Books

India’s Elephants
2014 Annette Bonnier
 
Hardback – 215 Pages.
Color Photographs 13” x 10 by Annette Bonnier.
Forward by Steve McCurry.
 
Annette Bonnier is a documentary photographer who traveled throughout India over a 3-year period photographing the lives of domesticated and wild elephants. She has focused on a society which revels in the joyous magnificence and spiritual presence of an amazing animal, as well as on hardships these elephants face. She has captured the world surrounding their lives… delicately interwoven in Indian Society.

This collection of photographs is a cultural documentation of this complex and majestic animal, with its intelligence, intricate social hierarchy, and a highly evolved communication skill, that is caught in a changing world between the past and the future. The images guide us through villages, nature, temples, logging camps and circuses where elephants labor, delight and inspire worshipers and tourists to the final image of the Lord Ganesh, a spiritual culmination of a cycle between man and beast.

Annette Bonnier work on India's Elephants will help support Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF ) in India.
 

Books are available at www.annettebonnier.com 
The Story of Asia’s Elephants
2011 Dr. Raman Sukumar

The Marg Foundation – 2011 – Nature – 340 pages

This book , an ecological and cultural history of the Asian elephant, is the first single volume to comprehensively cover the history of Asia’s elephants, drawing upon a wide range of literary sources from ancient to contemporary times.

The relationship between elephants and people in Asia over thousands of years is a unique one. This story of the Asian elephant begins with a brief account of the ancient origins of the creature and its possible relationship with early humans, leading eventually to the taming of the animal between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago in the Harappan period. Subsequent chapters cover successive periods in Asian history, tracing the story of the elephant broadly under the major religious establishments – Vedic, Buddhist and Jain, post-1st century Hindu, and Islamic – of the Indian subcontinent and beyond, including the fate of the elephants that Alexander and his successors took with them to the Mediterranean region for use in battle. After a discussion of the fortunes of the elephant under colonial rulers in Asia, the author presents the post-independence history of the animal in 13 range countries.  The final chapter presents a summary of the latest scientific knowledge of the elephant’s ecology and behaviour, and of how we can plan for the conservation of the species.
 
This book is not an art history, but rather an ecological and cultural history of the Asian elephant. The focus is on India because of the great significance of the elephant in this ancient civilization as well as the profusion of material, both artistic and literary, available from the Stone Age to the present; at the same time however, the elephant-human relationship across the Asian continent, from the Tigris- Euphrates basin in the west to the Mekong in the east, is covered in substantial detail. This is the first single volume to comprehensively cover the history of Asia’s elephants, profusely illustrated with images of the elephant in art through the ages, most of them taken by the author, and drawing upon a wide range of literary sources from ancient to contemporary times.
 
Books are available at:  

www.marg-art.org/p/633/the-story-of-asias-elephants

 
 
ELEPHANT CODE BOOK
2010 Prajna CHOWTA
Asian Nature Conservation Foundation) & Aane Mane Foundation , 2010 – Nature - 138 pages
As many as 16,000 Asian elephants–one third of the entire population–are captive. In India alone, about 3500 elephants live in various and often critical conditions of captivity, contradicting the contemporary notions of wildlife conservation and animal welfare. The Elephant Code Book examines the current methods of elephant keeping and recalls the historical background that is necessary to understand the present situation. It reviews the classical texts on the subject as well as the relevant scientific literature in order to define the principles, methods and minimum standards to be adopted as a code of conduct in the management of elephants in captivity. This text is the result of 16 years of personal experience in elephant camps and amongst mahouts in distant parts of India. Moreover, it was revised by several renowned specialists of the Asian elephant: S.S. Bist, Raman Sukumar and B.C. Chittiappa. The Elephant Code Book is intended as a handy reference tool for Forest Department officers, wildlife activists, private elephant owners, temple trustees, circus managers, zoo directors, veterinary doctors, traditional mahouts, elephant keepers and all those who can make a difference in the lives of captive elephants.
 
