The Publications of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has played a pioneering role in contributing to the scientific knowledge on Indian Zoology, taxonomic knowledge in particular. As being a scientific research organization of national and international repute, ZSI has been publishing since 1906, scientific journals, books, as part of its mission to advance the science of taxonomy and systematics and disseminate the scientific information on Indian fauna. The ZSI publications provide an outlet for the researchers/ scientists not only of ZSI but also of other institutions to publish their results of zoological studies of scientific nature, taxonomy and systematics in particular, thereby contributing to the knowledge base on Indian fauna. It was ZSI that had made an impetus on the taxonomic research on Indian fauna in the country and carried the message to the people of the rich diversity of the animal wealth of the country and the awareness about their conservation through the media of its scientific publications. The ZSI publications have over the years brought to light India’s rich and diverse faunal diversity richness. The publications of the Survey are widely circulated and have excellent reputation throughout the world.
History: Even prior to the inception of ZSI in 1916, during the period of the British Indian Empire, the scientific knowledge on Indian zoology had started streaming out. ZSI had inherited the wisdom and will from the erstwhile British India Government about the importance of exploring and documenting the faunal wealth of India towards contributing to the scientific knowledge on Indian zoology. The ‘Fauna of British India...’ , a series of Handbooks on Indian Zoology dealing with the revised and descriptive works on the animal groups of India and the adjacent countries was made by the British Government in India, with the 1st volume published in 1888.
Since 1906 the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum, the progenitor of the Zoological Survey of India, started publishing two important series of publications, namely ‘Records of Indian Museum’ (A quarterly Journal of Indian Zoology) and Memoirs of Indian Museum, which dealt with varied topics of research on Indian fauna, viz., taxonomy and systematics, phylogeny and biogeography, including biological and ecological studies on fauna. After the Independence of India (1947), in continuation of the publication of the ‘Fauna of British India...’ series, further more volumes under the new name of Fauna of India were published.
Before Independence, 44 Volumes, comprising of 176 publications of ‘Records of Indian Museum’, 13 Volumes of comprising of 55 publications of ‘Memoirs of Indian Museum’ and 91 Fauna of British India were published.
Publications of Zoological Survey of India since its inception in 1916:
- Records of the Zoological Survey of India Vol. 1 to 112 (445)
- Memoirs of Zoological Survey of India Vol. 1 to 21 (91)
- Occasional Papers (345)
- Fauna of India (Including 82 Fauna of British India) (138)
- Annual Report since 1961-62 to 2011 (42)
- State Fauna Series (20 States) (66)
- Conservation Area Series (44)
- Wetland Series (16)
- Estuarine Series (8)
- Marine Series (1)
- Himalayan Series (3)
- Animal Discoveries (New species and New records) (5)
- Handbooks/Pictorial Guides (49)
- Special Publication Series (45)
- Status Survey of Threatened Animals (11)
- Bibliography of India Zoology (Discontinued) (35)
- Zoologiana (Discontinued) Vol. 1 to 5 (5)
- Technical Monograph (Discontinued) Vol. 1 to 17 (68)
- Bulletin of ZSI Vol. (Discontinued) Vol. 1 to 8 (12)
Total Publications as on date (1429)
Publications published after India’s Independence in 1947
1. Records of the Indian Museum Vol. 45 to vol. 65 (88 issues)
The ‘Records of Indian Museum’ was the only journal for publishing the taxonomic research papers, description of new species and new records, revisionary studies, etc. for the researchers and taxonomists of the Survey during its formative years. The journal was being published under the aegis of the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum, the progenitor of ZSI, with the first issue published in 1907, even before the formal establishment of ZSI in 1916. After India’s Independence, the ZSI has published 21 Volumes comprising of 88 issues under the ‘Records of the Indian Museum’. The journal-series was renamed as ‘Records of the Zoological Survey of India’ in the year 1968.
2. Records of the Zoological Survey of India Vol. 66 to Vol. 111 (180 issues)
The journal, formerly known as The ‘Records of Indian Museum’ which was renamed in the year 1968 as the ‘Records of the Zoological Survey of India’ , is a quarterly in-house periodical that acts as a journal of Indian Zoology. The journal provides media for zoological communications dealing with taxonomy, faunistics, biology, ecology and population of any taxon. Since 1947, 44 volumes containing 180 issues have been published so far as Records of ZSI.
3. Memoirs of Indian Museum Vol. 14 and 15 (8 issues)
The Memoirs are meant to publish works on systematics, phylogeny and biogeography of a group of animals or of groups of animals occurring in an ecologically defined area, or any other work of monographic nature. It is an occasional publication, the periodicity depending upon the availability of work of monographic nature. Its publishing was started in 1907 before the establishment of the Zoological Survey of India. After India’s Independence, the ZSI has published 2 Volumes comprising of 8 issues under ‘Memoirs of Indian Museum’. After 1968, the series was renamed as ‘Memoirs of the Zoological Survey of India’.
4. Memoirs of the Zoological survey of India vol. 16 to 21 (Part-3) (23 issues)
‘Memoirs of Indian Museum’ in the year 1968 was renamed as ‘Memoirs of the Zoological survey of India’, with similar objectives. Since 1947, 6 volumes containing 23 issues have been published so far as Memoirs of ZSI.
5. Fauna of India and the adjacent countries (52 books)
91 volumes of ‘Fauna of British India’ on different groups were published before independence. This programme was reoriented in 1975 as ‘Fauna of India’. Since then 52 volumes have been published.
