Mapping wild India
Q. Why create a wildlife map?
A. Green Humour began as a series of cartoons and comic strips on wildlife and conservation; the reactions have been growing steadily, but the readership is limited to those who are aware of biodiversity. Of late, I’ve realised that I can reach out to a wider audience through illustrations. Illustrated maps are a step in this direction. Having produced commissioned map illustrations for parks and organisations (Pakke Tiger Reserve for Arunachal Forest Department, Manas National Park and Nagzira-Navegaon Tiger Reserve for Wildlife Trust of India, and Karnataka Eco-Tourism Board), I wanted to create a comprehensive map exclusively for Green Humour.
Copyright/Rohan Chakravarty (www.greenhumour.com)
Q. How did you zero in on these specific spots?
A. I have tried to incorporate as many prominent wildlife destinations as possible, but had to leave several parks out as well as animals out, many of which are close to my heart (Bor Tiger Reserve, species of birds of prey), owing to space constraints. I hope to make up for this with illustrated compilations exclusive to these animals and places.
Rohan Chakravarty took a year to create the map
Q. Tell us about the research behind this project?
A. Sourcing information was a constant process. I read up natural history books and referred to field guides by SH Prater and Vivek Menon for mammals, and Richard Grimmett, Tim Inskipp and Carol Inskipp Grimmet’s for birds. Several lengthy chats with my brother, a wildlife biologist, helped shape the map.
Q. Have you approached schools with it?
A. Illustrated maps are ideal to arouse curiosity for the natural world among young readers, since they not only share information in a succinct manner, they also also spark off a discussion. A few schools in India as well as in the US and Canada have contacted me. I intend to approach more Indian schools and take the series forward by plotting biodiversity hotspots using illustrated maps. With some luck, I hope to take the series abroad too.
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