The subcontinent of India is almost indescribable to those that have not been there. To see so much diversity in one place is amazing. The multitude of different birds and animals that call India home is extraordinary.
They say a picture says a thousand words. Photographer and zoologist, Axel Gomille, gives the outside world a beautiful view of the animals that call this incredible place home. Gomille’s book is filled with exceptional photographs that give readers a close look at “Wild India”. I found myself saying Wow more than I thought I would upon turning the almost 200 pages of this full color hardbound masterpiece. Each photograph is accompanied by a short caption giving some information about the scene. A must have for your library.
With over 1.2 billion people, India is the second-most populated country in the world. With so many people, is there any space left for wildlife? Surprisingly, yes, and wild animals are a common sight, even in modern India. Of the world’s 37 species of wild cats, 14 of them occur in India – more than in any other country. By comparison, the entire African continent only has ten different species of wild cat. In total, about 350 species of wild mammals, 540 species of reptiles, and 1200 species of birds have been recorded in India. One reason for this remarkable diversity lies in the geography of the Indian subcontinent, since it is very large and encompasses a wide range of different habitats. The distance from the desert in the west, close to the Pakistani border, to the rainforests in the east, close to Myanmar, is around 3000 kilometres, which is roughly as far as the distance from the tropical coasts of southern India to the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas in the north. These wide ranges of habitats and extreme landscapes ensure that the biodiversity of India is one of the riches on Earth. Although India’s ecology and wildlife have suffered in the past from human encroachment, today, some 150,000 square kilometres of wilderness is protected across numerous parks and sanctuaries, with the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger playing a crucial role in conservation. Religion also continues to influence how people treat their environment: Hinduism as India’s prevalent religion teaches respect for all forms of life, and some wild animals, such as monkeys, elephants or cobras, are even considered to be holy. India is home to the world’s largest surviving populations of wild tigers and Indian rhinoceros. If the fate of these endangered species is to be decided somewhere, it will be in Wild India.
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