Thrissur (Kerala), : Today saw the launch ‘Indian Mammals- A Field Guide’, authored by Vivek Menon, Executive Director of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Regional Director – South Asia of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), at the College of Forestry, Kerala Agriculture University (KAU), in Thrissur.
The book was launched by renowned wildlife veterinarian Dr Jacob V Cheeran and eminent ornithologist Dr Vijayan, former director, SACON and Chairman of State Biodiversity Board, Kerala.
Handing over the book to Dr Vijayan, as part of the launch, Dr Cheeran, said to the audience, “I am honoured to release this book. This is a field guide; go out into the field and use it and help conserve India’s wildlife.”
“Earlier we had living encyclopedias like Dr Salim Ali and JC Daniel. Now we have a dearth of such repositories of information, and Vivek’s book is a timely product that will provide us similar guidance. This book will be a great help to all of us,” said Dr Vijayan.
The book is an updated, superbly illustrated guide to more than 400 species of mammals found in India.
“It is our privilege to launch Vivek’s book today. He is a well-known conservationist whose organisation WTI and its partner IFAW has made huge impacts on wildlife conservation in India as well as over 40 other countries around the world,” said Dr Nameer, eminent ornithologist and Associate Professor (Wildlife) and Head, Centre for Wildlife Studies, KAU, adding that ‘the Indian Mammals – A field guide fills in a void left after a book on Indian mammals by Prater in the 1947’.
Vivek Menon, echoing his thoughts, said, “This book has been the culmination of many years of hard work and I am pleased at the result in shape of the book. My thanks to IFAW for its support and also to the publishing house Hachette for this impressive product.”
“Kerala is special for me, not only because I am originally from here, but because of the rich natural heritage here and the exemplary respect people have for it. I am just returning from Periyar, and this book is a tribute to the authorities and frontline staff who have helped save this heritage for us, our next generation including my sons who are with me today, and the next,” he added.
Covering the rich diversity of mammal species in India, from tigers, elephants, rhinos and whales to primates, rodents and bats, Indian Mammals is a comprehensive and field-ready illustrated guide for use by all wildlifers.
Accompanied by superb full-colour photographs and distribution maps and based upon impeccable scientific research reviewed by experts, the guide records details of virtually every mammal known to exist in India.
The in-depth, up-to-date text by Vivek Menon, one of India’s leading naturalists and an authority on Indian wildlife, describes key identification features, biometrics, behaviour, social strategies, habitat and distribution of the mammals.
Jose Louies, IFAW-WTI Regional Head – south India, said, “This book is not solely an excellent field guide to Indian mammals; it is an inspiration. The earlier edition of the book was what I practically grew into as a conservationist with. I am sure that this will continue to inspire the next generation of conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts.”
Encyclopaedic in sweep yet accessible in approach, Indian Mammals includes the majestic and most sought-after as well as the extraordinary and elusive mammals.