It is said of Dr A.J.T. Johnsingh that he lives to walk. In the book ‘Walking the Western Ghats’, he goes on several walks across the rugged and enchanting Western Ghats, detailing the presence and absence of flora and fauna. Tiger pug-marks, tahr pellets, leopard scrapes, hare tracks, sloth bear droppings, otter spoor, porcupine remains in a leopard scat, scent of tiger spray, alarm call of the wild, intrusion of non-endemic flora – nothing misses Johnsingh as he straddles the length and breadth of the Western Ghats. 

The walks are never without risks: he bumps into a tigress and her cubs, has a narrow escape from a chasing elephant and wakes up one morning to see a Sloth Bear barely 50 m from his rock bed! But Johnsingh manages to lighten these situations with graceful wit. Along each step, he picks up issues that have ravaged the habitat and provides useful suggestions to save it from further onslaught in the name of development. He packs his narration with fun, adventure and sincerity, making the book a thought-provoking and enjoyable read.

Walking the WGa