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Lost Land Of The Tiger: Filming in Bhutan

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Gordon Buchanan Gordon Buchanan | 00:01 UK time, Monday, 20 September 2010

When I mention Bhutan it solicits one of two responses. There is the "Oh, wow!" and then there is the "Oh, where?" The mention of filming tigers, however, solicits a combination of the two - "Oh wow, where?" Searching for tigers in a remote Himalayan kingdom is as awesome as it sounds.

A tiger caught on camera in the Himalayas

By trade I am a wildlife cameraman, and often, when I'm not behind the camera, I jig about and say stuff in front of it.

Presenter is an uncomfortable word for me to call myself, but I suppose that is what I have become. My role was simply to capture images of tigers by any means possible.

I love my job, and almost everything that comes with it, but the opportunity to visit a place that is on many people's top 10 list, to look for arguably the world's most charismatic animal has been a career highlight.

Back at the start of the noughties I was making Tigers Of The Emerald Forest, a film about an isolated tiger population of about 30 individuals (a healthy breeding population) living in a little known national park in north central India.

The film was about the success story of those tigers and how, despite the pressures they faced, they were doing really well.

Within two years of my departure, all of them, every last one had been wiped out by illegal poaching. The news of that tragedy threw into sharp focus the realisation that the very worst was true - that we faced a future where tigers could no longer survive in the wild.

I think that being involved in the Lost Land/Expedition series has helped me feel less guilty about my dream job. Each expedition has targeted vulnerable rainforest areas and raised awareness of the problems and hopefully gone some way to helping.

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In Bhutan we decided to highlight a single species: the tiger. At the start I really was resigned to a future without tigers roaming free in the world. To be honest, half way through the expedition, I still thought the same.

I knew almost immediately that the only chance we had of filming tigers was with camera traps. Unmanned and strapped to a tree these clever little cameras click into action the moment anything passes in front.

They never get tired, they never get hungry and they don't suffer from heat exhaustion, frost bite or flatulence. Effectively they put me out of a job.

We slept in tents in the tropical heat of the forest and the minus 15 freezing conditions in the mountains.

Food was basic, sleep was scarce and exhaustion of working in the danger zone at an altitude of 5,000 metres was one of the toughest things I have ever done. Blood, sweat and tears pretty much sums up much of the expedition.

Gordon in the Himalayas

The candle of the tiger flickers vulnerably at the end of a very long dark tunnel, but in Bhutan, in the foothills of the most impressive mountain range on earth, the tiger's future burns most brightly. We found them.

When I saw the first images of the tigers on the camera traps from the mountains (a place and altitude where tigers aren't suppose to live) I was completely overwhelmed. It was very emotional.

In an instant I realised that tigers had hope and that the entire teams efforts were being fully rewarded by this briefest glimpse of an animal that didn't know that its kind has been wiped out elsewhere in the world.

So we found them. OK, not roaming through every mountain pass, or roaring from every patch of forest, but our findings show that there is still hope.

Even (as is quite likely) if every isolated population is wiped out, all is not lost. If we care enough and can create a corridor spanning the Himalayas from Nepal to Thailand, tigers still have a chance. That is what I tell my children.

Gordon Buchanan is the cameraman and presenter on Lost Land Of The Tiger.

Lost Land Of The Tiger is on BBC One on Tuesday, 21 September at 9pm.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    My family and I are avidly awaiting this three part programme, I have always loved tigers since I was a little girl and saw pictures in my father's National Geographic magazine. The world without a wild tiger in it is something I don't want to imagine - we MUST do all we can to save habitat for these magnificent creatures.

    I'd pay good money to see Gordon "jig about" in front of the camera, we see far too little of him on BBC TV - schedulers and programme makers take note!

  • Comment number 2.

    Why oh why are BBC filming this and HD and not, I repeat not releasing on Bluray or even DVD?
    These series would sell like mad..........come on BBC - generate some income and release mor blurays.........I'm ready to spend!!

  • Comment number 3.

    Wow this is great stuff and wonderful news, clearly these TIGERS ARE INTELLGENT ENOUGH ESCAPE FAR FROM HUMANS WHO HUNT THEM. AND WHAT THIS HAS DONE NOW PROBIDED POACHERS AND HUNTERS OF THE EXISTANCE OF THESE LOVELY CREATURES...................WHICH YOU AND I KNOW WILL BE HUNTED AND KILLED.
    Will the BBC and this crew take full responsibility for their murder? No They'll blame the local people for the killings for money.

    The location of these tigers should NOT have been disclosed.

  • Comment number 4.

    Needle in haystack springs to mind. Bhutan is a big place, one of the most isolated and inaccessible countries in the world. We haven't revealed the location other than naming the country. Bhutan is one of the most devoutly Buddhist nations in the world, fervent protection of the environment is a top priority for the Bhutanese people and government. It's always easy to put a negative spin on every piece of positive news.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm super excited to see the series. Good work, Gordon. All your previous work has also been brilliant and not fruitless! Tigers of the Emerald Forest was a fantastic programme on the now-lost-and-reintroduced tigers of Panna. But please, be more optimistic about the tiger. It is the most beautiful creature to have ever walked the planet, and although that's what perhaps has caused their sometimes seemingly terminal decline, there are many rays of hope for the species. Finding tigers in Bhutan is surely a spectacular find, but the main hope of the species lies in the Indian forests. India still has 2000-odd tigers in the wild and that is more than were there in 1972 when India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and launched Project Tiger. So although most of the news in the last decade has been negative, India's main tiger reserves continue to thrive and sometimes have more tigers than they can sustain. The tiger must and will survive, but it's we who have to make sure that happens.

    Another question I had was this: in the BBC article that talks about your remarkable find (http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8998000/8998042.stm%29, it says that these Bhutan mountains are the only ones to have known populations of tigers, leopards and snow leopards. But doesn't the Namdapha National Park and Biosphere Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh in India also boast all those three big cat species in addition to the clouded leopard? I was under the impression that that was the case and the only habitat that boasted 4 big cat species in the same wilderness.

  • Comment number 6.

    Fantastic news about the tigers in Bhutan. Having been to that beautiful country twice, I would expect them to much safer than the tigers in India. The Bhutanese respect nature. Unlike the foothills of the Himalayas in surrounding countries, Bhutan still has millions of trees and the forests are protected from too much tree cutting. I remember my guide telling me that for every three cut down, two had to be planted. In two visits, seventeen years apart, there appeared to be just as much forest on the second trip.

  • Comment number 7.

    In my comment (at 5:34pm) I made a typo. It should read "for every TREE cut down, two had to be planted".

  • Comment number 8.

    Thanks for your comments and praise ProMal. I hope you enjoy the series. I agree that the tiger is one of the most beautiful creatures to walk this earth, above and below the clouds! I am optimistic and the message the series gives out is an optimistic one, all is not lost, we can save the Tiger. However, not enough is being done. My pessimism is rooted in seeing first hand how a healthy population can be wiped out by illegal poaching in the blink of an eye. It's estimated that Tigers are being killed at a rate of one per day to supply the trade in parts. Such losses long term will spell disaster unless more is done.

    Yes you're right, Namdapha National Park does indeed boast those three big cat species, but the point being made in the BBC article was that the valley in question is the only place on earth known where Tiger, Snow Leopard and Leopard practically overlap. We could have feasibly got all three on one camera trap. Boy, I wish we had!

  • Comment number 9.

    Fantastic! I read pugmarks has been found few months ago but i did not expect a such surprise. We almost cry.
    Is there a way to see the docu from another way? We are from France and we don't have BBC one over there.
    Any replays video somewhere? Thanks in advance.

  • Comment number 10.

    'significant discovery for tiger survival' I would argue just the opposite. To publish the existence of these tigers world wide is irresponsible, they will now be the object of their main predator - man. Photographers of wild life should have respect for animals and in the case of a species that is close to extinction leave well alone. Tiger parts are sought after in the far east and now a new market has been opened for them.

  • Comment number 11.

    This is wildlife documentary at its best. I second what was mentioned before - the DVD would sell great, and a part of the income could be devoted to help support national park guards in tiger range countries.

    Compliments to the people and the government of Bhutan - they truly care for their natural heritage, and most countries can learn from them.