‘The Elephant Code Book systematically and comprehensively addresses the shortfalls in captive elephant management in India. In an eminently readable and easily comprehensible style it lays out remedies, some that can be implemented immediately and others that involve more long-term behavioural changes within society as well as changes necessary in policies and laws.’ A. N. Prasad, IGF and Director (Project Elephant), Ministry of Environment, Government of India
The Living Elephants
2003 Dr. Raman Sukumar
Evolutionary Ecology, Behaviour, and Conservation
 
Oxford University Press, 2003 - Nature - 478 pages
The Living Elephants is the authoritative resource for information on both Asian and African elephants. From the ancient origins of the proboscideans to the present-day crisis of the living elephants, this volume synthesizes the behaviour, ecology and conservation of elephants, while covering also the history of human interactions with elephants, all within the theoretical framework of evolutionary biology. The book begins with a survey of the 60-million year evolutionary history of the proboscideans emphasizing the role of climate and vegetation change in giving rise to a bewildering array of species, but also discussing the possible role of humans in the late Pleistocene extinction of mastodonts and mammoths. The latest information on the molecular genetics of African and Asian elephants and its taxonomic implications are then presented. The rise of the elephant culture in Asia, and its early demise in Africa are traced along with an original interpretation of this unique animal-human relationship. The book then moves on to the social life of elephants as it relates to reproductive strategies of males and females, development of behaviour in young, communication, ranging patterns, and societal organization. The foraging strategies of elephants, their impact on the vegetation and landscape are then discussed. The dynamics of elephant populations in relation to hunting for ivory and their population viability are described with the aid of mathematical models. A detailed account of elephant-human interactions includes a treatment of crop depredation by elephants in relation to their natural ecology, manslaughter by elephants, habitat manipulation by humans, and a history of the ivory trade and poaching in the two continents. The ecological information is brought together in the final chapter to formulate a set of pragmatic recommendations for the long-term conservation of elephants. The broadest treatment of the subject yet undertaken, by one of the leading workers in the field, Raman Sukumar, the book promises to bring the understanding of elephants to a new level. It should be of interest not only to biologists but also a broader audience including field ecologists, wildlife administrators, historians, conservationists and all those interested in elephants and their future.
Elephant days and nights
1994 Dr. Raman Sukumar
Ten years with the Indian elephant
 
Oxford University Press, 1994 - Nature - 184 pages
Raman Sukumar is a leading naturalist and a key member of 'Project Elephant', a plan set up by the Indian government to protect the elephant along the lines of 'Project Tiger'. This book is a highly readable account of his experiences during ten years of research on the Indian elephant. Anecdotal, but at the same time thoroughly sound in terms of its scholarship, the book looks at the relationship of the Indian elephant to the people with which it shares the land, and the elephants' effects on the environment and the ecology of southern India. It also gives a full account of elephant behaviour and the effects of environmental degradation and ivory poaching. This highly readable account will prove fascinating reading for everyone interested in the dramatic story of the Indian elephant and the fight to protect its endangered habitats.
 
The Asian Elephant
1993 Dr. Raman Sukumar
Ecology and Management (Cambridge Studies in Applied Ecology and Resource Management)
 
Cambridge University Press, 30-Apr-1993 - Nature - 272 pages
The Asian elephant has had a unique cultural association with people. Unfortunately, elephants and people have also been in conflict, resulting in the decline in elephants throughout their former range in Southern Asia. This book provides an ecological analysis of elephant human interaction and its implications for the conservation of elephants. The foraging habits of elephants and their impact on vegetation are considered, along with the interactions that occur between elephants and humans. The ecological data provide the basis for recommendations on elephant conservation and management, keeping in view the socio-economic imperatives of the Asian region.This first comprehensive account of Asian elephant ecology will be of particular interest to conservation biologists and mammalogists.