Book Release – Wildlife Law for Rangers

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About the book

Effective implementation of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA) and prosecution of offenders requires Forest Officers to also have a reasonable understanding of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC). However, lack of formal training makes interpretation of law and criminal procedures, an intimidating subject. This book seeks to address this major lacuna and has therefore been written in a very simple, easy to understand style along with specific wildlife related examples.

The step-by-step procedure to … Read More

Want To Save Tigers? Better Have Your Numbers Straight.

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  • New Book Provides Proven Methods for Monitoring Tiger and Prey Populations
  • The earth is currently home to less than 4000 wild tigers

(NEW YORK- December 12, 2017) A new book co-edited by tiger biologist Dr. Ullas Karanth of (WCS) Wildlife Conservation Society and Dr. James Nichols, an Emeritus statistical ecologist from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), provides an authoritative text on monitoring tigers, their prey, and many other similarly endangered species.

The volume is co-authored by 32 authors, from … Read More

Book Review: Nature without Borders

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Edited by Mahesh Rangarajan, M.D. Madhusudan and Ghazala Shahabuddin

When we think of wildlife, the mind usually leaps to Protected Areas (PAs) and charismatic megafauna. However, India’s 650+ National Parks and Sanctuaries collectively occupy just 5% of the country’s land area. So, what about the remaining 95%?  How important is it for conservation? The fact is, a surprising number of wildlife species live outside PAs, in our coastal waters, rivers, Reserve Forests, community lands and, … Read More

Book Review – Nature and Nation: Essays on Environmental History

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Thanks to Conservation India’s content sharing agreement with Livemint, we are able to bring some interesting conservation articles authored by Ananda Banerjee.

Nature and Nation – Mahesh Rangarajan / Permanent Black / Rs 795/-

Eminent scholar and historian, Mahesh Rangarajan’s new book ‘Nature And Nation’ transcends academia to reach out to readers with an interest in natural history. When books on nature are few and far between, this book is a good read for people who get inspired by nature … Read More

Book Release – Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the past, present and future

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About the Book

In a rapidly urbanising India, cities have emerged as places of conflict between people and nature. What is the future for conservation in Indian cities?

Nature in the City examines the past, present, and future of nature in Bengaluru, one of India’s largest and fastest growing cities. Once known as the Garden City of India, Bengaluru’s tree-lined avenues, historic parks, and expansive water bodies have witnessed degradation and destruction in recent years. Yet, nature still exhibits a … Read More

Book review — Bird Sense, Tim Birkhead

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Can we ever know what it is like to be a bird? As poetic as the question may appear to be, it’s fascinating how the question has captured the attention of a bunch of  scientists, artists and other professionals ranging from neurosurgeons, ecologists, physiologists to bird illustrators and medieval travellers. The fascination with bird flight is possibly as old as language itself. Birds are among the early cave paintings, be it in the subterranean caves discovered by teenage boys at Read More

Book Review: Shifting Ground – People, Animals, and Mobility in India’s Environmental History

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Shifting Ground – People, Animals, and Mobility in India’s Environmental History

Edited by Mahesh Rangarajan and K. Sivaramakrishnan, Oxford University Press

This weighty book, containing 10 essays by as many scholars – and a comprehensive introduction by its eminent editors – is clearly meant for consumption primarily by other scholars. To this reviewer, who can at best describe himself as a discerning reader, the adjective ‘esoteric’ often came to mind while thumbing through its 310 pages.

Given the extremely wide … Read More

Book Review — Green Signals

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by Jairam Ramesh
Oxford University Press; Rs 850

Reviewed by Prerna Singh Bindra (An edited version of this appeared in The Hindustan Times on 21 March 2015)

Before we delve into the book, let’s consider the author, former union minister of environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh, whose image was arguably larger than the chair he occupied. Was Ramesh ‘Mr Green’, or a ‘Green Terror’ as labeled, rather unkindly, and certainly without merit, by a mainstream weekly magazine? The … Read More

Book Review — Birds and People

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Birds and people
by Mark Cocker & David Tipling.
London: Jonathan Cape. 2013.
Hardback (22 x 28 cm), pp. 1–592.
Rs. 2,999/-.

