Copy 2 of THE TIGERS' FOREST

Drawing for the Planet’s The Tigers’ Forest project, in partnership with international wildlife charity Born Free, celebrates the iconic Bengal tigers of India and the majestic Malayan tigers of Peninsular Malaysia. Through the drawings of over a thousand children, the project raises awareness of endangered tigers and the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit their landscapes and raises funds for tiger conservation organisations. 

Led by artist and Drawing for the Planet founder Jane Lee McCracken, children from the UK, the USA, India, and Singapore are invited to learn about tigers and create ballpoint pen drawings in workshops delivered by Jane, Born Free, and project ambassador Ayan Kamath MehraBorn Free Youth Ambassador and The Tigers' Forest Project Ambassador. 

THE PROJECT

OVERVIEW

Launched in 2024, The Tigers' Forest includes Amazing Tigers virtual and on-site environmental education and drawing workshops in Singapore (May 2024), the UK (May 2024), the USA (November 2024) and India (2025). 

As part of the project Jane will create The Tigers’ Forest composite artwork featuring a selection of children’s drawings from all four countries. Drawing for the Planet (DftP) will seek to install a large printed mural of the artwork in a public space in India and the UK. 

She is also creating individual composite artworks for each school featuring drawings by all participating children - DftP will present prints/or murals of the artworks to the schools. Scroll down to The Artworks section.

Learn about species that inhabit tiger landscapes illustrated by project drawings. Scroll down to The Wildlife section. Meet some of our Tiger Champion artists. Scroll down to The Artists section.

Born Free/DftP will create a free legacy educational resource of Amazing Tigers workshops which will be available for teachers to download from our websites.

Since May 2024 nearly 160 Indian and Malaysian species have been drawn.

EDUCATION WORKSHOP

In the Amazing Tigers education workshops delivered by Laura Eastwood Born Free's Head of Education, Laura focuses on tiger facts, their rainforest habitats in both India and Malaysia, why non-human animals are important to forest, the impact of deforestation and poaching and the Illegal Wildlife Trade, and how we can help protect tigers and other wildlife. 

This is followed by a presentation by Ayan Kamath Mehra, a Born Free Youth Ambassador and The Tigers' Forest Project Ambassador where children learn about his passions for wildlife and art and how he raises funds through his art for wildlife conservation.

DRAWING WORKSHOP

In Jane's ballpoint pen drawing workshops young artists choose photographs of tigers or other species from their landscapes as inspiration for their drawings.

Jane asks the artists to draw the animal only and not include any background present in the photograph. This approach emphasises the beautiful form of the animal. It also symbolises that habitat loss is one of the greatest threats to wildlife. 

Jane encourages each artist to imagine what the animal in the photograph has seen with its eyes and to form emotional connections with the animal while making their drawing—if we want to save wildlife, it is vital to make emotional connections with animal species; if we care, we want to conserve.

She also encourages the artists to express themselves, enjoy transporting their minds through drawing, celebrate their own unique drawing style, and embrace the fact that everyone can draw! 

PROJECT AIMS

The Tigers’ Forest aims to:

  • Raise awareness of endangered tigers and why keystone species are vital to global ecosystems and need to be protected.
  • Create an artistic and educational legacy through the drawings of a global generation of young people.
  • Build a network of awareness throughout tiger inhabited countries by sharing The Tigers' Forest artistic and educational legacy with the aim of providing more children and communities with the opportunity to participate in workshops and create art for the project.

HOW TO SUPPORT THE TIGERS' FOREST

RAISING FUNDS FOR TIGERS AND CHILDREN

DftP is raising funds to donate to the following tiger conservation organisations to support their vital work protecting tigers:

DftP is also raising funds so that underprivileged children—including children that live in tiger-inhabited areas in India—can learn about tigers in Born Free’s workshops and take part in Jane’s drawing workshops.

To support this project and help protect tigers, and give the gift of art and environmental education to children and communities please DONATE via our donate page and add in the form comments "THE TIGERS' FOREST" for your donation to go directly to this project:

drawingfortheplanet.org/pages/donate

PROJECT ORIGINS

Butterfly Lover 2014 © Jane Lee McCracken

Jane's journey to Drawing for the Planet and The Tigers' Forest began in Edinburgh in the 1970s, when, at age eight, she read in a wildlife magazine that the Caspian tiger had been declared extinct and made a promise to help tigers and endangered wildlife. Read more here: drawingfortheplanet.org/pages/our-story

Since 2014, Jane has worked in partnership with Born Free—in 2023, Born Free contacted her with an inquiry from Ayan, who was keen to get involved in a Drawing for the Planet project. Ayan, a high school student in Singapore had previously written an illuminating post, Sketching a Solution, about art and wildlife as a guest blogger on DftP's blog. 

