In this seminal book about the Indian tiger, Raghu Chundawat, a renowned conservation biologist, shares his findings from the only long-term ecological research project on tigers undertaken in India till date.
Chundawat closely studied the Panna tigers and their prey, from 1996 to 2006—meticulously recording their space use, movements, feeding and reproductive behaviours—in the dry tropical forests of Madhya Pradesh. With support from the national park management, he oversaw a spectacular revival of Panna’s tiger population.
However, by 2002-03, the fortunes of Panna’s tigers, and Chundawat’s research, nosedived when the park management changed. Monitoring privileges and access to the park were curtailed, and subsequently, poaching and poisoning of tigers spiked. When Chundawat blew the whistle on the alarming decline, he faced immense backlash from the state wildlife authorities. Despite the systemic opposition, Chundawat continued the fight to save Panna’s tigers, collecting data and petitioning the government to intervene.
In this immensely informative work, Chundawat presents not just his research, but also an insider’s account of the politics and administrative apathy plaguing Indian wildlife conservation. He discusses the larger threats to Indian wildlife—and the possible solutions. Filled with stunning photographs, The Rise and Fall of the Emerald Tigers is a must-read for all wildlife enthusiasts and researchers across the world.