Zoological survey of India has brought out with a resourceful, user friendly, photographs
and graph studded book which anybody from birdwatcher to
conservationist love to have. A 450 odd pages hardbound all art
paper book is a thing of beauty both in terms of content and
Book with two forwards (one by Birdlife international's Michael J
Crosby and another by Taej Mundkur of Welands international) has 6
chapters and one giving the references. Has useful glossary at the
beginning of the book.
Introduction first introduces Ecology and Biogeography , River
system, lakes and swamps, weather and climate. Temparature with maps
of geology of India, climatic regions, monsoon pattern and
temperature zones. Giving geological perspective is one of the many
good things about the book. Then it goes on to wetland birds, their
value, objectives of waterbird studies, habitatas, …. Heronries and
their conservation, migration, bird ringing satellite tracking, Asia
pacific conservaition initiatives plan for the coming five years are
all real bonus!! It is good to have included these things which one
could have only found with extensive search. This chapter ends with
Book has a checklist (of waterbirds of India under bionomics of
wetland birds) with 12 pareameters.
Then comes the description of species. Here we have what I always
wanted, every family has the species count for world, asia and India
like [Divers (family Gaviidae) world 5 species, Asia 4; India 1]
Description has diagnostics, voice, food, habits, status,
distribution map and remarks. Most of the photographs are eye
catching. Numerous painting supplement the well written description.
Description clour changes for different status like Threatened,
vulnarable immediately bringing this to the reader. Few maps depict
breeding range, migration stopovers, wintering areas, migration
The addition of "wetland dependent and Associated Birds" has
increased the value of the book. Here also most of the pictures are
The other part of the book: 150+ pages of information on status of
wetland birds, IUCN criteria for red listing of Threatened species
pictorial representation of various aspects has may be for the first
time included in a single book. Any birders having conservation
angle will find the book treasure house information. Many
references and website addresses for further information makes the
book more useful. There is a summery of IUCN red list categories
and criteria in a table format, Table of conservation status of
wetland bird species in India. There is a separate photo gallery of
Globally threatened species.
Next chapter deals with socio economics of wetlands. Economic value
of wetlands, extent of wetlands in india and so on. Good deal of
information is made available under biodiversity of wetlands. Flora
and fauna of wetlands are also discussed with relevant details. Some
important aquatic plants sketches are given.
chapter "protected area network" covers all the 19 RAMSAR sites with
date of designation, region state, surface area co-ordinates site
and everything is with photos,photos and maps , maps and graphs!!
Book not only discusses the problems but also proposes solutions
under strategic solutions. Many useful lists are provided which
helps the intersted reader immensly, saving their time in finding
the individual details and compiling them to the useful form.
So all of us thank and congratulate Dr. Arun kumar and others of
ZSI, who made a dream kind of thing a possibility.
Book is reasonably priced at Rs 1500 and a hefty discount of 35 % is
available to birders. Author on an occasion told me that only 1000
copies of the book is printed. And it should disappear in no time,
such is the content!!
94489 - 05214
Kumar,A, Sati,JP, Tak, PC and Alfred,JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian
Wetland Birds and their Conservation : i-xxvi; 1-468; 468 colour
photographs, colour maps 355, 13 B&W maps, 52 colour plates; entire
Handbook is in multicolour on Art Paper; hard bound (Published by
the Director, Zool. Surv. India) (ISBN: 81-8171-058-4, 2005). Price
15,00/= with 10% discount to all individuals, 35% discount to
students, scholars and amateur birders. It is available for sale now
both at ZSI, Dehra Dun and Kolkata.
For details, please uplink on