Tiger Rescue: Changing the Future for Endangered Wildlife


A century ago, 100,000 tigers roamed the forests of Asia. Today, only a few thousand remain, thanks to shrinking habitat and a lucrative trade in tiger parts.

Firefly Animal Rescue is a new series of books about endangered and threatened species and what is being done to protect them. It is aimed at readers aged 10 and up with accessible text and color photographs.

Each book introduces readers to a featured animal, explains the threats it is ...

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A century ago, 100,000 tigers roamed the forests of Asia. Today, only a few thousand remain, thanks to shrinking habitat and a lucrative trade in tiger parts.

Firefly Animal Rescue is a new series of books about endangered and threatened species and what is being done to protect them. It is aimed at readers aged 10 and up with accessible text and color photographs.

Each book introduces readers to a featured animal, explains the threats it is facing, and explores efforts to protect it. Young readers will be inspired by the leading scientists and conservationists who work in the field, in labs and on the public stage. The books conclude with additional resources for those who want to help.

Tiger Rescue takes readers to India, where whole villages are being moved to make room for tigers; to the Russian Far East, where rangers risk their lives to stop poachers supplying the black market in Asian medicines; and to the forests of Malaysia and Sumatra, where farmers and tigers struggle to share the land.

Along the way, some of the world's top tiger conservationists show that hard work and determination can bring this mighty cat back from the brink.

About the Firefly Animal Rescue series:

The Firefly Animal Rescue identifies endangered and threatened species and what is being done to protect them. Combining lively, accessible text and stunning color photographs, each book provides a detailed overview of the species, describing its characteristics, behavior, habits, physiology and more.

"These attractive books are a call to action... fascinating readable accounts."
- School Library Journal

"Succinct introductions to the science and practice of wildlife conservation... written in accessible, lively language."
- Booklist

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The beautiful panthera tigris and its peril in today's world are the subjects of this comprehensive discussion of tiger populations and efforts to save them from extinction. There are now five subspecies in Asia, although three others, the Bali, the Java, and the Caspian, have slipped away forever. It's hard to believe that only in 1967 was the first scientific study of wild tigers published. Author Bortolotti describes the characteristics and habitats of the animals, and explores, in segments called "On the Frontlines," vital rescue work being done in China (where perhaps only 30 remain), India, Russia, Malaysia, and Sumatra. "At Work" pages highlight some of the outstanding people dedicated to conserving tiger populations, now threatened mainly by loss of habitat and poaching. Striking color photos show tigers leaping, snarling, stalking, and just looking like the majestic beasts they are, while maps, time lines, and "Fast Facts" help readers understand the tiger's plight. One of many interesting features, called "Tigers and Us," shows how art, literature, and graphics have shaped our perceptions of the great cats through the ages. Lovers of these beautiful predators will find here much to fascinate, including a list of nine tiger rescue organizations with addresses and websites for more information and ways to help. 2003, Firefly, Ages 12 up.
— Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 3-8-Although Bortolotti supplies basic information such as physical characteristics of pandas and tigers, he emphasizes the threats to the animals' survival and ways their chances might be enhanced. Loss of habitat due to expanding human populations in Southeast Asia and China plus hunting account for much of the species' decline. Yet, conservationists and scientists are trying to ensure their future in various ways. Among the books' interesting features are profiles of some of these workers plus visits to areas where conservation programs are in place. Bortolotti doesn't minimize the obstacles, such as convincing practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine to find alternatives to cures made from tiger parts. An engaging writing style accompanied by stunning full-color photographs will hold readers' interest. Those who want to take action themselves can use a list of suggested Web sites at the end. These fascinating, readable accounts not only show children what is being done to save these animals, but also may encourage them to join the efforts.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Green Teacher - Debra Bridgman
Award winning... With beautiful photography and inspiring examples of individuals passionately devoted to wildlife conservation, these are excellent resource for the classroom or school library.
Toronto Star - Pippa Wysong
Loads of neat stuff about these amazing animals, why they are endangered, and the cool things people do to try to save them.
Calgary Herald - Leanne Dohy
Excellent... educates young readers about the animal and the challenges it faces in the fight for survival.
Edmonton Sun
Exceptionally readable.
Canadian Materials - Gillian Richardson
Challenges readers to learn more and offer support through international conservation organizations... Recommended.
Library Media Connection - Ruie Chehak
[review of series:] Anyone interested in learning more about endangered animals will find these books fascinating... This series will make a strong addition to any school library.
Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
Primary research, lively writing, and dramatic use of color photographs... easygoing layout will attract reluctant readers while the intelligent approach will keep them reading.
Quill and Quire - Maureen Garvie
Bortolotti... knows how to catch and hold an audience while providing top-quality information. The photos are terrific... the writing is lively and direct.
BC Parent
Full of facts, photos and accessible information.
St Catharines Standard - Lian Goodall
Fascinating conservation issues... layout of the books is very strongly done, making them easy to use... subject matter is intellectually exciting.
Canadian Children's Book News - Brenda Halliday
Designed to appeal even to a child who is "not a reader." Yet they are comprehensive enough to provide a good overview for an adult... a balanced exploration of the complex issues involved in the conservation effort.
Resource Links - Linda Irvine
Engaging text, stunning photographs... The text is clear, relatively easy to read and gives very good depth without being ponderous... highly recommended.
Today's Parent
Filled with spectacular photos, informative maps and charts and up-to-the minute information... manages to convey hope, while being honest with young readers.
Booklist / RBB - Gillian Engberg
Succinct introductions to the science and practice of wildlife conservation... written in accessible, lively language and nicely illustrated with exciting color photos, these will be useful for reports and browsing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552975992
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/15/2003
  • Series: Firefly Animal Rescue Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Bortolotti is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in many magazines, including Equinox, Canadian Geographic, and OWL. He is the author of Exploring Saturn.