Like Jane, Ayan is passionate about the natural world and art and has raised funds for wildlife conservation through his art, including drawings of tigers. Jane saw this as an opportunity written in the stripes to celebrate their passion for tigers!

Jane said:

"I've long dreamt of developing a project to honour the alluring animal that has been a glowing presence in my mind and heart since childhood—the tiger! The Tigers' Forest is a dream come true, and it is a privilege to partner with Born Free, working with Laura, Ayan, and the Born Free team on the project. A gifted artist, Ayan's tireless dedication and his advocacy for wildlife are inspirational. He is a tremendous asset, and we are immensely proud that Ayan is our project ambassador."

TIGERS

Panthera tigris
Conservation status: ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List)
Population: Global: ~3,726-5,578 individuals, with a best estimate of 4,485 (~2,608-3,905 mature individuals, with a best estimate of 3,140); last assessed by IUCN in 2021. India: ~3,682 tigers are found in India; according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s Status of Tigers: Co-Predators and Prey in India 2022 report.

ABOUT TIGERS

Information courtesy of Born Free:

Tigers are a keystone species, meaning they have a significant impact on the environment that they live in.

As top predators, they help to maintain herbivore populations, reducing disease and preventing overgrazing. As they need so much space, protecting tigers and their habitats means that we can protect many other species.

Tigers are the largest cat on earth. There are six surviving subspecies, the Siberian tiger, the Southern China tiger (although possibly extinct in the wild), the Indochinese tiger, the Malayan tiger, the Sumatran tiger and the Bengal tiger. They are agile, with flexible bodies designed for running, jumping and climbing. Heavily muscled forelimbs, retractable claws, powerful jaws, sharp teeth and acute senses make them incredible hunters.

Tigers have a reddish-orange to yellow-ochre coat with a white belly and black stripes and their distinctive markings blend into the colours and shadows of their habitat, providing excellent camouflage. Although tiger size varies widely between subspecies and where they live, male tigers tend to be much larger than females. Read more here: bornfree.org.uk/animals/tigers

THREATS TO TIGERS

Habitat Loss

Tiger populations are on the brink of extinction in many countries in South East Asia, due, largely, to habitat loss. This is the result of rapid human population expansion and the related increases in mining, logging, farming, palm oil plantations, settlements, roads and railways. As tiger habitats have split and separated, inbreeding has become more common, which also contributes to the decline in numbers.

Human-tiger Conflict

Throughout their range, tigers find themselves in conflict with farmers that persecute them for killing their livestock. People have also been attacked and killed by tigers, which has further fuelled retaliatory killings and low tolerance for the animals. Many large tracts of forest are now empty of wild prey and livestock are, increasingly, competing with tigers and their prey for habitat, further driving tiger numbers down.

Poaching and the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Poaching and the exploitation of tigers in tiger farms for their skins as luxury rugs and home décor, and for their bones which are used to make traditional Asian medicines and health tonics, is a significant threat. Indiscriminate snaring and poison traps, often set for hunting small animals for bushmeat, inevitably end up injuring or killing tigers, contributing to their decline.

Captivity

Tigers are also exploited and abused in captivity – in circuses, zoos, tiger farms and in people’s private collections of wild animals as pets. 

THE ARTWORKS

SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL

 

The project team worked with Mr Koltusky, Art Teacher, Singapore American School. High school students participated in an onsite/virtual workshop on 8 May, 2024. The workshop was organised by Ayan, Project Ambassador, assisted by Dharma, Vihan, and Priyali, DftP volunteers. The composite artwork created by Jane features drawings by children, staff and parents. 

UK

SOUTH GOSFORTH FIRST SCHOOL

Year 4: Snowy Owls

The project team worked with Mrs. Dibb, Art Lead and Reception Teacher, South Gosforth First School, Newcastle-upon Tyne where Nursery-Year 4 children participated in workshops between 13-15 May, 2024. The following composite artworks created by Jane feature drawings by all children. The school is raising funds for The Tigers' Forest through print sales of the artworks.

