|Born||1952 (age 60–61)|
|Occupation||natural historian, wildlife documentary filmmaker, conservationist|
|Known for||Land of the Tiger (1997)|
Valmik Thapar (born 1952) is an Indian natural historian and foremost among tiger conservationists. He is the author of 14 books and several articles, and has produced a range of programmes for television. Today he is one of India's most respected wildlife experts and conservationists, having produced and narrated documentaries on India's natural habitat for such media as the BBC, Animal Planet, Discovery and National Geographic.
Valmik Thapar spent decades following the fortunes of India's tiger population.
His stewardship of the Ranthambore Foundation was recognised and he was appointed a member of the Tiger Task Force of 2005 by the Government of India. When it was time to finalise the report of the Task Force, Mr.Thapar expressed his strong dissent at the overall approach of the high power body. He criticised the majority Task Force view in his dissent note as excessively focussed on the prospects of co-existence of tigers and humans, which was, in his view not consistent with the objective of the panel. The Task Force has paid inadequate attention to the biggest questions that face tiger conservation today, such as poaching, absence of science and hurdles to research posed by bureaucracies.
His writings have analysed the perceived failure of Project Tiger, a conservation apparatus created in 1973 by the Government of India. He has critiqued Project Tiger, drawing attention to its mismanagement by a forest bureaucracy that is largely not scientifically trained. His most recent book The Last Tiger, Oxford University Press makes this case strongly.
Among the consistent criticisms levelled by Thapar at India's Ministry of Environment and Forests relates to its unwillingness to curb poaching through armed patrols and its refusal to open forests to scholarly scientific enquiry.
His famous relationship with 'Macchli' a female tigress is documented in some of his chronicles.
Selected TV works
- Tiger Crisis
- Land of the Tiger
- Tigers’ Fortress
- Danger in Tiger Paradise
- Search for Tigers
- Land of the Tiger: A Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent (1998).
- Lalitha Sridhar (21-3-2012), "'If only Indira Gandhi was sitting there, asking, is that tiger safe?' Interview with Valmik Thapar", News & Features (InfoChange India)
- Walia, Nona (Sep 15, 2002). "Tiger, tiger burning bright". The Times of India.
- Sawhney, Anubha. "Hamir spells sonrise for Sanjana". The Times Of India.
- "Showcasing the big cat". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2 December 2008.
- The tiger in India: 'There is a war going on'- An exclusive interview with Valmik Thapar by the Discoverwild Foundation
- Report on Valmik Thapar from The Telegraph, India
- The Hindu's Metroplus on Valmik Thapar