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