    Also, I disagree that this will help poachers more than conservation - it is no secret that tigers exist in Bhutan. One more thing: Namdapha in north-east India, mentioned here, is a remote, relatively untouched park that was never filmed, little visited, yet still its tigers have been wiped out, or almost so: intensive camera-trap studies have not recorded any tigers in over 2000 camera trap nights. Sources:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V5X-4S9R896-1&_user=10&_coverDate=05/31/2008&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1468546715&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=59bbba18e9f925c47bb3dfba4bb77354&searchtype=a

  • Comment number 12.

    I am extremely excited and looking forward to this programme because its shot entirely in my country, Bhutan!!! :D Yeyyyy...!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    It's great so far but the overly dramatic music really really spoils it. Stop it, just let the story and the stunning photography be enough.

  • Comment number 14.

    I am absolutely thrilled at seeing this programme about the beautiful tiger and hope it all helps to prevent ALL of the animals seen in this programme, from becoming endangered, especially the magnificent tiger.

    I would also like to say that I am pleased that Dr Alan Rabinowitz is a member of this expedition, as I too have leukemia and love the fact that he has stated that he doesnt think about it. Exactly how I deal with it and to treasure every moment and the added urgency that comes from having the condition.

    Sitting at home, watching this programme with Dr Alan Rabinowitz just increases the pleasure I will have.

    Looking forward to the remaining two programmes.

  • Comment number 15.

    This is wonderful work to see on my television. I've always loved tigers and was lucky that my first Royal Navy posting was HMS Tiger. I was lucky as a crew member to come in to direct physical contact with a tiger cub in Scotland. This lovely little creature you just wanted to put your arms round suddenly put it paws around your leg and the vast spread of claws appears but not a scratch.
    The most gentle and powerful combination there can be on this planet. How can people kill them for any reason, is beyond me. So keep up supporting work like this and you are earning my licence fee ten times over.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi Gordon - I get emotional just reading it! I was in Bhutan in May this year and while I was there, I had a close encounter with another big "cat" called Leo i.e. Leonardo di Caprio, the actor. He was with the WWF entourage together with the CEO as part of the WWF campaing to save the tigers. At first I thought it was a "boon-doggle" because I thought to myself, there are no tigers in the Himalayas?! Now, you have provided the evidence that there are! In fact the entourage were camping in Punakha and converged at Uma Paro where I had the close encounter. I wonder if you were part of that entourage at Uma Paro?

    Coincidentally, I am due to visit Bhutan again in November and then onward to India in search of tigers in Ranthambore and Panna National Parks. An Indian friend of mine said tigers in India are a "scam" as most people never get to see any and has put a wager for me to get a photo next to one! Fingers crossed, I will get lucky but to be able to visit Bhutan again and visit India, I am already lucky.

    I hope your documentary will not result in an overflow of tourists to Bhutan because I would hate to see Bhutan become commercialized. It has become my secret mountain retreat where one can find peace and solitude.

    Please release the DVD soon because the rest of the world can't watch it until then.

  • Comment number 17.

    The evidence of sighting Tigers at higher altitude has long been recorded in Bhutan. There are footage and camera trap pictures already captured since 2002. The report by BBC as the first footage is not true. The first pictorial evidence goes back to 2000 when first shot of tiger was got form camera trap in Thrumsing La National Park. In my account BBC footage should be 4th in line. Anyway, BBC has large coverage worldwide and should help excite people about importance of the mountain tiger in Bhutan at time of tiger crisis today. But BBC has not actually acknowledged those organizations in Bhutan conserving tigers so far which has infact helped them make this headlines in the wildlife conservation work. This is so unethical of BBC as a international broadcasting service.

    It is almost like BBC took the whole credit of wildlife conservationist in Bhutan in just in one shot without investing any for the conservation of Tigers in Bhutan. But on the other hand there are many donors in who contributed millions of $ for Tiger conservation in Bhutan who actually should be credit or their generosity.

  • Comment number 18.

    It is actually so stupid of Bhutan Government to all this BBC crew to enter Bhutan to make this footage and broadcast without investing single penny for the tiger conservation in Bhutan.

  • Comment number 19.

    The BBC nature team has done a remarkable job of actually bringing out a concrete scientific evidence to show the world that Tigers do roam the jungles at such high altitudes. For a Bhutanese villager they always believed that the majestic cats was always there and it was part of a normal life for them. Many innocent villagers have paid the price for its conservation through the loss of cattle, dear family members and sometimes even their whole livelihood. In case of such accidents,there are small incentives put in place by the government to compensate the farmers but in most cases it takes a long time to receive the benefits as it has to go through a long bureaucratic channel and sometimes may not receive at all. The confirmation of the knowledge of tigers existing at 4000 meters above sea level is an important finding for tiger conservation but on the other hand this is also a very important piece of information for tiger poachers. Although the BBC team has not revealed the exact location of their findings, the information that it can be found in Bhutan at an altitude of 4000meters is enough for the poachers and especially from the northern neighbors where the whole market lies for its medicinal value. Therefore, now it is going to become a even more herculean task for the wildlife conservation people in Bhutan to meet this challenge with lack of technical skills, proper equipments etc, I sincerely hope the concerned authorities involved in Tiger conservation (including BBC) will keep these emerging issues in mind and provide support to Bhutan and the neighboring tiger habitats to realise its conservation dreams for times to come and for the benefit of all mankind.

  • Comment number 20.

    I was excited on hearing that the BBC was showing a program on Tigers in Bhutan, unfortunately I was utterly dismayed when watching last night. Who exactly where we supposed to be watching? The film makers or the Tigers. It seemed to me that the program was more about the hyped up crew "struggling" through adversity to be the first to record Tigers in the Kingdom. This was extremely disingenuous of the BBC as a previous poster commented, there have been several recordings of Tigers in Bhutan.

    I have worked in Bhutan over the last 5 years and Tiger are very much an accepted fact of life to the Bhutanese. Why did the BBC not simply ask the Minister of Agriculture who oversees the National Biodiversity Centre. These people know more about Tigers in their country than any BBC film crew would.

    It seemed to me that the BBC was trying to mix a reality style docu-drama with a wildlife program, to poor effect. The real stars of the show, the Tigers, were relegated to a bit part. The editors seemed to prefer a human drama to explaining why Bhutan, an already well known UNESCO biodiversity hotspot is so far advanced in its wildlife conservation practices.

    I hope that the next 2 parts will undo some of the disappointment I felt when watching the program. Why were no local experts used or shown, why no reference to Bhutan being one of the worlds leading environmental conservation practitioners.

    If I knew nothing about Bhutan or Tigers, then the BBC would have me believe they were the first to document Tigers in Bhutan and what is even more unbelievable is how surprised the team seemed to be when they "discovered" them.

    Come on the BBC stop treating the viewing public like idiots, brushing off a perfectly good wildlife documentary subject with the modern need to add a reality TV slant. How can this compare to the world leading wildlife series of the past?

  • Comment number 21.

    Dear Gordon,

    An excellent work. Thank you highlighting such a pertinent issue with your gret skills and expertise, that too in Bhutan which is less known to the outside world. I enjoyed reading the TV blog post and other news articles on BBC One website.

    Unfortunately, I am still longing to see your beautiful documentaries on our TV screen. Since BBC ONE is not available in our country, I request the BBC team to air on BBC News channel. All would love to watch and appreciate your great work. Please see if BBC can broadcast on the BBC News channel.

    @PradiSatan: Even if the location is made known with great details, no Bhutanese will ever go and hunt the Tiger. We respect and there is a strong rules and regulation which government has put in place to preserve those Big Cats. Even if the Cats harm domestic animals, Government never allows people to hunt and kill. The Government compensates the owner of the livestock! So, there are no worries of hundting those speacil creatures which are treasure for small coutnry like ours: BHUTAN.

  • Comment number 22.

    I have yet to see this programme as I think that wildlife documentaries should concentrate on the wildlife, landscapes etc NOT the presenters, camera crew etc. How many minutes of the 60 were actually devoted to the tigers themselves? If the presenters were got rid of the three programmes could probably have been condensed into 1 50 - 60 minute programme with a voice over commentary concentrating solely on the tigers. Could those who have watched the 1st programme please give me some idea. There was another documentary early on in the year about collecting and photographing new species of wildlife in a forest, forget where, which seemed more interested in what the people were doing that in the beasts themselves. Come back David Attenborough the BBC needs you.

