Language: Bilingual in English and French
Mauritian born photographer and ornithologist Narainsamy Ramen’s fourth book on Indian Ocean avifauna is a groundbreaking achievement. For the first time, all the endemic birds of the Indian Ocean Islands, alongside resident subspecies and migratory visitors, have been photographed in their diverse natural habitats and presented in a two-volume guide. From the semi-arid baobab groves of Socotra to the lush tropical rain forests of Sri Lanka, Narainsamy and a team of experienced wildlife photographers have, over the course of several years, visited each of the Indian Ocean’s remote archipelagos, and in over 1000 beautifully composed photographs, painstakingly captured the essence of these elusive birds in exuberant displays of natural behaviour.
The publication of this guide is timely. During his lifetime, the author has witnessed the effects that climate change and overdevelopment have inflicted upon the fragile ecosystems of the Indian Ocean. From deforestation in Madagascar to rising sea levels eroding the shores of the Cocos Islands, their unique wildlife is under threat as never before. Like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, Narainsamy sees the declining numbers of endemic birds in the Indian Ocean as a barometer of the world’s environmental health. He hopes that this detailed guide will inspire bird lovers around the world to become involved in the excellent environmental programmes that have already begun on the islands, and that it will also serve as an important educational resource for a new generation of local aspiring conservationists.
Narainsamy Ramen has devoted the last 50 years to his twin passions: photography and ornithology. In Britain in the 1960s, he mastered the art of photography whilst working as an Aerial photographer for the RAF. When he returned to Mauritius in the 1970s he got a job as Manager of Casela Bird Park where he successfully introduced breeding programmed for other endangered endemic bird species to Mauritius. Following the publication of his last book, Birds of Mauritius, Rodrigues and Islets, he worked with the Mauritian Ministry of Education to print extracts of the book on school exercise copybooks to raise awareness amongst children of the island's unique natural heritage. He is currently involved in setting up a foundation that will encourage Mauritian children to get involved in conservation through talks and guided tours in the island's nature reserves and national parks.
His aim is to educate people about birds and their importance to our ecosystems. Birds are, for many people, an entry point to the understanding of nature, ecology, and conservation. If we are to preserve what is left of our natural world, we need people who comprehend and appreciate it, especially those who have the authority to make policy and laws. So, he tries try to do his part because he is a conservationist at heart and is saddened by what he sees happening to ecosystems and species. As you know, islands are on the front line in the struggle to combat climate change. All the islands of the Indian Ocean face varying degrees of threat including some that face total annihilation. When an island is lost, we lose so much more than the land itself with the loss of islands comes the inevitable extinction of their unique, precious and fragile wildlife.