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Table of Contents

King of the cats
Where do tigers live?
The story so far
Home is where the hunt is

Tiger tracking
ON THE FRONTLINES: Saving China's Tigers
Done like dinner

Anatomy of a hunt
AT WORK: Praveen Bhargav
The tiger's only predator

The tiger trade
AT WORK: Cao Dan
ON THE FRONTLINES: Inspection Tiger
The great divide

Tigers and us: A timeline
AT WORK: Mohamad Azlan

ON THE FRONTLINES: Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program
AT WORK: Sarah Christie
Tigers in captivity
Back to the wild?

What is the tiger's future?
Fast facts
How you can help

Author's Note

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First Chapter

King of the Cats

It is both beautiful and terrible. It stalks its prey silently, but defends its kills with a fearsome roar. Its face looks as harmless as a house cat's on cereal boxes and plush toys, while in the wild it makes half-ton mammals flee for their lives. Outside of circuses and zoos, it is a foreign to the Western hemisphere as the kangaroo. And yet the magnificent tiger has found its way into our hearts.

Panthera tigris is the largest of the 38 cat species -- more massive even than the lion, the so-called king of the beasts. Despite a popular misconception, it did not evolve from the extinct Smilodon, or "saber-toothed tiger." The modern tiger originated in eastern Asia about two million years ago, and from there spread to central Asia, the Russian Far East, India and the islands of Indonesia.

Today tiger inhabit many of these same areas,
but in dramatically fewer numbers. There may have been more than 100,000 tigers in the wild in 1900. A century later, that number is probably between 5,000 and 7,000. Hunting, habitat destruction and dwindling prey have pushed the wild tiger to the brink of extinction. As recently as the 1990s, many people believed it would not survive into the new millennium.

But survive it has, thanks to the work of scientists, park rangers, government officials and conservationists around the world -- in India, China, Indonesia and Russia, and in many countries where wild tigers have never roamed.

Of course, this is an animal that can kill prey four times its size. No one really expected it would go down without a fight.

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