  • Comment number 23.

    Golly, some of you are so keen to jump on the film makers and the BBC for even daring to make such a programme! There are many many people who do not have the opportunity or funds to travel to places like Bhutan, people who care about wild creatures and support in their own small way by fundraising for conservation projects or by promoting such projects. Films such as this enable more people to know about the plight of the Tiger and the importance of habitats for all the creatures in that particular area for instance. Information about this enables more people to support the conservation, more people to CARE about tigers and many other wild creatures. That can only be a good thing!

    It has been clearly stated in several articles and interviews that any information or specific detail about locations would not be given to safeguard the area, so way to go the person above who gave names of areas and places :(

    My family and I loved the programme, and cannot wait for the next ones. I agree wholeheartedly about a DVD and/or BBC book - surely that could be managed and proportion of funds raised be given to tiger conservation?

  • Comment number 24.

    I wish this programme was made with sound effects similar to BBC plant earth DVDs. The sound effect of this programme is like the ones you hear in celebrity reality show "get me out of here". It cheapens the whole thing.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Gordon,
    There have been a few grumblings about too much people and not enough animals, but i think you need a certain amount of human element. It is not just about the tiger but also our relationship with this magnificent animal and what the future holds.
    Many people have no idea what it takes to succeed and get results on expeditions like this so the human element is needed. However, there is a limit to this.
    I was just wandering, how did you get involved with this project? nd would you go back in the future?

    Great programme, it is something i would love to do, sooner rather than later

    Stephen

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Gordon,
    First of all, congratulations on your amazing work. I have to say I don't agree with a lot of people who are after 'pure 100% animal' documentaries. I like both styles - I like how it shows the journey, which is as important as when you actually get there. I also hope it highlights how difficult it is to make this TV and alert the world to such issues. Having worked in TV, it never fails to anger me how easily people rubbish the work of people in telly, seeing as how hard it is to make, especially things like Lost Land of the Tiger.

    To those who think the poachers will now go straight out and kill the tigers - if remote camera traps are the only thing that will capture these tigers, despite the careful and respectful movements of a BBC film crew, I would say the tigers have a good chance of staying hidden, and as the program said, Bhutan is an incredibly Buddhist nation, who respect animals greatly.

    And as for the BBC donating money - remember their remit to be impartial? If they start donating to the tigers, they'd have to donate to EVERY charity - sorry to be so hardnosed people, but this is the reality. The job of TV is to bring us these things and make us aware, it's up to us what we do with our new knowledge, so instead of sitting at your computer moaning at people online, go and raise money for the tigers.

    Gordon, the Lost Land series are why I am happy to pay the BBC my licence fee, and I know my licence fee wouldn't even make a small dent in how much it costs to make such a series, but luckily there is enough of us appreciate the work and programs! I go with LazyRizzo's comments, and finish up by saying keep up the fantastic program making!

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm afraid that now, as the land of tigers and snow leopards has been revealed, poachers will try to reach their territory to hunt them to extinction. Such rare and endangered species should be left alone, without drawing unnecessary attention.

  • Comment number 28.

    Great programmes.

    Does anyone know how long a lifespan tigers can have in the wild, if they are not killed by hunters? And are there ever any family groups, or are they completely solitary animals?

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    Tonights programme not only tells where they are.. they say the 'Tiger Density' is really good. So Poachers..not only do you know where they are, you now know it is really worth going. The streets are paved with GOLD!! get there fast before your competitors, or wait for the next programme, maybe the BBC will need to hire some guides.. and you can get them to pay your expenses and hunt whilst they are asleep.. NAIVE, ARROGANT and DISGUSTING.

  • Comment number 31.

    I think this three part documentary is visually stunning and also very moving in as much as the passion of all the crew towards saving one of the most beautiful majestic creatures on this planet. The only downside to this documentary is the fact that up until now it has been a very secretive place for the tigers and the rest of the beautiful creatures residing in this location, how long will it be now before the poachers turn up on the doorstep of this fragile haven because we have now broadcast it to the world!!!! I like the majority of people who have put their thoughts on this site would love to save this wonderful creature from extinction, but unless the powers that be can stop the brutal killings of these animals for medicinal purposes, i cant see where this will end! What happens when theyve killed all tigers for this chinese herbal medicine, what will they do then!?

  • Comment number 32.

    Gordon, please don't feel guilty about your job. It is wildlife film makers like you who keep me going - I am chronically ill and mostly housebound. Apart from looking out of the window into the garden (where I don't see many tigers) wildlife documentaries are the only contact I have with the natural world and often the only things that stop me from going a bit mad. So thank you for your work. And keep up the jigging around in front of the camera, you're very good at it!
    I loved the style of these documentaries, I think it's important to see how wildlife films are made so we can appreciate all the hard work that goes into them.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think there is a confusion here. Those who say no need to worry about poaching because Bhutan is a buddhist nations is not getting what commentators are talking about. I am not worried about Bhutanese because they will never poach - it is not in their nature. However, I am worried about poaching from non Bhutanese from the boarder areas. The boarders on the south and north of Bhutan are not well controlled. Already in the north there are complaints from the Bhutanese farmer that some people from China (Tibet) cross the boarder without any problem to collect Cordyceps. It is so naive of the Bhutanese government to allow BBC to document. The gain from this programme in the form of donation is less than what the tiger population would gain if they were left unknown to the world. People are selfish especially those who think that such programme bring joy to them because they would never be able to travel to Bhutan. Guess what - the safety of the tigers are more important they your joy to me. Now that the programme is already aired I would like to request all viewers to donate because Bhutan has done a lot. Bhutan is a poor country and already so much resources has been spent in protecting the forest (nature). Bhutan alone should not take the responsibility because tigers and forest have positive impact to the whole world. Yes - I have made my donations and have been doing it for a long time now.

  • Comment number 34.

    Whilst I have been glued to the screen and it has been heart warming to see tigers in their natural world and BBC has done yet another incredible job of bringing this to our living rooms, it greatly troubles me that by broadcasting that tigers are present in this area (which some people say has been known by the Bhutan people for a long time) and the setting up of the tiger corridor - are we not broadcasting to poachers this is another source for your wicked trade? I seem to recall a similar story being broadcast about 9-10 years ago about the Congo Baes (spelling?) where there were said to be thousands of jungle elephants and gorillas. We now hear they are under threat because of bush meat and poaching for ivory!
    So BBC is this responsible broadcasting and in the best interests of protecting the tigers. It's a difficult one and I just hope those closely involved with the conservation of these magnificent creatures are sure this was a wise decision.
    As to the team - amazing stuff and just love Gordon's work, he is a star.

  • Comment number 35.

    I enjoyed this 3 part "drama" and the BBC should commission more of these types of documentaries. Not only we got to see the mysterious country of Bhutan framed by the Himalayas but also we saw all sorts of wildlife with emphasis on the fantastic tiger. I love the way the whole series has been filmed and presented with different experts and it gave a sense of being there with them as they were discovering things. I have got to say that those leeches looked really scary, I'd rather meet a tiger any day! I hope that the idea of the tiger corridor along the himalayan foothills will work, it is a good idea and I agree with other commentators that the loss of the tiger would be a gigantic loss for the world and mankind.As one Bhutanese farmer said " the tiger is the king of the animal kingdom", it has inspired countless mythologies and walking the earth with this animal is a grand honour.

  • Comment number 36.

