The Vanishing: India’s Wildlife Crisis

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Animals are poached for profit, elephants are electrocuted, and leopards and tigers are hounded by howling mobs. Wildlife is not assured safety because of slouch enforcement of laws. These and other species face a fragile future. Everyone with an interest and concern for wildlife must read this book, and help protect  India’s glorious natural heritage.”

George B Schaller, Wildlife Biologist


Every year, our planet loses over 150 species of plants and animals, and India is very much in the midst of this mass ‘sixth extinction’. We are losing species in our backyard—where are the once ubiquitous sparrows, or the fireflies that lit up our nights? And in the forests, iconic species like the great Indian bustards are down to a hundred, while flamingoes are poised to be wiped off the map of India.

The Vanishing takes an unflinching look at the unacknowledged crisis that India’s wildlife faces, bringing to fore the ecocide that the country’s growth story is leaving in its wake—laying to waste its forests, endangering its wildlife, even tigers whose increasing numbers shield the real story of how development projects are tearing their habitat to shreds. It tells us why extinction matters, linking the fate of wildlife to ours. The end of the gharial, an ancient crocodilian, signifies that the clear, fast-flowing rivers that are our lifelines are stilled and poisoned. The author deconstructs the raging human–wildlife conflict to show wild elephants as peaceable creatures and weaves a beautiful tale of their bond with their protectors.

With the high-decibel development versus environment debate dominating headlines, the book reveals how the ‘development at all costs’ model threatens our ecological and economic security. The author travels to far-flung forests to give an eyewitness account, and an insider’s view of India’s vanishing natural heritage. The Vanishing is a sharp and stirring read about today’s desperate scenarios, and the quest for hope for a wild India.

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“A must read for all! Prerna Bindra has a brave and insightful voice! Her in-depth understanding of the conflicts that have put wild India at risk and her passionate love for India’s wild life provide a much needed wake up call for all the stakeholders of our health, economy and survival… But above all ‘The Vanishing’ gives us so much that we can learn to value and love.”

Dia Mirza, actor 

What the readers, and reviewers,  say

“In Prerna Bindra, India found it’s Elizabeth Kolbert”

“Prerna Bindra ​brings together her vast knowledge and experience in this highly engaging book that describes the crisis India’s wonderful wildlife has been facing for quite some time.​ ​She has travelled extensively across the country and hers is a first-hand, eye-witness account of how our rich natural heritage is vanishing​. Her book is a wake-up call for action not just by governments and political parties but by society at large.” 

Jairam Ramesh, former union minister for environment and forests

The chapter on what she calls India’s ‘Notional Board for Wildlife’ is a particular gem, a gripping tale of manipulation and deception written with the dexterity of a spy novel. ‘The Vanishing is a riveting account of one of the greatest threats of our time-the deliberate annihilation of our natural world and with it our access to clean air, sufficient food and potable water.’

Vandana Mohindra, India Today (read more here:

“We’re already in a dreadful place where it’s almost impossible to talk about India’s wildlife and environment without screeching with alarm. Prerna Bindra’s singular skill lies in being able to frame the problems and point to answers without sounding manic. The Vanishing is an engaging, informative, must-read chronicle of the desperate scenarios we have allowed to unfold. We are all culpable here.”

Pradip Krishen, author of Trees of Central India & Trees of Delhi