The Vanishing Tiger
“Extremely fast and powerful, its very name has been derived from the classical Greek root for ‘arrow,” says Sinha in his book The Vanishing Tiger.
India’s foremost wildlife photographer’s latest publication is definitely a worthy addition to the wildlife enthusiast’s library. The book begins with a brief on the superstitions and tales shrouding the awe-inspiring and magnificent tiger.
It goes on to explain the evolution of the animal, probably in the colder regions away from the tropics, and how over two million years it has spread to other parts of the globe. Accompanied by numerous colour plates with crisp images of world famous tigers such as Sita and Charger, Sinha explains how in a relatively short time span the tiger population has dipped drastically. A slide begun by shikar in the British times continues today due to poaching, habitat destruction and the absence of corridors between Protected Areas, says Sinha.
The book has something in it for everybody, discussing in simple language the relationship between the tiger and other species such as co-predators including the dhole, hyena, mugger, the leopard, and prey species including chital, sambar and blackbuck, to name a few. His vivid descriptions of each of these animals are complemented by excellent pictures that capture the mood of the forest. The book includes valuable statistics on the 27 tiger reserves that dot the subcontinent, describing in detail eight of the nine reserves that were declared in 1972. Vivek Sinha also talks about the wealth of personal encounters he has had with the tiger and other jungle denizens.
Also touched on are the technical aspects of wildlife photography. All in all, The Vanishing Tiger gives the reader an excellent overview of the history, present status and possible future of this magnificent big cat and its forest home.
By Vivek R. Sinha, Published by: Published by Salamander, Hardcover; Price: U.K. Price L 20