The Great Indian or Thar Desert is characterized by extremely harsh climatic conditions. Nevertheless, this unique region, consisting of very different habitats ranging from grassland, sand dunes and rocky expanses to hilly wooded terrains, but also crop fields and abandoned human habitations, features a spectacular biodiversity.
In 16 chapters, reputed experts in their fields describe the regional climate and microclimatic regime of this hot, arid desert, and its diverse faunal inhabitants. These range from dung beetles, ants and spiders to lizards and snakes, vultures, doves and other birds, bats, gerbils and mice, and mammals including the gazelle and langur, some appearing in the IUCN Red List of threatened species. Key aspects of the ecology and conservation of this endangered ecosystem are discussed, notably pest control and the protective role of local religious communities, as well as the impacts of large-scale irrigation schemes, changing land-use patterns and climate change.
1. The Thar of Rajasthan (India): Ecology and Conservation of Desert Ecosystem K.K. Sharma & Satya P. Mehra
2. Climate and micro climate changes influencing the fauna of the hot Indian Arid ZoneA S Rao
3. Dung Beetle (Coleoptera : Scarabaeidae : Coprinae) of Thar Desert of Rajasthan and Gujarat Ram Sewak
4. Ants (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) of Thar Desert of Rajasthan and Gujarat Neena Tak
5. Spiders in the Desert National Park C. Sivaperuman and N.S. Rathore
6. Species richness and dominance of reptiles in Aravali foothills of Rajasthan Shalini Gaur
7. Present status of the Vultures in the Great Indian Thar Desert A.K Chhangani
8. Structure of an arid tropical bird community, Rajasthan C. Sivaperuman, Sumit Dookia, P.L Kankane and Q.H. Baqri
9. Changing avian diversity of the Jodhpur, Western Rajasthan Himmat Singh
10. Avifaunal diversity in the IGNP canal area, Rajasthan, India C. Sivaperuman and Q.H. Baqri
11. Impact assessment of Indira Gandhi Canal on Avifauna of Thar DesertMohd. Idris, Partap Singh & Smriti Johari
12. Eco-status of chiropteran fauna in and around Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner of Great Indian Desert Ashok Purohit, K. R. Senacha & K. B. Vyas
13. Eco-biodiversity of Rodent fauna of Thar Desert Mohamed Idris
14. Primates in the Thar Desert Agoramoothy
15. Status of Indian Gazelle (Gazella Bennetti Sykes, 1831) in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India Sumit Dookia
16. Revival prospects of larger mammals in the Thar desert of Rajasthan P.L. Kankane
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