after she, again, was distracted by her cubs. There was no intention to kill, but I'm afraid Pavel, who needed surgery, has a somewhat different opinion. He now really entered the world of the tiger. The hard way. It will result in more respect for sure:

https://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/leading-tiger-expert-mauled-by-dog-eating-tigress/
     
d - Guate

Sankhala featured in a debate not so long ago. This thread. Initially, it was about wild dogs and tigers, but it quickly developed into something different. Wolverine, Shadow and yours truly said Sankhala was the man who saved tigers from extinction in India, whereas Guate, supported by Smedz, said he didn't quite understand modern biology. As Sankhala, in his book 'Tiger!' published in 1977, also wrote a tiger, in his opinion, was no match for a lion of similar size, he was dismissed. Sankhala dismissed? Yes. This Forum? Yes. In the tiger thread? I'm afraid so. By Guate? One of the best posters? Most unfortunately, yes.  

I like freedom of thought and freedom of speech as much as you do. It was offered to us by those willing to risk even their life some 80 years ago in a terrible conflict. A conflict that resulted in the death of more than 60 million people. People like you and me, they were. How deal with this gift? I'm not sure, but my guess is freedom of speech shouldn't result in dismissal, animosity and all the rest of it. No matter what. It should start, and end, with respect. Even if you disagree. Learning how to disagree in a respectful way never is a bad idea when you're involved in communication of some kind. 

Anyhow.

Guate, on account of everything he posted over the years, is much respected by those interested in big cats. For this reason, he was invited to explain his view. He did use the stage offered, but I wasn't the only one who concluded his speech was quite defensive, if not very evasive. He said he would do another post on Sankhala in some time, but it seems this could take a while. For this reason, we decided to get to a conclusion without him.

The conclusion is Guate more or less dismissed a man whose efforts resulted in a different view on the natural world in general and tigers in particular. Not only in India, but everywhere. Sankhala, like Lev Kaplanov, was one of those who saved the tiger from extinction. Kaplanov paid with his life. Sankhala didn't, but he isn't going to be dismissed. Not on this forum.   

Guate won't be banned, but he will quit posting in this thread. The reason is we don't want it polluted by conflicts all the time. I'm sure Guate, who is a mature poster, understands this decision will have a positive effect on the thread. What we want, is posts like that of Phatio (on tigers in Borneo). Good information. And respect. At all times.

Smedz, by the way, wasn't banned as well. He still is a young man and will practise his skills in other threads. I like the mustang thread.  

e - Future

You may have noticed I don't post as often as I used to. I'm busy at the moment, but the last clash also had an effect. After talking to Sanjay and a few others, I decided to continue in a different way.

You may have noticed we added a new section. It's more bloglike. I will focus on developing one part of that section. When it attracts readers, it will become a Premium Section. This means those interested will have to pay to read the posts. We don't know if it will serve a need or not. If it doesn't, we will continue the way we did. But not quite, as I'm done with conflicts.

Sanjay will explain a few things soon.

f - To conclude

Pavel Fomenko is still with us. A great relief. His body will recover, but dealing with an attack is more difficult. I don't doubt he will succeed, as he's half a tiger himself. Knowing about tigers isn't easy. One reason we're very different from tigers. We don't really have what it takes to communicate on, ehh, equal terms. Another is knowledge can't always be expressed in words. Finally, it isn't easy to talk to others. Most of us are quite unable to understand what animals struggling to survive really experience. Pavel Fomenko is different. Every time a wild tiger is wounded or killed by poachers, he suffers. 

What is needed, is a new way of communication. A forum could help a bit, but the problem with forums is they explode sooner or later as a result of conflicts. Most posters say they prefer reliable information over something else, but the fact is not a few of them are driven by preference. Preference can be helpful, but most of us are unable to understand how to use it in the best possible way. 

One famous trainer who worked with big cats and bears said (captive) lionesses are 'better' mothers than tigresses. His opinion features in many forums. Those who really know about tigers agree there's no more terrible thing than a tigress feeling her cubs are threatened. There is a reliable report about a captive Amur tigress climbing a 10 feet 2 inches fence to eliminate a threat ('The passion of John Aspinall', B. Masters, 1988, pp. 271-274) and Pavel Fomenko can tell you all about fences and Amur tigresses with cubs as well. In the days cubs were taken from wild tigresses in the Caspian region, desperate tigresses not seldom visited villages and even entered huts. Those born and bred in Indonesia told me similar stories. 

I often read tigresses are more aggressive than male tigers. Maybe captive male tigers are less interested in humans, but reliable information from the Russian Far East says some male tigers are prepared to engage brown bears of about similar size. Anyone ever saw a male brown bear of 400-500 pounds up close? No? I saw a few captive male brown bears ranging between 400-900 pounds. Even a 400-pound male is a very powerful animal.             

