Fwd: New Book “Plants of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Himalaya: A Field Guide”,Authored by Ishwari Datt Rai, Gajendra Singh & Gopal Singh Rawat, : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1) – Plants of Kedarnath Wildlife Scantuary Western Himalay.pdf- 1 MB.
we are pleased to inform you about our new publication “Plants of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Himalaya: A Field Guide”
Authored by Ishwari Datt Rai, Gajendra Singh & Gopal Singh Rawat,
ISBN 978-81-211-0959-8 Year of publication 2017, pages vi, 402 (more then 1200 coloured photographs) Binding : Soft flexi Bound, Size : 5.5” x 8.5”,Price Rs 695.00
We are also giving below a brief write up of the book for your information, attached along with a information Blurb:
This Field Guide has been brought out as a ‘user friendly companion’ for the naturalists, tourists, foresters and trekkers to the ‘ Land of Five Kedars’ and surrounds who wish to rejoice the astounding beauty of Himalayan flowers and keen to refresh their field botany. This guide is based on an extensive explorations made by the authors in various parts of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary sprawls between the inner valleys of Mandakini on the left extreme and Alaknanda gorge on the north-eastern flank. The sanctuary harbours a diverse array of flora and fauna typical of Western Himalaya. Owing to a wide altitudinal range of about 1100 to 7068 m asl, varied topography and bio-edaphic conditions, one finds a large number of vegetation types, rich array of mammals, butterflies, birds and reptiles.
More than 575 species have been described with the photographs. The maximum care is taken while describing the species character, as making  it understandable to the wider visitors, researchers, local communities and tourists. Tough scientific and botanical terms are avoided.
An annexure has been provided in the last containing all the plant recorded from the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and its environ with their local name, distribution range, habit and flower colour. More than 1100 plant species have been listed according to Bentham and Hooker system classification.
We would request you if the information of the book may kindly be made available in the Indian Eflora database.
Thanking you,
with warm Regards,
Abhimanyu Gahlot

M/s Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Publishers & Distributors of Scientific Books
23 A Connaught Place, Dehra Dun 248001UA INDIA
Ph:    +91 135 2715748
Fax:   +91 135 2715107
Email: <bsmps@vsnl.com>, <bsmpsbooks@gmail.com>, <bsmpsbooks@rediffmail.com>


Yesterday (27th Sept. 2017) I received my copy of ‘Plants of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Himalaya: A Field Guide”.

As claimed it is a good field guide for the person interested in flowering plants of West Himalayan hills. The authors of this document are well known workers of angiosperm taxonomy who have done extensive explorations in this part of the Himalaya. Expertise of the authors is visible in this document where they have described and illustrated about 575 species of montane, sub-alpine and alpine habitats. The alpine flora of the Himalaya, particularly of the Uttarakhand is difficult as these plants are less accessible and thus not well studied, collected or photographed. Even in the Oleg Polunin and Adam Stainton’s “Flowers of the Himalaya”, one of the most important pictorial document for high elevation flora, Uttarakhand was not well represented which becomes apparent by their remark- “It must be confessed that both authors have traveled much less in the hills of Uttar Pradesh than elsewhere in the Himalaya.” and “However, it remains true that if one wishes to see either the East or West Himalayan flora at its best one should not choose to visit this central portion”. I wonder, the authors of this field guide either took it as a challenge or were inspired by the ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’. The fact considered as weakness by Polunin and Stainton can be taken as strength of the flora of Uttarakhand where both eastern Himalayan and western Himalayan elements intermingle and represented making it rich, though with less endemism.

What attracts me more is the price of this document which is very affordable to even a research student (it costs 695 India Rupees including postage) and I hope it will soon become popular for this reason alone.

Printing quality has improved in India significantly and this document with this much low price is one example. However, one must not forget that conditions in high hills are not always very friendly for photographing the plants, particularly in rainy season, the main flowering season. It must have taken years of repeated efforts to develop this remarkable collection of large number of species. Since it is a field guide (and not a traditional flora) it lacks keys but the authors have an alternative to it in the form of a short cut to reach to a species by classifying plants based on flower colours and providing thumbnail and page number of each species in this classification.

The nomenclatural part and identifications are appropriate though I disagree/ sceptical (I wish I prove wrong!) with (very) few identities. Though, these do not undermine the quality and usefulness of this document.

In my opinion this book deserves place in institutional libraries, and more so in the personal libraries of the naturalists interested in the floral wealth of the Himalaya. It makes the difficult job of identification easier with images and description, after all “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

Thanks a lot, …, for the beautiful analysis and review. 

I am waiting for my copy, obviously, because of my Guruji (my PhD guide and mentor, Prof. G.S.Rawat) and my two dear friends Ishwari and Gajendra, all three authored this. I have not yet seen the content, but I believe with this trio, it must be a good book.

If you dont agree with nomenclature then you can openly discuss with them and may be they will rectify if they write second edition.

Thanks for reviewing.

Thank you … for this recommendation. I have ordered my copy on Amazon and am looking forward to receiving it. There is a great need for good pictorial guides of smaller geographical areas (Flowers of the Himalaya is very ambitious in its scope!) and I hope more such guides are produced.

Thanks a lot for your review and appreciations. This matters a lot for us.

Congratulations to all 3 authors: Dr. Rai, Dr. Singh & Dr. Rawat on the publication.
Some random thoughts:
We need more quality publications by Indian authors.
Pictorial guides are the need of the hour for broadening the serious (non-professional) flower-watcher base in the country.
I see no reason why even such guides cannot incorporate keys for identification in a separate section.
As I have not yet seen the book specific comments on this publication are reserved.