Sabyasachi Patra

Indian Mammals​-​A Field Guide

Indian Mammals A Field Guide

By Vivek Menon

I had bought this book as soon as it came out in 2014. However, I must confess that the moment I opened the contents chapter, the colourful shading of various chapters made me feel that it was meant for kids. A casual flipping of the pages with lot of colour photographs, some in rectangle and others in oval just made me nervous. There are some pages marked as field notes with illustrations which made me feel that it is targeted towards the cartoon loving kids generation. Somehow its aesthetics didn’t give a feeling that this book is meant to serve as a reference book.

Indian Mammals - A Field Guide

Indian Mammals – A Field Guide

Since I was about to leave for an assignment, the book remained unread. It was much later this year when I picked it up and found that this book has got a lot of material. The author Shri Vivek Menon would have put lot of painstaking efforts to compile this book “Indian Mammals – A Field Guide”. Published by Hachette India, this book has 528 pages with over a thousand photographs and should readily help people identify the various sub-species of mammals found in India.

The author has included general behavioural aspects of the mammals in the initial stages of the book for enthusiasts to get a quick idea. For example understanding the age of mammals by observation, alarm signs, track/paw prints, interpreting feeding signs etc will immediately enhance the knowledge of beginners. Peer-reviewed information have also been provided on the various aspects including diet and foraging, vocalisations, reproductive strategies as well as threats and conservation.

Many species covered in this book, from Whales, dugongs and dolphins to the Takin and Serow may have not been seen even by the avid wildlife enthusiasts and researchers. Since along with the species there is a geographical map of India to show the distribution of the species, this book will help in appreciating the amazing bio-diversity of India.

Dolphins from Sundarbans

Irrawaddy Dolphins in Sundarbans




Useful contacts of various scientists in relevant sections have been provided for personal communication. It is good that references have been given in the End Notes and also select bibliographic information is provided for further research.

Indian Mammals – A Field Guide” is priced at Rs. 850/-. However, I found that it is selling at Rs. 544/- in amazon.in. I feel it is fairly priced and wildlife enthusiasts and photographers as well as the layman should have this book in their book selves. And if you are a e-reader, then the Kindle version of this book is also available.

You can order the Indian Mammals – A Field Guide by clicking on this link:

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Sabyasachi Patra

Sabyasachi is an award winning Cinematographer and shoots for international broadcasters, feature films and corporates to make a living. He is a passionate wildlife filmmaker and photographer and has won awards and accolades for his documentary 'A Call in the Rainforest'. He has been striving to make his films and photographs full of life and emotion and write articles to educate and evangelise the need for conserving the last tracts of vanishing wilderness and wildlife in our country. He hopes that his wildlife films, photographs and writings force people to pause, look, ponder and ultimately take action.
Sabyasachi Patra
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