As bird books go, this whopping doorstopper took eight years in the making in which 600–800 people, from 81 countries, responded to the authors’ invitation to contribute. The responses of 300 people were selected and woven into the mesmerising and encyclopaedic tapestry of Mark Cocker’s lucid narrative. Stitched into its landscape are 350 spectacular photographs that David Tipling … Read More

Book Review — “Discover Avenue Trees: A Pocket Guide” by Karthikeyan S

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The months of February and March were pleasant ones for Time Out staffers. When we went to get a cup of coffee, we would pass by Ulsoor Lake. Our walk was made colourful by a line of trees ablaze with pink flowers. As we ambled along the broken pavement, coffee in hand, soft blossoms would rain upon us, and carpet our path with a sheen of fragile pink. It was only when reading Discover Avenue Trees: A Pocket Guide by … Read More

Book Review — Indian Mammals

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Did you know the following facts?

There are 400 species of mammals in India. Clouded leopards, caracals and desert cats mew like domestic cats. The sun bear is also known as the dog bear because of its dog-size frame. The rusty spotted cat is the smallest cat in the world. Tigers mostly eat prey that weigh more than 30kg. The Asiatic lion is less social than its African counterpart. The golden cat resembles a miniature North American puma. The rarest … Read More

Book Review — Ecological and Environmental Reporting in India: The Handbook for Media, NGOs and People

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Ecological and Environmental Reporting in India: The Handbook for Media, NGOs and People

Author: Santosh Shintre
Publisher: Sakal, 2013
Price: Rs 490.00

Reviewed by Prema Naraynen

Despite the growth of social media in the last few years, it is still the mainstream media that influences public opinion. “Of the 82,222 newspapers and 626 television channels in the country, space allotted to coverage of environmental issues in less than 1.5 percent,” states Shintre in the Preface to his Handbook.

Look up … Read More

Book Review — Threatened Birds of India : Their conservation requirements

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Threatened Birds of India : Their conservation requirements, By Dr. Asad Rahmani
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) & Oxford University Press, 2012, 861 pp., Rs 3,000 (HB), ISBN 0-19-808597-4

The book under review is a mammoth one. It weighs kilos, has 155 maps, 645 photographs and is 861 pages long. It would take an avid reader well over a year to digest! Only Dr. Asad Rahmani, the Director of the Bombay (not Mumbai!) Natural History Society and their partner Birdlife … Read More

Book Review — Paravaigal (Birds: Introductory field guide), Tamil

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Sometime ago, Asai, a modern Tamil poet who is a writer and editor of Chennai-based Cre-A publications, approached P Jeganathan on NCF with an idea of bringing out a dictionary of birds in Tamil. He had made an initial draft of the manuscript with 50 species of birds, taking help from Dr. R. Bhanumathi, an environment educationist. The initial list was extracted from Cre-A’s Tamil Dictionary. Over the next few months, they worked together on developing this and decided to … Read More

Book Review — On a trail with ants: A Handbook of the Ants of Peninsular India

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‘On a Trail with Ants’: A Handbook of the Ants of Peninsular India, Ajay Narendra and Sunil Kumar M, 2006. 193 Pp. (paperback), Self-published.

Review: Dinesh Rao, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia.

‘On a Trail with Ants’ by Ajay Narendra and Sunil Kumar is a rarity. It is a book that was published despite great odds and obstacles, and as such, it is an important milestone in the history of field guides in India. Traditionally … Read More

Book Review — Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide, Volumes 1&2, 2nd Edition

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Authored by Pamela C Rasmussen & John C Anderton, Published by National Museum of Natural History – Smithsonian Institution, Michigan State University & Lynx Edicions.

