Book Reviews

Book Review

Book Review

-Susan Sharma

The Land of the Setting Sun and Other Nature Tales by Arefa Tehsin and Raza H. Tehsin

I could never imagine some one could write such an endearing tales about-well, dung beetles!  or for that matter, about the scorpion, ratel, pangolin.   But the authors have managed producing just that - eight endearing tales about some of the animals and insects we never think of as "cuddly".   The authors' writings show remarkable knowledge about the behaviour of these animals and also an empathetic understanding of the way humans have looked at the animal kingdom.  

That is exactly why, I would recommend these books for adults, though this TERI publication on " Nature Tales" is said to be targeted at the young population.  

Buy it and read it,  it will transform the world around you into the magic land that it is,   will open your eyes to see some of the magic that is surrounding us if only we are observant and mindful of the web of life.

The Snow Leopard Adventure by Deepak Dalal

The snow leopard is a rare animal of immense beauty. But so elusive is the snow leopard that it is often referred to as the ‘Grey Ghost of the Himalaya.   Joining a team of ecologists and explorers, Vikram and Aditya set off on an expedition to the Zanskar Mountains of Ladakh to search for the fabled leopard. Here, Vikram meets Caroline, a beautiful and confused American teenager. Though he befriends her he cannot understand her compulsive desire to come upon a snow leopard. The saga of Tsering, the young lama, also continues in this story. Despite having being thwarted by Vikram and Aditya, his kidnappers are not about to give in.
Camping under glaciers, tramping above the snowline, searching for blue sheep and the magnificent leopard – ‘The Snow Leopard Adventure’ is a riveting story set amidst soaring mountains and deep valleys.

Buy this book at 10% discount( on the price displayed) at 

Corporates and Environment

Living in harmony with Nature and Wildlife-Second One day workshop in Gurgaon

Corporates and Environment

Living in harmony with Nature and Wildlife-Second One day workshop in Gurgaon

-Team IWC

One of the outreach programs of your Club is orienting members through special one day workshops on ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’ for adopting sustainable living lifestyles.  As a follow up of these workshops we expect to band together our members into local area chapters all over the country and empower these groups to take up on-ground projects for making a difference by taking up off-line activities by involving larger community in adopting lifestyles that promote environment sustainability. Moving into on-ground initiatives is a natural progression for our Members to actualize,  a difficult goal to achieve but not impossible given the Club's motto  

"Team work is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results".   
We plan launching workshops in major cities and metros as part of a collaborative consultation process.    This collaborative consultation process contributes to IWC’s vision of connecting research and responses to societal challenges.  A carefully orchestrated, bottom-up discussion can help forge consensus in a complex, inherently multidisciplinary area.  The workshop is primarily targeted at Corporate executives interested in environmental issues.  This workshop will bring together naturalists and biologists, conservationists and ecologists, scholars of rivers and forests, animals and coastlines. The reviews of ongoing work will help open up new questions and stimulate a fresh look at old ones.

Here is the program roll out for our second workshop.   Do register online and attend the workshop if you are in the NCR region.  

Register online at 


A heritage hotel which is eco-friendly

A heritage hotel which is eco-friendly

-Susan sharma

“As tourism evolved globally from a business model into a tool for ensuring uniform diffusion of the socio-economic benefits, as well as a means of conservation with respect to biodiversity (a topic now increasingly coming under the scanner, but more due to mismanagement rather than a flaw in the concept),niches like eco tourism, responsible tourism, sustainable tourism started emerging, bound together by a common idea;  but the approach differing in the sect of the natural and built environment they sort to address.”  See more at:

It is rarely one finds that a commercial hotel in the heart of the City (in this case Nainital”) tries to strike a balance with nature.  

HotelHimalaya in Nainital-Walking down the cobbled path from the hotel to the lake

Wooden flooring and ceiling coupled with wooden furniture and a fireplace makes a cosy room.  The light switches are also old fashioned, completing the heritage look

It is rarely one finds that a commercial hotel in the heart of the City (in this case Nainital”) tries to strike a balance with nature. 

Wake up to the call of Koels at 4 AM , followed by numerous bird calls and the sparrows taking over the music and the verandahs of the hotel soon.  This unique experience before the city sounds took over made me realise that we can bring nature into any space if we are sensitive and alive to it.

If you're a bird lover like me, and want to draw a diverse range of bird life to your yard,you'll need more than just a birdbath or bird feeder.  The ambience has to be inviting, an area of abundant bushes,  trees and flowers that attract and make local birds feel at home.

The unique idea of having a mini golf course surrounded by a garden full of local flowers and plants is the USP of Hotel Himalalya. 

The picturesque entrance to a well laid out mini golf course.  

Free training is provided by Gita Shah, Owner,  to aspiring golfers

Just 15 km away is Pangot, that unique village where bird density must be maximum compared to any other village in India.  The whole village is” living in harmony with birds”.  

Swallows make home on top of a light switch in the local tea stall. 

Book a place in this hotel by clicking here 

Environment Education

Basic Course in Herpetology by BNHS-Student experience

Basic Course in Herpetology by BNHS-Student experience
(Text and photographs by Avinash Vora)

My name is Avinash Vora and I enrolled for the one year online basic course in herpetology by BNHS in June 2013. 
I was looking to be part of something like this and was lucky enough to learn about the course through IWC in the nick of time. 
For me, these were the biggest takeaways from the course:
Learning the basics of herpetology (reptiles, amphibians, and caecilians). Prior to this program, I was aware only of specific reptiles or amphibians that I would read or watch about. During this program, I learnt a lot more about lesser known reptiles and amphibians which is truly fascinating. 
Meeting like-minded people. I never knew there were so many people who shared a common interest with me. This encouraged me to learn even more about herping and pursue it more seriously. 
Interacting with experts. I had the privilege of attending lectures conducted by Dr. Varad Giri and Dr. Shubhalaxmi Vaylure of BNHS, and Mr. Ramashish Joshi of Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra.  
Discovering the not so spoken of bio-diversity hot spots in India. There are so many places other than the “Tiger Reserves” of India which are equally beautiful and fascinating. One realizes this when he/she attends the field camps organized by BNHS in the forests. Going herping in the forests at night is the most exciting experience one can have. 
Lastly, the flexibility of the course along with the helping nature of the BNHS staff is really amazing and I recommend this course to anyone who is interested in learning the very basics of herpetology and in meeting like-minded people who share the same passion. 

 Forest trail in Amboli

Malabar pit viper resting on a plant during one of our trails in Amboli

Malabar pit viper resting on a plant during one of our trails in Amboli

 Shieldtail snake resting on the forest trail track in Amboli 


Appeal to IWC Members

Appeal to IWC Members
-Team IWC

Please spare two minutes and respond to our online survey.  The survey has 11 questions.  The last question asking for your mobile number can be omitted. If you had problems completing the survey due to question No. 12, please attempt the survey again omitting question no.12.

The survey can be accessed at

Background for doing the survey

One of  the ides under consideration to enrich and expand our outreach programs is

Developing a mobile application to connect IWC members in a City/State so that they can come together under a local leader/facilitator to implement a local project with the mentorship of IWC experts.    The plan involves assigning to each such local chapter a mentor and a few resource persons who will identify projects for environment conservation that the group will take up for implementation in the local area. The resource persons will collate and upload scientific and project data so that outcomes could be monitored and best practices identified for transfer to other chapters. . Our mobile App will create the necessary buzz, deliver local specific knowledge Inputs  and keep  the link to the host site always ‘on’

Analysis of your responses will help us approach funding agencies who can finance this ambitious project.

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