Faunal Heritage of Rajasthan, India: General Background and Ecology of Vertebrates

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B.K. Sharma, Seema Kulshreshtha, Asad R. Rahmani
Springer Science & Business Media, Sep 14, 2013 - Nature - 645 pages

This is the first ever monumental and scientific documentation of the faunal wealth of the Indian Desert state of Rajasthan, covering the species diversity, distribution and conservation status. A scholarly contribution to the field of knowledge, it provides novel and vital information on the vertebrate faunal heritage of India’s largest state.

Broadly falling under the Indo-Malaya Ecozone, the three major biomes of Rajasthan include Deserts and Xeric Shrublands; Tropical and Sub-tropical Dry Broadleaf Forests and Tropical and Sub-tropical Moist Broadleaf Forests and the ecoregions thus covered are North Western Thorn Scrub Forests and the Thar Desert; Khathiar-Gir Dry Deciduous Forests and the Upper Gangtic Plains Moist Deciduous Forests, respectively. Contrary to popular belief, the well known Thar or Great Indian Desert occupies only a part of the state. Rajasthan is diagonally divided by the Aravalli mountain ranges into arid and semi-arid regions. The later has a spectacular variety of highly diversified and unique yet fragile ecosystems comprising lush green fields, marshes, grasslands, rocky patches and hilly terrains, dense forests, the southern plateau, fresh water wetlands and salt lakes.

Apart from the floral richness, there is faunal abundance from fishes to mammals. The flagship and threatened species of Tiger; Leopard; Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican; White-Napped Tit; Raptors; Demoiselle and Sarus Crane; Chelones; Bats; Wild Ungulates; Small Cats; Bear; Wolf; Wild Dog; Otter; Uromastyx; Giant Flying Squirrel, Gharial and Gangetic Dolphin have been described in the 45 chapters penned by top notch wildlife experts and academics. Chapters covering fossil records; conservation of biodiversity via the age old ‘Public Science of the Desert’; Anthropological Account of Communities and Tribes; socio-cultural, mythological and historical aspects of faunal conservation and the fauna in retrospect; wildlife trade; ecotourism; climate and other environmental factors like Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojna (IGNP) believed to have changed the ecological face of Western Rajasthan; Protected Area Network; the tiger re-introduction experiment; and community conservation are key attractions. The world famous heronry, tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and some threat-ridden biodiversity rich areas shall certainly draw the attention of readers from around the world.

The last chapter highlighting issues and insights on conservation and management and initiatives and gaps in research will help researchers from India and abroad to identify potential areas of future collaborative work. The strategies suggested herein can be a powerful tool for international conservational advocacy. Supported by rare photographs and paintings, the extensive content has implications for faunal ecology in similar habitats elsewhere on the Earth.

Broadly falling under the Indo-Malaya Ecozone, the three major biomes of Rajasthan include Deserts and Xeric Shrublands; Tropical and Sub-tropical Dry Broadleaf Forests and Tropical and Sub-tropical Moist Broadleaf Forests and the ecoregions thus covered are North Western Thorn Scrub Forests and the Thar Desert; Khathiar-Gir Dry Deciduous Forests and the Upper Gangtic Plains Moist Deciduous Forests, respectively. Contrary to popular belief, the well known Thar or Great Indian Desert occupies only a part of the state. Rajasthan is diagonally divided by the Aravalli mountain ranges into arid and semi-arid regions. The later has a spectacular variety of highly diversified and unique yet fragile ecosystems comprising lush green fields, marshes, grasslands, rocky patches and hilly terrains, dense forests, the southern plateau, fresh water wetlands and salt lakes.

Apart from the floral richness, there is faunal abundance from fishes to mammals. The flagship and threatened species of Tiger; Leopard; Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican; White-Napped Tit; Raptors; Demoiselle and Sarus Crane; Chelones; Bats; Wild Ungulates; Small Cats; Bear; Wolf; Wild Dog; Otter; Uromastyx; Giant Flying Squirrel, Gharial and Gangetic Dolphin have been described in the 45 chapters penned by top notch wildlife experts and academics. Chapters covering fossil records; conservation of biodiversity via the age old ‘Public Science of the Desert’; Anthropological Account of Communities and Tribes; socio-cultural, mythological and historical aspects of faunal conservation and the fauna in retrospect; wildlife trade; ecotourism; climate and other environmental factors like Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojna (IGNP) believed to have changed the ecological face of Western Rajasthan; Protected Area Network; the tiger re-introduction experiment; and community conservation are key attractions. The world famous heronry, tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and some threat-ridden biodiversity rich areas shall certainly draw the attention of readers from around the world.

The last chapter highlighting issues and insights on conservation and management and initiatives and gaps in research will help researchers from India and abroad to identify potential areas of future collaborative work. The strategies suggested herein can be a powerful tool for international conservational advocacy. Supported by rare photographs and paintings, the extensive content has implications for faunal ecology in similar habitats elsewhere on the Earth.

Apart from the floral richness, there is faunal abundance from fishes to mammals. The flagship and threatened species of Tiger; Leopard; Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican; White-Napped Tit; Raptors; Demoiselle and Sarus Crane; Chelones; Bats; Wild Ungulates; Small Cats; Bear; Wolf; Wild Dog; Otter; Uromastyx; Giant Flying Squirrel, Gharial and Gangetic Dolphin have been described in the 45 chapters penned by top notch wildlife experts and academics. Chapters covering fossil records; conservation of biodiversity via the age old ‘Public Science of the Desert’; Anthropological Account of Communities and Tribes; socio-cultural, mythological and historical aspects of faunal conservation and the fauna in retrospect; wildlife trade; ecotourism; climate and other environmental factors like Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojna (IGNP) believed to have changed the ecological face of Western Rajasthan; Protected Area Network; the tiger re-introduction experiment; and community conservation are key attractions. The world famous heronry, tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and some threat-ridden biodiversity rich areas shall certainly draw the attention of readers from around the world.

The last chapter highlighting issues and insights on conservation and management and initiatives and gaps in research will help researchers from India and abroad to identify potential areas of future collaborative work. The strategies suggested herein can be a powerful tool for international conservational advocacy. Supported by rare photographs and paintings, the extensive content has implications for faunal ecology in similar habitats elsewhere on the Earth.

 

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Contents

Faunal Ecology An Insight Piscifauna and Herpetofauna
255
Faunal Ecology An Insight Avifauna
332
Faunal Ecology An Insight The Mammal Conglomerate
426
Erratum
584
Appendices
586
Glossary
611
Further Readings
619
Index
621
The Book and Its Audience
641
About the Editors
643
Copyright

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