The two Volume Ripley Guide was a landmark publication in 2005 – it marked a new beginning in several aspects of sub-continental avifauna – splitting of geographical races into distinct species, use of sonograms to describe calls, redefining the region’s scope as ‘South Asia’, indicating autumn and spring migration routes in maps, creation of … Read More

Book Review — Pictorial Guide to Frogs and Toads of Western Ghats by Gururaja K.V.

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This field guide to the amphibians of the Western Ghats is not just a tool for researchers.

Did you know that most toads tend to have poisonous glands while most frogs don’t? Frogs also feel slimier when held, while toads are rough. Also, there are several very bright, even beautiful, frogs and toads.

“I find them all beautiful,” says Gururaja K.V., who has been researching amphibians since 1998 and has recently put together a guide titled Pictorial Guide to Frogs … Read More

Book Review — Fundamentals of Wildlife Management

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Fundamentals of Wildlife Management

Author: Rajesh Gopal

Publisher: Natraj, Rs. 1,395

The size is daunting — a fact remarked upon by the Minister of Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan, when she released this book, explaining that she had not read it yet, but would certainly have done the deed by the end of her tenure. Besides the fact that she was keen to read the book, I believe she also conveyed her intent to stick around for some time … Read More

Book Review — Tripwire for a Tiger

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Tripwire for a Tiger,  Selected works of F.W. Champion

Edited by James Champion

Published by Rainfed Books, Rs 495

Author, publisher and intrepid wildlifer Bikram Grewal is a long-standing admirer of F W Champion, an extraordinary Forest Officer of the British Raj. We therefore felt that he would be the best person to review this new anthology. Says Bikram, “In 2006, I had the privilege of playing host to F W Champion’s son, daughter-in-law and grandson, James, in Dehradun. I Read More

Book Review — Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife, and Habitat Connectivity

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Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife, and Habitat Connectivity edited by Jon P. Beckmann, Anthony P. Clevenger, Marcel P. Huijser & Jodi A. Hilty (2010), xix + 396 pp., Island Press, Washington, DC, USA. ISBN 9781597266543 (pbk), USD 40.00; 9781597266536 (hbk), USD 70.00.

Several tropical, biodiversity rich nations are going through rapid economic growth bringing welcome benefits including infrastructure development. One of the key sectors of infrastructural growth is building of vast network of roads or road expansion projects. However these benefits … Read More

Book Review — Voices in the Wilderness, edited by Prerna Singh Bindra

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In Voices in the Wilderness, Prerna Singh Bindra has put together an eclectic mix of essays from some of India’s best known wildlifers/writers. The 22 chapters take the reader through the length and breadth of India from Point Calimere to the icy Himalayan mountain ranges and across a wide variety of habitats—from rain forests and mangroves to marine habitats and mass nesting beaches.

The writings, both fact and fiction, have a strong undertone of protection and do not portray wildlife … Read More

Book Review — Billy Arjan Singh, The Tiger of Dudhwa offers Pictorial Tribute

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Billy Arjan Singh, The Tiger of Dudhwa plays out the life of Billy Arjan Singh as a hunter, pioneer settler, conservationist and critic. The book by Shaminder Boparai also tells of his ground breaking experiments in nurturing leopard and tiger cubs and his shattering of the myth that super predators cannot be rehabilitated without parental care. This pictorial biography is a tribute to this enigmatic character who was one of the first people to put the spotlight on tiger conservation … Read More

Book review — A View from the Machan

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According to Ullas Karanth, wild animals have dominated his consciousness ever since he can remember. His father, a well-known Kannada writer, was not only deeply interested in the natural world himself, but also lacked faith in formal education of any kind. So, until he joined high school directly at the age of 11, Karanth was free to wander the woods around their home in rural Karnataka to his heart’s content, picking up natural history skills that would prove vital years … Read More