    I congratulate the team for bringing such wonderful information,photography,and again raising our awareness of this wonderful animal 'The Tiger' and the real danger of extinction. I appreciated the inclusion of other wild life living in this area and the environment,which gave the whole picture of creatures there, not just the tigers.All round eduction in fact. In Gordon's entry at the top of this blog he writes about what they all had to live like whilst on this expedition, and it is to be applauded,not just the basic survival facilities, but the danger must not be overlooked to their health and well being. I know I would not be able to do it.So I was somewhat amazed that it has been criticised on here re the music,and style of presentation, was more like a docudrama. I think if you are paying that much attention to those sort of details,you are not focusing on the main event here,gathering data to establish to what extent the tiger is present and thriving in this area. It was a great to catch the personality of them all,and to see honest filming of how they worked as a team, and the risks they took just to bring this to us sitting in our comfortable armchairs watching in our homes. It was right to show George's reaction to the pictures that Alan Rabinowitz was showing him on his laptop of the mutilation of these beautiful creatures. Abhorant as those pictures were, they are necesaary to shock us into realising how Humans can be so cruel to the animals on this planet. Alan is dedicated and has the inner strength to realise In my opinion, that you really need to see the stark truth of the matter,if you are serious about trying to make a difference. Although others have mentioned their concern about broadcasting the location of the tigers, I find it hard to believe that the poachers are unaware already, so hopefully there is a problem with that area to them, or at least there will be if it is declared a protected conservation area and strict regulation will try and control any poachers. It is a catch 22. You can never control everything completely we all know this, but if the idea of Alan's to make a connected 'belt' along the foot of the Himalayas for the tigers to be left to live naturally, it is worth this unique expedition.
    As to Adam Hill comment: In the second part local experts and local people are consulted on their first hand experiences, and also local inhabitants asked their opinions on living potentially alongside a natural conservation area. It seems to me that it is being carefully explored on all levels.Alan Rabinowitz the Tiger expert says early on in the program that little data has been collected for this particular section of Bhutan, which is why they are being careful to collect data, visual evidence, factual accounts from locals and physical evidence and how much, to present to the government or who ever the authority that is interested in knowing, what the status is "currently" in that area in particular. And from what I have seen so far,it is not a walk in the park for the team !!

    I think the BBC's presentation and whole film making of this expedition is right on the money, and I look forward to seeing the last airing tonight.
    Refreshing change to just film and voice over documentaries.

    Lastly,Alan Rabinowitz is a truly remarkable human being as he is suffering with cancer, but not letting it stop him from being involved in this important awareness raising program.

  • Comment number 37.

    Such passion and effort given for these endangered animals is amazingly reassuring that they have a voice through these vital and engaging programmes. All of the Lost Land series have been fantastic. I really hope there is a future for these beautiful big cats, and it is great to learn of a plan in action for them. I long to know about the Amur Leopard too, or is it too late for them already?

  • Comment number 38.

    Gordan this programme has me hooked ! I love anything to do with widlife and conservation and I truely admire the work of you and your colleagues. Your passion for these animals is extremly moving to me and I wish that more people could have the same passion for conserving our endadged wildlife. There are always going to be people that have their negative views about programmes like this, but we need these programmes to educate and inform people. Not enough is done to protect these amazing animals or any other of our endagered species, but it's these types of programme that inspire people to get out an help. You are all remarkable people and the fact that Alan Rabinowitz has dedicated his life to help the Tigers whilst suffering from incurable Cancer is testament to us all that we can do anything if we are passionate and dedicated enough. I can't wait for part 3 tonight :)

  • Comment number 39.

    Thank you BBC team for coming up with such an exciting film on tigers in Bhutan. I really liked the program and this will certainly help to spread the tiger conservation message to the world. Today tigers population in the world has reached to the brink of extinction and the challenge is more on tigers themselves to hide and run from the hands of few kind rusty hearted poachers and dealers than the people those who care for them. Its good that BBC has REDISCOVERED tigers in high mountains of Bhutan. The verbal evidence of tigers roaming on the mountains of Bhutan dates back to several decades and the department of Forests and Parks Services, Bhutan has confirmed few years back through scientific findings. To the local villagers and herdsmen, sighting of tigers in the forest of Bhutan is nothing new and by no means a surprise or magical discovery.
    The documentary would have been much more interesting, had the team featured atleast few Bhutanese people who have been working for all these years for the cause of tiger conservation and Biodiversity in Bhutan. To me I feel that this documentary is a conservation campaign as well as the trade or poaching advertisement to the tigers living in peace. The documentary would definitely spread the message of tiger conservation campaign, but this is not going to filter the lens and drums of poachers. Regarding the title " Lost land of the tiger" I am not sure how people take it,but personally, I feel that Bhutan has never been a lost land to tigers and a missing link atall and infact it has been the most widey used place where tigers roam freely.
    I salute to the conservasionists of Bhutan the silent heroes (forest guards and forest rangers), who are not featured to the world today in this documentary. To the world, Bhutan has been showcased, but I do hope that the heroes (forest guards and rangers) who are practically conserving the tigers will not be demotivated for not acknowledging in this film. I am optimistic that BBC will also invest fund for the cause of tiger conservation in Bhutan for the protecting those tigers who made this documentary an extraordinary by looking after their cameras in the forest.
    I really enjoyed the film and looking forward for tonights episode.

  • Comment number 40.

    Having had the honour of spending 3 months in central India visiting many of the small catchments of tigers. I was blessed to see tiger in all but one locations. Lets hope and pray the proposed corridor proves to be a sucess and great efforts are made to get on board the many local people's who's lifes will be touched by the project. Maybe, just maybe the Tiger may have a future on our wonderfull earth.
    All the great minds out there need to find a solution to the Chinese medicines issue. How do we change centuries of belief in so called benifits of tiger parts?

  • Comment number 41.

    What an absolutely, fantastic, mesmerising, intersting programme! PLEASE can we have more like this!!

    Well Done to the whole team wo made this documentary it was brilliant!!

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    I'm still choked by this great news, are there any charities that I can donate/ support to help Bhutan protect these amazing animals forever?

  • Comment number 44.

    I would like to congratulate the BBC team on a very interesting and informative series of programmes on the tiger in Bhutan. I was lucky enough to have been born and worked in the North East of India where I did visits into the rain forest that 'used to be there'. Today I Google Earth mapped the areas of forest in Assam that I knew so well and found to my great sorrow that such a lot of it has gone. It is no use 'protecting' the tiger if the habitat that it needs to survive is being wiped out an alarming rate. No habitat will mean that tigers will not have the prey species to live on and will come into direct human conflict just to try to feed themselves. This situation is also seen with wild elephants in Assam where they are now coming into constant conflict with humans that have encroached and destroyed the habitat of the elephant. As we all know, each piece of the jigsaw of life relies on the next piece of that jigsaw fitting together. Dr Rabinowitz's idea of a 'tiger corridor' is fine but that corridor needs protection from human interference and depredation of the rain forest. There are quite a few people in Assam that are working desperately hard to try and make a change to the attitude of the local people and stress to them how important it is that all aspects of wildlife needs to be protected for the benefit of all.
    I was indeed very pleased to see my good friend, Kashmira Kakati, was involved with the first episode and shew how her camera trapping had produced such good results with photos of carnivores in Assam.

    Assam has some beautiful areas, and many people know of Kaziranga reserve. And as has been mentioned, Namdapha is one, and also the Dibru-Saikhowa reserve. There are other reserves in Assam both on the North and South banks of the River Brahmaputra located from areas on the Bhutan border right up to the border with Burma (Myanmar). I would highly recommend that people visit these areas if they can.

    Well done BBC - documentaries about North East India have been a long time coming!! Let's see more on the other reserve forests and parks of that wonderful area - its not all tea estates you know!

  • Comment number 45.

    Thank you Gordon and all the BBC team who put together this magnificent 3-part series. I have sat, captivated and moved, for the last 3 nights, watching the wonderful footage you were able to capture. It's the first show I've actually wanted to watch on the BBC for many a year.
    The tiger has to be the most beautiful, majestic animal on the planet. The evil b*stards that poach should face the death penalty.
    I pray the Bhutan tigers remain safe and the corridor does come to fruition.
    I have total admiration for the commitment you and your team have for trying to save the tiger. It restores my faith in the human race seeing your efforts.
    I am heading to Nepal for the first time in my life next month and have a trip to Chitwan lined up in the vague hope of seeing a tiger.
    I would be interested to know the best way you recommend I could donate to help conserve the tiger population.
    Thanks again,
    Rob

  • Comment number 46.