Year 4: Eagle Owls

Year 3: Kestrels

Year 3: Red Kites

Year 2: Kingfishers

Year 2: Doves

Year 1: Starlings

Year 1: Goldfinches

Reception: Puffins

Reception: Robins

Nursery: Ducklings

THE WILDLIFE

Each of the species from India and Malaysia, illustrated by drawings created for The Tigers' Forest, plays a vital role in its ecosystem. Like humans, they live their lives according to their needs. Imagine what their eyes have seen in the forests of the Bengal and Malayan tigers.

Many of these beautiful animals are threatened with extinction. It is up to all of us to protect and cherish them. Learn more about each species with information provided by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and other sources:

INDIAN WILDLIFE

Explore the magical species of the Bengal tigers' forest, including the dhole, the Sri Lankan giant squirrel, Indian peafowl and the peacock tarantula illustrated by children from the UK.

MAMMALS

ASIAN ELEPHANT

Elephas maximus
Conservation status: ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List)
Population: UNKNOWN, DECREASING
Resident countries include: India and Malaysia 

DrawingsLottie and Gurneesh, Year 5, Gosforth Central Middle School; Elisa, Year 5 and Ada, Reception, South Gosforth First School

Born Free/Asian Elephants:

"Many forests in Asia depend on elephants for seed dispersal and creating trails and clearings through which seedlings can grow. With vegetation growth, more carbon can be sequestered, helping mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The habitats created by Asian elephants also help support numerous species. Before decomposing and delivering essential nutrients to the soil, Asian elephant dung has also been shown to be an important habitat for invertebrates and frogs...

Elephants are highly social animals with extremely complex behaviours. Asian Elephants live in herds, typically of around 8-12 individuals although this number can be much higher, that are presided over by a dominant female, known as the matriarch. The matriarch, using information passed on by her mother, guides and protects the family, which consists of her sisters, daughters, female cousins and calves. The matriarch’s knowledge of the home range and traditional water sources is vital to the herd’s survival." Read the complete description: bornfree.org.uk/animals/asian-elephants

WILD WATER BUFFALO

Bubalus arnee

Conservation status: ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List
Population: 2,500, DECREASING
Drawing: Hugo, Year 5, Gosforth Central Middle School

Thai National Parks/Wild Water Buffalo

"The wild water buffalo, also called Asian buffalo and Asiatic buffalo, is a large bovine native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia...They rank alongside the gaur as the heaviest living wild bovid species, as both attain similar average if not maximum weights, although, with their stockier, shorter-legged frame, wild water buffalo are somewhat less in length and height than the gaur... Wild water buffalos occur in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, and Cambodia, with an unconfirmed population in Myanmar." Read the complete description: thainationalparks.com/species/wild-water-buffalo

LION-TAILED MACAQUE

Macaca silenus

Conservation status: ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List
Population: 2,400-2,500, DECREASING
Drawing: Eamonn, Year 4, South Gosforth First School; Josh, Year 7, Gosforth Central Middle School

Centre for Wildlife Studies India/Lion-tailed Macaque:

"Lion-tailed macaques are shy, relatively small monkeys known for their pitch-black bodies and contrasting silver-white manes. These fruit-eating primates were once a common sight in the rainforests of Southern India. In the last century, however, they have steadily declined, causing scientists to declare them endangered...

In Karnataka, lion-tailed macaques are locally known as Singalika which literally translates to “Lion-like”. Their distribution is confined to the tropical wet evergreen forests of the Western Ghats of India. Endemic to the States of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, these arboreal mammals have evolved to occupy a specialised ecological niche." Read the complete article: cwsindia.org/the-rediscovery-of-lion-tailed-macaques-in-karnataka

BIRDS

WHITE RUMPED VULTURE

Gyps bengalensis
Conservation status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List
Population: 4,000-6,000, DECREASING

Resident countries include: India (extinct Malaysia)
Drawing: Lena, Year 2 and Matthew, Year 3, South Gosforth First School

