The swift decline and present plight of India's wildlife make regular headlines. This book asks how we came to this point. It introduces us to the long history of India's wildlife, culminating in the present crisis.
Drawing on memoirs, archives and official records, Mahesh Rangarajan brings new insights to bear upon age-old encounters between human beings and the natural world in India. While highlighting major figures, such as Jim Corbett and M. Krishnan, he also puts the Spotlight on less-known conservationists, landscapes and species.
The focus of this book is on landmarks in the history of Indian wildlife - both its conservation and decline. Chapters on the Ancient and Medieval periods sketch out India's early wildlife history. Nature's retreat against human onslaught over the past two centuries, and efforts to reverse that trend, are then addressed in greater detail.
The past can serve as a guide to options for the present. It can reveal strategies for a future in which wildlife and people coexist. This book ends by looking ahead and identifies workable ways to conserve India's vanishing wildlife.
An easy and lucid style makes this an illuminating book for the general reader. Specialists and scholars will find a mine of information within it. This is the best available short account of the history of Indian wildlife.
About the Author:
Mahesh Rangarajan is a well-known historian of ecological change as well as a frequently visible television commentator on Indian politics. He has been a Fellow of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, and served as Corresponding Editor of the journal Environment and History. His books include Fencing the Forest (1996); the two-volume Oxford Anthology of Indian Wildlife (1999); and (as co-author) Towards Coexistence: People, Parks and Wildlife (2000). He is working on a full-length history of wildlife conservation and hunting in India.
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