    I would just like to say how much my daughter age 11 and I enjoyed watching Lost Land of the Tiger. It was fantastic to see so many beautiful big cats living in the wild without man getting in their way. We were also very shocked to hear how the amount of Tigers in wild has depleted so quickly. We hope the plans for the future of the Tigers in the area are achieved and that we will be able to enjoy them for many years to come. I hope to one day look at pictures of Tigers with my grandchildren and not have to explain to them they were once on the planet but no longer exist. is there anyway we can help and make a donation to ensure their future?

  • Comment number 47.

    A big thanks for all the WONDERFULL, FANTASTIC images of Bhutan and their beautiful tigers! What an amazing trip of a lifetime it must have been for the whole crew.
    Here in Holland i have been absolutely thrilled to see the 3 part series and even alerted some friends ( who have been trekking through Bhutan last year) about this Lost land of the tiger!
    Is there any way that we as viewers can help?
    Even by giving out a DVD, i would buy it immediatly if it would support the Himalayan corridor that Alan is fighting for.
    I hope that we now really start thinking and acting about living WITH nature.
    Thanks again for a beautiful series.
    Margo, Haarlem, the Netherlands

  • Comment number 48.

    This has been a fantastic series, I don't agree that it makes wildlife more vulnerable we need this sort of exposure to highlight the real possibility of losing some of the world's most beautiful creatures. It has made me want to help in any way I can to save the tiger. Will there be a link for information on ways to help this cause? I love your work Gordon and think you make a wonderful presenter as you show such raw emotion.
    x

  • Comment number 49.

    I have just manged to watch episode 1 of the Lost land of the Tigers on BBC Scotland. Can anybody confirm that BBC Scotland is planning to show Episodes 2 & 3.

  • Comment number 50.

    I was moved beyond words at this footage and discovery and hold new hope we may save these truly magnificent beasts.
    My nine year old was also moved to tears so more hope that future generations are being made aware of the situation so we may do more.
    We would be keen to know how people can help.
    Thanks

  • Comment number 51.

    I find it rare to be so engrossed in and moved by a documentary. This was just the most fantastic programme and indeed for such a worthy cause.

  • Comment number 52.

    The trouble with the position that I see people offering here, that the tigers' location should not even have been hinted at, is that there is no such thing as security through obscurity! Tiger poachers will already be well aware of the possibility of an untapped resource in the Himalayas, we need not doubt that. They hear the same stories that the BBC documentary crews do - they don't watch the BBC to find their next target. If they _did_ they might learn not to poach, but to care and protect instead.

    But the documentary DOES introduce both the opportunity and the danger to the tigers that the mountain corridor would offer (and introduces it thoughtfully and well) to an audience that, hopefully, will care enough about these magnificent animals - and all the amazing wildlife of the region which is similarly endangered - to actually DO something! It raises awareness of the futile uselessness of Chinese "medicine" which is the primary danger these animals face as well and it also raises the profile of the animals and the role of the Bhutan government in their protection with a wider audience than that government can easily attain by itself. How? Because the BBC and its wildlife documentaries are respected world-wide and devoured wholesale in the US and that actually matters a great deal.

    If this show filled you with a creeping dread that you or your children might one day wake up in a world where there were no wild tigers then good: job done. Especially if it made you care enough to want to change that situation. . .

    We cannot and should not try to hide the tigers: all that does is allow them to dwindle into myth unseen. Obviously posting GPS co-ordinates for the tiger sightings would be irresponsible in the extreme but you can't hide the Himalayas and even Bhutan is still a big place to search as Gordon so correctly pointed out.

    This was an amazing series and I'm glad I saw it. It was beautiful, awe-inspiring, breath-taking, dramatic, informative and (licence fee notwithstanding) free and I can hardly wait for the next adventure!

  • Comment number 53.


    I would like to thank the whole team for what was a brilliant piece of work in finding hopefully, a safe haven for these magnificent creatures
    I was also touched by the Bhutanese people who were only too willing to share their great country with Tigers and other species without predacious was a credit to them, and an example to others

    Great job Well done

    Mitch

  • Comment number 54.

    What was the stripe recognition software used in the film Gordon?

  • Comment number 55.

    Fantastic work. I liked the style where we got to understand how the pictures were captured, and why the team operated in the way it did. It would be nice if there was a follow up to the programme that explained how the footage of Gordon and the others operating in the mountains were taken - especially when lost in the dark, rain with a snow leopard around! A Land of the Tiger Take II (!) I was quite happy that this story took three evenings to unfold.

    This is an inspirational programme, as much as the Attenborogh programmes were in his era. It will encourage and inspire a new generation of explorers, scientists, and filmakers. So a great job by the BBC.

  • Comment number 56.

    I enjoyed this series immensely and thought it was a fascinating insight into the work of naturalists today and its vital contribution to conservation and diversity. It was beautiful to watch and provided much human interest as well as a depth of insight into the natural world.

    It was very moving and rich in a way that little television is today - I don't think reality TV is a fair comparison. I feel I learned a great deal, my awareness of the issues has been raised. This is the kind of TV that the BBC excels at and I hope it is not lost in coming years as cuts bite. I'd love to see more like this but it is a rare gem.

    If it's true that there has been concrete scientific evidence captured of tigers in this location before, I do think that could have been made a little clearer, although the anecdotal evidence that existed was discussed quite widely in the documentary.

  • Comment number 57.

    I hope that you respond to my comments Gordan,I watched your program that you made and it was amazing! I just hope to god that people who hunt these wonderful animals do not start killing them now we all know where they live.It was good to see the people of Butan have a very positive attitude towards the tigers existance,Can the tiger be saved Gorden? After watching your program I would like to say YES,but now that there habitat has been uncovered and exposed, what can be done to protect them? KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GORDEN!

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi All, I just wanted to say what a totally amazing thing you have all done in finding Tigers in Bhutan and the Mountains. This is a big step for saving the Tigers as you say in creating the life corridor.
    There is a lot of the life corridors trying to be set up in Borneo to save Orangutans and pygmy elephants etc etc, i have just returned from a 2 month placement at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabillitation Centre, where i was caring for orangutans and also the current resident elephants...It was amazing and to hear that you guys are continuing to help all these wonderful creatures just makes me soooo happy.
    I was wondering how you get in to doing this type of work, i have always been soooo interested in conservation and the work that you do!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    I am an artist who paints alot of wildlife in her work. I was amazed by the images you got from the camera traps, particularly the one of the Snow Leopard cub! I was wondering if I could paint its portrait, then give a large some of the money from the sale of the painting to The Snow Leopard Trust? I assume the copyright of the image belongs to you as it was caught with your camera, so I thought you would be the best person to ask? This programme you produced moved me so much, its wonderful to know these stunning creatures are still surviving out there, and I would just like to do my bit to help them.
    Kind regards
    Louise

  • Comment number 60.

    What an amazing programme, to see footage of tigers in the wild made me and my family cry, Jake age 12, Willow age 6, Liz age 41 and Me age 46.

    This kind of good news is so very rare today, and makes the BBC and the team stand out once again with it's fantastic natural history programmes. Made all the better with a team that all clearly care about wildlife and are all fantastic at what they do.

    God Bless the American Guy who unfortunatly has Bone Cancer, i hope he gets to see his dreems come true.

    Cannot wait to get the Programme on DVD

  • Comment number 61.

    A wonderful find! It brought me to tears. I just don't understand how people could kill this wonderful animal. I hope people will sign the WWF petition to help save the tiger. Find it here. http://www.wwf.org.uk/how_you_can_help/donate_now/save_the_tiger/

  • Comment number 62.

    The image of the large male from last night's programme is seared in my mind - I can hardly think of anything else. It's a whole body experience for me - euphoria mixed with sick to the pit of my stomach and fear we will mess this up.

    Needle in a haystack it may be and I hope and pray that poachers won't find them as a result but they will try. We aren't talking about the local population being a risk to the tigers here of course but outsiders. Those that deal worldwide in the illegal trade of wildlife. The statement is that the locations of the tigers were protected - but can I just point out that pins on a map don't help with this. Hopefully the programme will mean that the Bhutan Government will take swift action to set up a protected area and enforce it? What is generally completely absent from programmes on endanger species is what individuals can do to help the cause. Why is that? How can I help? Tell me, I desperately want to know.

  • Comment number 63.

