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Mammals of India By Dr. Anwaruddin Chodhury

India forms part of a rich biogeographic unit that represents parts of three biodiversity ‘hotspots’ – Himalaya, Indo-Burma and Western Ghats & Sri Lanka. It also forms part of three Endemic Bird Areas, the Eastern Himalaya, the Assam Plains and Western Ghats. India is part of two zoogeographic regions, the Oriental (also called the Indomalayan Region) and the Palaearctic. Oriental Zoogeographic Region has four zoo-geographic subregions within Indian limits – the Himalayan, the Indian, the Ceylonese and the Indochinese.     

India has more than 400 species of mammals. It is the only country in the world to have the Tiger and the Lion. The presence of such a diverse mammalian species in a relatively small area of the globe is significant (c. 8.6% of the total mammalian species in 2.4% of the world’s land area).

In this new book, which has been launched today entitled, "The Mammals of India: a systematic & cartographic review" by Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury is a major definitive work on the mammals of India. The range of all the species have been mapped in full colour for the first time. The style of presentation of range maps is different from all the other mammal books published so far in India except The Mammals of NE India which was published in 2013 and authored by him. It is a scientific work but non-technical readers can also follow it without much problem. The text is supported by some photographs, maps and a few illustrations, followed by exhaustive list of references.

Prof. Colin Groves, the famous Australian scientist while penning down the foreword of this book has stated that "it is extraordinary that there has been no dedicated taxonomic coverage of the mammals of India for over half a century (since Ellerman & Morrison Scott’s 1951 Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian Mammals). An enormous amount of taxonomic work has gone on since then, but nowhere has it been gathered together in one place. There have been a number of general books on the mammals of India; useful and interesting though most of them are, they have not been taxonomic works, and have tended to concentrate on the larger, more visible mammals, giving little space to the smaller ones, notably insectivores, bats and rodents."

About three years back, The Mammals of North East India was launched which is also a major definitive work, the first such documentation on NE India, a global biodiversity hotspot. This small region, about the size of UK has mammal diversity equivalent to entire European continent.  This region has the highest mammalian diversity in India (63% of mammals in about 8% of geographical area of the country). This is because of its location on the meeting zone of the Himalayan, Indian and Indo-Chinese Sub-Regions.

More Books by Dr. Anwaruddin Choudhury

  1. Mammals of Assam
  2. The Birds of Assam
  3. Mammals of Arunachal Pradesh
  4. Kaziranga: Wildlife in Assam
  5. A Naturalist in Karbi Anglong
  6. The vanishing hers: the wild water buffalo
  7. The secrets of Wild Assam
  8. The Mammals of North East India
  9. Pocket Guide books  - Nagaland, Arunachal, Mizoram, Kaziranga, Manas, Dibru-Saikhowa, Meghalaya

About Anwaruddin Choudhury
Dr. Choudhury has contributed significantly to the conservation and awareness in India. He has written over 640 articles and scientific papers, 21 books and over 35 technical reports on wildlife. He has done his masters in Geography and and his Ph.D on Primates and became only the second D.SC (on systematic review of Mammals of NE India) from Guwahayi University. He is currently Divisional Commissioner, Barak Valley in Assam. He was Secretary, Joint Secretary of Environment & Forests, and Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Baksa and Lakhimpur districts in Assam. He is also the Founder Chief Executive of the Rhino Foindation for Nature in NE India. Formerly a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, he is now a member of the State Board for Wildlife, State Wetland Steering Committee, State Pollution Control Board and several IUCN/SSC/BLI Specialist Groups including Asian Elephnat, Asian Rhino, Wild Cattle, Bear, Cat, etc. He pioneered long-term wildlife research in northeastern region of India and has over 35 years of Field experience.

Names of the people in the launch photo, from left to right

  • Mohan Chandra Malakar, IFS, Former PCCF (WL), Assam
  • Ranjit Barthakur, Founder Trustee, Balipara Foundation
  • Dr. Anwaruddin Choudhury, IAS, Divisional Commissioner, Barak Valley Division
  • Dr. Anil Kumar Goswami, Former Principal, Cotton College, Guwahati
  • M.K. Yadava, IFS, Addl. PCCF, Assam

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