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Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation [Paperback]

L. David Mech , Luigi Boitani

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2007
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.

“An excellent compilation of current knowledge, with contributions from all the main players in wolf research. . . . It is designed for a wide readership, and certainly the language and style will appeal to both scientists and lucophiles alike. . . . This is an excellent summary of current knowledge and will remain the standard reference work for a long time to come.”—Stephen Harris, New Scientist

“This is the place to find almost any fact you want about wolves.”—Stephen Mills, BBC Wildlife Magazine



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Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation + Cougar: Ecology and Conservation + Peterson Reference Guide to the Behavior of North American Mammals
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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation Aug. 13 2010
By Kent Kinyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Mech has truly devoted his life to helping our understanding of wolves a great text March 13 2010
By P. Pasda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weighty,but fulfilling Sept. 28 2007
By Paultheruler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Book on Wolves Feb. 11 2014
By Immer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.

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.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and conservation July 2 2011
By good dog - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As soon as I saw this book I knew it was special, and it has proved to be just so. The book shows the difficulty these beautiful creatures are having to survive and dispels the 'old wives tails' and the negative impression of the 'werewolf', it has achieved a false image of a canid who is always fighting for position in the pack. This book shows that it is not so. Domestic dogs can be more aggressive. I was shocked when I opened the packaging, the front cover alone speaks volumes. The wolf should be cherished for what it is and not hunted down, or have its' habitate bulldozed. There anscestors have survived against all odds, but not against man, his traps, his guns. The system of balance on this unique planet needs predetors, otherwise the balance is tipped. Since the culling of the gray wolf in some parts of the USA, it has left the door open for a much lesser, unwanted predetor, the coyote.
ARRAY(0xb00bdec4)

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