    I am a Bhutanese living in the UK and the Lost Land of the Tiger series was a rare experience. The operation was by far the largest and the most extravagant scientific expedition to take place in my country so far and it brought to the screen many parts of Bhutan which I have not seen before. The footages of the vast forests, gushing rivers and the high mountains were breathtaking and the expertise of the visiting scientists impressive. The use of the sophisticated cameras and the pictures they captured were amazing.
    Sadly, my praises end here. I could not help noticing a whopping gap in the representation of local knowledge and expertise. Apart from a couple supporting officers who featured briefly on the sidelines, the programme was dominated by visiting scientists and cameramen so much so that it looked almost like a reality docudrama rather than a film on nature. Why was there no mention of the works of Wildlife Conservation Division, Department of Forests and Park Services and National Biodiversity Centre in Bhutan and why were our cat specialists not at all featured in it? The programme does not give even a hint of the vigorous nature conservation policies and programmes the Bhutanese state and people have endured or the credit the foresters, who tirelessly work to protect the tigers, deserve. On the contrary, Bhutan was portrayed as a missing link in the tiger habitat puzzle rather than as the strongest link which Bhutanese proudly claim to be. Even worse is the team’s callous claim of the first discovery of tigers over 4000m above sea level. Bhutanese know this and our conservation specialists have already collected evidences to confirm this many years ago. It is wrong that a team with money can walk in and claim all credits in one sweep.
    It is no mystery that there are many tigers in Bhutan, even above 4000m. My family’s herd is kept at about 4000m throughout the summer and we regularly lose our cattle to tigers and stories of encounters with tigers are all too common. But these Bhutanese stories, according to the presenters, are ‘rumours’ or ‘legends’ and only the team can find out ‘if they are true’. I was appalled by many such parochial and patronizing views and condescending remarks. The local farmers have knowledge and direct experience of the tigers’ behaviour and movements no less than the specialists and it is primarily their knowledge, their outlook on nature and approach to wildlife that tigers are relatively flourishing in Bhutan. The translation of what the few locals who featured in the programme said were way off the line. The programme does very little to acknowledge the local knowledge and outlooks. I work as an academic researcher in Humanities and we consider it important for researchers to respect local sources and cultures. What the team should have done is a collaborative research with national counterparts to respect and build the work that locals have already done. But, it was a very extractive operation filled with offensive Eurocentric superciliousness and Orientalist imagination.
    Finally, the overriding concern of the programme is the conservation of tigers? Can a few scientists and cameramen arriving as champions on what they say ‘could be the last chance to save this magnificent animal’ really save the tigers? The most important proof of this will be in what ensues from the operation. We may hope that the operation is followed by substantial funding and conservation efforts. Otherwise, what was a primetime entertainment, broadcast both on TV and internet, may as well end up being only an advertisement of Bhutan’s tigers to poachers across the borders. Meanwhile, we may have to pray even harder that the poachers do not show up with the same thermal imaging cameras as the BBC team did. The programme will no doubt help our government’s drive to bring 100,000 tourists a year, roughly 1000 intruders for each tiger; so much for preserving an undisturbed corridor. We hope our foresters and conservationists will continue their hard work despite the team’s snub, for Bhutan will now see even harder times in protecting what some of us affectionately call meme chedpo - ‘the great grandpa’.

  • Comment number 64.

    I have been to Bhutan 11 times, walking, trekking, travelling and talking to people. Porters, local people and guides have known for ages there were tigers present, high up. Even recorded in local press. Late 1995 tiger cons. prog. launched in Bhutan with WWF and Royal Parks Forestry Div. Lllendrup Tharchen is due to speak on conservation in Bhutan 28th Sept. thro' Bhutan Society in London.
    If you wanted to keep location secret you should not have mentioned Laya.
    Financial pressure is very great from China, and tigers are under threat in Bhutan believe me - if people can go to 5,000 metres to collect cordeceps, and they do, they can go there to hunt tiger.

    Well done for spotlighting the general tiger threat in fascinating progs.

  • Comment number 65.

    The 127th issue of Headlines Himalaya (www.resourceshimalaya.org) states as follows:

    BBC NATURAL HISTORY AND HIGH ALTITUDE TIGERS
    The BBC natural history has filmed tigers in the Bhutan Himalayas at high altitudes. They had suspected that tigers may also be living at higher altitude, following anecdotal reports by villagers. The film team left camera traps for three months to see what they had caught on camera.

    In contrast, Bhutan tigers were earlier recorded at 4,110 m during Yonzon's study in 2000 who also took Bhutan's first tiger picture in the wild in ThrumsingLa National Park at 3,000 m on April 11, 2000. Tigers in Bhutan have a wide vertical distribution because forests are contiguous.

    http://www.resourceshimalaya.org/?s=trcontent&a=browse&con_id=fd842f036c651770a6c8f2e3f9d2066d&titl
    e=BhutansHighAltitudeTigers

  • Comment number 66.

    Wonderful stuff. Gordon, it occurs to me that it is only the isolation of Africa that stopped tigers colonizing the African rainforest. The top predator there, I imagine, is the leopard and yet the prey base could support and accommodate tigers, I would suggest. Isn,t there ever a case for carefully managed introductions before haphazard ones occur from, for example, captive, home grown south African tigers? Leopards, lions and tigers have co-existed after all, for centuries.

  • Comment number 67.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]The 127th issue (September 15 - 21) of Headlines Himalaya, weekly e‐News is an attempt to keep its global readers abreast with the happenings in the Himalaya. THE BBC HAS FILMED HIGH-ALTITUDE TIGERS IN BHUTAN AND CONTESTS IT AS FIRST.
    You can also find the full text at: http://www.resourceshimalaya.org/content_files/HH22september2010_sAnUmAn4c9af6c566d70.pdf

  • Comment number 68.

    Of course the series was beautifully shot and deeply moving. It was also patronising, naive and irresponsible. Who will save the tigers from the BBC?

  • Comment number 69.

    Hi Gordan,
    Thought you might like to know off my experience this year in seeing Tigers.
    I have always wanted to see Tigers in the wild and whilst on a trip to India earlier this year I took the chance on visiting a Tiger reserve.
    My friend and I headed for Sillari Pench Tiger reserve in north Maharastra, 80 kilometers north of Nagpur. When we arrived late at night at the reserve we found out to our disbelief that it was actually closed for the yearly census. However, not to be deterred we spoke to some teachers who were on a trip from Calcutta. They informed us that if we went over the border to Madhya Pradesh we could go on a Tiger Safari as there was no Census in that State but in the same Pench reserve. So at 5am the next day we headed out a very cold morning in pursuit of this incredible creature.
    With blankets covering us and cameras at the ready we set off. But after about an hour and half there was nothing to be spotted. Then as the sun broke through one of our guides spotted a Mother Tiger stretching out just yards away from the track and our vehicle. Then to our amazement two cubs,later we found out that they were about 18 months old. The Mother did not seem to pleased with our presence and summoned the cubs for a walk in the jungle. The Mother then stopped at a large tree and scratched herself for a few minutes. Then as we looked upon in further amazement another two Cubs appeared !!!! Eventually the Mother took all 4 Cubs up along the track in to a watering hole. This was just a few yards away on the other side of the track and our vehicle !!! After a play and a splash the pack moved on.
    I will never forget this day for the rest of my life and feel privileged that I was able to 1 Tiger let alone 5. I've never heard of 5 Tigers been seen together like that before. I was always led to believe that a Mother could only cope with two cubs due to the threat of danger from mainly male Tigers. Don't know if you can elaborate on this fact?

  • Comment number 70.

    Susie, Phuntsho was spot on. It also highlights that the bottom line is will and money. More tourism to bhutan will fund more protection of it's assets. Millions of us will be hitting websites offering holidays to that region. Tigers will survive but we can't be complacent or reliant on a captive bred gene pool. So the BBC have done well to highlight the issue.

  • Comment number 71.

    An amazing programme, although I was disappointed that it had to cut short of showing the team together at the end recounting their experiences and celebrating. However, I do share the deep concern of many viewers with whom I have spoken and some of your bloggers - who is going to protect these newly exposed tigers now. As with everything in this life it would seem, if someone with the necessary funds wishes to gain access they will, whether with or without the permission of Bhutan. Was this given consideration when making the film, by those taking part (all of whom I thought terrific by the way) and the BBC? What safeguards have been put in place to make sure the people and animals are not now exploited?

