Sub title: Writings on Wildlife and Conservation in South India
Author: S. Theodore Bhaskaran
The Blackbuck is the quarterly journal of the Madras Naturalists' Society— a group of wildlife enthusiasts, both amateur and professional— and first appeared in the early 1980s. Devoted to the preservation of species whose natural habitats are threatened by relentless urbanization, it has over the years provided a forum for members to authentically document their observations and share their views. This collection of pieces, selected by Theodore Baskaran, celebrates twenty-five years of Blackbuck's publication. The articles are presented under the four main sections: Wildlife, Habitats, Conservation Issues and Documenting Wildlife. Brimming with perceptive insights, the essays range from M. Krishnan's engaging account of the rapidly vanishing sloth bear to Janaki Lenin's compelling narration of her experiences living on the edge of a stretch of scrubland; from E.R.C. Davidar's instructive recollections on how to track leopards to T.N.A. Perumal's helpful tips on photographing creatures in the wild. Other contributors include Madhav Gadgil, Preston Ahimaz, P.K. Uthaman and K.K. Neelakantan. Running through these articles is a palpable sense of the urgency needed to protect India's dwindling wildlife. Combining scientific analyses with personal reflections, this collection is a tribute to what M. Krishnan calls the 'revitalizing power of an interest in nature . . .' and the commitment of this dedicated group of writers to preserving India's flora and fauna.