Frontiers of fear: tigers and people in the Malay world, by Peter Boomgaard

By Peter Boomgaard

For hundreds of years, studies of man-eating tigers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have circulated, shrouded in fable and anecdote. This attention-grabbing publication files the connection among the 'big cat' and people during this zone throughout the 350-year colonial interval, recreating a global during which humans feared tigers yet usually got here into touch with them, simply because those fierce predators desire habitats created through human interference. Peter Boomgaard exhibits how humans and tigers tailored to every other's behaviour, every one transmitting this studying from one new release to the following. He discusses the origins of reports and rituals approximately tigers and explains how cultural biases of Europeans and sophistication variations between indigenous populations affected attitudes towards the tigers. He presents figures on their populations in several eras and analyses the criteria contributing to their current prestige as an endangered species. Interweaving tales approximately Malay kings, colonial rulers, tiger charmers, and bounty hunters, with evidence approximately tigers and their lifestyle, the e-book is an engrossing blend of environmental and micro historical past.

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Extra resources for Frontiers of fear: tigers and people in the Malay world, 1600-1950

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Nowadays, zoologists deny any proof of leopards there, and it must be assumed that people were talking about the clouded leopard an entirely different species. The scientific name of the leopard, is Panthera pardus, but in the older literature we find Felis melas (or F. ] Leopards were found in Malaya and Java, perhaps in Bali, and not in Sumatra and Borneo. Spotted leopards and black leopards are varieties of one species, not two separate species. Balen 1914 vised the system in 1917. Occasionally we also encounter Felis leopardus.

If the authors assumed, as is generally done, that 10% of the biomass can be taken away annually without negative effects, this would mean an annual consumption of between 3,750 and 5,000 kg. This is more than one adult male needs, but it would be about what could be expected if the authors had included a grownup female and one or two cubs in their calculations. 24 MEETING THE TIGER However, the biomass given for Ujung Kulon is rather low in comparison with a number of areas outside the Malay world.

That implies that on average Malaya had 2 tigers per 100 km2, taking into consideration the entire surface area within the boundaries of what was then Malaya, and not just the tiger areas. It seems likely that man-eaters have much larger “territories” than ordinary tigers. Mazák quotes six cases from India and Malaya varying from almost 400 to over 9,000 km2 per man-eater, or slightly over 3,000 km2 on average. 32 The figure quoted for Malaya in 1950—2 tigers per 100 km2 —is probably a 25 MEETING THE TIGER fair reflection of tiger densities in the Malay area in the last few centuries.

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