Author-naturalists release photographic field guide to wildlife of South India

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New Delhi– Renowned naturalists Surya Ramachandran and David Raju have released their new book ‘Photographic Field Guide-Wildlife of South India’. The comprehensive field guide covering all mammals, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians of the six states (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) of South India.

A must have for wilderness enthusiasts,’Photographic Field Guide -Wildlife of South India’ is a window to the rich biodiversity of South India in its own right. It is sure to transform wilderness walks and safaris and even the way people perceive urban wilderness, starting from one’s own balconies and gardens. The 360-page book covers 1920 species belonging to the six taxa using 1850 photographs contributed by around 280 photographers from India and beyond. It has been designed by Mugdha Sethi and edited by Faiza Mookerjee. The book is supported by WWF India and the Muthiah Research Foundation, said a statement about the book.

David Raju works as a naturalist in Central India and has authored a well-regarded field guide on his first love, the dragonflies and damselflies of Kerala. Surya Ramachandran used to be a documentary producer and now works as a full-time naturalist. He is currently an ambassador for Swarovski Optik Birding and runs a conservation tourism outfit focussed on snow leopards and other trans-Himalayan fauna in the mountains of Ladakh.

Over the years, the two of them have been invited to conduct many training sessions for park guides, naturalists, wilderness lodges and various forest departments.

The book is a collection of their combined 16 years of experience and knowledge, accumulated over their various explorations.

According to Surya Ramachandran, “As professional wilderness guides and naturalists, we understand the importance of simplifying and presenting complicated information in a beautiful concise manner. That is essentially what this book is all about a powerful tool for anyone who wishes to explore and better understand the wild corners of the region. It has been three years since we started working on the book and in the end, all we want to do is get back out there and revisit all the wild spaces of South India that inspired us to make this book a reality.”

David Raju adds, “The first connect we make with anything we come across, from people we come across to objects and wild denizens, is the process of naming it. This often leads to the building of curiosity, awareness and eventually conservation in some form. This book is an effort to ensure that the process of initial identification is made easy and plant the seeds of exploration and the need for preservation of our biodiversity.”

Field Guides are invaluable tools in the field, which can be used by keen visitors to wildlife parks and guides. The content covers areas like Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Insects.

This is the second such book by the authors. Their first book ‘The Photographic Field Guide- Wildlife of Central India’ was published in 2016 and it aimed to shift the focus of visitors and local guides towards the wilderness as an entity, and not just the mega species. The book covered 850 species from six taxa and covered all Central Indian landscapes from Ranthambore to Tadoba to the Bundelkand Plateau in the north.

It releases on December 15, 2020. Priced at Rs 1500 in India, it’s available at: for buyers within India; internationally. (IANS)


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