National Wildlife Day was founded by animal behaviorist and philanthropist Colleen Paige. The idea behind this day is to bring to the fore knowledge about endangered animals and spread the word about animal conservation.
We put together a list of wildlife animal books for you on this day.
A Zoo in My Luggage by Gerald Durrell
Gerald Durell is the first writer who comes to mind when you think about books featuring animals.This is a rollicking account of his travels and how he created his own zoo.
“I hope that, in a small way, I am interesting people in animal life and in its conservation. If I accomplish this I will consider that I have achieved something worthwhile. And if I can, later on, help even slightly towards preventing an animal from becoming extinct, I will be content.”
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera and the antagonist Sher Khan are unforgettable fictional characters from the immortal fiction The Jungle Book. Kipling wrote the book for his daughter Josephine as he mentioned: “This book belongs to Josephine Kipling for whom it was written by her father, May 1894.” Unfortunately his daughter lived only for six years.
“A black shadow dropped down into the circle. It was Bagheera the Black Panther, inky black all over, but with the panther markings showing up in certain lights like the pattern of watered silk. Everybody knew Bagheera, and nobody cared to cross his path, for he was as cunning as Tabaqui, as bold as the wild buffalo, and as reckless as the wounded elephant. But he had a voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree, and a skin softer than down.”
Every Creature Has a Story: What Science Reveals about Animal Behaviour by Janaki Lenin
Janaki Lenin is a careful observer of the wildlife around her. This book is a collection of essays where she examines the wild and wonderful behaviors of unlikely animals from rodents to wasps to humpback whales. Animals are only now beginning to be understood and Lenin traces paternal love, altruism and the variegated emotions of the members of the animal kingdom.
Man-eaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett
Corbett was a man-eater detective of sorts. In his book that has remained in print for seventy years he elaborates on the conflict between humans and big cats.
“Those who have never seen a leopard under favourable conditions in his natural surroundings can have no conception of the grace of movement, and beauty of colouring, of this the most gracefuL and the most beautiful of all animals in our Indian jungles.”
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen
The snow leopard is an elusive predator and Peter Matthiessen knows that there is a possibility that in his quest for the bharal, the Himalayan blue sheep, he may see one. The Snow Leopard is a physical journey toward clarity and an understanding of Zen.
“Indicating his twisted legs without a trace of self-pity or bitterness, as if they belonged to all of us, he casts his arms wide to the sky and the snow mountains, the high sun and dancing sheep, and cries, ’Of course I am happy here! It’s wonderful! Especially when I have no choice!’ In its wholehearted acceptance of what is;I feel as if he had struck me in the chest. Butter tea and wind pictures, the Crystal Mountain, and blue sheep dancing on the snow-it’s quite enough!
Have you seen the snow leopard?
No! Isn’t that wonderful?”
Indian Mammals: A Field Guide Book by Vivek Menon
A comprehensive field guide to 400 species of mammals in India accompanied by photos, illustrations and expert insight. Reading the book helps familiarize you with the enormous diversity of the animal kingdom in India .
The Vanishing: India’s Wildlife Crisis by Prerna Singh Bindra
Prerna Singh Bindra talks about the sorry state of wildlife governance in the country. Bottlenecks in bureaucracy and lackadaisical policy make the animals of the country its victims. The author was a member of the National Board for Wildlife and on Uttarakhand’s State Board for Wildlife. She has worked passionately to protect wildlife habitats and critically endangered species.
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
A remarkable book where the eminent nature writer Robert Macfarlane and the genius artist Jackie Morris have brought back the vocabulary of the British wild. The book has received much praise and can be read and appreciated by children and older readers alike. An Indian counterpart of lost nature terms in India is greatly needed.
At the Pothi.com Store, we have a couple of books around the theme of wildlife conservation by H. S. Pabla, former Chief Wildlife Warden of the state of Madhya Pradesh. He was once on the faculty of the Wildlife Institute of India and is an international consultant in forestry and wildlife management in South Asia now. Here are the links to his books: Road to Nowhere, Wardens in Shackles and Besides Loving Beasts.
Tell us which book about wildlife you would recommend.