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Item #: BK1759-917
HIMALAYA: LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD David Zurick, P.P. Karan 1999 1st ed Hardcover DJ New
By Zurick, David and P. P. Karan
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Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 1999, 1st edition. 352 pp, 73 b/w photos and maps. Larger hardcover with dust jacket. New.

Two scientists describe and analyze the geology, ecology and natural history of the Himalaya, and describe the change taking place there as a result of human activity.  Sprawling 2700 kilometres across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, the Himalaya possess an abundance of ecological niches, from subtropical to arctic climates, and support vast quantities of flora and fauna - more than 650 varieties of orchid thrive in the we mountain region of Sikkim alone.

In the valleys, a number and range of peoples have, over the centuries, carved out diverse cultures in the harsh mountain environment. The mountains themselves continue to grow an average of one centimetre per year, with some peaks rising ten centimetres in a single year. There are also profound environmental and cultural changes occurring throughout the region. In this work, the authors explore these dynamic changes through geological records, scientific reports and official documents.

The authors offer a comprehensive natural history of the region from the birth of the Himalaya out of the tectonic disruptions beneath the primordial Tethys Sea to the variety of landforms, habitats and climates seen today. They present a study of the peoples who make the mountains their home, tracing human history there back more than a thousand years, and provide an in-depth analysis of the relationship between nature and society in the Himalaya and the pressing problems of environmental degradation, explosive population growth, spiralling poverty and globalization confronting the region and its people.

Challenging widely held assumptions about the ecological crisis, the authors detail a more complex scenario and also offer reasons for hope, documenting the success of wildlife preserves and national parks, the effective strategies of local environmental activists, and the rise of ecotourism and rediscovered techniques of sustainable agriculture. 

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