Wonders of the Indian Wilderness

Overview


The veneration of nature has always been an integral part of Indian culture, but the country’s wilderness is rapidly disappearing and only small fragments of it now remain. In the face of this ecological threat, Wonders of the Indian Wilderness provides a lavish celebration of India’s unique natural treasure and a call to preserve it in the years to come. Over 800 pages in scope, the book devotes its first half to exploring “The Nature of Biodiversity in India,” illustrating the incredible natural abundance of ...
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Overview


The veneration of nature has always been an integral part of Indian culture, but the country’s wilderness is rapidly disappearing and only small fragments of it now remain. In the face of this ecological threat, Wonders of the Indian Wilderness provides a lavish celebration of India’s unique natural treasure and a call to preserve it in the years to come. Over 800 pages in scope, the book devotes its first half to exploring “The Nature of Biodiversity in India,” illustrating the incredible natural abundance of one of the twelve acknowledged mega-diversity nations of the world. Author Erach Bharucha describes the varied species and ecosystems of India, confronting the urgent need to conserve the country’s biodiversity—a vital resource with immense economic potential—in the process. Among the hundreds of illustrations are a dazzling foldout review of Earth’s geological and evolutionary history and an eight-page extravaganza on India’s rich floral heritage. The second half of the volume focuses on “National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of India,” recounting the distinctive plants, animals, and habitats the author has encountered in his travels through more than eighty of these areas—as well as the sobering changes he has witnessed in them over the years. Featuring more than 2,000 stunning full-color images, Wonders of the Indian Wilderness is not only an indispensable guide for environmentalists, educators, and eco-tourists but also an outstanding visual feast for the connoisseur. It is the most comprehensive overview available of the richness and sheer beauty of life in the Indian wilderness.

A spectacular celebration of the flora and fauna of the Indian wilderness, one of the most beautiful, diverse, and endangered ecosystems in the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred 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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Library Journal

In size, scope, and sheer heft, this magnificent book resembles a one-volume encyclopedia, but it is the breathtaking achievement of a single author. In the first half of the book, Bharucha (founder & director, Bharati Vidyapeeth Inst. of Environment Education & Research, Pune, India; The Biodiversity of India), a nature photographer and active environmental advocate, vividly catalogs the flora and fauna within India's ten biogeographic zones, including numerous photographs (some are four-page panoramic foldouts) and stunning botanical and zoological prints. In the second half, Bharucha features 81 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries he photographed over the past three decades. The theme that much of India's wilderness has been lost or degraded as a result of population pressures, industrialization, and tourism in wilderness areas persists throughout the book. Even backward areas have become accessible to such a degree that truly remote and undisturbed regions are hard to find. Parks and sanctuaries, as Bharucha reveals here, are the last refuges of India's vast biodiversity. Because of its price and size, this lavish volume is recommended as a special purchase for science collections where there is interest in international conservation and wildlife preservation programs.
—Cynthia Knight

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789209993
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/11/2008
  • Pages: 855
  • Product dimensions: 11.70 (w) x 13.70 (h) x 2.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Erach Bharucha has been active in wildlife and nature conservation for nearly fifty years. A well-known wildlife photographer, he has traveled and studied Indian National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries extensively over the last three decades. He has been a member and executive of such conservation institutions as the Bombay Natural History Society, Worldwide Fund for Nature, and Wildlife Institute of India. In 1993 he began developing the Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research (BVIEER). A surgeon by profession, he works in Pune, India. His previous publications include The Biodiversity of India (CD-ROM and book).
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