  • Comment number 72.

    i thought this programme just sdvertised the area to poachers and would be poachers.i was thinking i hope they have some good security there. but of course they dont.i was sickened watching the "struggles" of the team whilst the tiger is fast becoming extinct. people have commented that the poachers would have known about this area. but out of a few million people watching it.there could well be a few with bad intention. i wonder if they showed "tigers of the emerald forest on t.v. too.

  • Comment number 73.

    What a wonderful series. BBC always excels with documentaries but this one excels all others in my opinion. Thanks you very much and please let us have a follow up soon.

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    Lost land of the Tiger. An interesting series but with too much focus on the producer. Hearing and watching him say 'this is amazing; this is really amazing; this is absolutely amazing, etc' doesn't add very much for the viewers. More on the flora and fauna of this beautiful country and fewer trite exclamations of surprise would have improved these programmes.

  • Comment number 76.

    I loved this series but tend to agree in some respects to the Bhutanan currently living in the UK, but I would love to be involved physically with helping Gordon and Steve protecting this lovely animal, and hope Gordon sees this and replies as he has down on other peoples comments, or directs me towards how I can help or train to help I would volunteer at the moment. We have to do all we can as current humans on this planet to protect this lovely animal and stop the poachers and change peoples attitudes towards poisoning and killing these tigers for medicines and inform people that these parts that are used for medincines do not work and other medincines can take their place. Please stop this outrage. Gordon if you read please contact me.

  • Comment number 77.

    Loved the programmes, but one thing bothered me slightly... We'd all watched the build up to the final episode, where we heard the passionate pleas of Dr. Alan. His own battle with Cancer, and the battle to establish the presence of Tigers in this land. So why were we not able to see the 'reaction' of him 'seeing' the shots you found on the Camera Traps? Instead we cut more or less straightaway to George presenting a document to the Prime Minister! Surely this would have been just as fitting for us to witness this, given the previous comments from Dr. Alan.

    Still, thanks Gordon, and all the team for delivering another fascinating series. ( Will we be seeing you on Autumnwatch later?)

  • Comment number 78.

    Gordon, where can I safely donate to the Himalayan tiger preservation belt? The program was fantastic and emotional. I am proud of the work you guys have done.

  • Comment number 79.

    An absolutely wonderful series of programmes, that restored my faith in British television again. This was a beautiful, emotional and gripping story, with heroic work by all the presenters, cameramen/women and crew. I shall be thinking about the tigers and Bhutan for a long time to come.
    Thank you.

  • Comment number 80.

    I cannot even put into words how much this programme, as well as the other Lost Land series, has inspired me to help big cats. I have always known I would work with animals but knowing that so many others out there are dedicating thier lives to saving the planets precious wildlife is astounding.

    Alan is incredible. If only more people used thier lives as fully as he is using his the world would be a better place. Cliche I know, but I believe it to be true.

    Also, to comment on some of the other comments, broadcasting this show and the information in it will not be helping or encouraging poachers. Without Lost Land I doubt the majority of people who watched the shows would even be aware of the tigers existence in Bhutan, or even the existence of the country itself. So without that knowledge, how would we help Bhutan protect its tigers? The more people the tigers have on thier side the better, and the more likely Bhutans government is to put protecction in place.

    To conclude my essay-like comment, and bravo to those of you who finished it, even I didnt know it would be this long, I would like to say wasnt Gordons hair fabulous? Had to be said.

    Please release these programmes on DVD and donate the proceeds to saving Tigers and making the tiger corridor a definate reality!

  • Comment number 81.

    Hi,
    I'm a Bhutanese currently studying in Australia and i would like to thank BBC for the job they have done, they took the conservation of Tigers to a bigger platform where the whole world could see. Bhutan is a small country and most of the people doesn't know where it is so forget about the tigers living there.

    However i must say that i have been slightly disappointed by their presentation (i have just seen part of it on SBSone and haven't the whole series). The presence of tigers was scientifically captured in 2000 & 2002 as far as i know and have also personally seen them in 2005. Some of the readers have also acknowledge on the scientific findings. The crew should have given at least some credit to those findings as well.

    In addition the crew should also have given credit to those people (forest guards and rangers) who spent more than 15days in a month in those mountains patrolling & securing the areas with very minimum facilities camping around to keep off the poachers. The hardship they face in creating the so called the 'lost lands of Tigers'. With no proper weapons they have to face the well equipped poachers, they capture them literally by bare hands and ultimately have to release them because it becomes politically sensitive (coz the poachers are from the neighboring countries)
    The credit should have also been given to the Bhutanese Government for all the efforts taken to preserve the environment & to the donor agencies (please note that i'm not seeking publicity of Bhutan to promote tourism, we have no shortage of tourist).

    As one of the reader stated about TV maker's job and the authors love for the Tigers, i would like to suggest the author to make a series about the difficulties faced in conserving the Tigers too, which would bring more insights to the viewers.

    Just for the record Bhutan is also home to wide rage of endangered species, some of which has been scientifically proved and some yet to be (but tigers was not one of them)..

    thanks again for the effort..cheers and hoping to watch the program

  • Comment number 82.

    It is something to appreciate that BBC has done this for Bhutan. But what is interesting is the claim that this was the first time that evidence of tigers were caught in high altitude. It is not true because i have see and i have the photographic evidence of tiger's picture taken in snowline and also in another high altitude (both 4000+m), both in Bhutan. I am surprised how BBC missed this crucial evidence before claiming this claim. And like few of my countrymen have pointed out correctly that BBC hasnt mentioned anything about other stakeholders in the conservations efforts in Bhutan like the forest guards, rangers and donors like WWF who has contributed a lot to the success of tiger's survival in Bhutan.
    But have to agree that the program was good!

  • Comment number 83.

    Gordon may well see/reply to posts above, but he's currently in the USA completing a film about black bears. You can keep up with him via his twitter feed http://twitter.com/gordonjbuchanan he does reply on there when he can.

    As to support and what can we do etc. Try looking at Panthera - the organisation which Alan Rabinowitz is connected with - spread the word via the email signup link, they have a facebook page link too on their website.

    http://www.panthera.org/content/lost-land-tiger-email-capture

  • Comment number 84.

    Hi Gordon,

    It seems that there's been some pretty negative feedback about this series, most of which I don't know enough facts about to comment on. However, one point I will argue is that I really liked the style of the documentary. It is very different from the David Attenborough style, which some people may prefer, but that doesn't make it a bad style. I found the insight into the techniques used very interesting. The presenters (for want of a better word that sums you all up) were very entertaining to watch too. Also, although an exciting amount of footage was obtained of tigers roaming the country, it simply wasn't enough to make a whole documentary on in the style of David Attenborough. I liked getting to see glimpses of the documentation process and learning about other species in the country in between sightings.

    I was really inspired by this documentary, and it has made me seriously consider changing my degree at university to a more biology based one so that I may one day help endangered species too.

  • Comment number 85.

    this is in continuation to my above comment..sorry i missed the following:

    However this is the first time that tigers in Bhutan has been captured in a motion camera (video evidence)....cheers

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    Please follow the link below to find evidence of Tigers prior to BBC

    http://www.kuenselonline.com/2010/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=16840

  • Comment number 88.

    Brilliant film footage, great presentation, but why, oh why, does the BBC choose to undermine its credibility by claiming a 'first ever discovery' when clearly the Bhutanese already had photographic evidence of those tigers? Indeed, the team must have used local knowledge to find the animals - it would have been crazy not to.

    But worse, the BBC chose to blow its own trumpet about this 'discovery', with 'news reports' aired on the Today programme, and press releases distributed worldwide. If heads had to roll after the Blue Peter fiasco, I do wonder whether the same should happen here. You had the ingredients of a perfectly good programme, great footage, wonderful scenery, and unique opportunity to share something about Bhutan's unique respect for fellow species. Why cast aside what could have been a fascinating insight into the Bhutanese and their relationships with wild animals, and replace it with a 'discovery' handle that was not only shallow and unnecessary but also untrue? Such a shame.

