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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
With gorgeous photography and welcoming but precise text, this thorough exploration of India's ecosystems is an endlessly satisfying volume. A physician who has spent almost 50 years exploring and photographing wild India, Bharucha is also the founder of the Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research. After a complete explanation of ecology and the interconnectedness of ecosystems on both micro and macro scales, subsequent sections detail particular regions and their inhabitants. The breadth and diversity of Indian ecosystems make this book a primer on both ecological principles in general and the way geology and climate conflate to develop particular ecosystems. An in-depth guided tour explores each ecosystem of the Indian subcontinent-forests, deserts, mountains, coastlines, etc.-and each concept is defined in pullout boxes and beautiful photographs. The book's second half is devoted to brief descriptions and accompanying photos of India's many wildlife sanctuaries and refuges. In addition to his own photographs, Bharucha reproduces many lovely nineteenth century paintings and drawings, when many species were first described by naturalists. Bharucha also discusses deforestation and other hazardous human activities. This enormous, spectacularly beautiful volume may not be priced for everyone, but will be treasured by anybody interested in nature or India.
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