Post by Kevrob Post by Magewolf Post by Joe Bernstein
PS In actual Korean folklore books, tigers are *far* more numerous
than gumihos. Tigers come in many flavours, from ordinary animals
to intelligent and language-capable rulers of vast realms which may
or may not be compatible with human life. I'm not sure why tigers
have so decisively lost to foxes in modern popular culture.
Foxes are cuter?
I *was* going to say that it's definitely a win for gumihos that
they're always female, whereas tigers are almost always male, in
folkore that is, but waitaminute, dramas are mostly aimed at women
these days, and the gumihos in them, at least, are of both sexes. So
that doesn't work...
Post by Kevrob
They survive better in urban settings?
This is more plausible.
It's said that there are so many tigers kept as pets that in the
crash of civilisation the species would easily establish itself in
North America. E.g. by Stirling in the <Dies the Fire> sequence.
This should imply already existing escaped tigers in our reality,
but this thread hasn't turned up any stories of them. This page:
says, with copious references, that actual tiger populations in the
US and claims about tiger populations in the US have followed
opposite trajectories since about 2000: the actual has declined, and
is now around 2,300, but the claims have boomed, up to around 10,000.
Would 2,300 tigers be enough to establish a species, given that wild
tigers never historically lived here?
Tigers did historically live in Korea, but they were wiped out long
ago; this page:
says the last one in what is now *South* Korea was killed in 1922;
other sites say 1944. (Either way, Korean nationalists are happy to
blame the Japanese.) The *population* survives; turns out Korean
tigers are the same as Siberian tigers. And some apparently still
live in North Korea's mountains, but the centre of population has
shifted way north. This page, while not referenced, claims the
Siberian tiger population went as low as 40; this implies that the
2,000-odd tigers in the US could produce a viable population:
This page says reintroduction is unlikely in the short term, but may
become possible with the simultaneous decreased total population, and
even more decreased rural population, in South Korea, in coming
while the title of this page implies something nearer, but it's so
dedicated to its cookie warning that I can't read the article. (I
refuse on principle to click on those damn cookie warnings; this is
the first time a site has refused to show me anything until I did.)
and here we find very small scale reintroductions already happening:
So yeah, foxes are obviously doing better - but wait a minute. We
haven't seen coyotes overtake wolves in American folklore, have we?
I mean, yes, Coyote as a symbol of diversity and all, but werewolves,
fercrineoutloud. OTOH, maybe South Korea is more urbanised than the
US, and that's the difference.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_South_Korea> says as
of 2016 South Korea was 82.59% urbanised. But
says as of some unspecified date the US was 82.3% cities and suburbs.
Somehow I doubt the South Korean number excludes suburbs.
So I think the catastrophic decline of the Korean folklore tiger
remains unexplained. Maybe it's guilt over the catastrophic decline
of the Korean actual tiger?
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>