As a young boy in south India, AJT Johnsing avidly read Jim Corbett in Tamil translation: apart from the nail-biting adventure, Corbett's writing provided fine details on the landscapes, forests and wildlife of the Himalaya, observing and interpreting perfectly the sights, sounds and smells of the jungle.
Growing up to become a wildlife biologist of great repute, Dr Johnsingh gained access to some of the most lush and remote forests in the world, and began to record his observations carefully. Each of the thirty-seven articles in this book is a journey into a protected forest, some well-known and others rarely accessed. Nearly always a long walk is involved, a walk that picks up details that an untrained eye would easily miss. Close encounters with temperamental tuskers, protective elephant mothers, reclusive tigers, poachers, villagers, tribal communities and forest guards pepper these walks.
Dr Johnsingh's analyses include his deep concern for the tremendous challenge ahead if these places and their inhabitants are to be conserved in the face of an alarming onrush of humanity. Each journey, finally, involves a thoroughly enjoyable understanding of the protected area, its history, people, plants and wildlife.
Dr Johnsingh is currently Dean, Faculty of Wildlife Sciences at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. He represents the IUCN in the Caprinae, Cat, Canid, Bear and Asian Elephant Specialist Groups. In 2004, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for the Government by the Society for Conservation Biology.
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