What I'm saying is preference had the upper hand in quite many forums in the recent past. The result, apart from countless flame wars, was misinformation. That and contempt of those really interested in the natural world. In this forum, we want to do things in a different way. The aim is good information. Not easy, as humans and conflict are very good friends. The last option is a blog. It's quite sad it had to come to that.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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(04-15-2019, 08:11 PM)peter Wrote: He said he would do another post on Sankhala in some time, but it seems this could take a while. For this reason, we decided to get to a conclusion without him.

@peter, as you know, my time is very short now. In fact, I can visit the forum just in Monday, and to create a post to show my point of view will take time.

I still support my point of view, Sankhala do helped to save tigers in India (we can't ignore this big fact), but he was not the only one, we need to be fair. Many other people also helped. Also, I continue saying that the point of view of Sankhala, altough helpfull at the begining of the Project Tiger, it was a dissater at long term, and at the end caused its failure. Yes, failure, because tiger droped from an "artificial" figures of 3,500 specimens to about 1,400! How was that posible? This was less than the number of tigers before the Project Tiger started!

I need to insist on this, because the more I read about this topic, the more that I found that there was a cover up made by the government to show that tigers were "save" in India just for political issues and reputation. Yes, tigers still have the highest numbers in India, but at least 50% of this success is not related with the officers and conservation but because tiger have a high resilency, they can recover its population fast and India have the best tiger habitats. However, I have testimonies of great tigers conservationists and biologists (actually published) that at 2019 they still fight against the indiference of the authorities in the country.

I don't know how to say it in simple words, but the tiger conservation in India is a very deep and problematic topic, for somre reason. Yes, we will found many webpages puting Sankhala as the only savior or that Indian tigers are doing so well that there is no need to worry about them in India, but the point is that at the end, his point of view, his methods and the constant ignoring ot the "western people" and they "methods", almost drive to the Indian tiger to its extinction. Is interesting that in the first 15 years of Project Tiger existence (not taking in count the NTCA) there was no document or study published by the officers about tiger biology or ecology.

I see that you don't want me anymore in this topic because I am out of the "politically correctness", but I think that this place is also made to chalenge our preconceptions. If not, sooner or late, other poster will challenge them too. I am prety sure that other posters are now investigating what I am saying, I don't think that my words will fall in deft ears. And somehow, my objective is to show that the "conservation heaven" that must people believe that is happening in India is not true. Tigers need our help more than ever, we can't just believe blindly in the figure of about 2300 tigers in India, we must be critic on this like Dr Karanth suggested, if not we can have a very harsh and bitter surprise in a couple of years. As far as the Indian authorities continue with the old point of view of Sankhala and ignoring all the scientific methods that has been develped in these last years, tigers will still be in danger.

Also, I am very interesting to know why you are defending him so much. I mean, why you also don't not put in Dr Karanth/Chundawat/Seindenstiker feet too, I mean, Sankhala and other officers made whatever was in they reach to destroy the reputation of these great "tiger-men", but thankfully they failed (I guess...). These man of Science are very polite and will never discredit Sankhala (specially for his reputation), but they do show how the same policies from Project Tiger in the 70´s and 80´s are still been used in 2019.

Again, I want to make the post, but not only about Sankhala, but about tiger conservation in India in general, I manage to have at least 6 sources about this. I really want to make it and if at the end that post cost me a ban from the forum I will accept it, but you must think this: Who is going to give his life and reputation for a lie? If some one is really convinced of a point, may be posible that the point is actually valid? Think about it first and believe me, there is more than meets the eye in this point.

For those that want to start reading what I am going to use, here are my sources:
1- Tiger the ultimate guide - Thappar, 2004 (my tiger "Bible").
2- Más espacio para los tigers (More space for the tigers) - Ward, December 1997 (NatGeo magazine article, I have the version in Spanish but I don't know the name of the article in English).
3- The Rise and Fall of the Emeral Tigers - Chundawat, 2018 (the book that opened my eyes on this cover up).
4 - The Nagarahole tiger controversy - Sukumar, 1990 (the tip of the iceberg).
5 - Indian Science for Indian tigers?: Conservation Biology and the Question of Cultural Values - Lewis, 2005 (the contract what they "say" and what they "do").
6 - Wired Wilderness - Chapter 3: Diplomatic and Political Subtleties - Benson, 2010 (when a man reject help).


Also I have found a book of Belinda Wright (I am still reading it) about her strougle to save tigers, and I think that I will some parts of it in my post.

@peter, please don't missunderstand me, I am not trying to create problems, but like an old Vulcan proverb says: "Challenge your preconceptions, or they will challenge you".
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