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Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation Paperback – February 1, 2007
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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
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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.
Prof. Luigi Boitani is a Full Professor of Conservation Biology and Animal Ecology, Head of the the Department of Animal and Human Biology at the University of Rome, La Sapienza, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Idaho. In addition, Boitani is the Director of the Conservation of animal biodiversity: protected areas and ecological networks, President of the Institute of Applied Ecology Society for Conservation Biology in Washington D.C., Chair of the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe and of the Wolf Specialist Group, SSC/IUCN, as well as member of the Steering Committee of the Species Survival Commission, IUCN.
The main focus of Boitani's research has been the use of scientific data and methods in the practice of conservation with particular emphasis on reducing the science-policy gap which weakens the effectiveness of large areas of conservation activities. His research interests include: the ecology and conservation of large mammals, as well as the theory and practice of identifying and managing protected areas. Since 1973, he has worked on a series of projects focused on the ecology and conservation biology of the wolf (Canis lupus) in Italy as well as several other European countries.
Mech, and Boitani, have compiled and organized a veritable Everest of information and research about wolves. Wolves: Behavior Ecology and Conservation can be read cover- to-cover, or used for the purpose of research and cross- reference. Though, at times, a bit overwhelming for someone with a casual interest in wolves, especially if the reader has no background in statistics, "Wolves" should remain the epitome of wolf information for some time to come. As the world of biological study continues to evolve, we find the molecular genetic studies of wolves, as well as an update on wolf evolution and taxonomy within the books 13 chapters.
One will find 56 pages of references, 12 pages of authors indexed, as well as a comprehensive subject index. Topics in Wolves are also well supported by graphs and data tables Therefore, if one wants to further research about any topic that may come to mind about wolves, primary sources are provided in the reference section. Perhaps dry, but never lacking for explanation and backing research, Mech and Boitani demonstrate the pure science that has gone into the study of the wolf in regard to perhaps every conceivable aspect of its ecology.
In conclusion, one cannot find a more comprehensive, or more organized compilation of information and research on wolves in one place than Wolves: Behavior Ecology and Conservation as synthesized, authored and edited by David Mech and Luigi Boitani. The authors and editors of Wolves: Behavior Ecology and Conservation have donated all royalties from this book to The International Wolf Center as a foundation for lasting research and ecologically sound wolf management in order to minimize conflict between wolves and humans and better the chances for wolf conservation worldwide.
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.