Like other vulture species, white-rumped vultures are scavengers feeding on carrion. Vultures play a vital role as nature's waste disposal experts, keeping disease at bay. Over the last forty years the white-rumped vulture population has plummeted from several million to around 6,000. One of the main reasons for the catastrophic loss of many vulture species populations in India is due to the use of diclofenac and other drugs given to livestock which causes kidney failure in vultures. Read more: iucnredlist.org/species/22695194/204618615

REPTILES

NORTHERN RIVER TERRAPIN

Batagur baska

Conservation status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List
Population: 100, DECREASING
Drawing: Freya, Year 2, South Gosforth First School

People's Trust for Endangered Species/Northern River Terrapin:

"Northern river terrapins are freshwater turtles that were once found in many of the large rivers and estuaries of the coastal district of the Sundarbans region. The Sundarbans are well known wetland, famed for their wildlife, which span India and Bangladesh. Even though large areas of the Sundarbans are now protected, unfortunately the long history of exploitation and lack of enforcement in both countries has resulted in catastrophe for these turtles." Read the complete article: ptes.org/grants/worldwide-projects/northern-river-terrapins

AMPHIBIANS

NORTHERN DANCING FROG

Micrixalus uttaraghati 

Conservation status: ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List
Population: UNKNOWN, DECREASING
Drawing: Finlay, Year 5, Gosforth Central Middle School

Mongabay/India's Dancing Frogs:

"Unlike most other frog species, dancing frogs of the family Micrixalidae don’t vocalize to attract mates. They live in fast-flowing streams that would drown out any croaking or ribbiting. Instead, they wave their legs to attract mates, flashing their feet to signal their breeding prowess." Read the complete article: mongabay.com/2016/03/researchers-unearth-the-surprising-secret-of-indias-dancing-frogs

INVERTEBRATES

GIANT ASIAN MANTIS

Hierodula tenuidentata
Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List
Population: UNKNOWN, INCREASING

Resident countries include: India and Malaysia
Drawings: Jenson, Year 3, South Gosforth First School; Arlo, Year 8, Gosforth Central Middle School

This wide-ranging mantis occurs from Armenia to Indonesia. Females are larger than males and can grown up to 7.5cm. Read more: iucnredlist.org/species/118892125/118892175 

MALAYSIAN WILDLIFE

Explore the intriguing species of the Malayan tigers' forest, including the Malay tapir, the wrinkled hornbill and the marbled cat illustrated by children from Singapore. Some Peninsular Malaysian species are also resident in Singapore and India.

MAMMALS

MALAYAN TIGER

Panthera tigris jacksoni
Conservation status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (LOCALLY); ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List
Population: 150DECREASING
Drawing: B, high school student, Singapore

MALAY TAPIR

Tapirus indicus 
Conservation status: ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List)
Population: 2,499DECREASING

Drawings: Ayan, high school student, Singapore (infant tapir); Mr Koltutsky, teacher, Singapore (adult tapir)

FLAT-HEADED CAT

 

Prionailurus planiceps 
Conservation status: ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List)
Population: 2499DECREASING

Drawing: Ryann, high school student, Singapore

MARBLED CAT

Pardofelis marmorata 
Conservation status: NEAR THREATENED
Population: UNKNOWNDECREASING

Drawing: Jules, high school student, Singapore

COMMON PALM CIVET

Paradoxurus hermaphroditus
Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)
Population: UNKNOWNDECREASING
Resident countries include: Mayalsia, Singapore and India

Drawing: high school student, Singapore

SUNDA FLYING LEMUR

Galeopterus variegatus
Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)
Population: UNKNOWNDECREASING
Resident countries include: Mayalsia and Singapore 

Drawing: Vihan, high school student, Singapore

BIRDS

WRINKLED HORNBILL

 

Rhabdotorrhinus corrugatus
Conservation status: ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List)
Population: UNKNOWNDECREASING
Resident countries include: Mayalsia; EXTINCT Singapore

Drawing: S, high school student, Singapore

LONG-TAILED PARAKEET

 

Belocercus longicaudus
Conservation status: VULNERABLE (IUCN Red List)
Population: UNKNOWNDECREASING
Resident countries include: Mayalsia and Singapore

Drawing: H, high school student, Singapore

GREEN BROADBILL

Calyptomena viridis
Conservation status: NEAR THREATENED (IUCN Red List)
Population: UNKNOWN, DECREASING
Resident countries include: Mayalsia and Singapore

Drawing: high school student, Singapore

REPTILES

MALAYSIAN GIANT TURTLE

 

Orlitia borneensis
Conservation status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List)
Population: UNKNOWNDECREASING

Drawing: N, high school student, Singapore

AMPHIBIANS

ABAH RIVER FLYING FROG

 

Rhacophorus nigropalmatus
Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)

Population: UNKNOWNDECREASING
Drawing: Priyali Kamath, Singapore

 

THE ARTISTS

Meet some of our amazing Tiger Champion artists from Singapore and the UK who made beautiful drawings of tigers and wildlife from their landscapes. We would like to thank all participating artists for their substantial contribution to this project.

