Wildlife books on India

There is now a good range of books about the wildlife of India.

Field Guide to Indian Mammals (Helm Field Guides) Written by Vivek Menon, one of India’s top biologists

Field Guide to Indian Mammals (Helm Field Guides)

India has a rich mammal fauna including elephants, rhinos and the much sought-after Tiger, but there are many other species to be found there, many of them more conspicuous than the elusive Tiger. This book is the first comprehensive field guide to all the 400 species of mammals in India. Most are illustrated with superb colour photographs or illustrations, and are accompanied by an authoritative text from one of India’s top biologists. The text pinpoints key characteristics of the species concerned, and gives useful distributional and habitat information. Maps are included for each species, and footprints too where relevant. Amazon

A Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent

A Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent

This guide covers all the species of birds found on the Indian subcontinent. It provides a companion for anyone travelling in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and should also be useful in peripheral regions for which few guides exist.

One reader notes:

I needed a field guide for a short trip to India and this book was recommended on an Indian website. I have not regretted buying it. The illustrations are excellent although some plates are very busy due to the vast region covered. A brief text is found opposite the plates with the all important notes on voice. Distribution maps are usually on the page preceding the notes or the page following the illustration. All in all a very usable field guide. I have since bought the Grimmett and Inskipp “Birds of Southern India” to cut down the species treated. However without distribution maps and voice notes it is not a patch on this field guide and subsequently will not make my next trip. If you need a field guide for India, this is the one I would recommend. Amazon

The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians

The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians

This new title covers the curious world of reptiles and amphibians, both common and rare, found in the Indian faunal limits. There has been no book to rival J C Daniel’s earlier Book of Indian Reptiles, also published by the Bombay Natural History Society in 1983. He has now presented an entirely new text of not only a large number of reptiles, but has also described frogs, toads, and other amphibians, a much neglected group that is revealed in this book as picturesque, and biologically interesting as any other group of animals. This book contains field observations and photographs, and descriptions of 175 species including 53 snakes, 45 lizards of various groups, 31 tortoises and turtles, and 45 amphibians. Almost each species has been illustrated with the line drawings, photographs and reproductions of paintings from the Journal of the BNHS. The book satisfies professional zoologists, amateur naturalists, students and the interested general reader alike. There is a reference section with reptiles and amphibians listed separately. Photographic contributions from several members of the BNHS, add contemporary appeal to this exciting new field guide, whcih also contains snippets of historical information. Amazon

Queen of the Elephants

Queen of the Elephants

Mark Shand trekked 300 miles across East Benghal and Assam on the back of an elephant with Parbato Barua, the foremost and only female elephant trainer in all India. This book describes the experiences shared during this remarkable journey – joining a government ‘elephant squad’ together with local villagers to chase a band of wild elephants off a tea estate, and making a stop at Parbati’s ancestral home, now a virtual shrine to her father’s lifelong work with elephants. The importance of this ancient knowledge becomes clear: if not preserved, the Asian elephant stands an even greater chance of disappearing altogether. Amazon

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