Tigers of the World book cover

Tigers of the World

The Science, Politics and Conservation of Panthera tigris

The second edition of Tigers of the World explores tiger biology, ecology, conservation, management, and the science and technology that make this possible. In 1988, when the first edition was published, tiger conservation was still in its infancy, and two decades later there has been a revolution not only in what is known, but how information about tigers is obtained and disseminated. In the fast changing world of conservation, there is a great need to summarize the vast and current state-of-the-art, to put this into historical perspective, and to speculate in what yet remains to be done.

Tigers of the World, 2e fulfills this need by bringing together in a unique way the world’s leading tiger experts into one volume. Despite the challenges ahead, there are bright spots in this story and lessons aplenty not only for tiger specialists but large carnivore specialists, conservation biologists, wildlife managers, natural resource policymakers, and most importantly the caring public.

This book is intended for a wide readership, from specialists in tiger conservation and large carnivore conservation, to conservation biologists, ecologists, and wildlife managers more generally interested in wildlife issues. This book will appeal to the global conservation community as well as the zoo community.

Hardbound, 552 Pages

Published: January 2010

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-8155-1570-8


  • "Ron Tilson, director of conservation at Minnesota Zoo, co-author of a new edition of the encyclopedic Tigers of the World and, with decades of fieldwork in Asia's tiger habitats under his belt, [is] an authority - maybe the authority - on our most endangered big cat."-"Tale of the Cat" by Andrew Marshall (Time magazine)

    “An excellent follow-up to the 1987 publication… The 102 contributors represent a broad panel of distinguished international researchers… [E]ach chapter’s terminology and research descriptions are layperson-friendly. There is very little repetition between the two editions; the first focused heavily on tigers in captivity, while the second emphasizes wild tiger conservation, history, economics, and political battles…. Highly recommended. Academic, general, and professional audiences, all levels."-- CHOICE

    "Some of the world's most eminent researchers confirm this in a new academic book, Tigers of the World. In it Ronald Tilson, an expert at Minnesota Zoo, reveals he attended a meeting in Beijing where Chinese scientists admitted that their captive "pure-bred" South China tigers were anything but. He wrote: "A Chinese molecular biologist, Daniel Xu, presented the surprising conclusions that no 'pure' South China tiger lineages are left living; all living captive tigers are mixed with Indochinese tiger genes." -- The Sunday Times

    "Tilson, who is probably best known for his work with tigers, wrote the book on tiger conservation -- literally. "Tigers of the World," published in 1988 and updated last year, "put together in one volume, for the first time, the state of science about tigers," said Phillip Nyhus, professor of environmental studies at Colby University in Maine.


  • Tigers of the World, 2nd Ed.

    Science, Politics, and Conservation of Panthera tigris

    Edited by

    Ronald Tilson, Minnesota Zoo and

    Philip J. Nyhus, Colby College



    George B. Schaller, Director of Science and Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society

    Preface: The Tribe of Tigers

    Ronald Tilson and Philip Nyhus

    1. Fifty Years in the Tiger World: An Introduction

    Peter Jackson


    2. What is a Tiger? Ecology and Behavior

    Mel Sunquist

    3. What is a Tiger? Genetics and Phylogeography

    Shu-Jin Luo, Warren E. Johnson, James L. D. Smith, Stephen J. O’Brien

    4. What is a Tiger? Biogeography and Taxonomy

    Andrew C. Kitchener and Nobuyuki Yamaguchi


    5. Will the Tiger Survive in India?

    Belinda Wright

    6. Poaching and Poisoning of Tigers in Sumatra for the Domestic Market

    Ronald Tilson, Philip Nyhus, Sriyanto, and Arief Rubianto

    7. Partnering to Stop Poaching: Developing Cross-Sector Strategic Responses to Wildlife Poaching

    Steven Galster, William Schaedla, and Tim Redford

    8. Panthera tigris vs Homo sapien: Conflict, Coexistence, or Extinction

    Philip Nyhus and Ronald Tilson

    9. Setting Priorities for Tiger Conservation: 2005 - 2015

    Sanderson, E.W., J. Forrest, C. Loucks, J. Ginsberg, E. Dinerstein, J. Seidensticker, P. Leimgruber, M. Songer, A. Heydlauff, T. O’Brien, G. Bryja, S. Klenzendorf, and E. Wikramanayake

    10. The Terai Arc Landscape: A Tiger Conservation Success Story in a Human-dominated Landscape

    Eric Wikramanayake, Anil Manandhar, Shyam Bajimaya, Santosh Nepal, Gokarna Thapa and Kanchan Thapa