    For the sake of a few day's glory, the BBC has sacrificed its integrity and our trust in the truth of what it reports. I'll continue to believe what i read, hear and see on the BBC, as I am confident most is still true. But will others? It only takes a few such mis-reports to undermine decades of accumulated reputation.

    Come on, BBC. You can do better.

  • Comment number 89.

    Longthinker is so right. Hopefully the BBC will learn from these posts that it can't get away with saying and doing what it likes.

    I would also like to know exactly how the Bhutanese are going to "protect" their tigers from poachers with fortunes being them, when they are already finding it difficult according to Pema Dorji's post. And how much the BBC took this frighteningly serious problem into account before broadcasting the documentary. What are their priorities?

  • Comment number 90.

    Re Lost Land of the Tiger
    My husband and I were rivitted by these three programmes. We were appalled to hear that these magnificant creatures are being hunted by the chinese for medicinal purposes. We have only seen tigers in zoos but love to read about them and their habitat. Is there are campaign we mere mortals could get involved with to help save these animals?
    Jean

  • Comment number 91.

    I would like to make a clearification on what my countrymate Pema Dorji mentioned about the first motion pictures of tigers in Bhutan. The pictures captures by BBC are not at all the first pictures from any part of the country. The tiger conservation works in Bhutan by Department of Forests and Park Services has captured many tigers from an elevation of 100m up to 4100m.
    Drimpon Sangay Wangdi from Bhutan is the first person to capture the first motion pictures of tigers long time back.
    Just a clearification.

  • Comment number 92.

    Lost Land of the Tigers was an excellent series for many different reasons, as we have come to expect from BBC.
    I was not sure whether I missed a point concerning the future of the tiger in Bhutan.
    Is the Bhutan government willing and able to actively protect the tiger from the poacher now that it is known that they exist in that country ?

  • Comment number 93.

    tigers are my fav animals!!!!
    hope they'll survive....
    is there anything they can do now, or is it up to the goverment of Bhutan???




    CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 94.

    I congratulate the BBC team for taking so much trouble and spending so much to make this unique vdo. I am a Bhutanese and I had encountered this magnificient animal in the western part of Bhutan (place called Haa) in the late eighties high in the mountains where the yaks are. During the winter vacations I had gone to meet one relative of mine who was herding the yaks along with some of my school friends as a camping trip.
    We came across the tiger on our 2nd night by the side of a small lake which was below a small cliff. We were on the top of the cliff and we saw the tiger drinking water and we hide ourselves not daring to make a sound and we ran after the tiger left. We were so scared that on our return trip, we requested our relative to reach us back.
    While in the yak herders camp, my yak herder relative narrated many encounters he had with the tiger and the number of yaks he lost to the tiger.He has a rifle with which he could have killed the tiger on many occasions but he believes that the tiger is the animal on which Ap Chundu (local diety) rides on and is sacred and he would never shoot the tiger.
    By my narration above, I would like to prove two points to the world. One, the BBC team is not the first to discover that tigers exists in Bhutan. We Bhutanese always knew that we have tigers in our jungles but we do not like to sensationalise such things or disturb them by following them for filming or for any other scientific purposes. Secondly, Bhutan is the safest place for the tigers as this animal is sacred to the people and also the Budhist way of life advocates against any such killings. Poachers are there in the borders adjoining India which is a slight concern but the Bhutanese Govt and Indian Govt share a very healthy relationship and this menace can be tackled jointly.

  • Comment number 95.

    Ian E # 41 - hello, I'm the editor of the TV blog. About your question on episodes two and three, I've been in touch with the BBC Scotland schedulers for you. They regret they weren't able to show all three episodes of Lost Land of the Tiger. They had every intention of showing it over three weeks but things changed and there was no suitable slot available for the remaining two episodes. However - good news - all three episodes will be shown in Scotland very soon and the BBC will publicise the date and time when it's confirmed.
    Hope that helps.
    Cheers

  • Comment number 96.

    I was cheered by Cursan's comments on poaching. Fingers crossed! This was a rivetting series. I do hope that a second series will come out of it on the other wildlife in this area that must have been filmed whilst they were there - particularly George's invertebrates - and with hopefully less boyish exclamations from some members of the team, and more zoological information. Incidentally - what happened to the camerawoman who wandered off into the sunset with an elephant, and who we never saw again??

  • Comment number 97.


    I'm Jonny Keeling (Series Producer for Lost Land of the Tiger). I’m writing to thank everyone for all their thoughts on Lost Land of the Tiger. We welcome all comments…positive and negative…and will take them into consideration for future series.

    I wanted to address 3 main areas that concerned viewers.

    1) High altitude tigers.
    
I was really sorry to hear that people felt we had incorrectly claimed to have discovered tigers at high altitude and that this was already known. We did not intend to mislead anyone or in any way belittle the excellent tiger conservation efforts in Bhutan – the series celebrates the beauty of Bhutan and the fact that it has kept its forests intact across much of the country thereby protecting tigers in a way that is a model to other countries in tiger range.
    We worked very closely with Bhutanese naturalists through the series including Phup Tshering. His help and that of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry were acknowledged on the press release, and on the credits of the TV programme. We couldn't have made the series without their assistance.
    Confusion could have arisen because the way the press reported the story (which we have no control over) not because of the press release we sent out or the facts in the programme.
    We made clear in the press release and in the series that people in Bhutan had seen tracks of tigers at high altitude. We followed up on those reports and captured the first video footage of tigers over 4000 metres. We did claim to have the first evidence that tigers are resident and breeding at this altitude - our camera traps recorded footage of a lactating female passing through (indicating she may have cubs), a female scent marking and a male responding to that some days later. We're not aware of any other evidence that shows this. In our conversations with Bhutanese naturalists and herders the assumption was that tigers might occasionally travel through high altitude on their way to much lower forest habitat. The behaviour of the multiple tigers we filmed, and the regularity with which they passed by and scent marked from more than 30 video clips, suggests they are living there not just passing through.

    2) Disclosure of tiger locations to poachers.
    Within the team we are all passionate about wildlife and conservation and would do nothing we believed to endanger tigers or any other wild animals.
    Knowledge that tigers live in Bhutan can be found widely across the internet. Travelling to Bhutan and around Bhutan is closely regulated such that foreign visitors (and I believe the Bhutanese too) require permits for moving to any areas outside the capital. This is thoroughly enforced by Bhutanese police road blocks at many road junctions. We were also careful not to name specifically any of the locations where we filmed tigers and maps were purposely kept vague. Finally, many of the regions we went to are totally closed to outsiders and to the Bhutanese and we required special permission from the Cabinet to access those regions.

    3) Lack of local contributors in the series.
    This is something we worked very hard to achieve, but events worked against us. Approximately ten Bhutanese field biologists and park staff were invited to participate in the series…national park rangers, and staff from Ugyen Wangchuk Institute of Conservation and Ecology. Unfortunately, many were unable to attend due to an important conference held at the same time as the filming. Some were on leave and some were overseas for training. A few were very busy with their own field work so, understandably, could only give us limited time and consequently their time on screen was not as much as we'd hoped for.

    Thank you once again for all your comments. I hope this post goes some way to answering them

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    Hi Gordon,
    I was so thrilled to see your achievement which must have been a huge challenge up in the mountains. I found it overwhelming and very moving
    that footage of the lovely tigers. Well done. Thank you for your footage. Also to all the others involved too. On radio 2 Sunday morning
    they had Mat Manroe singing Born Free which just brought back to light
    how precious our big cats are and what a fantastic song. Kind regards.

  • Comment number 100.

    Hi Gordon & Team,
    Well done on another fabulous documentary. Really enjoyed it, good luck to Alan Rabinowitz. I agree with a lot of the comments, Gordon & George's enthusiasm and genuine passion for wildlife is touching. One criticism, maybe too many repetitions-after watching it for 3 nights running instead of seeing the same scenes again we could have seen more wildlife or conservation issues. Let's hope that charities like AAF who are working in China, can persuade the Chinese to use plant medicines instead of animal parts like Tiger or the cruel moon bear bile extraction. Also will this series be available on DVD as has already been asked? I did not see the complete lost land of the volcano unfortunately.

 

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