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Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation Paperback – February 1, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Wolves are some of the world's most charismatic and controversial animals, capturing the imaginations of their friends and foes alike. Highly intelligent and adaptable, they hunt and play together in close-knit packs, sometimes roaming over hundreds of square miles in search of food. Once teetering on the brink of extinction across much of the United States and Europe, wolves have made a tremendous comeback in recent years, thanks to legal protection, changing human attitudes, and efforts to reintroduce them to suitable habitats in North America.

As wolf populations have rebounded, scientific studies of them have also flourished. But there hasn't been a systematic, comprehensive overview of wolf biology since 1970. In Wolves, many of the world's leading wolf experts provide state-of-the-art coverage of just about everything you could want to know about these fascinating creatures. Individual chapters cover wolf social ecology, behavior, communication, feeding habits and hunting techniques, population dynamics, physiology and pathology, molecular genetics, evolution and taxonomy, interactions with nonhuman animals such as bears and coyotes, reintroduction, interactions with humans, and conservation and recovery efforts. The book discusses both gray and red wolves in detail and includes information about wolves around the world, from the United States and Canada to Italy, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Israel, India, and Mongolia. Wolves is also extensively illustrated with black and white photos, line drawings, maps, and fifty color plates.

Unrivalled in scope and comprehensiveness, Wolves will become the definitive resource on these extraordinary animals for scientists and amateurs alike.

About the Author

L. David Mech is a senior research scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and adjunct professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and the Department of Ecology and Behavioral Biology at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species, The Way of the Wolf, and The Arctic Wolf, among other books, and is coauthor of The Wolves of Denali. Luigi Boitani is a professor of vertebrate zoology and animal ecology at the University of Rome. He is the author of Dalla parte del lupo, coauthor of Simon and Schuster’s Guide to Mammals, and coeditor of Research Techniques in Animal Ecology.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; New edition edition (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226516970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226516974
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Anyone wishing to extend their knowledge of Wolves will find a tremendous number
of books on this subject. Wolves: Behavior,Ecology and Conservation is not for those
seeking a "Disney" like rendition of this animal. Those seeking a mystical, science
fictional portrayal of this mammal would be advised to look elsewhere. For those seeking
the facts about this animal, this volume is likely the most definitive compilation
of scientific research available on the subject. Documenting the work of the world's foremost
experts on this subject, the authors and editors have combined several hundred years of
scientific research and, in my opinion, presented observations while maintaining the highest
degree of scientific objectivity possible. This book in no way reads like a novel, and those seeking to confirm a preconceived outright protectionist or complete anihilation philosophy, would best be served looking elsewhere. Given the highly controversial public image associated with this mammal,
great progress could likely be made in the management of this species if more individuals
with an interest in this subject would read this definitive work.

Kent Kinyon
Lewiston Idaho
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Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, an organization of wolf research around the world, as compiled, authored and edited by David Mech and Luigi Boitani, is quite literally the definitive book about wolves. Anyone who has a true interest in this animal, and wants to understand the wolf will find this book superbly well organized and supported. Bookshelves are loaded with books about wolves, so why another one? From the preface: "Because none of the others presents the comprehensive, up-to-date, and documented treatment that we strove for in this one. None of them combine the 350 person-years of research experience with, and knowledge of, wolves that our authors bring to the project. We have attempted here to synthesize as much of the scientific and scholarly literature on the wolf as we could."

Odds are if you have an interest in this book, you have at least some knowledge about David Mech. Mech is a Senior Scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. David Mech is the dean of the world's wolf biologists. He has studied and written about wolves for over fifty years. David Mech began studying wolves on Isle Royale in 1959, submitted his thesis and received his doctoral degree in 1962. With some modifications the thesis became the seventh in the National Parks Fauna series, "The Wolves of Isle Royale" which was published in 1966. This was followed by "The Wolf The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species", a 1970 publication by Natural History Press, and is the forerunner of the book under review.

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This is a relatively massive book ( about 450 full size pages with small but readable type) that I use as a reference. Almost anything you want to know about wolves from wolf social ecology, behavior, population, physiology, genetics, evolution, conservation and everything in between is in this incredibly complete and ambitious work. It's a bit like a dictionary in that few will read it cover to cover but if you need just one book on wolves that will probably have whatever you want to know about wolves in it - this is the book. Somewhere in the northern territory on a cold, crystal winter night there should be a few wolves who are howling at the stars as a show of respect for the people who put this book together on their behalf.
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Bought it as part of my 11 year old Grandaughters Christmas gifts&as she was hoping to learn alot MORE about wolves in general,it was just the book she had been looking for. Soft back but well constructed,easy to read& reference& very informative.She wants to study wolves when she finishes school& although she has books,none gave her the research material she had been hoping to find.
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This book is mainly a scholarly work,with chapters by various biologist wolf experts,some of which are well writen and others more text-book style,and full of charts, graphs, tables and reference notes. If you love canines though-wolves or their dog brothers, you will want this book.Some of these experts have spent years studying and observing and living with wolves and they have extremely interesting stories to tell. Especially interesting are the chapters on sex,raising of young,survival and the domestic dog descent from wolves.Depressing is the number of wolves killed for no reason other then people wanting to kill.
A good encyclopedic work for canine lovers
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David Mech has devoted much ofhis life t the study of wolves in an effort to help us compreend their behavior and function in the environmental lin that connects us all on this planet we call earth. To him I am eternally grateful. THis book is a combination of beautiful photography and technical information written in a relaxing style that most readers will enjoy and some will find very exciting. THe information in accurate and often opens our eyes to current popular trends in dog training... the thought of the Alpha in a pack and the study of wolves in captivity as opposed to wolves in the wild. A must read.
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