Tigers: back from extinction; Saving the Tiger, by Guy Mountfort. New York: The Viking Press $16.95.

Just a decade ago, tigers were on the verge of extinction -- victims of slaughter and loss of habitat. Today their numbers are growing, and the species' future looks secure. An important part of the credit for this dramatic turnaround belongs to one man: the author of this book.

Guy Mountfort, a founder of the World Wildlife Fund, proposed and helped pursue a conservation compaign by that organization called Operation Tiger. He helped arouse international concern, raise $1.7 million in funds, and establish needed tiger reserves in a number of Asian countries.

In "Saving the Tiger," Mountfort provides a compendium of the latest scientific knowledge about tigers and their way of life. The volume's greatest attraction, however, is its collection of vibrant photographs, depicting tigers at home in the wild, prowling, hunting, feeding, courting, swimming, playing, and raising thier young.

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