“Faunal Diversity of Rajasthan” by Dr. Satish Kumar Sharma is a comprehensive and invaluable resource on the rich faunal biodiversity of Rajasthan. Published by Himanshu Publications Udaipur and New Delhi in 2024, this extensive work spans 305 pages and is priced at Rs. 2995/-. Dr. Sharma, a well-known Forest Officer and naturalist, brings his deep expertise and passion for wildlife to this meticulously researched volume.

The book features a foreword by Sh. Arijit Banerjee, PCCF and Head of Forest Force Rajasthan, Jaipur, underscoring its significance. Dr. Sharma documents an impressive 3761 faunal species from Rajasthan, categorized into 1963 genera across 14 phyla, including 9 Non-Chordata and 5 Chordata phyla such as Protozoa, Porifera, Platyhelminthes, Nemathelminthes, Trochelminthes, Bryozoa, Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca, Fishes, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia. The species are systematically arranged by families and orders, enhancing the book’s utility for taxonomical reference.

Enhanced with 54 tables, 52 sketches/photographs, including 40 colored images, 6 maps, 1 box, 381 references, and 8 appendices, the book is a visual and informational treasure trove. Titles and subtitles are color-coded, aiding in navigation. Notably, the inclusion of over 1300 local names alongside Hindi and Latin names makes the book accessible to a broader audience, enabling even laypersons to identify and understand various species.

A particularly fascinating section of the book is the synopsis of each bird family and the detailed descriptions of all phyla. Dr. Sharma’s exploration of bird migratory habits, categorizing them into 13 families, is a valuable asset for bird watchers.

The book also presents a comparative analysis of faunal diversity between Assam and Rajasthan, highlighting the stark differences due to climatic conditions. While Assam boasts 2168 species across major animal groups, Rajasthan, despite its arid and semi-arid conditions, supports 1511 species, showcasing its unique and resilient biodiversity.

“Faunal Diversity of Rajasthan” serves as an indispensable reference for foresters, wildlife managers, botanists, zoologists, environmentalists, conservationists, bird watchers, and nature lovers. It offers a “single window” overview of Rajasthan’s faunal spectrum, providing quick access to species counts in major animal groups. This feature is particularly useful for researchers verifying potential new species records in the state.

Dr. Sharma gives special attention to several taxa such as the freshwater crab (Paratelphusa jacqumentii), Mahseer (Tor spp.), Indian garden lizard (Calotes versicolor), Indian chameleon (Chamaeleo zeylanicus), Laudankia vine snake (Ahaetulla laudankia), Grey junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii), Lion (Panthera leo), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Caracal (Caracal caracal), and Striped squirrel (Funambulus spp.). The book provides intriguing facts about these species, enriching the reader’s knowledge.

In addition to wild fauna, the book also covers the diversity of domestic and exterminated taxa in Rajasthan. The creation of such a detailed and expansive book typically requires a large collaborative effort, yet Dr. Sharma has accomplished this monumental task single-handedly. His dedication, passion, and exhaustive efforts are evident throughout the book.

“Faunal Diversity of Rajasthan” is a testament to Dr. Sharma’s expertise and commitment, making it a crucial addition to the field of wildlife studies and conservation.

Dr Satish Sharma (left) with villagers while exploring the orchids of Rajasthan in Phulwari Ki Naal Wildlife Sanctuary

Book Details

Faunal Diversity of Rajasthan
Author: Dr. Satish Kumar Sharma
Pages: 1-305 (21.5 cm x 14.0 cm)
Publisher: Himanshu Publications, Udaipur and New Delhi
Publication Year: 2024
Price: Rs. 2995