Compendium on natural history hooks reader

1000 Indian Wildlife Quiz & 1000 World Wildlife Quiz Deep Narayan Pandey Publisher: Rupa & Co, Delhi Price: Rs 30 each

By Rimjhim Jain
Published: Thursday 15 April 1993

WHICH wildlife sanctuary in India is the world's only floating sanctuary? And, did you know the giant clam lays one billion eggs at a time? These are some of the fascinating facts on natural life put together in multiple-choice, question-answer format in Deep Narayan Pandey's two books.

One wonders why Rupa has brought out in such quick succession these clones of Maneka Gandhi's 1000 Animal Quiz. But Pandey creditably covers a wider spectrum and unlike what the titles suggest, both books are a compendium of information on wildlife, ecosystems, sustainable development, environmentalists and conservation activities. A welcome addition in the books are pictures that the reader has to identify.

Neither book is encyclopaedic in scope as the blurbs boast, and they barely brush the surface of a rich and deep subject. However, the believe-it-or-not style of the questions, with their emphasis on the unusual, is an effective way of hooking the reader's interest in natural history.

Pandey is well-qualified to equip readers with a battery of accurate information on natural history. Besides possessing a deep love for all things wild, he is a member of the Indian forest service and has served as a forest ranger in Madhya Pradesh. Pandey has also travelled widely, surveying the country's natural resources.

Both books have their uses, especially as the author's stated reason for compiling them is to help readers "to make informed choices in natural resource conservation and economic development". One hopes this motive is not too ambitious.

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