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#39580 - 03/13/13 03:19 AM John Isaac - The Plight of Tigers in India
James Morrissey Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/05
Loc: Manhattan, New York, New York
The Nature, Wildlife and Pet Photography Forum Presents:
The Plight of Tigers in India - by John Isaac
Edited by James Morrissey


(c) John Isaac, Photo taken in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India

This article was previously published in 2010, but lost during our forum migration. It is with great pleasure that we are re-posting it here today.

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#39581 - 03/13/13 03:19 AM Re: John Isaac - The Plight of Tigers in India [Re: James Morrissey]
James Morrissey Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/05
Loc: Manhattan, New York, New York
We are trying to develop a community where photographers can come and discuss nature, wildlife and pet photography related matters. We encourage you to enter the forums to discuss this article as well as to share your photographs and experiences in our forums here at NWP.
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#39582 - 03/13/13 03:26 AM Re: John Isaac - The Plight of Tigers in India [Re: James Morrissey]
James Morrissey Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/05
Loc: Manhattan, New York, New York
By John Isaac, Edited by James Morrissey

I’ve been going to India to photograph the tigers for the past 20 years. In the last two years, I have decided to put my concerns for their existence into a book. It is my hope that people will realize how desperate their situation is, and that change may occur.

The latest figure for the number of tigers left in India, where over half the world’s tiger population lives, is about 1,400. This is according to a 2008 census done by the National Tiger Conservation Authority. Many conservationists dispute this figure and say the reality is that less than 800 tigers are left in the wild. In January 2010, the World Wildlife Fund placed the tiger on its list of “10 Species to Watch” and launched a Year of the Tiger campaign to coincide with the Chinese year of the tiger, which started last February.


(c) John Isaac, Photo taken in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India

India has many national parks set aside for its tigers, but I’ve been concentrating on two - Ranthambore, in Rajasthan and Bandhavgarh, in Madhya Pradesh. No matter how many times I’ve been lucky enough to “shoot” a tiger, it is always a thrill. It is something that I never can quite get over the feeling of.

The first jeep ride of the day is in the early morning, usually leaving the lodge at 5 a.m. When working in the field, the days can be incredibly long and exhausting. I believe that much of my continued success has been as a result of my work with Olympus cameras. The Four Thirds system is perfect for me for several reasons. The first has to do with size and weight. As you may know, the 4/3 System lenses show an equivalent field of view that is 2x the size of a full frame (35 mm) camera. When I use a 300 mm 2.8 lens it is actually equivalent to a 600 mm 2.8 lens in a full-frame camera. Olympus also has image stabilization built in the body of the E-3 cameras that is a big help. This way I avoid having to lug around a cumbersome tripod, and believe me, these days I don’t even have to take a monopod. Being able to shoot handheld is a huge advantage. I know that I am an Olympus Visionary and that my opinion can be seen as biased, however, I would not say it if I did not absolutely believe it was true.


(c) John Isaac, Photo taken in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India


(c) John Isaac, Photo taken in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India

The tigers suffer from a variety of factors that are preventing these great predators from living safely. The first big problem has to do with human encroachment on their land. Population density and having the land necessary for the people has created a natural strain between the tigers and the people. People in villages surrounding the parks move into and build on the land set aside for the tigers. It is hard to convince villagers of the importance of saving tigers when for them it means less grazing land for their cattle.

Another large problem for the tigers has to do with poaching. A villager may kill a tiger because it has attacked and killed his own cattle, which his livelihood depends on. The government has a program to pay the villager when his cattle is killed by a tiger, but pays him less than ½ in compensation. There’s a small criminal group that kills a tiger because there is a big market for their skin, teeth and bones. In China in particular, all the parts of the tiger sell for a high profit. Tiger penis soup is considered an aphrodisiac and so the demand for tiger parts in China is very high.


(c) John Isaac, Photo taken in Bandhavghar Tiger Reserve, Madya Pradesh, India


(c) John Isaac, Photo taken in Bandhavghar Tiger Reserve, Madya Pradesh, India

If something drastic isn’t done soon, conservationists say the tiger will cease to exist in the wild in as little as five years. I hope that awareness can help bring action to help save these amazing animals.

To learn more about John Isaac, please check out the interview that he did with the Nature, Wildlife and Pet Photography Forum in 2007.


(c) John Isaac, Tiger in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India

Can't get enough Tigers? We have several more posted at the NWP Fan page NWP Facebook Fan Page!

Editor's Note:
Just a friendly reminder that the images shared within this article is copyright 2010 and the property of John Isaac and have been licensed to James Morrissey, Chanthee Keokhaw and The Nature, Wildlife and Pet Photography Forum. The text is the property of John Isaac and the NWP Photo Forum. Neither the text nor photographic images may be re-distributed without explicit written permission.
_________________________
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