Under this Series, a consolidated and up-to-date Taxonomic/systematic account of different groups of animals, based on detailed studies, are undertaken by the Scientists of eminence, who have worked on that group for more than 2 decades. The fauna volumes provide identification keys and distribution ranges of the species and genera belonging to a particular animal group. These volumes not only provide an inventory of the various taxa of that animal group within Indian region but also their distribution in whole of Asia and the World.
6. Technical Monographs vol. 1 to 17 (17 books)
Transfer of the Survey to the Department of Environment made it necessary for the activities to be more elaborative, with the inclusion of the applied nature of works also, and the results are published under this series. Its publishing was started in the year 1978, and was discontinued in the year 1987 during which 17 monographs were published.
7. Zoologiana No. 1 (1977) to No. 5 (1990) (5 Books)
It is a semi-popular journal for publishing accounts of the general nature of faunal resources, conservation of wildlife, etc., on the basis of work done at the Survey. This journal was started in the year 1978 and, after publishing 5 volumes, was discontinued in the year 1990.
8. Bulletin of Zoological Survey of India Vol. 1 No. 1 (1978) to Vo. 8 (1987) each with three parts (24 books)
This journal started in the year 1978 as a house journal was meant to cater to the growing diversity in zoological research undertaken in the Survey. The journal provided the researchers opportunities to publish the short-length papers, or communications of the research findings, especially to facilitate the quick and easy publication of new taxa, records and other findings. Till it was discontinued in the year 1987, 8 volumes, each in three parts, were published.
9. Occasional Paper No. 1 (1976) to Vol. 334 (334 books)
The publication of this series publish the results of findings on particular topics, animal groups, district fauna, checklists and other lengthy taxonomic research papers, under separate cover, which cannot be accommodated in Records of the ZSI. This publication, started in the year 1976 has so far published 334 volumes of such papers.
10. Handbook Series (48 books)
The ‘Handbook series’ publications are identification manuals of major groups of animals with keys and illustrations. The handbooks are important tools to help in distinguishing and identifying the species of different animal groups. Pictorial handbooks with colour photographs were also published for common people to generate interest towards fauna of the country. The first handbook on Indian Thysanoptera was published in 1980. So far 48 handbooks have been brought out.
11. Special Publications (45 books)
ZSI has been publishing special publications on proceedings of symposia, seminars and workshops, etc., conducted by the Survey, and books of important and valued nature. The publishing of special publications was started with the first book ‘State of Art report – Zoology’ brought ou in 1980. 45 publications have so far been published under this series, some of which are as important as the ones like: Faunal resources of India, Red Data Books, Environmental Awareness, Ecosystems of India, Geo Spatial Atlas of Birds of Rajasthan, etc.
12. Status Survey Reports (11 documents)
The publication of this series was started with an aim to survey and monitor the status of critically endangered species and threatened species of India. So far 11 documents on status of animals have been published.
13. Annual Reports of ZSI (46 Reports)
This publication, first published in 1952 for the year 1941-1951, is meant to give highlights of the work and activities of the Survey during a particular financial year. It includes important information on the research conducted and papers published, areas surveyed both extensively and intensively, staff position, publications brought out and Identification and advisory services rendered to research workers. So far 46 reports have been brought out.
14. Bibliography of Indian Zoology (35 Volumes)
The prime objective of this publication is to provide a handy compilation of references of scientific literature to the researchers for carrying out the scientific works on particular subjects based on the available literature. Keeping this in view, the Zoological Survey of India started compiling the Bibliography of Indian Zoology for bringing out a yearly publication, comprising a list of works done by all the Indian Scientists on Zoology. The first publication, Vol. 1 to 3 (1958-1960) was published in 1960, and so far 35 volumes have been published.
This publication was discontinued after 2006, and a digitized version of the publication was initiated in 2011
15. State Fauna Series (64 books)
ZSI headquarters in collaboration with its 16 Regional Centres located in various parts of the country has undertaken intensive and extensive survey programmes on the faunal resources of various States of India and collected and documented the baseline data. The first of the series: State Fauna of Orissa was published in 1987. These published documents on fauna have been realised to be highly useful not only to the research workers but also to the state governments to assess/monitor the faunal wealth of their states. The faunal documents also help in EIA works/study as the base line data. The State Fauna series of the 20 States have been published; survey, study and documentation of the fauna of other 4 states are being completed; and the Survey and faunal inventorying works of 3 states are in progress.
16. Conservation area Series (44 books; 42 National Parks/Reserves/Protected Areas)
This series of publication was started to survey, study and document the fauna of reserve forests of our country in order to suggest the conservation measures based on the monitoring and inventorying works. The Fauna of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve was the first published in the series in 1987. So far 44 publications have been brought out under this series.
17. Prani Jagat (in Hindi):
This Hindi Journal was started to include papers of general nature related to animal diversity, and three issues have been brought out so far.
18. Ecosystem Series
The series was started in the year 1992 to study the different ecosystems of the country viz. Estuarines, Wetlands, Himalaya, Marine, etc. The survey/ exploration, study and documentation of the faunal resources of many more ecosystems are yet to be undertaken under this programme. A total of 23 publications have been published as listed below:
- A) Estuarine Ecosystem Series (First Published in 1992); 6 books
- B) Wetland Ecosystem Series (First Published in 1995); 14 books
- C) Himalayan Ecosystem Series (First Published in 1995); 2 books
- D) Marine Ecosystem Series (First Published in 2007); 1 book
Altogether 1429 publications, including the in-house journal of Indian Zoology, have been brought out by Zoological Survey of India till today. These publications provide guidelines for recommendations to Forest Departments; information for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The ZSI is the only organization in India engaged in exploration, monitoring and inventorying the Faunal Diversity of India and disseminating the invaluable information on Indian fauna through its publications.