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Sharon Guynup

of freelance journalist and a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

www.sharonguynup.com · www.tigersforeverbook.com

Sharon’s work focuses on environmental issues that impact wildlife, ecosystems, and human health--with a particular focus on wildlife trafficking and environmental crime. She has written widely on big cats, pangolins, rhinos and other endangered species and has written features, essays, blogs and commentary National Geographic, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Scientific American and other outlets.

Her January 2016 story for National Geographic helped close down the Thai Tiger Temple--a combination monastery and tiger tourism operation that is now under investigation for black market wildlife trade.

She's worked with jaguar researchers in the Brazilian Panatanal, with park guards in India's Kaziranga National Park (the last outpost for Indian one-horned rhinos) and in tiger reserves across the subcontinent. Sharon has also written and photographed from the remote heart of Eastern Siberia (where grizzlies still thrive), Turkey’s Eastern Anatolian villages, has traveled by boat to isolated river towns along Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River, driven across Cuba, explored African savannas and Latin American jungles and has spent considerable time beneath the sea in various oceans.

Her book, "Tigers Forever: Saving the World's Most Endangered Big Cat" is a collaboration with National Geographic photographer Steve Winter, published in 2013 by National Geographic Books. In 2006, she launched the "State of the Wild: A Global Portrait of Wildlife, Wildlands and Oceans" book series for the Wildlife Conservation Society, published by Island Press.

She has co-produced short videos for National Geographic, including "Special Investigation: Famous Tiger Temple Accused of Supplying Black Market" and "Battling India's Illegal Tiger Trade."

Sharon lived in Turkey for a year on a Fulbright Fellowship, is a scuba diver, and worked as a photojournalist for some years before earning her Masters degree in Journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program, where she has also taught as adjunct assistant professor. Sharon is currently a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

Great News for Tigers in India—and a Cautionary Tale

Talking Tigers: Part 10 of a 12-part series Amidst frequent heartbreaking stories about disappearing tigers, today there is some great news. India’s latest census has counted 2,226 tigers, a whopping  30 percent jump from the 1,706 documented in 2011. Nearly 10,000 “camera traps” were set up in known tiger territories; the resulting photographs definitively identified individuals…

Tigers and Wild Cats for Sale in Myanmar: A Tale of Two Border Towns

Talking Tigers: Part 9 of a 12-part series A decades-long investigation found that the illicit trade in tigers and other wild cats has been nearly shut down in Tachilek—a frontier town in eastern Myanmar—most likely because of heightened security across the border in Thailand. But the situation in Mong La, a lawless Burmese city on the…

The Latest Threat to Siberian Tigers: Canine Distemper

Talking Tigers: Part 8 of a 12-part series The first signs that something was wrong came in 2000. Gaunt Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) began wandering through villages and staggered haltingly across roads in Russia’s Far East. They were dazed, hungry and boldly unafraid of humans, extremely odd behavior for this secretive, wary animal. One of them…

Industrial-Scale Tiger Farms: Feeding China’s Thirst for Luxury Tiger Products

Young, healthy tigers jump through rings of fire, sit upright on cue, clawing at the air, and perform other well-choreographed circus tricks. Enthusiastic crowds cheer. After the show, some pay extra to hold small, cuddly cubs. But those who visit these tiger attractions in China have no idea of the suffering behind the scenes or the dark commerce that keeps them afloat.

Tigers in Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Universal Apothecary

Talking Tigers: Part 6 of a 12-part series For centuries, tigers have inspired awe, reverence and sometimes, terror, in the humans they’ve lived beside. They command the Asian landscape as the top predator—immense, magnificent, muscular animals armed with razored claws and massive canines. They can kill with one swipe of their dinner plate-sized paws or…

Why Have Tigers Been Feared and Revered Throughout History?

Talking Tigers: Part 5 of a 12-part series Throughout human history, the diverse peoples who populated the vast Asian continent have had one thing in common: They feared and revered the tiger. Throughout this cat’s range, their stealthy, illusory habits—suddenly appearing and disappearing in dense forests, often at night—elevated them to the status of otherworldly beings.…

A Concise History of Tiger Hunting in India

In part four of a 12-part series, author Sharon Guynup explains the varied history of tiger conservation in India.

Kids in India Come Together to Save Tigers

In part three of a 12-part tiger series, Steve Winter and Sharon Guynup learn about an organization that’s encouraging kids to care about tigers and the environment.

Illegal Tiger Trade: Why Tigers Are Walking Gold

In part two of a 12-part series, Sharon Guynup and Steve Winter investigate one of the most devastating threats facing the world’s last 3,000 wild tigers: poaching.

Three Thousand Wild Tigers

Talking Tigers: Part 1 of a 12-part series  When I began intensive tiger research for our Tigers Forever book project two years back, I was shocked to learn, through a series of casual conversations, that almost no one is aware of the cat’s precarious state. When I tell people that just 3,200 tigers are left in the…

Steve Winter’s Journey to Tigers Forever

This week, wildlife photojournalist Steve Winter’s story about cougars appears in the December issue of National Geographic. He’s become the big cat guy—it’s the fourth species he’s covered for the magazine. This is a also a big week for him and me: our new book, Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Big Cat, published…