    11. Collaboration and Partnerships are Essential to Sustain Wild Tiger Populations

    Kae Kawanishi and John Seidensticker

    12. The Cat Specialist Group and Tigers

    Peter Jackson, and Urs and Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten

    13. Save The Tiger Fund’s Grant Making Strategy for the Recovery of Wild Tiger Populations

    Brian Gratwicke, Mahendra Shrestha1, and John Seidensticker

    14. Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund

    Fred Bagley

    15. Why keep tigers in zoos?

    Sarah Christie

    16. History and Function of US Sanctuaries

    Tammy Quist

    17. Thirteen Thousand and Counting: How Growing Captive Tiger Populations Threaten Wild Tigers

    Philip Nyhus, Ronald Tilson, and Mike Hutchins


    18. Non-invasive Survey Methods for Assessing Tiger Populations

    K. Ullas Karanth and James D. Nichols

    19. Tiger Telemetry

    John Goodrich and Dale Miquelle

    20. Scent-matching Dogs: A New Tool for Identifying Wild Tigers

    Linda L. Kerley and Galina P. Salkina

    21. The Science and Art of Managing Tigers in Captivity

    Kathy Traylor-Holzer


    22. How Many Wild Tigers Are There? An Estimate for 2008

    John Seidensticker, Brian Gratwicke and Mahendra Shrestha

    South Asia

    23. This Heaven and this Earth: Will India Keep its Promise to Panthera tigris?

    Bittu Sahgal and Jennifer Scarlott

    24. Status and Conservation of Tigers in the Indian Subcontinent

    A.J.T. Johnsingh, Bivash Pandav, and M. D. Madhusudan

    25. Securing the Future for Nepal’s Tigers: Lessons from the Past and Present

    James L. David Smith, Charles McDougal, Bhim Gurung, Narayan Shrestha, Mahendra Shrestha, Teri Allendorf, Anup Joshi and Narayan Dhakal

    26. Tigers of the Sundarban

    Tessa McGregor

    Southeast Asia

    27. Tigers and People in the Malay World: Four Centuries of Confrontation and Co-existence in Comparative Asian Perspective.

    Peter Boomgaard

    28. Costs and Benefits of Sustaining Wild Tigers in Cambodia: A Strategic Economic Perspective

    Peter Cutter and Sun Hean

    29. The Malayan Tiger

    Kae Kawanishi, Melvin Gumal, Loretta Ann Soosayraj, Gareth Goldthorpe, Chris R. Shepherd, Kanitha Krishnasamy & Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim

    30. The Biology and Politics of Sumatran Tigers: Crash of the Conservation Garuda

    Ronald Tilson and Philip Nyhus

    31. The Claws of a Dilemma: Can Big Business Contribute to Tiger Conservation in Indonesia?

    Tom Maddox


    32. Science-based Conservation of Amur Tigers in Russian Far East and Northeast China

    Dale Miquelle et al.

    33. Tiger Education in Primorsky Region of Russia

    Irina Belim


    34. King of the Hundred Beasts: A Long View of Tigers in Southern China

    Chris Coggins

    35. Yin and Yang of Tiger Conservation in China

    Ronald Tilson, Philip Nyhus, and Jeff R. Muntifering

    36. Tiger Restoration and Biodiversity Refugia in Asia: ‘Picking Up’ the Pieces

    Jeff R. Muntifering, Philip J. Nyhus, Ron Tilson, and Michael E. Soulé

    37. The Struggle to Save the Last South China Tigers

    Kathy Traylor-Holzer, Xie Zhong, and Yin Yuzhong

    38. Tiger Farms and Pharmacies: The Central Importance of China’s Trade Policy for Tiger Conservation

    Kristin Nowell

    39. Tigers, Economics and the Regulation of Trade

    Michael 't Sas-Rolfes


    40. Roads to Recovery or Catastrophic Loss: How Will the Next Decade End for Wild Tigers?

    Eric Wikramanayake, Eric Dinerstein, Jessica Forrest, Colby Loucks, John Seidensticker, Sybille Klenzendorf, Eric Sanderson, Ross Simons, Andrea Heydlauff, Joshua Ginsberg, Timothy O’Brien, Peter Leimgruber, Melissa Songer, Gosia Bryja

    41. The Next Twenty Years of Tiger Science, Politics, and Conservation

    Philip Nyhus and Ronald Tilson


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