Guwahati: A first-of-its-kind pictorial field guide to the beautiful and exhaustive range of trees of Arunachal Pradesh has taken shape in the form of a book.

Biologists from the Nature Conservation Foundation and the Wildlife Institute of India have published the first-ever pictorial field guide to the trees of Arunachal Pradesh, a region famed for its biological diversity.

Authored by three seasoned field biologists – Dr. Navendu Page of Wildlife Institute of India, Dr. Aparajita Datta, and Bibidishananda Basu of Nature Conservation Foundation – this book builds on their collective experience of over two decades of field botany and forest ecology of north-east India to present an authoritative guide to the trees.

Trees of Arunachal Pradesh features more than 1,500 photos of 241 species of trees, shrubs and a few climbers. ‘Keys’ help the reader navigate through the pages and identify each species.

Author Navendu Page points out, “These ‘keys’ are based on easily observable characters such as leaves, flowers, and fruits. These provide pointers to compare similar-looking species, helping get past the lookalikes, and identify the plant of interest quickly and accurately.”

The species pages, which form the bulk of the book, give an account of the species’ ecology and utility, with images of the plant parts. One of the highlights of the book is the descriptions of the ecology of the species.

Author Aparajita Datta said, “We have given the flowering and fruiting times, who eats the fruits or how seeds are dispersed from our field observations or literature.”

People of Arunachal Pradesh and other north-eastern states where these species are found, or visitors from other regions accompanied by local people familiar with the trees and their regional names, can use the exhaustive index of names in several local languages, to determine the species’ identity.

Dr Bivash Pandav, Director of Bombay Natural History Society, says of the book, “An absolute delight not only for biologists but also for anyone remotely interested in exploring plant life in the land of the rising sun! Moving forward from the conventional plant taxonomy literature, this book is a breath of fresh air and will surely generate huge interest among the readers to understand the plant diversity of Arunachal Pradesh. Elegant illustrations and appropriate descriptions along with actual photographs of the flora, make this field guide easy to use for both professionals as well as nature enthusiasts. This field guide is an outcome of years of hard work put in by the authors and demonstrates their thorough understanding of the region. A must-have while planning for a trip to India’s northeast.”

The user-friendly and aesthetic features of this book make it an attractive resource for botany students, naturalists, plant explorers, and tree watchers as well as teachers, researchers, Forest Department staff, and the people of Arunachal Pradesh.

This book can be bought online: https://www.instamojo.com/NCF/trees-of-arunachal-a-field-guide/

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