SINGAPORE ARTISTS

UK ARTISTS

PROJECT PARTNERS

ABOUT DRAWING FOR THE PLANET

Read about Drawing for the Planet’s mission here:

drawingfortheplanet.org/pages/our-mission

Follow us here:

facebook.com/DrawingforthePlanet
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Support our global projects, help protect wildlife and give the gift of art, education and nature, by donating or becoming a DftP member here:

drawingfortheplanet.org/pages/donate 
drawingfortheplanet.org/pages/membership

ABOUT JANE LEE MCCRACKEN

Shh it's a Tiger! 2013 Biro drawing © Jane Lee McCracken

Jane Lee McCracken constructs intricate, multi-layered Biro drawings, sculptures, installations as well as product designs. Her work represents the beauty of life and its brutal realities, exploring the loss to both humans and animals caused by human destructiveness. She is the founder and CEO of Drawing for the Planet global art, environmental education and conservation charity. 

Over the last decade, she has raised funds for conservation organisations through her art and delivered drawing and environmental education workshops to thousands of people across the world. In 2019 she founded the Where Did All the Animals Go? project in partnership with Born Free and in 2021 Drawing for the Planet. Explore Jane's art:

janeleemccracken.co.uk

ABOUT BORN FREE

Born Free works tirelessly to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs. As a leading wildlife charity, they oppose the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep them where they belong – in the wild.

Born Free promotes Compassionate Conservation to enhance the survival of threatened species in the wild and protect natural habitats while respecting the needs and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals. They seek to have a positive impact on animals in the wild and protect their ecosystems in perpetuity, for their own intrinsic value and for the critical roles they play within the natural world.

Visit Born Free here:

bornfree.org.uk

AYAN KAMATH MERHA
The Tigers' Forest Project Ambassador

Ayan Kamath Mehra is a 10th grade student in Singapore, and a Born Free Foundation Youth Ambassador. For as long as he can remember, Ayan has loved nature and all wild things. In 2019, at the age of 11, he travelled to South Africa, where he was awestruck at the magical abundance of wildlife on safari. Yet, he noticed that rhinos – his favorite animal – were scarce. Through the book The Elephant Whisperer by renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony, Ayan learned about the horrifying ways rhinos are being poached for their horns. From then on, Ayan has merged his passions for art and wildlife to create @ayansartforconservation, which raises awareness and funding for endangered species around the world through his writing, talks and art. Ayan said:

"I am excited to be the project ambassador for The Tigers' Forest, because art has the power to deeply connect human beings and the animals we draw. Art happens when observation and imagination take flight. As we observe animals, and imagine their futures, we bond more deeply with planet Earth and all its wonderful wild things. With my roots in India and Singapore, I am particularly excited to support the tiger, and all the animals that live in its magnificent ecosystem."

Visit Ayan's blog here: 

www.savewildlife.art

ABOUT THE BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY

The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), a pan-India wildlife research organization, has been promoting the cause of nature conservation since 1883.

BNHS Mission: Conservation of nature, primarily biological diversity through action based on research, education and public awareness

BNHS Vision: Premier independent scientific organization with a broad based constituency, excelling in the conservation of threatened species and habitats.

Visit the Bombay Natural History Society here:

bnhs.org

ABOUT SINGAPORE WILDCAT ACTION GROUP

We are passionate about the conservation of all wildcat species and we have a special love for the Malayan tiger.

We believe in taking meaningful action that helps us achieve our mission of building grassroot support for wildcat conservation and to realize our goal of raising funds to protect the world’s remaining 200 Malayan tigers living in the wild.

We are a group of volunteers who joined forces in 2019 with a belief that together, we can multiply our efforts and compound our results.

Visit Singapore Wildcat Action Group here:

swagcat.org